There were some rather surprising upsets of sorts last week. The Hokies, who embarrassed the vaunted Buckeyes, fell to the Pirates of ECU and perhaps even more surprising, the Trojans fell to the BC. The "big game" of the week saw Spurrier's bunch edge the Bulldogs which may or may not be considered an upset.
Which conference is the "best" right now? Conventional wisdom would point to the SEC but it is still a bit early to say certain. Possibly the PAC12 is a distant second although again, it is too early to tell. It must be admitted that this "analyst" is now having some second thoughts about the real strength of the premier West Coast conference. Just too many question marks have arisen so far in this young season. Is UCLA really that good? Will Peterson turn things around in Washington? What about USC (and Stanford for that matter)? About the only thing we know certain is that Oregon is the team to beat and perhaps the only one in conference with a shot of playing in the big game at the end in the newfangled college "playoff" system.
Over in the Big XII Oklahoma looks to be the real deal and Baylor has had little more than official scrimmages at this point. Lot of football left to be played.
The Bartender Cabbie system was 9-1 for week three with a total thus far of 25-5. That being said, on to the predictions for week 4.
1. Auburn vs KSU: The big game of the week on a Thursday night? Appears to be so. Auburn is a good football team and is a serious contender for the SEC title and all the marbles. KSU should make some noise in the BIG XII but likely will not challenge for conference crown. Go with Auburn here.
2. Tulane vs Duke: Most years this would be a good one between two top notch private schools who just don't do much on the gridiron. Once in a while either of these schools will have a year or two run with very competitive squads on the field and right now Duke is in that position. I would go with the team from North Carolina here.
3. Northwestern State vs Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs are so far having a pretty decent season. We will see how they do when conference play commences. Back when both of these squads were in the lower division of college ball this was a yearly rivalry game. Usually played on the "neutral" field in Shreveport I do believe. Now the Bulldogs are in the big time and NSU is in the FCS Southland. The Demons should be up for this game but it would be wise to pick Louisiana Tech for the win.
4. Louisiana vs Boise State: Things are not starting off so well in Lafayette and likely won't get better this week. Conference play starts soon for the Cajuns and they should make some noise in the Sun Belt but will not have what it takes to beat the Broncos on the Blue Field.
5. Northern Illinois vs Arkansas: The Huskies may be one of the better teams in the MAC and the Hogs, while a long long way for being a serious contender in the SEC, have shown a good deal of improvement thus far. This one could be good and I will go with the Razorbacks here. It might be close.
6. Florida vs Alabama: A no brainer here. Go with the Tide. There will be a coaching staff change in Gainesville next season likely.
7. North Carolina vs East Carolina: Despite the preseason hype, North Carolina has not shown anyone that they are much. ECU had a signature win last week and should be on the lookout for a let down. This one will be a toss up and that coin will be flipped and I will go with ECU.
8. Miami (FL) vs Nebraska: This is an important game for both teams. Folks certainly doubt that either of these squads are worth much. Since this one is in Lincoln I would go with the Huskers here. But that didn't work out so well when the Cowboys of McNeese State came calling did it? Nebraska was lucky to escape with a W in that one. Hmmm. This game might well be another one of those toss ups and again I would go with the Cornhuskers. Could be wrong.
9. Clemson vs Florida State: The big one in the ACC. It is unlikely that anyone will unseat FSU in conference this season but Clemson might be the only team with any kind of legitimate shot to do so. They won't. Go with FSU. It has been said that the Seminoles are a "SEC like" team and I would have to agree with that assessment.
10. Rice vs Old Dominion: Rice has had a tough row to hoe up to this point and have performed reasonably well. Old Dominion is new to the upper division and have also performed rather well starting out. The Monarchs should come ready to play ball but the Owls are going to win this one. Go with Rice.
Have a good week and enjoy the games.