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One bit of advice, when you read your favorite team’s prediction just remember, you get what you paid for and this service is gratis . . .

TOP GAMES OF THE DAY
Noon
(7) Penn State at (24) Michigan State – FOX (DTV-35) (SPEC-1035) – Day kicks off with a doozy in Spartyville. Too bad both teams are coming off a loss otherwise this would have been a headliner game. Still a tough match-up to predict and worth watching. Penn State rebounds and gets the W on the road.

(14) Auburn at Texas A&M – ESPN (DTV-206) (SPEC-1127) – Auburn has been quietly building up the resume but the Tigers are not 15 points better than the Aggies. Taking Auburn on the road but look for an upset alert here as the Aggies will keep this close and then anything is possible in the final quarter.

Florida at Missouri – ESPN2 (DTV-209) (SPEC-1128) – This game is only of interest because i know how many UF fans we have that read my posts. Otherwise this game would not make the top 20. Gator fans will regret getting rid of McSharky but I could coach the Gators to a win over Missouri. Heck, I think they should have brought back Darth Visor and just propped him up on the sidelines for the remaining schedule (an easy win over Missouri, followed by a tussle against his prior employer in South Carolina, an easy win over a hapless UAB and then one last chance to stick it to the Noles). Instead Gator fans will appreciate why Cane fans are not fond of Randy Shannon. Gators by a dozen over the Tigers.

12:20 PM
Syracuse at Florida State – WRBW (DTV-65) (SPEC-1065) – Again another game not worth mentioning if it weren’t for the allegiance of FSU fans. Noles win easily by 24 points. Oh wait, this just in, Francois is not playing? Never mind, ‘Cuse on the road by 10. Unless of course, our fans show up and get the team all riled up. And they whip the defense into a frenzy! And they start chanting, Jimbo, Jimbo, Jimbo!!! And not to pick a fight with him but just because they support him and the team. Nah, won’t happen. Fickle fans get another bad result and we lose by 10 but we have the ability to keep this close on the ground and pull it off. Just need to get some lucky breaks and have Syracuse commit unforced errors and let’s see what other cliches can I use . . . Oh yeah, FSU needs to outscore their opponent in the red zone and black zone and the green zone . . . . really in all zones. Sadly still going with Syracuse but I have faith Jimbo can lead us to victory.

3:30 PM
(4) Clemson at (20) NC State – ABC (DTV-9) (SPEC-1090) – Okay so this is still an intriguing match-up despite the Wolfpack’s loss to Notre Dame. Clemson is coming in a little soft and NC State gets them at home. They almost upended them last year so they will still have the confidence they can do it. Special teams is where this may be won or lost as neither team has a strong kicker and it may cost one of these teams on a late kick. Picking Clemson but another stay tuned for a possible upset alert.

South Carolina at (1) Georgia – CBS (DTV-6) (SPEC-1060) – Georgia fans, I know you are delusional but you must have shipped your moonshine punch to the selection committee that picked you ahead of Bama! I heard this week how Georgia “deserves” it based on who they have beaten and the quality wins they have over the likes of ummm well let’s see there is Notre Dame . . . . and then ummm well . . . . there’s the Irish AND it was on the road and then . . . . hmmmmm . . . . Oh yeah Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter State yup and did Georgia fans mention they beat the Golden Domers? Yup so there’s that . . . Is Georgia much improved? Yes. Did Georgia beat up on the toothless Gators? Yes. Has their offense improved and did they score 40 plus points in 4 straight SEC games? Yes. But if they were to play Alabama today would they be favored? Not a chance! In fact, they’d probably be double digit underdogs and be thankful to only lose by 10. Dawgs will probably beat the Gamecocks today but the weight of being #1 will bring them back to reality and South Carolina will now have extra incentive to bring them down a peg. Definitely a game worth watching particularly heading into the second half as Muschamp auditions for the Gator job. Nah just kidding.

4:00 PM
(5) Oklahoma at (11) Oklahoma State – FOX Sports 1 (DTV-219) (SPEC-1153) – Okay so this rivalry is called the Bedlam Series or Bedlam Rvalry and may have had its beginnings with loud raucous wrestling crowds (and not the WWF variety) but hey what do I know, I just repeat what I read on Wikipedia. So why bedlam and what does that mean? Bedlam is defined as an asylum for the mentally ill or a place, scene, or state of uproar and confusion as defined by the more respected Mirriam and her friend Webster. This year’s edition will live up to the hype as both teams come fully loaded for bear and with plenty at stake. The loser walks away with a second conference loss so there may not be a rematch in the first Big 12 Conference Championship Game as originally anticipated. In addition, the loser is out of the national championship. So plenty at stake and the only real surprise is this is on Fox Sports 1 and not Fox. Oh well, Sooners will struggle to keep up with the point machine that is Mason Rudolph and that juggernaut offense (and have fun researching the origins of that word . . . ) (and yes I know Mirriam isn’t really a person that defines words.)

7:15 PM
Texas at (8) TCU – ESPN (DTV-206) (SPEC-1127) – TCU is still reeling from last week’s loss and this week they get the overlooked Longhorns who are seeking that signature win to help them get over the hump of being inadequate. Calling for the upset in a tight game going down to the finish but Longhorns over Horned Frogs.

(18) UCF at SMU – ESPN2 (DTV-209) (SPEC-1128) – Watch out Knight fans, the Mustangs may be the trap game that keeps you from being undefeated before your match-up with the Bulls much like they stumbled last week against Houston. Not quite picking SMU but this will be a closer contest than Knight fans may realize. SMU is also well coached by Chad Morris and has upended several teams this year and continue to improve on offense. But Scott Frost, the next Gators coach (if you believe the back room rumors from certain Bull Gator boosters) has not been slowed down this year and I think he pulls this one off on the road and continues to increase his asking price. Knights by 7.

8:00 PM
(19) LSU at (2) Alabama – CBS (DTV-6) (SPEC-1060) – Okay now this had all the makings of a potentially big upset game until the college football boneheads went and got Alabama mad by making them #2. Seriously? I’d like to see that committee try to out coach Saban or out muscle his defensive line. They have not had a close game other than the A&M game and they trailed for all of 13 seconds and led 24-3 in the second half and gave up a garbage touchdown with 17 seconds to make the score appear closer. So will this game be competitive? To quote the great Judd Nelson in Breakfast Club, Not even close, bud! Stormtroopers err Crimson Tide by 21 (or more) just to make a point to the Committee that they got it wrong.

(13) Virginia Tech at (10) Miami, FL – ABC (DTV-9) (SPEC-1090) – And then there is the lowest ranked unbeaten from a Power Five Conference. The forgotten unbeaten in the Miami Hurricanes. They may as well be the Miami Houdinis as they have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory or vice versa on several occasions. Canes have had plenty of Felix Felicis this season but that lucky potion will run out this evening as Va Tech steam rolls them at home by 10. Sorry Cane fans but hey if I’m wrong, you’ll have extra incentive to taunt me.

10:45 PM
(22) Arizona at (17) USC – ESPN (DTV-206) (SPEC-1127) – Arizona has one of the dark horse Heisman candidates in Khalil Tate who has lifted the Wildcats season and is now on the verge of leading them to the PAC 12 Championship. In fact, the winner of this will have a solid cushion heading into the home stretch to represent the PAC 12 South. Meanwhile, USC has been a disappointment after all the preseason hype and their loss to Notre Dame on a national stage was abysmal. This game won’t have as many eye balls on it but it should. Really great game to have on the tube as you fall asleep. Look for some big plays from both QBs and I’m rooting for Arizona but I suspect USC will prevail.

OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST (OR NOT)
�Noon
(9) Wisconsin at Indiana – ABC (DTV-9) (SPEC-1090) – Badgers are only 1 step ahead of Miami and they’ve played no one worth mentioning. But still they are undefeated and they have the horses to beat the winner of OSU-Michigan-Michigan State-Penn State Division. Badgers by a few.

Yale at Harvard – New England Sports Network (DTV-628) (SPEC-834) – You talk about a bedlam series and one that has produced probably more Presidents than first round draft picks then you got it. Bulldogs lead the series over the Crimson 66-59-8 but Harvard had won 14 of 15 before losing last year. This year, Yale comes in leading the Ivy League so look for them to lock down their second in a row.

Kansas State at Texas Tech – FOX Sports 1 (DTV-219) (SPEC-1153) – Eh, not as interesting as Harvard-Yale but still a balanced match-up. K-State only because they have Bill Snyder.

Illinois at Purdue – Big Ten Network (DTV-610) (SPEC-1138) – Purdue is improving and should pick up their fourth win but I don’t know if they get to six and bowl eligibility this year. Illinois certainly won’t.

East Carolina at Houston – CBS Sports Network (DTV-221) (SPEC-1137) – Dud patrol here with a live report from Houston where we have no problems. Cougars devour the Pirates easily.

UMass at (16) Mississippi State – SEC Network (DTV-611) (SPEC-1150) – SEC Network really should be ashamed of itself for charging cable viewers more for this kind of programming and for allowing Paul Finebaum to have a platform. Bulldogs over the Minutemen.

WKU at Vanderbilt – ESPNU (DTV-208) (SPEC-1131) – Another fine SEC product on the field against a hapless Western Kentucky team. Still Vandy may struggle for a half before they break their 5 game losing streak. And yes this is still the same Vandy team that started 3-0 and was going to knock down Bama.

Baylor at Kansas – Fox Sports Sun (DTV-653) (SPEC-1148) – Okay and now for something completely different. This game ought to be cancelled. The participants are 1-15. In a perfect world, at the end of the regular season, both of these teams would be sent down to the Non-Power Conferences and you’d promote the likes of UCF or USF. Oh well, nothing is perfect but please don’t even go looking for this game on any dial. And I’m not even dignifying this game with a prediction.

3:00 PM
Georgia Tech at Virginia – Fox Sports Florida (DTV-654) (SPEC-1149) – A fun game to watch two programs that will continue to be competitive but not good enough to win their division. Virginia over Tech in a close one.

USF at UConn – ESPNU (DTV-208) (SPEC-1131) – Bulls finally stumbled last week. They had been playing with fire all year and I would have picked UCF to beat them had they both been undefeated but they rebound this week with a win on the road.

3:30 PM
(15) Iowa State at West Virginia – ESPN2 (DTV-209) (SPEC-1128) – I said I would not pick the Cyclones until they played Baylor and I guess I have to stick with that but wow what an impressive win last week over TCU. Still they have to play in Morgantown and come out with a win. West Virginia by 3? Picking against Iowa State but not as cocky as I once was.

(21) Stanford at (25) Washington State – FOX (DTV-35) (SPEC-1035) – Another great game from the PAC 12. Cardinal/Tree taking on the Cougars who have come back to reality in the past three games. Loser has no chance in the North and my money is on David Shaw over Mike Leach. Stanford in a tough win on the road setting up a bigger, winner-take-all game next week against Washington.

(6) Ohio State at Iowa – ESPN (DTV-206) (SPEC-1127) – Ohio State is now on cruise control until they take on Michigan. Buckeyes over the Hawkeyes in a game sponsored by Lenscrafters (sorry Eye Associates of Winter Park but they had more money than you to sponsor this game).

Army at Air Force – CBS Sports Network (DTV-221) (SPEC-1137) – Army comes into this game at 6-2 and Air Force is only at 4-4. Falcons lead the series 36-14-1 but I’m putting my faith in the Black Knights this year as it appears to be a down year for Air Force.

Wake Forest at (3) Notre Dame – NBC (Local NBC Channel) (DTV-2) (SPEC-1020) – Wake only wishes they were playing last year’s Notre Dame team. Fighting Irish by a landslide over Demon Deacons.

Northwestern at Nebraska – Big Ten Network (DTV-610) (SPEC-1138) – Northwestern is starting to rebound and Nebraska somehow won last week over Purdue. No worries, Wildcats, Huskers specialize in getting humiliated at home and they will yet again.

4:00 PM
Ole Miss at Kentucky – SEC Network (DTV-611) (SPEC-1150) – Kentucky is still seeking that elusive first winning season in SEC play since they went to the divisions and they need a win this week. Luckily they are at home and even more important they are playing Old Miss. She is much slower than Ole Miss so Wildcats by a field goal.

5:00 PM
Oregon State at California – Pac-12 Network (DTV N/A) (SPEC-822) – Beavers almost beat Stanford on Friday night last week in a heartbreaker for OSU fans but that’s what happens to teams that have forgotten how to win (cough, cough FSU). Cal is at home and will have no problems manhandling OSU.

7:00 PM
Colorado State at Wyoming – CBS Sports Network (DTV-221) (SPEC-1137) – Eh, if you want to skip this game you can but it will be a competitive game and for some reason the Laramie mountain air is different than the Colorado mountain air. Maybe it’s the fact that it is 6,000 feet higher than Fort Collins but I’m taking the Cowboys to lasso the Rams.

Nevada at Boise State – ESPNU (DTV-208) (SPEC-1131) – Another Mountain West game and this one definitely deserves a not-worth-watching-pass as the Blue Turfers should roll easily at home over Nevada.

7:30 PM
Minnesota at Michigan – FOX (DTV-35) (SPEC-1035) – Oh you cute Gopher fans you. Thinking one guy is going to get the boat rowing in the right direction. Same goes for you obnoxious Michigan fans. In a game of two programs not going to a major bowl game this year, Mee-she-gan by a late TD over Me-no-soda.

Southern Miss at Tennessee – SEC Network (DTV-611) (SPEC-1150) – Volunteer fans don’t know whether to support their team or root for Southern Miss to insure they won’t get Butch Jones back next year. Don’t worry Vol fans, he won’t be back but guess who would be available? Does the name Lane Kiffen interest you? Okay maybe not, Vols by a field goal.

9:00 PM
Colorado at Arizona State – Pac-12 Network (DTV N/A) (SPEC-822) – Buffs have won a game or two more than I predicted and they have lost a game or two I thought they would win. So I’ll take the Sun Devils but not because I’m going to watch this game just because I know I can’t pick Colorado.

10:00 PM
Oregon at (12) Washington – FOX Sports 1 (DTV-219) (SPEC-1153) – Running . . . . out . . . of . . . . wit . . . . Huskies over Ducks in a game that has potential upset written all over it because Washington may be looking ahead to next week’s Stanford game. Do me a favor, if you are already up watching the Arizona-USC game just check on this one every now and then and see if it’s close. And if it is just check back on it periodically. Still taking Huskies but it could be a closeclose game. Likethisclose.

10:30 PM
San Diego State at San Jose State – ESPNU (DTV-208) (SPEC-1131) – Earthquakes taking on the Chargers in this one. Oh wait wrong mascots. Never mind. Aztecs over Spartans in a game that should best be shown on the History Channel.

10:45 PM
BYU at Fresno State – ESPN2 (DTV-209) (SPEC-1128) – Final game of the day is the Cougars taking on the Bulldogs. Fresno State was “stunned” last week losing to UNLV so what would happen if they lost to BYU who is 2-7? Well we probably won’t have to come up with a word stronger than stunned since this FSU will win in the wee morning hours.

Speaking of hours, don’t forget to jump forward or spring back or do something with your clocks to change the witching hour. But don’t do it until after all the games have started. Okay enjoy and now where are those cleats . . .

 

Eric Mader