TCU has a chance to make a statement this weekend, and establish themselves as the best non-BCS team...
The Mountain West Conference could make a huge statement this weekend if TCU could find a way to beat Oklahoma, and if Colorado State could get a win at California. The chances of that happening don't look good. With BYU having a bye week, and Utah playing Weber State at home this might be the week that the Mountain West takes a step back. This will be due to teams outside of the state of Utah, from the Mountain West Conference, playing tough competition and in-state rivals. Although, a good showing this weekend from the Mountain West teams would cement their place as a top conference in college football this season. Here are the prediction standing from last week/to this point/head-to-head in the season:
Mark [Last Week 8-3(.727) 29-16(.644) Head-to-Head 1-1-2]
Scott[Last Week 8-3(.727) 29-16(.644) Head-to-Head 1-1-2]
After talking, Scott and I decided to come up with a tie-breaker instead of allowing ourselves to tie in the head-to-head competition some weeks. We will declare a game of the week, and the score from that game will be the tie-breaker that week. Here are the predictions for week five:
Bowling Green @ Wyoming 2PM MT The Mtn
Bowling Green is better than their 1-2 record. After beating Pittsburgh on the road, they gave the ball up five times dropping a game to a good Minnesota team. Then they had to go on the road and play Boise State and lost. Boise is a tough place to play; however, Bowling Green was able to move the ball against the Broncos. Neither Wyoming or Bowling Green has proven that they can hold onto the football, but Bowling Green has proven to be more successful.
Bowling Green 21 Wyoming 13
I pass on this one…ok, I guess I get paid to write something so here we go…Wyoming is not very good…lucky for them neither is Bowling Green. Wyoming actually moved the ball ok against BYU, if they could just hang onto it. I would imagine that Wyoming will try to run the ball more. Their backs have looked pretty good. Their defense has looked decent as well.
Wyoming 17 Bowling Green 16
Colorado State @ California 4:15 PM MT
Colorado State has taken a step forward beating Houston at home; however, Colorado State is going to have a lot of trouble against Cal this weekend.
Cal 38 Colorado State 10
Does another MWC team use a Pac 10 team as their personal punching bag again this week? I don’t think so. Sure the Pack 10 is down, and sure Cal lost to Maryland, who lost to Middle Tennessee State (by 10!!!), but I think Cal wins this game. CSU had a great win last week against Houston. They are young, but they are improving each week. Steve Fairchild has this team going in the right direction; they just need a little more time in order to compete on the road.
California 35 Colorado State 17
#24 TCU @ #2 Oklahoma 5PM MT
TCU's defense is really really good. TCU has only given up 200 total yards once against SMU, and only allow a team one offense score a game. Yet, they haven't taken on an offense like Oklahoma. The Sooners lowest scoring game this season was 52 points. They have also had a bye week to prepare for the Horned Frogs. They also remember that the last time that TCU was playing at OU they won 17-10. If this game was play in Fort Worth I think the Horned Frogs would win, but the Sooners at home is hard to pick against.
Oklahoma 21 TCU 10
Do you think Oklahoma has forgotten about being embarrassed 3 years ago at home by TCU…well, probably. Not sure that is going to be real motivation for either team, except that TCU knows it can go into Norman and come away with a victory. Oklahoma has looked deadly this year. This is the first real test that TCU will face this year, and will tell a lot about how good they really are. One thing we know is that TCU’s defense is solid. I’m not sure they can stop Oklahoma’s high-powered offense.
Oklahoma 27 TCU 13
Weber State @ Utah 6PM MT
It will be close...maybe for the first minute of the game.
Utah 42 Weber State 3
I smell another blowout, although I do like Weber State’s running back.
Utah 52 Weber State 10
Idaho @ San Diego State 6PM MT
Wow, talk about the great pillow fight! This could the first game were there are more players on the field than fans in the stadium watching them. In fact, Scott and I might be the only people in the world thinking about this game this Saturday. The coaches and players for each team don't start caring until halftime. Idaho is no Cal Poly, the Aztecs get the first win of the year.
San Diego State 17 Idaho 14
This is almost too painful to think about. Chuck Long better win this game or else he might not be coaching much longer at SDSU. Makes you wonder what would have happened with this team if they could have held on and beat Notre Dame…actually, no, not really.
San Diego State 24 Idaho 13
New Mexico @ New Mexico State 6PM MT ESPN360
New starting QB for the Lobos might be a blessing in disguise. Porterie hasn't been able to lead the Lobos to where they want to be this season. The injury will force the Lobos to play control football on the ground, and rely more on their defense. Look for New Mexico to handle the Aggies of New Mexico State.
New Mexico 21 New Mexico State 10
New Mexico lost their starting QB for the year, which means that they will rely heavily on Rodney Ferguson to carry the load. Last year New Mexico State’s QB threw for almost 500 yards. If he can get close to those numbers again this year, New Mexico State comes away with the W. I’m not sure if Gruner can make enough plays for New Mexico to win.
New Mexico State 31 New Mexico 28
Nevada @ UNLV 6PM MT The Mtn
UNLV has a soild core of young players. The passing duo of Clayton and Wolfe complement Summers. The Rebels defense has proven they are good enough to provide enough stops to get a win. Nevada has faced tough competition the past two weeks, and will have a tough time getting a win at UNLV.
UNLV 28 Nevada 24
I’m sorry, but I am still not sold on UNLV. They have definitely exceeded expectations this year, but I think their luck runs out on Saturday. Once again it is going to come down to the last minute of the game. Nevada has a decent run defense and if they can stop Summers from running over them and force Omar Clayton into beating them, I think they win.
#25 Fresno State @ UCLA 1:30 PM MT ABC
Was UCLA's win over Tennessee a fluke? Were the Bruins still shell shocked after suffering a beat down in Provo when they lost to Arizona? This game will go a long way to show just how good the PAC-10 is this season. Fresno State hasn't been impressive this season. Losing a winnable game to an overrated Wisconsin team, and needing overtime to beat Toledo. Yet, the strength of the Bulldogs is on the defensive side of the ball. That will cause problems for UCLA.
Fresno State 13 UCLA 10
What happened to UCLA?! Neuheisel and Chow were supposed to come in and awake a sleeping giant. I guess this is what happens when you are on your third string QB. I don’t care who you are, if you are playing your third string QB and your two best running backs are injured you are going to struggle. The most shocking thing about UCLA is how poor their defense has looked. Fresno State looks to be a decent football team, almost beating Wisconsin but then almost blowing it against Toledo (55-54 in OT). Not sure which Fresno team is going to show up. I know I am going to regret this pick, but I think UCLA plays more like they did against Tennessee and they come away with the victory.
UCLA 21 Fresno St 17
#22 Illinois @ #12 Penn St. 6PM MT ABC
This is the first real test for Penn State. Illinois runs a very athletic spread offense that will cause problems for Penn State's defense. Illinois also has experience playing tough games on the road this season with a visit to Missouri under their belts. Illinois plays for redemption this weekend.
Illinois 35 Penn State 24
You just don’t come into Beaver Stadium at night and leave with a victory. This is Penn State’s first test this year after breezing through their first 4 games. Illinois’ offense has looked solid, and Juice Williams is showing that he is more of a QB than most people expected. The problem for Illinois lies on the defensive side of the ball, where they are struggling to gain their identity. Penn State controls the game on the ground and comes away with the victory. *side note…if you want to see one of the best football crowds in the nation, look no further than Penn State…it is an awesome sight to see.
Penn State 27 Illinois 20
GAME OF THE WEEK
#8 Alabama @ #3 Georgia 5:45 PM MT ESPN
It is tough to win on the road in the SEC. Alabama has really turned around the program, and is ready to take the next step to regain their elite status in college football. What they need to prove is their ability to win on the road. It isn't going to happen this week for Alabama.
Georgia 17 Alabama 10
Has Nick Saban already turned the Crimson Tide around? I’m not sold on the idea yet. Georgia has arguably the best team in the country and can beat you on the ground and through the air. John Parker Wilson must have a career day if Alabama is going to beat Georgia.
Georgia 35 Alabama 21
#9 Wisconsin @ Michigan 1:30 PM MT ABC
Michigan is coming off a bye week, and a very disappointing loss to Notre Dame. That bye week gave Michigan a chance to correct their problem with holding onto the football. They moved the ball well in every game this season, but have committed too many drive killing mistakes. They get an over rated Wisconsin team at home, and a chance to be the team to expose them. Big win for the Wolverines.
Michigan 28 Wisconsin 10
Whenever you play Wisconsin, you are always in the game. Wisconsin loves to play “Big 10 football” (power running game and tough defense). As a result they don’t score a lot of points. Michigan finally has a starting QB and if they can hold on to the football, have the potential for a big play or two. Wisconsin hasn’t beaten Michigan in Ann Arbor since 1994. Rodriguez finds a way to win.
Michigan 24 Wisconsin 17
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Nevada 24 UNLV 21