It’s hard to believe that the 2012 college football regular season is one-fourth of the way finished. For those teams like Alabama that are 3-0, it has been a good first quarter. For others, not so hot. Is there hope for some who have been hapless? Our faultless predictions provide the answer.
As always, we begin with Alabama. The Crimson Tide has two wins over teams that had been ranked in the nation’s top 10 prior to the start of the season, but both – Michigan and Arkansas -- seem to have been over-rated. On the other hand, the other Bama victim – Western Kentucky – deserved our respect. This week it’s another team that doesn’t rank too high, but has a player (Cory Henry) who has pointed out that the Tide can be beatlen.
Uh, no, Cory. Alabama cannot be beaten by the Florida Atlantic Owls when the teams meet at 4 p.m. CDT in Bryant-Denny Stadium. FAU hung with Georgia for a bit last week, but then was trounced. That played right into Nick Saban’s hands in preparing his team. The Owls won’t bounce back this week. Alabama 49, FAU third straight shutout victim.
Auburn got on the winning track last week against a team from Louisiana in Jordan-Hare Stadium. But as much as Louisiana Monroe is one of the darlings for its Sun Belt success this season, it is not LSU. Fighting Tigers 35, Young Tigers 6.
There are also the Missouri Tigers from Columbia, who this week will head to the Columbia of the South Carolina Gamecocks. This could be a key game in the Southeastern Conference East and there is a temptation to predict the upset, but – assuming Coach Superior has come down from the euphoria of beating UAB for his 200th coaching victory -- we’ll go with South Carolina 31, Missouri 17.
The SEC has very good teams and also has very bad teams. This week there is a meeting of one of each in Athens when Vanderbilt goes to Georgia. As much as we hope every year that Vandy will be capable of doing the job against the big dogs, the Commodores won’t be able to get it done against the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia 38, Vanderbilt 17.
We don’t know yet if Florida is better than Georgia, an issue to be determined later this season, but we know that Kentucky is worse than Vanderbilt. The Wildcats, losers to the much-respected Western Kentucky Hilltoppers last week, go to Gainesville this weekend, where it will be Florida 34, Kentucky 10.
In real estate, it’s location, location, location. In football, not so much. Rutgers goes to Fayetteville Saturday with better coaches and probably better players and the Scarlet Knights add to Arkansas misery, 27-20.
Some SEC teams in addition to Alabama are playing dog teams. And if Tulane was still in the SEC, we’d add them to the list.
Tulane will host Ole Miss in New Orleans Saturday, the closest the Rebels ever get to playing in the Sugar Bowl. Almost everyone expects Mississippi to get better, and one way to get a better record is to play teams like Tulane. Ole Miss celebrates in the Superdome with a 27-10 win.
One of these days, Joey Jones will have South Alabama capable of playing against lower tier SEC teams, but it’s a little early to expect the Jaguars to handle Mississippi State. Troy outplayed the Bulldogs last week, but State got the win. Mississippi State has already beaten Auburn and gets it last win against a team from the state of Alabama Saturday. State 31, South 10.
Say it fast and South Carolina State sounds like it might be a real team. You can probably guess what state they are from, and that would be the end of known facts. It is a fact that Texas A&M will cream the Bulldogs from Orangeburg. Aggies 52, State 0.
Say it ain’t so, Joe. Who would let the Zips into their stadium? Tennessee would, that’s who. Everyone gets a dog game or two, but is this how Derek Dooley proves the Vols have the right man? Tennessee 60, Akron Zips zip.