Handicapping Week 3

We begin this week with a case of the blues.

No not in the classic sense of “Boom, Boom,” by John Lee Hooker, but the much more mundane, namely; the color of the football field at Boise State, Idaho.

BSU coach Chris Petersen, wasn’t very happy, when the Mountain West Conference (Boise State’s new address) informed the coach that his Broncos, couldn’t wear its blue uniforms on its blue home field.  It gave Petersen the blues.

“We don’t even think twice about the color of the field.  Maybe because we’re around it so much, but it doesn’t even look strange to us,” said the coach singing the blues.

This weekend, let’s see which teams send its faithful home with a “booming” victory, and which leave its fans blue, cursing a blue streak, over another, off color performance.

No.1 Oklahoma at No.5 Florida State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) The question remains for the Conquerors from Norman, who reached a milestone this week, becoming the first team to be ranked No.1 for the 100th time, is its D of championship caliber?

There are no such concerns for the offense, as All-America, and Heisman Trophy contender, QB Landry Jones, is the commander of a group, which operates at “Ludicrous” speed, (a nod to Mel Brooks’ movie, Spaceballs) and has more weapons, than Whitey Bulger’s California apartment.

The Prairie Punching quarterback has a glue fingered, All-America target, Ryan Broyles, his partner Kenny Stills, and when the Sooners dial up a run, tailback Dominique Whaley, who became the first Oklahoma walk-on to rush for 100 yards in 36 years, gets the first call.

Despite some concerns, the D has plenty of disrupters featuring; All-America backer Corey Nelson, and a pair of ends, Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis, who attack from all angles, and play with a smoldering anger, that would Serena Williams proud.

The last time Florida State was ranked (2005) in the top 5, America’s unemployment rate was less than six percent.  And with 18 returning starters, the faithful have visions of a return to the full employment “gold standard” era of its retired, iconic coach, Bobby Bowden.

But before the band strikes up a rendition of; “Happy Days Are Here Again,” Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles are facing a Himalayan measuring stick, which will give them an indication of exactly, how far down that road, it has traveled.

The offensive catalyst is junior QB E.J. Emanuel, with assists from tailbacks Chris Thompson, and Devonta Freeman, while the catching ability of Bert Reed and Rodney Smith, will move the chains.

The ferocious D, led by All-Americas; end Brandon Jenkins and backer Nigel Bradham, does bear a close resemblance to the golden days of Bowden.

For the Seminoles, this is the ultimate payback game, and with visions of a national championship depending on the outcome, we think FSU is a year away, and it’s the Sooners, who go whistling back to the Plains with the W.

No. 17 Ohio State at Miami (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.) After the resignation of its Columbus-Colossus, Jim Tressel, new coach Luke Fickell, and the entire Sacrlet and Grey nation, remain in a state of transition.

The sputtering offense, partially a result of NCAA imposed suspensions, is directed by senior QB Joe Bauserman, with assists from a target threesome; Devin Smith, Verlon Reed, and tight end Jake Stoneburner, while tailbacks Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith will handle the pedestrian ground game.

The D, behind backers Andrew Sweat, Etienne Sabino, and tackle Jonathan Hawkins, as is the norm in the Horseshoe, is almost as relentless as a Tea Party zealot spewing venom against the President.

Coach Al Golden is the perfect candidate to finally fix the morass of corruption that is inbred in the culture of Miami football.

After serving a one game suspension, quarterback Jacory Harris gets the start, while tailbacks Lamar Miller, Mike James and receivers Allen Horns, Tommy Streeter, and Travis Benjamin provide plenty of support.

The D, anchored by backers; Sean Spence, Ramon Buchanan and lineman Adewale Ojomo, can run, but shows some susceptibility defending the pass.

In what will be a very close game, we think the Hurricanes get the signature win, for it’s classy, head man.

Tennessee at No. 16 Florida (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.)  There are signs of an awakening occurring in a deeply parched  Rocky Top nation.

Coach Derek (son of Vince) Dooley’s Volunteers are marching forward, directed by its starry QB Tyler Bray (7 touchdowns – 0 interceptions), with assists from down hill runner Taureen Poole, and wideouts; Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers.

The D, which still has issues in the secondary, is led by end Jacques Smith and backer Austin Johnson.

The Gators are also attempting to recapture its dominating Swamp swagger, and “The Florida Way,” as mandated by its newly minted coach, Will Muschamp.

QB John Brantley, who is now under the tutelage of old friend Charlie Weis is the anointed director, to lead that revival.

He is assisted by tailbacks Jeffrey Demps, and Chris Rainey, who possess Daytona type speed, and the QB has a chain moving target; receiver Deonte Thompson.

The D led by backers Jon Bostic and Leventee McCray, is vintage Gator, and will chomp any offense.

If this wasn’t in the “Swamp,” we might lean toward the Vols, but in Gainesville, the Gators do some poll climbing.

No. 6 Stanford at Arizona (ESPN, 10:45 p.m.) With two of America’s best gunslingers squaring off, this will be a better aerial show than a Wallendas family retrospective.

It will also be the first real exam for the Sat excelling Boys from the Farm.

The Cardinal, commanded by its All-World, and Heisman Trophy contender, QB, Andrew Luck, is assisted by tailback Stepfan Taylor, and a pair of Linus-blanket receivers, Chris Owusu and tight end Coby Fleener.

The spine of the D is its linebacking corps, led by Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas, and backstopped by All-America safety, Delano Howell.

This season could mark the end of the desert run for Cats coach Mike Stoops.

His fate will rest on the cannon right arm, of his All-America caliber quarterback, Nick Foles.

The starry QB also hopes to have his All-America target, Juron Criner back in the lineup (appendectomy),if not, wideouts Dan Buckner and David Roberts, are quality alternatives. 

Forget about the run, with a brand new offensive line, Arizona is one of the nation’s bottom feeders and currently last in the conference.

The D attacks behind end C. J. Parish and tackle Justin Washington, but the secondary struggles defending the pass, which is not a good recipe against the Cardinal.

We think the smart kids from Palo Alto, surfing a ten game winning streak, ace its first stern test, and serve notice, that Stanford is once again, the real deal.

No. 21 Auburn at Clemson (Ch.5, Noon) The Houdini act continues its remarkable run on the Plains, as Auburn, riding the nation’s longest winning streak (17), has seemingly done it with smoke and mirrors.

The Tigers new leader is QB Barrett Trotter (70 % completions), who is assisted by the dynamic tailback tandem; Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb, and a big play (20 yds. a catch) wideout; Emory Blake.

The D, featuring backers Jake Holland, Daren Bates, and nose Nosa Equae, has, for the most part, been shredded, and nationally, sits ninth from the bottom.

Sherlock Holmes in his prime, wouldn’t be able to figure out the puzzle of Clemson football.

It never lives up to expectations, and its last ACC title occurred when George H.W. Bush (1991) occupied the White House.

The talent is there, but the question becoming increasing louder, is coach Dabo Swinney the right guy to “coach it up.”

QB Tajh Boyd runs the show, with assists from tailback Andre Ellington, and wideouts; DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.

The D featuring end Andre Branch, nose Brandon Thompson, and backer Corico Hawkins, shows serious susceptibility, in stopping the run.

In a squeaker, we think it’s more smoke and mirrors, as the Houdini act gets booked for at least one more week, and War Eagle flies out of Clemson with its 18th notch in a row.

 

Last week: 3-2                                                         Season record: 6-4.

 

That’s it from cyber space, be sure to read our recap, which will be up and running by noon on Sunday.  Until then, Peace.  pk

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