College Football Road Trip

By Aaron M Smith

This weekend, 10 members of the Pickin’ Splinters Top 15 College Football Poll take to the road for what could be pivotal games in their march towards a BCS appearance or a chance at the National Championship. Let’s take a look:

LSU (#1 PSCFP) vs. Tennessee:

On paper this has all the makings of a blowout. A tough Tigers defense against a Volunteers offense that struggles to generate a running game and has a quarterback making his first start of the season – Matt Simms. Never fear, Simms almost led the Vols to a stunning upset over LSU last year, but a too-many-men on-the-field penalty cost them a stop on a 4th and goal; and eventually the game. Can Simms do it again? Without a running game this time, I think the Vols are in for a long day. LSU wins 34-7.

Oklahoma (#2 PSCFP) vs. Kansas:

One might worry that the Sooners fresh off an impressive beat down of Red River rival Texas, would be prime for a letdown. Looking for the best remedy possible? Try the worst defense in college football, fresh off a 70 point pasting at the hands of Oklahoma St.. Let’s not waste anymore of this article on this game. Sooners win 52-3.

Alabama (#3 PSCFP) vs. Ole Miss:

The Crimson Tide visit Oxford this weekend and bring a defense that has thrown up 2 shutouts so far this season. The Crimson Tide’s offense depends on Trent Richardson and expect Saturday to be no different. Ole Miss’ chances of producing a shutout on Saturday took at major hit with the suspensions of 4 players, including starting running back, Brandon Bolden. Something tells me it wasn’t going to matter. Crimson Tide roll, 31-10.

Boise State (#4 PSCFP) vs. Colorado State:

Boise State starts its inaugural season in the Mountain West Conference by visiting Colorado State. Kellen Moore (23 for 31 for 254 yards and 3 TDs)  was impressive in the Broncos’ win over the Fresno St. Doug Martin provided the running game with 94 yards on 16 carries. The Rams fresh off a 38-31 loss to Fresno State, gave up 313 yards in the air and needs to improve in order to stay in this game. Boise State marches on, 42-21.

Oklahoma State (#6 PSCFP) vs. Texas:

Texas is fresh off a thrashing by the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners, and are home to recover. Oh wait, they were home last week and in comes another high-powered offense. The Cowboys’ offense is led by Pickin’ Splinters’ favorite, Brandon Weeden, who threw for 409 yards in last week’s win over Kansas. Expect more of the same, as OSU will see if the Longhorns have anyone to cover Justin Blackmon. Texas’ misery continues, Oklahoma State wins 38-17.

Arizona State vs. Oregon (#9 PSCFP):

The Sun Devils travel to Autzen Stadium to face in the Ducks in what might be the best game of the weekend. Will anyone see it? The Ducks may be without Heisman hopeful, LaMichael James who suffered a nasty elbow injury in last week’s win over Cal. Dennis Erickson’s Sun Devils will rest their hopes on QB, Brock Osweiler. Osweiler threw for over 300 yards in last week’s win over Utah.  The Devils will need a repeat performance as they are going up against a Ducks offense that averages 42.3 in the last 6 games of this series. This should be a high scoring game, but I think the Ducks win, 41-38.

Michigan (#10 PSCFP) vs. Michigan State:

The state of Michigan takes center stage this weekend, as state rivals collide in what should be a great game. Michigan State rides a 3 game win streak in the rivalry and a win Saturday would make their longest win streak in the rivalry in over 50 years. Denard Robinson leads the Wolverine offense against a stingy Spartans defense. Robinson threw for 337 yards and two TDs, to go along with 117 yards on the ground and 2 more TDs in last week’s win over Northwestern. Michigan State comes off a bye week and an extra week to prepare for this one. Kirk Cousins who threw 2 INTs for the Spartans in their last game, has to play better in order for the Spartans to win. Something says he will. Spartans win 17-14.

Buffalo vs. Temple:

The Bulls travel to Lincoln Field to take on the Temple Owls. Expect a heavy dosage of Bernard Pierce, another Pickin Splinters favorite, who has run for 692 yards and 15 TDs this season. The Owls are coming off a 42-0 thrashing of Ball State, while Buffalo is riding high after a 38-37 win over Ohio. A strong dose of Pierce will be just what the doctor ordered. Temple wins 35-17.

Have a prediction? Let’s hear it on the Pine.


26 Responses to "College Football Road Trip"

  1. Chas   October 14, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I love how you work in the local game. Who’s RIT playing, BTW? 😉

    Seriously, I’m really interested to see how Arizona State matches up against Oregon. Oregon’s in the top 10 mainly on talent and reputation, and they may very well be as good as everyone thinks, but this is only their second true test of the year (I guess they didn’t embarrass themselves in the first, but I don’t think they really proved anything either).

    We’ll also see if Arizona State is for real. If they pull off the upset, will they vault into the PS 15?

  2. Casey   October 14, 2011 at 9:57 am

    RIT hasn’t lost a football game since Tom Coughlin was their coach.

  3. Chas   October 14, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I’ll take this to mean they haven’t had a football program since Coughlin left?

    Actually, I had no idea that’s where Coughlin got his start as a head coach. Always learning stuff on the Pine. Thanks Casey!

  4. Smitty   October 14, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Actually Chas, the game is more for showing some love to the Temple alumni on the Pickin Splinters bench. It is a coincidence that it is against Buffalo. 🙂

    But I agree with you on the Arizona St/Oregon game. I am really interested to see if the Sun Devils are for real.

  5. DREW   October 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

    My picks:
    LSU in a close one.
    Oklahoma by a ton.
    Bama by more than a ton.
    Boise by more than a ton of a ton.
    OkState by two touchdowns.
    The Sun Devils go into Autzen and win.
    Michigan stays undefeated with a MONSTER Shoelace game.
    And of course, the Temple Owls keep on winning. Three scores for BP.

  6. Casey   October 14, 2011 at 11:44 am

    ‘Bama has 8 games remaining -assuming a spot in the SEC title game and a bowl game. What are the chances the Tide gives up less than…hmmm…let’s say 60 points for the remainder of the season? They do play LSU and Auburn, but the Crimson D might be that good.

  7. Kyle Soppe   October 14, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    60 points in 8 games? thats over a TD per game. I see more teams scoring less than 1 than i do scoring more than 1. That D could shut down half the NFL (ok, prolly not. But you get the point)

  8. Rey   October 15, 2011 at 7:56 am

    The only prediction that matters: Owls win their homecoming!

  9. Smitty   October 15, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I say the Tide defense is going to give more than 60. So I will take the over. Injuries and the fact that they are going to have a game where nothing goes right. It is rare when a NFL defense can contain that type of dominance over an entire season. I just don’t see college kids doing the same thing.

  10. Smitty   October 15, 2011 at 9:29 am

    In another game, Baylor and Texas A&M are playing this weekend. If A&M loses, it will surely be well out of the AP College Top 25 – they are long gone from the Pickin’ Splinters Poll. I am trying to think of another college team that has had such a fall.

    Just about 3 weeks ago they were in the Top 10!

  11. Casey   October 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I wonder if the A&M players are ordering fried chicken for halftime while they play video games.

  12. Smitty   October 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Next thing you know Mike Sherman will be surrounded by rumors of pain pill use!

  13. Smitty   October 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    And Spartans take down Michigan.

  14. Casey   October 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Four straight for the Spartans over the Wolverines. Nice bragging rights for the seniors.

  15. Rey   October 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    The undefeateds keep falling this week. Virginia upsets Georgia Tech and Ohio State upends llinois. Guess those two may have been pretenders.

  16. Casey   October 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    K-State avoided the same fate.

    How about Clemson-Maryland scoring a combined 101 points with less than 500 yards combined passing.

  17. Crossword Pete   October 16, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Is Houston still undefeated? I have to start thinking more about them in my poll!

  18. Rey   October 16, 2011 at 10:31 am

    They did not play this week so they’re still undefeated. Case Keenum is a Heisman candidate so far in my opinion. The undfeateds left are: K-State, Houston, ‘Bama, LSU, Boise, OK State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Wisconsin, Clemson

  19. Smitty   October 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Guess we found out last night, just how good the Oregon Ducks are. Without LaMichael James and for the second half – Darron Thomas, the Ducks didn’t skip a beat. Pretty impressive.

    I know it was at the expense of the Colorado State Rams, but how about Boise State having over 700 yards total offense?

    Rey – I am with you. Looks like this week was the start of the separation between the contenders and the pretenders. Queue Chrissie Hynde – “Back on the Chain Gang”.

  20. Casey   October 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    “I found a picture of you, o-o-oh
    Those were the happiest days of my life
    Like a break in the battle was your part, o-o-oh
    In the wretched life of a lonely heart”

  21. Rey   October 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

  22. Casey   October 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Oregon at Stanford – November 12th!

  23. Rey   October 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Not nearly as important as LSU @ Alabama November 5th, sir.

  24. Casey   October 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Oh sure. Not doubting that. I was responding to Smitty’s comment about the Ducks’ performance yesterday.

  25. Crossword Pete   October 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    The Ducks were indeed impressive. I notched them up a few spots in my PSCFB poll.

  26. Chas   October 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

    LSU-Alabama and Oklahoma-Kansas St are the two upcoming games involving teams that are likely to still be unbeaten. I know not too many people will be giving Kansas St. a chance, but it will be interesting to see how they fare.

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