By Stewart Mandel
October 26, 2007
Week 9 Pickoff
The Buckeyes' high ranking, the 8 p.m. kickoff and the planned Beaver Stadium "White Out" all give this game's buildup a similar feel to that of Penn State's 17-10 win over OSU two years ago. Two big differences: That Penn State team had a better offense and a better defense than this one.
Ohio State 16, Penn State 6
No. 9 USC (6-1) at No. 5 Oregon (6-1)
If you're a USC fan, you can pin your hopes on QB Mark Sanchez. Or the return of a couple injured offensive line starters. Or the presence of so many preseason All-Americas on defense. It's all well and good, but it doesn't change the fact Oregon simply has a better team than USC does this year.
Oregon 27, USC 21
The Sun Devils are undefeated. The Bears are floundering. All signs point toward an ASU blowout, right? Not so much. Dennis Erickson's offense is good, but not good enough to win a shootout with the Bears, whose own offense is due for an explosion following two straight disappointing outings.
Cal 34, Arizona State 29
Georgia hasn't beaten Florida often lately (2-15 since 1990), but that doesn't mean it's not a tough game. Though the Gators appear to have the better team, and though they demolished the same Tennessee team (59-20) that itself routed Georgia (35-14), the Dawgs will not roll over for Florida.
Florida 27, Georgia 23
In football, there are "good matchups" and "bad matchups." West Virginia did not match up well with similarly speed-driven USF. Rutgers, with bruising back Ray Rice, did. But does that automatically mean the Knights should beat WVU? Nope -- they don't match up very well.
West Virginia 37, Rutgers 24
No. 11 USF (6-1) at Connecticut (6-1)
As noted earlier this week, way too much was made of UConn's phantom punt return last week. The Huskies still had to rally from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Louisville, which, while admirable, probably isn't a good a sign for the Huskies -- the Cardinals aren't very good this year.
USF 19, Connecticut 7
It's no secret Steve Spurrier has, in general, owned Phillip Fulmer (8-3 all-time). But it's also pretty obvious Fulmer needs this win really badly following last week's humiliating defeat at Alabama. I see Tennessee pulling this one out, but losing to Kentucky and/or Vanderbilt.
Tennessee 21, South Carolina 17
Boise State (6-1) at Fresno State (5-2)
You remember Pat Hill's team, don't you? The one-time giant killer nearly zapped Reggie Bush and USC two years ago, then proceeded to lose 12 of their next 16. Fresno's powerful offense is back, ready to exploit a Boise State defense that's surrendered 1,102 yards over the past two weeks.
Upset Special:
Fresno State 40, Boise State 35
Last week's record: 6-2. Season record: 42-22.

You May Like