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Saturday, October 26, 2013

College Football, Week 9: Oregon on upset Alert?

As we start to near the end of the college football season, the race is on to find out which teams (if any) will end the season 12-0 (or 13-0, if that team plays in a conference championship.) First and foremost this week is Oregon, who hosts their biggest game of the week when they face UCLA.

The Ducks feature one of the fastest scoring offenses in the nation, led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota, who many consider to be the top prospect at the position in next year's NFL draft. And let's not forget the returning DeAnthony Thomas, aka DAT, whose 7 yard per carry is just outrageous, even for someone in the amateur ranks.

Then there's UCLA, whose hopes for a national title and PAC-12 North crown took a huge blow last weekend when they lost to Stanford. The Bruins, led by QB Brett Hundley, will look to avenge their first loss of 2013 with a stellar performance in Eugene.

Conventional wisdom says the Bruins don't stand a chance, with the Ducks averaging a whopping 57.6 points per game. And normally I would look to say that Oregon will continue on its hot streak as of late. But today I am throwing conventional wisdom out the books, and going with UCLA to hand Oregon its first lost in a shootout, 44-40.

In other top 25 action

Wake Forest at 7 Miami: I'm not so sure about the sanctions the NCAA handed down to the 'Canes in response to their most recent scandal. I'm also not sure that the 'U' finishes the season undefeated, either. What I am sure of, however, is that this isn't the first week where they lose. Miami, 49-7.

19 Oklahoma State at Iowa State: Last week I had the misfortune of thinking the Mountaineers could upset the Cowboys, only to see the visitors win 37-27. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...there is no fooling me twice. Oklahoma State, 65-3

Connecticut at 23 UCF: The Huskies looked good a few weeks ago when they almost upset Michigan. This week I'm picking them as my upset special. Connecticut, 24-16

24 Nebraska at Minnesota: A game I almost predicted the exact score last season, I have a good feeling about this game again...for the Huskers that is. Taylor Martinez throws for 400 yards and 4 TDs. Nebraska, 45-14

20 Louisville at South Florida: Can 'Touchdown' Teddy Bridgewater and company bounce back against a better-than-their-record-shows USF squad? I think so. Louisville, 35-17

Vanderbilt at 16 Texas A &M: Johnny Football's hopes of repeating as Heisman winner may have taken a blow last week against Auburn. That still doesn't mean the Commodores have any shot of beating the Aggies. Texas A &M, 48-21

Tennessee at 1 Alabama: Less than 50,000 fans who don't 'work' according to Nick Saban even stay until halftime for this one. Like it matters anyway.  Alabama, 49-7

North Carolina State at 2Florida State: 'Famous' Jameis Winston takes another step toward becoming only the second freshman ever to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy. FSU, 28-10

9 Clemson at Maryland: What is Tajh Boyd's status for today's game? Unfortunately for the Terps, it doesn't really matter. Clemson, 27-17.

10 Texas Tech at 15 Oklahoma: At first I was going to pick the Sooners, but then I remembered their debacle earlier this year in the Red River Shootout. On the other hand, Red Raiders are due...
Oklahoma, 17-14

Duke at 14 Virginia Tech: I'd like to take this opportunity to once again wish my sister-in-law Kristen, a proud VT alum, a happy birthday. We'll just call the game against the Crimson Tide earlier in the year an aberration. Logan Thomas and company in a rout. Virginia Tech, 36-21

Eastern Michigan at 18 Northern Illinois: Huskies by a comfortable margin.

21 South Carolina at 5 Missouri: Before the season, I had the Gamecocks pegged as one team to contend for the SEC East title. Now I'm not so sure. But my gut tells me this is another upset.  South Carolina 24-21

 Penn State at 4 Ohio State: Buckeyes have yet to get their act together on defense. Urban is getting anxious, however. Look for a big change to bolster the Silver Bullets D. Ohio State, 35-14

Bonus Pick: Pittsburgh at Navy: Midshipmen lost a heartbreaker against the Rockets last week in double OT. Look for the Middies to bounce back this week at home against the Panthers. Navy, 28-24.
 That's all folks, until next time


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