THE WEEKEND AFTER
After three weeks in which various responsibilities and travels kept me from viewing CFB on Saturday -- including having to work during the WEEK OF THE DECADE last week -- I finally get to stay home and watch some football.
And it's kind of a lame week. In fact, slaughter and pillaging should abound.
A weekend only a Viking could love.
So it goes.
To the picks...
Wisconsin at No. 8 Michigan, 12 p.m.
Wisconsin hasn't faced a serious opponent all year. Michigan is coming off a thumping victory in its biggest game so far, meaning they're due for a let down. Let the Big 10 grindfest begin. Michigan 17, Wisconsin 10.
Cincinnati at No. 17 Virginia Tech, 12 p.m
This game is on ESPN U, which is good because no one really wants to watch it. Virginia Tech 34, Cincinnati 10.
No. 9 Iowa at Illinois, 12 p.m.
There really isn't a question about who will win the game. The only question is whether Illinois will bother to take the field in the second half. Iowa 35, Illinois 3.
North Carolina at No. 13 Clemson, 12 p.m.
North Carolina beat Furman by a field goal. Clemson might also come from Upstate S.C., but they're a much tougher foe. Clemson 24, North Carolina 7.
No. 7 Louisville at Kansas State, 12:10 p.m.
K-State actually plays a nonconference game against a difficult opponent. It's not likely they'll repeat the mistake. Louisville 52, Kansas State 12.
Colorado at No. 10 Georgia, 12:30 p.m.
Only reason to watch this game: To see if Ralphie the Buffalo, who's making the trek to Athens, will eat Uga. Georgia 42, Colorado 6.
Uga best hope this guy's not hungry.
Howard at No. 22 Rutgers
If your nickname or school name is Bison, Buffalo or anything like it (it's the Howard Bisons), this ain't your week. Rutgers 35, Howard 10.
Buffalo at No. 3 Auburn, 2:30 p.m.
The new clock rules make it nearly impossible to rack up one of those 70-point victories that schools like Auburn used to hang on teams like Buffalo. That's one thing the boys from N.Y. can be grateful for. Auburn 56, Buffalo 3.
No. 15 Penn State at No. 1 Ohio State, 3:30 p.m.
This may be the best game on the schedule this weekend. That tells you how far we've fallen from last week. Ohio State 24, Penn State 10.
Iowa State at No. 11 Texas, 3:30 p.m.
Letdown for Iowa State coming off its loss to Iowa? Does it really matter? Texas 35, Iowa State 7.
Arizona State at No. 23 California, 3:30 p.m.
Arizona State needs a big win to crack the C&F ranks. They don't get it here. California 42, Arizona State 40.
Rice at No. 20 Florida State, 3:30 p.m.
Even Jeff Bowden can come up with a successful game plan against Rice. But don't expect anything too flashy. Florida State 24, Rice 0.
Marshall at No. 14 Tennessee, 4 p.m.
Back in the day when they were a perpetual BCS disrupter, Marshall would have a good shot at the upset. Back in the day. But Florida hangover keeps it closer than it should be. Tennessee 23, Marshall 10.
No. 4 West Virginia at East Carolina, 4:30 p.m.
The only question is whether Steve Slaton outgains the entire East Carolina offense. My guess is he will. West Virginia 52, East Carolina 14.
Middle Tennessee State at No. 19 Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
Pity MTSU. They get to be the sacrificial lamb as Oklahoma sets out to prove how badly they were screwed. But there's some good news for the lambs: Oklahoma's offense just isn't very good. Oklahoma 34, MTSU 3.
Troy at No. 24 Nebraska, 7 p.m.
The Huskers slog through another. Nebraska 23, Troy 10.
Kentucky at No. 2 Florida, 7:45 p.m.
By the time Rich Brooks figures out why he's in Gainesville, it will be too late. Florida 48, Kentucky 3.
No. 6 Southern Cal at Arizona, 8 p.m.
I was this close to making this the upset special. But the other USC continues to surprise. USC 35, Arizona 10.
!UPSET SPECIAL! No. 12 Notre Dame at Michigan State, 8 p.m.
Another close loss to MSU keeps the Domers in free fall. Michigan State 35, Notre Dame 34.
No. 25 Boston College at N.C. State, 8 p.m.
Ah, the ACC has not turned out to fulfill its expanders' dreams. This will be a game without a conference context that gives it meaning. Boston College 20, N.C. State 9
Tulane at No. 5 LSU, 8 p.m.
A showdown only a Louisianan could love. Too bad I'm not one. LSU 41, Tulane 17
IDLE: No. 16 TCU, No. 18 Oregon. ALREADY PLAYED: No. 21 Georgia Tech.