I would be remiss in starting if I did not take time to remember the events of Sept 11, 2011. As usual the documentaries were in full swing and again as usual I took time to watch. I am sure I am not alone when I say that the feelings that wash over me are a combination of sorrow and furious anger. Thirteen years later we are still dealing with the trash responsible. Oh the names have changed as the once "big dog" and many of his minions are surely roasting, but we are still having to face this garbage and will for many years to come. Enough said on that subject. For now at least....
The college season has started off gangbusters to be sure. We might perhaps be learning that the Big X (How many teams do they have now?) might not be what one would consider a power conference anymore. A step above CUSA to be sure but not in the same league with the SEC and PAC12. I am starting to think that "west coast" ball is catching up and one of the squads in that league could very well be playing for all the marbles before all is said and done. Still early though although it must be noted that UCLA, an early dark horse PAC12 champion pick, while 2-0 at this point has struggled mightily and perhaps, just perhaps, does not deserve their ranking at this point. Memphis, their last opponent, does seem to be vastly improved and may make some noise in the newfangled and rather weird league they are currently a member of.
Nebraska? What can be said there? McNeese State did indeed prove they belonged on the field in Lincoln with the Huskers and almost pulled of a major upset. Who knew? Bo probably should start thinking about putting his digs on the market......
Last week the Bartender Cabbie system was 9-1 straight up with a total of 16-4 for the young season and still Vegas does not call......On to the predictions for week 3.
1. UCLA vs Texas: The Longhorns may (or may not) be dismal and there are certainly some questions about UCLA at this point. A Longhorn loss to BYU was not something totally unexpected but the ease of which the Cougars trounced the boys from Austin was a bit surprising. Just Thursday of this week the Cougars of Utah had much more trouble with the Cougars of Houston than they did last week with the Horns. Hmmmm. UCLA? Two lackluster victories put them at 2-0 but still they don't seem to be a top 10 (or 15) team. Granted Memphis is a better team than we have seen in the past and gave the Bruins all they could handle. That being said, today's game should show UCLA beating Texas. The margin of victory will say a lot about both teams. Go with the squad from California here.
2. UMASS vs Vanderbilt: Rumor is that the Minutemen may decide not to stay in Division I football and drop on back to the FCS. Don't know how true that is but time will tell I guess. Vanderbilt looks like they will be at the bottom of the SEC. In Nashville coaching makes all the difference in the world. Franklin (stupidly?) took his winning ways to PSU and the Commodores have dropped from a pretty good team that could surprise some of the SEC big dogs to a group that may have trouble competing in the Sun Belt. So it goes. This might be a toss up but I will go with Vandy here. So should you.
3. Iowa State vs Iowa: The Cyclones may not be quite as bad a team as their 0-2 record shows. The loss to ND State was not surprising as a good may teams in the upper division would suffer that fate. Some you might not expect even (Who would like to see the Bison take on the Buckeyes, Huskers, Gators, LSU, Notre Dame etc?). The Iowa State squad had KSU but finally fell as time was running out. Their cross state rival? Another middle of the pack Big X team. That makes this game pretty even and a toss up. I will flip the coin and go with Iowa State.
4. Louisiana Monroe vs LSU: Last year I would have given the Warhawks at least a fighting chance. The man behind center was probably one of the better college field generals in the game and you likely can't call his name. Nobody like Browning guiding the Warhawk offense this season. He was a special college player. The kids from Monroe should be up for this game but it will not be enough. Go with LSU. It could get ugly.
5. Southern Miss vs Alabama: Remember when USM was a dangerous team for anyone? Hasn't been that long ago. Another tune up for Alabama here. Go with the Tide.
6. Tennessee vs Oklahoma: The Vols are probably improved some but the Sooners (along with perhaps Baylor) may be the only squad(s) in the BIG XII that are serious contenders for all the marbles this season. Go with the Oklahoma.
7. Rice vs Texas Agriculture: The Owls should have some success this season but just not today. Wouldn't it be great though? Go with the Aggies.
8. Nebraska vs Fresno State: The Huskers likely aren't much but I am guessing they are missing Pat Hill and his walrus mustache over in Fresno right about now. Go with Nebraska.
9. UTSA vs Okahoma State: UTSA may well be a pretty good ball club (for CUSA). There are questions about the Cowboys (nothing unusual there). Their whole last season was a question on which team would show up. That being said, I would imagine that the team from Oklahoma has the depth to win here and will. Go with OSU.
10. SLU vs Tulane: Southeastern Louisiana has only been back in the college game for few short years and are proving that they are certainly competitive in the FCS Southland. Tulane is Tulane. A very tough place to be successful. Harder than Rice or Vanderbilt even. This game should be a toss up and I will go with the kids from little ole Hammond here. Take SLU for a minor (very minor) upset of sorts.
Have a good week and enjoy the games.