I was about to opine about how, for the second straight week, there aren’t many great matchups in college football this weekend. Then it occurred to me. It is because there are a lot of mediocre teams this year. And there are very few teams showing any signs of greatness. We are only a little past the halfway point and there appears to be ONE elite team, Alabama. There are a few teams we think are very good like Penn State, Georgia, Clemson, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. Then there is a third tier with Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Miami……
Which brings us to this week’s big matchup. There just are not a lot of intriguing games again. Alabama-Tennessee is hard to get excited about. Miami-Syracuse? Nope, whatever Syracuse found in themselves against Clemson will almost certainly disappear after a week of celebrating. It is difficult to find a top 25 team that isn’t facing an opponent with three or more losses this week. So here is what we do have.
Penn State vs Michigan: This is probably the premier game of the weekend. But over the last two weeks the Wolverines have lost to Michigan State and struggled with an average Indiana team. Some of the luster of this contest has faded. Still Michigan is a one loss team and this is one of only two games that match top 25 teams Saturday. Wolverine coach Jim Harbaugh is not one of my favorite people, in fact he is not loved much outside of Ann Arbor. Penn State, on the other hand, has a following of people who want to see them overcome the disaster a pervert previous employee put them through. That is to say that the Nittany Lions will have more fans this weekend than the Maze and Blue. Penn State also has Saquon Barkley. I think those fans will end up happy. Penn State wins by double digits and Barkley all but locks up the Heisman.
USC vs Notre Dame: This is the other top 25 matchup. I don’t think either team is as good as advertised so this should be a good contest. On a personal note, these are two of my least favorite teams so I do not even have a preference here. Sam Darnold has only been sacked ten times in seven games so the Trojans appear to good at protection. Sorry, it was just begging to find a way in here. The bottom line is that USC has more playmakers and playmakers win games. I expect a good game that comes down to the final minutes but USC wins.
There is some intrigue with the UCF-Navy game because Navy has only one loss and it is easy to pull for any of the military academies. Like Georgia Tech, Navy’s triple option can wreak havoc with an offense. Meanwhile, Knights head coach Scott Frost will almost certainly be offered the Nebraska job after this season. A Husker himself, I would shocked if Frost did not take the job even though it may not be the only job he gets offered. Do not be surprised if Tennessee comes calling as well.
As for the local teams? Georgia Tech faces a 4-2 Wake Forest team Saturday. Neither team is going to wi anything of importance this season but it should be fun trying to guess what creative way the Yellow Jackets will find to blow and lead and lose this time. Georgia has a bye week as they prepare for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Even though Georgia is playing their best football in years and Florida is struggling horribly Bulldog fans still noticeably pucker when the game is mentioned.
Personally, I will enjoy Florida’s off week by hitting the woods with my son for the opening of deer season. Enjoy.