By Norman Arey
Last week was a 7-3 week. I admit I missed the Georgia-Vanderbilt contest. I have nothing else to say.
UMASS at SOUTH CAROLINA – Even the inept, struggling Gamecocks should be able to keep their heads above the water against the poor Minutemen. But wait. The Massachusetts marauders may not be as bad as their 1-6 record might indicate and pull the upset. NOT REALLY. Gamecocks are at home and have their pride and subdue the Minutemen by 11.
UTAH at UCLA – The Bruins have been looking forward to making a statement all year and have failed miserably. Not this time. UCLA will surprise the ranked Utes (6-1) and finally shine. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Utah is much better than many think and it picks up its seventh win of the season against a poorly coached (Hey, it’s Jim Mora) UCLA team by 11.
TCU at W. VIRGINIA – Gary Patterson’s teams rarely disappoint, but this season has been an exception. You can’t keep a good team down forever and the Horned Frogs rise up to whip up on the Mountaineers.NO-NO. West Virginia has been one of the pleasant surprises of the season and the Dana Holgorsen-coached Hillbillies stop the Toads in their tracks by 14.
TEXAS A&M at ALABAMA – Two undefeated teams vying for SEC supremacy would be the headline for this one, but it would be wasted. I think it’s more of much ado about nothing and the Aggies strip the Crimson Tide of their pride. NO WAY JOSE. Alabama is a juggernaut and won’t even hesitate in putting the A&Mers away early, probably 17 points will separate them at the end.
OLE MISS at LSU – Ole Miss has endured a few fainting spells along the way and are a disappointment to themselves and their long-suffering fans. Chad Kelly at quarterback is the best and LSU is whipped before their loud and obnoxious crowd. NOT THIS DAY. LSU, with no head coach and a banged-up Leonard Fournette, still prevail over Johnny Reb – how about by nine?
ARKANSAS at AUBURN – The Tigers have managed to turn around what looked to be a disaster into a fair season and a win over the Razorbacks would put them at 5-2 with decent hopes of a good bowl date.TOO BAD WAR EAGLE. The Bret Bilema-coached Pigs are mean, tough, rough and take no prisoners asAuburn is ‘out-toughed’ at Jordan-Hare Stadium, maybe by five or less.
NORTH CAROLINA at VIRGINIA – You talk about two teams who don’t like each other – these are the two. The Cavaliers have a new coach in Bronco Mendenhall and are still learning a new system, but theTar Heels are the very picture of inconsistency and the Wahoos take it in a mild upset. NADA. NYET. TheTar Heel quarterback Mitch Trubisky may be the best that no one’s heard of and the Chapel Hill lads prevail by double digits.
N.C. STATE at LOUISVILLE – Give the Wolfpack credit for its sterling showing last week against Clemson, taking the Tigers into overtime before losing. State got the taste of success and pulls one of the year’s largest surprises. NO CHANCE OF THAT. The Cardinals, with despicable coach Bobby Petrino andHeisman favorite quarterback Lamar Jackson overwhelm the ‘Pack early by at least three touchdowns.
TEXAS at KANSAS STATE – Longhorn coach Charlie Strong must be wishing he’d stayed at Louisville and never heard of Austin. Both teams are 3-3, but wiley old Bill Snyder is hard to beat in a stadium named after him. The Wildcats send the ‘Horns packing with a losing record. NO-NO. I’ll go withCharlie in a really close one, say by a skinny point.
HOUSTON at SMU – The Mustangs of SMU are at home against the 11th ranked team in the country and Dallas is a big football town. Thus the stage is set for a truly magnificent startling result. NO IT ISN’T. Maybe Coach Tom Herman is a little disappointed that Houston’s bid to enter the Big XII conference was scuttled, so he takes it easy on the Ponies, but either way, the Cougars win going away by double digits.