Another Friday, another fresh slate of predictions for the upcoming slate of College Football games. Before I get to this week, however, let's take a look at how I did last week (while Tim Tebow was taking another Bye Week):
- Texas won. (+1)
- Jeremy Maclin did not score once. That means he did not score twice. (-1)
- I'm giving myself the point here. Ohio State jumped out to a 21-0 lead with a balanced attack of luck, rushing, and - as I predicted - Terrelle Pryor's arm. If you want to attack me here, go ahead, but a) I think it's rather pointless, since I'm the one awarding points and b) I'll defend myself in the comments as necessary. (+1)
- Graham Harrell threw for 450 yards. I'm not a math scholar, but 450 > 350. *Point* (+1)
- Penn State forced five good possessions of anxiety out of their faithful. Unfortunately for me, anxiety-producing possessions are not the same thing as turnovers. (-1)
- Boise State and their blue field stayed in the BCS game. (+1)
- LSU won. (-1)
- So did Pitt. (-1)
- Harvard beat Lehigh, thanks to a last-minute red-zone interception. I actually watched the fourth quarter of this one on TV, it was a pretty good game. (+1)
- Corso picked Texas, but did not successfully pick up any cheerleaders (what, did you think he was in Ann Arbor?). (+1)
Not my worst week yet, but still not great. I needed to pounce on Tebow while he wasn't playing, but...not so much. 6/10 equals +2 points, which means the updated scoreboard reads:
- Tim Tebow: 10
- Ned Dutton: 2
Eh. Slowly but surely, I'm coming back. Kind of like Ohio State. But that's too scary an image for most people, so let's change that to Seabiscuit. "Here comes Seabiscuit!" - I like the ring of that.
Anyway, on to this week. Here are Ten Things That Will Happen This Weekend:
1. Ohio State will win the turnover margin.
I'm not going to tell you what you already know - that turnovers are crucial in big games (wait...maybe I just did). What I am going to tell you instead is that Saturday night's big game features two of the nation's best in forcing turnovers.
Ohio State is +12 on the season, coughing it up 9 nines compared to forcing (or being given *cough*Michigan State*cough) 21 turnovers. Penn State, on the other hand, is only +3, with 11 takeaways and 8 giveaways.
The Silver Bullets have been clicking for the past couple of weeks, and while Penn State will find ways to earn yards and points against the Buckeye D, they will also cough it up a couple of times.
2. LeBron James will be shown on the sidelines.
I made a similar prediction about the USC game, about how many celebrities ABC would show during the game, but ABC completely failed me and didn't show any.
Most people would abandon ship and say, 'Hey, maybe ABC has this new policy where they actually try to focus on the game.' Not me. This is LeBron James we're talking about, people - not Will Ferrell.
3. Malcolm Jenkins will be the most valuable player on the field wearing the number 2.
Okay, this is my third Ohio State-Penn State prediction. I know that, but hopefully you can give me a break. I bleed scarlet and gray, and I can't write these predictions without focusing primarily on this game.
Anyway, you may know that Terrelle Pryor wears the number 2. So does Malcolm Jenkins. So does Derrick Williams. All three will get their chances to shine Saturday night, but at the end of the game Jenkins will have made the most positive impact for his team.
Jenkins is quietly having a stellar season, especially the past couple of weeks. On the year, he is Ohio State's fourth leading tackler (behind the Linebackers, but who can blame him there), he leads the team in INTS (3), Pass Breakups (5), and fumbles forced (2), he has blocked a punt, and he has 1 sack and 3.5 TFL.
Jenkins was a first-round draft pick last year, but stayed in school and has really improved all aspects of his game. He is a star, and he will show it tomorrow night.
4. Oklahoma State will be humbled.
I'm going to get right to the point. Texas is going to beat Oklahoma State, and it will not be pretty.
Texas is good, yes, but more importantly I'm not sold on Oklahoma State. What's their only impressive win? That's right, they beat Missouri by five.
Texas beat Missouri by 25, but that's only because Texas threw on the Cruise Control after leading 35-3 at halftime.
Oklahoma State may be a good football team, but they will be humbled this week when they face a vastly superior opponent.
5. Georgia will play like the preseason number one we thought they were.
Georgia has been a better (read: more aesthetically pleasing) version of Ohio State this year: both were ranked high to start the season, slipped after unimpressive performances, lost a big game, and have been flying under the radar ever since.
Ohio State has looked mostly mediocre since their big loss, whereas Georgia has only looked pretty good. Now comes the meat of Georgia's schedule, and it's about time they showed us why we all thought before the season that they were going to be unstoppable.
6. Washington will beat Notre Dame.
I was on the Washington band wagon ever since the excessive celebration debacle, but after they lost to Stanford I said I was done with them.
Never underestimate the power of Notre Dame. If there's one team/one coach/one player, in the entire country who could restore my faith in Washington, it would be Notre Dame/ Charlie Weis/Jimmy Clausen.
I've said it before, I'll say it again-traveling to Washington is not easy. They have an impressive home field advantage, and this one's at night. Watch out, domers.
7. Kansas will beat Texas Tech.
Even SEC fans have to be impressed with how talented the Big 12 is this year. This prediction is not a condemnation of Texas Tech, but rather a testament to how strong the Big 12 is this year.
The Big 12, for better or worse, will take turns knocking each other out of the national title game over the next month and a half. It's already started, and it will continue tomorrow afternoon. Sorry, Graham-put up all the numbers you want.
8. Tulsa will score 50+ points.
They scored 70 last week against UTEP. They meet 2-4 UCF this week, and it's gonna get u-g-l-y.
9. Northwestern and Minnesota will both win, and will rise in the polls.
Lisa Horne wrote a good article this week pointing out some of the problems in the current polling system-if you haven't read it, you should.
In her article, Lisa raises many good points, but I'll just focus on one–that coaches (like, in the Big Ten), will blindly vote the teams in their conferences with good records over those with worse records, to boost their quality wins and help the conference at the same time.
That is ridiculous, and it is why Northwestern and Minnesota are ranked. Hey, pollsters, do you not remember when Northwestern got thrashed (pun, because they're Wildcats) by Michigan State? I do, yet because Michigan State got killed (pun - Spartans) by Ohio State last week, you put Northwestern above Michigan State.
Is it possible neither team was as good as you thought, and you're overlooking teams such as Virginia Tech, Ball State, or Boston College?
It doesn't matter, they won't listen to me. Northwestern and Minnesota play two more terrible teams this week (Indiana and Purdue, respectively), and they will win. And they will rise in the polls.
10. Lee Corso will pick Penn State.
Corso lives for moments when he can feel younger than he actually is (like last week, before he got universally turned down by the cheerleaders), so he'll pick the old guy (JoePa). If we're lucky, he'll put on one of those cute masks, even though Halloween isn't until next week.