Zultan's Fearless College Football Forecast Heading into Week 7
Zultan is sad to report that after the Iowa Hawkeyes self-destructed in Happy Valley on Saturday, Mom had to be carted off the premises by the guys in the white coats.
Now in rehab, Mom sings the Iowa Fight song from sunup to dusk. The only thing that can possibly restore her sanity is a win this week over the ever-ruinous Northwestern Wildcats.
After all, Zultan needs Mom to cook his meals. Come on black birds—win one for the old lady!
The All-Seeing Seer is also forced to report that the Show Me State showed little in the way of winning last Saturday as Missouri failed to upend the Kansas State Wildcats in a Big Z upset.
Okay Bill Snyder, you “showed” up the mighty Zultan in Week 6.
The ultimate lesson came from Northwestern and their newly refurbished quarterback who showed all the right signs to upset the Michigan Wolverines making their first road trip, but sadly, Persa failed to deliver and Zultan was saddled with three—count them, three—losses.
Still, it was better than four from the previous week. The dozens of you who outguessed the mighty Zultan will be applauded at the end of this article and given your due respect by the All-Seeing magnanimous one.
It is now time to turn our focus to the crystal ball and Week 7. At the conclusion of this weekend of action, the BCS will unload their ranking for the first time this season.
We are already halfway through the 2011 season!
Click here to enter your picks for this week’s slate of 10 games and see if you can surpass the mighty Zultan this week. Zultan feels mighty lucky but that could be from inhaling the last of Mom’s Goodwill brownies.
Game 1: Big Ten, (11) Michigan (6-0, 2-0) at (23) Michigan State (4-1, 1-0)
This is going to be the big game in the Big Ten this weekend for both of these teams ranked in the Top 25.
The problem so far with the Big Ten is that there is no clear picture of who is good and who is pretending.
The crystal ball remains fuzzy on that detail. Zultan is hoping to bring that picture into focus very soon.
Michigan State had a week off to shore up their offense which has offered nothing to write home about so far in the 2011 season. The Spartans are a cut above on defense but unable to journey often enough to their own end zone.
Michigan, on the other hand, has done nothing but score. So what will happen this weekend?
Will the Michigan State defense be able to contain Denard Robinson’s offense and more importantly—will the Michigan defense be able to shut down the Spartan offense?
Zultan prays not to be burnt by Michigan two weeks in a row!
Pick Michigan State at Home
Game 2: Big Ten, Purdue (3-2, 1-0) at Penn State (5-1, 2-0)
Penn State has got to be feeling mighty fine this week as they host the Purdue Boilers because the Lions got the big Hawkeye monkey off their back, shutting down one of the more prolific Big Ten offenses in Week 6 of the 2011 season.
Iowa had Penn State’s number in eight of their last nine encounters prior to last Saturday’s contest.
But, this time the Penn State defense shot down the high-flying birds, putting salt on their tail and rendering them powerless except for one scrawny field goal in the first quarter.
Purdue, on the other hand, blistered the Minnesota Gophers, who are struggling in every conceivable way a football program can struggle.
Traveling to Happy Valley, however, will not bring the same results. Penn State will notch another win in the 2011 Big Ten season.
The Lions are in the hunt for the Leaders championship!
Pick Penn State at Home
Game 3: Big Ten, Indiana (1-5, 0-2) at (4) Wisconsin (5-0, 1-0)
Wisconsin had a bye last week although they hardly needed it after crushing Nebraska the previous week.
The Badgers rolled through the Big Red Machine like a U.S. tank through enemy lines in 1944.
Wisconsin made the Cornhuskers look anemic and underfed. It was a substantial beat-down.
Indiana gave the Illinois team a scare in the first quarter, shooting out to a 10-0 lead.
The euphoria, however, could not last as Illinois regained their composure and came back to send the Hoosiers crashing to earth.
This week’s contest against the Badgers will not be pretty.
Pick Wisconsin at Home
Game 4: Big Ten, Ohio State (3-3, 0-2) at (16) Illinois (6-0, 2-0)
Ohio State was so close to defeating Nebraska in Lincoln that Big Z was sweating bullets by the end of the game.
But once the Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was injured in the third quarter, leaving the game, the Ohio State team fizzled on offense.
At the same time, the Buckeye defense shuddered and died in the fourth quarter, no longer able to hold their own.
It was an ugly loss for Ohio State after looking so good in the first half—like the Ohio State teams we were accustomed to seeing on the gridiron.
Illinois also stumbled coming out of the gate last week, but in the end, regained their feet and rumbled to a win over the Indiana Hoosiers.
This week will be a different matter. Ohio State has many more weapons including a couple more suspended players back in action.
Still, the game is at home for the Illini and even though Miller is coming back, you have to wonder about his effectiveness nursing a sprained ankle.
Pick Illinois at Home
Game 5: Big Ten, Northwestern (2-3, 0-2) at Iowa (3-2, 0-1)
This is a pivotal game for both middle-of-the-pack squads.
A loss for either will leave that team winless in the Big Ten and nobody in their right mind wants that.
No, Mom! I was not making fun of you! Jeez, she is so sensitive these days.
Iowa looked completely undone against Penn State last week. Vandenberg’s inability to move the ball, drove him to try to force the action which led to ultimate disaster as he tossed up two interceptions and amassed only 169 yards.
Without the passing threat, the Iowa running game stalled and died like an engine without gas.
Northwestern looked very impressive in the opening quarters but were completely shut down in the second half as they fell to the Wolverines at home despite the return of their vaunted quarterback Dan Persa.
This is the same Dan Persa who last year threw the winning touchdown pass to seal Iowa’s defeat on the road and end the Hawkeyes’ conference title hopes.
You think the black birds have forgotten that? Hardly.
Pick Iowa at Home
Game 6: Big 12, (6) Oklahoma State (5-0, 2-0) at (22) Texas (4-1, 1-1)
Well the good news is that Texas is playing at home this weekend and that they are not facing Oklahoma again.
The Longhorns are, however, hosting the No. 6-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys who barely broke a sweat last weekend running over the Kansas Jayhawks 70-28.
The bad news is that the Cowboys are undefeated and have a massive propensity to score at will.
Granted, Texas will slow them down and maybe grind the Okie State offense to a halt a few times, but the state of Oklahoma looks like a lethal combination for the Longhorns who suffer in the pocket without tested, experienced leadership.
Pick Oklahoma State on the Road
Game 7: Pac-12, (18) Arizona State (5-1, 3-0) at (9) Oregon (4-1, 2-0)
So what happened to the Oregon Ducks in 2011?
Probably nothing substantial. They lost their opener to LSU in Week 1, but since that loss, the Ducks have strutted their way back into Top 10 contention.
In their game last week, running back LaMichael James dislocated his right elbow and may not be playing this weekend against the Sun Devils.
The Ducks started slow and trailed early but soon caught up and passed the California Golden Bears, winning the game 43-15.
Arizona State’s defense put Utah on hold most their game, winning 35-14. The Sun Devils defense was stifling.
Arizona State's only loss this season came at Illinois 17-14, otherwise the Devils are undefeated in the Pac-12 and a definite favorite to capture the Pac-12 South.
But the Oregon offense will be a step above any offense Arizona State has encountered this year.
In their own backyard, you just have to favor the Ducks.
Pick Oregon at Home
Game 8: Big 12, (20) Baylor (4-1, 1-1) at (21) Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1)
After Baylor broke open and took command of their game against Iowa State last weekend, the Bears rose to No. 20 in the AP rankings with one loss to date in Big 12 play.
Baylor lost their league opener to Kansas State 36-35.
After a slow start, allowing the Cyclones to hang around as the score remained tied 14-14 midway through the second quarter, Baylor finally reeled off 21 unanswered points as part of their 49-26 win in Waco.
Texas A & M could not seem to shake Texas Tech in their contest last week. This pattern seems to part of the Aggies' MO as they play week after week.
At times their inability to put a team away has cost the Aggies big time.
After leading at halftime against Oklahoma State and Arkansas, Texas A&M folded in the fourth quarter to let double-digit leads fade away.
But the Aggies held on to finish the job, winning 45-40 against the Red Raiders.
This one is almost too close to call, but playing at home, Zultan favors the home team.
Pick Texas A&M at Home
Game 9: SEC, Florida (4-2, 2-2) at (24) Auburn (4-2, 2-1)
So far this season, the Florida Gators have lost to No. 1-ranked LSU and No. 3-ranked Alabama.
Next week the Gators must face No. 24-ranked Auburn, last year’s national champion.
Life is hard in the SEC.
Auburn, which expected a drop-off after losing Cam Newton plus a number of starters from last year’s championship team, has been doing a little better than expected.
The Tigers have lost to a surprising Clemson team plus a resurgent Arkansas team.
Of the two teams, Florida, with weapons like Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps in the backfield along with a fully healed quarterback John Brantley, has the most talent.
While Auburn has put up some points on the board, their defense remains too porous against the more talented offenses in the SEC.
Once again, Zultan must bet against the Tigers.
Pick Florida on the Road
Game 10: ACC, (19) Virginia Tech (5-1, 1-1) at Wake Forest (4-1, 3-0)
As long as the Virginia Tech Hokies take care of the ball, they should prevail over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
To date, you have to admit that Wake Forest has been the big surprise out of the ACC, winning four in a row after losing their opener to Syracuse.
The Hokies struggled on defense trying to contain Miami on the ground but should have an easier time with Wake Forest’s running game.
If quarterback Logan Thomas plays as well as he did against Miami, Virginia Tech’s offense should be in good hands.
The Hokies must believe this was the birth of another first-rate Virginia Tech quarterback as well as a harbinger of things to come.
On the other hand, the Hokies suffered some injuries on defense as some key players were led or carried off the field early in the game. There is no indication yet whether they will be returning to action.
For Wake Forest who just defeated Florida State in a minor upset, the prospect of hosting the Hokies who defeated them by 31 points a year ago is sobering.
Winning this game would extend the Demon Deacons' win streak to five games.
This is a tough one. It is giving Zultan a headache!
Pick Virginia Tech on the Road
The Results from Week 6
As usual, Zultan was bested by the most brilliant football minds in the nation, listed below.
These Saturday geniuses lay in wait for the All-Seeing Seer to make his humble predictions consulting their own measure of charts and stars for superior insights.
But this week, it will be difficult for many to surpass the mighty Zultan because Mom has guaranteed perfection, if the Hawkeyes finally defeat the Wildcats on Saturday.
Still—you must try. It is understandable. We shall see.
Jack Darland, Jr. (Cedar Falls, IA)
Erik Lawhead (Bolingbrook, IL)
Ken Ripp (Eau Claire, WI)
Craig Bancroft (Coralville, IA)
Jeff Coffey (Columbus, OH)
Tom Phillips (St. Petersburg, FL)
Pete Pluckenbaum (no city given)
Sports Chump (Tampa, FL)
Glenn Seiler (Midlothian, VA)
Rick “Turk” Steffens (Wilton, IA)
Carl Stine (Kingman, AZ) 9-1
Eric Stipp (Dublin, OH)
Joe (State College, PA)
Betty (no city given)
Dale Collins (Charleston, SC)
Roger Gostnell (Rolling Prairie, IN)
Brandon Heitsch (Columbus, OH)
Michael Lindsay (Fairfax, VA)
Larry Olsen (Boise, ID)
Dean Pfeifer (Wolfeboro, NH)
Josh Shrable (Ocala, FL)
Dean Studt (Melbourne, FL)
Skipper Woodham (Atlanta, GA)