Last week: 5-2; Season: 8-5.
This prediction stuff will be easy as long as Syracuse keeps showing up on the schedules of local teams. It is Pitt’s turn this week after Penn State whipped the Orange two weeks ago. Later, WVU will get a shot at this hapless team. Come to think of it, maybe I'll just pick against Syracuse every week no matter the opponent. I improved from a so-so first week with five out of seven in the win column last week. Here are my picks for this week:
Pitt at Syracuse – LeSean McCoy has not rushed for 100 yards in a game this season. Syracuse has allowed a back to rush for 100 yards or more in each of its three games against Division I-A opponents. If McCoy doesn’t get 100 this week, we’ll know how deep the Panthers’ problems run on offense. Pitt wins, 38-17.
Penn State vs. Illinois – The scoreboard could light up in this Big Ten clash. The Nittany Lions are averaging 52 per game while the Illini average 39 per game. I’ll give the edge to the Lions because the game is at Beaver Stadium, but it won’t be easy, 36-29.
Marshall at West Virginia – Marshall is 3-1, but the Thundering Herd’s only other game against a BCS conference team was a 51-14 loss at Wisconsin. It’s hard to figure how the West Virginia offense can be so average with Pat White and Noel Devine in the same backfield. They’ll figure it out for one week at least by beating their in-state rivals, 34-21.
TCU at Oklahoma – The Mountain West Conference has pulled off some big upsets the first few weeks of the season, and the Horned Frogs are dangerous. They have outscored its first four opponents, 172-31. The Sooners have aspirations of playing in the national championship, so I say they don’t slip up at home, 35-20.
Alabama at Georgia – The preseason No. 1 team has taken a beating in the media because the Bulldogs haven’t been overly impressive on their way to a 4-0 start. They’ll have to be more than solid as they enter a treacherous part of their SEC schedule. Alabama is much-improved, but is probably a year away from competing for a conference title. I like the Bulldogs at home, 20-17.
Purdue at Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish are susceptible to a strong rushing game, but that’s not the Boilermakers’ strong suit. The Irish have some problems scoring as well, but they will find a way to win at home, 20-19.
Colorado at Florida State – It’s almost October and the Seminoles don’t have a victory against a Division I-A team. Two blowout wins over I-AA foes were followed by a 12-3 loss against Wake Forest. The Buffaloes are 3-0, but all of those wins came at home, so I’ll take Florida State in a close one, 25-22.