So Daron couldn’t make this week, as he decided that going on a date on Thursday was more important than doing our picks. Needless to say, there are priorities that need to be realigned. So I’m on my own for picks and what to watch for this week. Here are the four games that I am most anxiously awaiting.
Michigan at Iowa. So Tate Forcier single-handedly carried Michigan through into overtime before throwing an ill-advised throw thanks to some tough pressure (an ongoing theme for the Michigan offense…more on that later). Obviously Tate loves these pressure situations, which is what he’ll find himself in Kinnick on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Iowa completely dominated Sun Belt powerhouse Arkansas State, the perfect way of following up the win in Happy Valley. I’m sensing a trend for Iowa against bad teams…Good thing this is the Big 10 and there are no bad teams? Going back to the very questionable offensive line of the Wolverines, I think that Iowa’s hellacious front seven full of NFL prospects gets the best of Michigan, as David Molk’s loss is really gotta hurt Michigan’s chances. Iowa 24, Michigan 14
GT at Florida State. This game is incredibly interesting for two reasons. One, I love Paul Johnson’s offense. Despite GT’s struggles, this offense actually has better numbers (I know right? How?), even with a couple tough losses. Meanwhile, on the other side, Florida State is in the midst of the biggest crisis in recent college football history. The Florida State fans are trying to organize a blackout of Doak Campbell. And not the good kind. More like the “wear black to celebrate the death of Bobby Bowden’s legacy” kind of blackout. If Florida State doesn’t win this game, I fully expect Bobby Bowden to have to resort to hiding, the use of body doubles, and some flaming couches (again, not the good kind). Both Boston College and South Florida were able to run the ball successfully against the ‘Noles, though it may not be useful to compare those teams to GT given the different styles of running. Because I will perennially root for chaos and destruction, I see Georgia Tech 27 Florida State 21 .
Alabama at Ole Miss. Alabama has been perhaps the most impressive team in the country thus far in the young 2009 season. The blog poll from MgoBlog at CBS Sports has them ranked above both Florida and Texas (not least because of the resume rankers, who refuse to use any preseason poll to rank teams in the season). McElroy has proven to be an extremely confident replacement for the much under-appreciated (but nonetheless sexy?) John Parker Wilson. Plus, they have one of the best sets of running backs in the country in Upchurch, Grant, Ingram and Trent Richardson. Meanwhile, Ole Miss has fallen hard from #4 after their loss to the OBC. I think it’s safe to say that nobody really thought they were the 4th best team in the country, but they are really getting drilled for that loss. I think Ole Miss keeps it close in Oxford, but Alabama manages to pull away a bit in the end…Alabama 31, Ole Miss 17
Florida at LSU Will Tebow play? I would bet that he plays on Saturday night. That said, I bet Brantley sees time. Urban Meyer said today on CFB Live on ESPN that the noise in Tiger Stadium (where LSU fans have been drinking in preparation for this game since roughly 1998) could worsen Tebow’s symptoms and cause him pain. Though I don’t envy Brantley going into Tiger Stadium, I think Florida can win without Tebow. It’s likely that you’ll see more creative ways of getting the ball in the hands of Rainey and Brandon James (Probably lots of Percy-ball to these two). I think the real question is whether LSU can score. Their offense has been just good enough in just about every game thus far this season; And they may have needed a bit of help from the refs last week. And Florida is undoubtedly the best defense that they have play thus far this season. But…I’m gonna go with the upset on this one: LSU just doesn’t lose at home at night (They haven’t lost since 2002 at night at home). Upset special: LSU 17, Florida 13.