Welcome back sports fans. Another cruel bye week in the books, and we have Buckeye football for at least 3, hopefully 4, Saturdays in a row. I did better than I expected last week after calling for 3 upsets, clocking in at 2-2. This brings me to 12-3 over the last three weeks (on result, not points). Last week's predictions and results (with scores as away-home):
- #10 Oklahoma at #6 Baylor: Prediction: 45-38; Result: 12-41. Wow, was I wrong here. The first 10 minutes or so of the game, I was hopeful, as Oklahoma led 5-3 at one point early. That collapsed quickly in the second quarter. Oklahoma is not what they seemed. Good job, Big Game Bob Stoops.
- #3 Oregon at #5 Stanford: Prediction: 27-24; Result: 26-20. LOOK AT HOW CLOSE THAT IS. In characteristic Oregon fashion, they rode into the game scoring 50+ points per game, and then at the first sign of a real defense, completely crumbled. Thanks, Cardinal. Buckeye Nation owes you a debt.
- #2 Florida State at Wake Forest: Prediction: 52-14; Result: 59-3. Again, really close. FSU seems to be the real deal, and unfortunately for us, the ACC is TERRIBLE. If FSU loses a game at this point I'd be surprised. Their only real tests left come in the form of Florida in the Swamp (lolz), and either Georgia Tech or Va Tech in the ACC title game.
- #13 Louisiana State at #1 Alabama: Prediction: 14-13; Result: 17-38. Again, I was hopeful for a half, because despite LSU's two terrible turnovers in the first quarter, the score was 17-14 'Bama. The Mad Hatter failed to match Saban's second half adjustments, and the game quickly turned into a rout. Poor Zach Mettenberger.
The Ducks tumble helps us, as we only really need one more loss from FSU or 'Bama to make the MNC. I don't see Baylor jumping us if they win out, but we should root for them to lose anyway. On to this week's matchups:
- Syracuse at #2 Florida State: 3:30 ABC/ESPN2. What we want: Go Orangemen. Unfortuantely, I don't think we can count on the Orange for a win here. They have 4 losses from Penn State, Northwestern, Clemson, and Georgia Tech (56-0!). I think FSU will run the score once again with a big win over a bad opponent. Someone really needs to look at their strength of schedule the same way they do ours. Prediction: FSU in a blow-out, 50-10.
- #16 Michigan State at Nebraska: 3:30 ABC/ESPN2. What we want: Sparty YES! A highly ranked Spartan opponent in the B1G championship is the best we can hope for right now to bolster our strength of schedule. Prediction: MSU in a closer than expected game, 29-21.
- Texas Tech at #5 Baylor: 7:00, Fox. What we want: Roll Red Raiders. If the Raiders can defend the Bear Raid offense, this game should be a good one. Otherwise, it could turn into a "last team with the ball wins" game. We need Tech to either keep up or play defense to knock out another unbeaten. Prediction: Shoot-out Raider victory, 48-44.
- #1 Alabama at Mississippi State: 7:45, ESPN. What we want: Go Bulldogs. The 'Dogs put up a good fight against A&M last week, but ultimately came up short. If they can play like that again, the Buckeyes will be sitting pretty. Prediction: Alabama stumbles, but doesn't fall, 51-38.
Prediction for the Buckeyes in Champaign-Urbana: a big win, 52-6. (Noon, ESPN.)
Other match-ups of interest:
- Indiana at #22 Wisconsin: Noon, ESPN2.
- #25 Georgia at #7 Auburn: 3:30, CBS.
- TTUN at Northwestern: 3:30, BTN.
- #4 Stanford at Southern California: 8:00, ABC.