There were some good games last week and some very interesting ones on tap this. Wonder what surprises are in store this week.
1. ULL vs North Texas: Sun Belt Tuesday night football. I love it. The Cajuns are in the thick of the hunt for an SBC title and North Texas is hanging by a thread. The game is in Denton and I would like to make a little trip north to see it. There is no margin for error for the Cajuns with WKU and ULM the favorites and MTSU along with Arkansas State still in contention for the conference title. I would imagine that Dan McCarney will have the Mean Green a contender in CUSA next season ...... That being said, the Cajuns have to win this one and will do so.
2. Houston vs SMU: If the Cougars aren't careful they may have a winning season. June Jones' Mustang squad is having a rough year. They will be mad and out to prove that aren't totally inept after that ridiculous loss to Tulane last week. This will be close and I will go with Houston to pull it out of the hat.
3. Oregon vs Arizona State: Finally the Ducks will face an at least semi decent opponent. They have had a pretty easy row to hoe thus far. The Sun Devils can play ball at times but it is doubtful that they will keep pace here. Go with the Ducks.
4. ULM vs WKU: One of these two teams are the hands down favorites right now to win the Sun Belt. Both are very good teams for the conference and at least one (or both) of them may be a good team period. This one is a toss up and I will have to go with ULM in a close one.
5. Cincinnati vs Toledo: This cross state game should be a good one. Cincinnati might or might not be over rated and Toledo is possibly under rated. Cincinnati so far has had a very easy schedule. Almost ridiculous. Toledo is a good MAC team. It could be close and I will go with Toledo for the upset.
6. Idaho vs Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs had their chances on the national stage and came up just short last week. They should have no problem though when the Vandals come calling. Go with Louisiana Tech.
7. LSU vs TAMU: This will be good. LSU has a pretty good defense and can, at times, have a bruising running game. TAMU has the offense but the defense is supsect. LSU has the talent to be the better all around team I think but not sure they will sustain the momentum they had last week. I don't know who to pick here but I will go with my gut and predict and Aggie upset. I hate to say that. Nothing is more ridiculous than Aggie honkage.
8. SDSU vs Nevada: Nevada is a good team. SDSU is struggling. This is an important conference game and Nevada needs to win every one of them what with Boise State still in the MWC this season. Nevada probably has the talent to win. I have not watched any of the Wolfpack games this year but they seem to be on track. Go with the team from Reno.
9. KSU vs WVU: KSU will need to be on their A game. It is doubtful that the Mountaineers will just decide not to show up two weeks in a row. KSU should be able to run over the rather woeful WVU defense but the Wildcat D must keep the Mountaineer offense on the bench. It will either be a close KSU win or a Mountaineer blow out. I go with KSU to man up and take this one.
10. Florida vs South Carolina: Another good one. I think the reason that the Gamecocks lost last week was because they showed up in ridiculous foofoo uniforms. That just ain't SEC. OK that being said, this game is a toss up. If the regular South Carolina offense shows up then it will be a USC victory. If not? Look for the Gators to win. It will probably be a close one and I will go out on a limb and predict a Gamecock "upset."
One hears all the time about the SEC being the toughest conference in football. There is something to be said here. Every conference has one or two very good teams IE Oregon and Oregon State in the PAC 12; FSU in the ACC; Ohio State in the Big Ten; Boise State in the MWC; Louisiana Tech in the WAC, but none have a Florida, Alabama, South Carolina or LSU to contend with. When a very capable Mississippi State and Georgia is also added to the mix? Well...............The only conference even close would be the ten team Big Twelve and it runs a rather distant second.
If, and only if, I were to rank the conferences in football power it would look something like this.
1. SEC - Might not always have the best team in the country but always is the toughest top to bottom.
2. Big Twelve: Always has two and sometimes three teams that are capable of competing with the best of the SEC.
3. PAC 12: One or two very good teams usually but the rest are not quality
4. Big Ten: Usually has one good, solid football team that is capable of competing with good SEC teams.
5. ACC: One or two good teams. Usually not able to compete for a national title
6. MWC: With Boise State and Nevada here I would put them ahead of the Big East this season. Usually the Big East would be marginally better probably.
7. Big East: No one ever capable of competing in the top ranks of college ball especially since WVU has bolted.
8. Sun Belt: No longer at the bottom of the barrel. Improvement seen every year. Some of the big boys in college football are becoming leery about scheduling some SBC schools likely.
9. CUSA: Has fallen off the pace this year. Usually would put them on the level of the Big East.
10. MAC: A special brand of football. Kind of reminds me of Ivy League. Sort of self contained group. Has some teams that can surprise the big boys usually.
11. WAC: Should really be a IAA league frankly. Louisiana Tech is the class of the conference since most teams bolted for the MWC. This year Louisiana Tech is a good team period and Utah State is good for a WAC squad.