UConn @ Loovll
HOLLY, IRRATIONAL: Connecticut, based on absolutely nothing but fresh affection for the Huskies, owed entirely to this. Let this be the first of a trend. Let player blogs sprout across the land. (Let Jonathan Crompton's be titled "Alone (in the pocket) Again, Naturally.")
ORSON, IRRATIONAL. When Baylor almost pantses you, you deserve to lose said pants to someone in need of a fine pair of pants. Like Steve Kragthorpe, who wandered sad and pantsless through most of 2007 and for the first game of 2008, but lo! Kragthorpe and competence are not speaking, but they're texting, keeping tabs on each other on IM, you know...just feeling each other out. And in search of pants. [/noideajustguessing.]
UNC @ Miami
ORSON, TOTALLY RATIONAL. UNC would have been an underdog here with T.J. Yates at qb, but with redshirt freshman Mike Paulus starting the 'Canes beastly line and Blulk (Allen "Black Hulk" Bailey) ripping through the offensive line, the beleaguered Paulus only hope is to take ample dives in the pocket just like his brother would. Did. Whatever.
Blulk. Move, get out the way.
HOLLY, QUASI-RATIONAL: 'Canes. They haven't beat anybody, not really, but can Rutgers really be counted as a quality win for UNC? Until I'm proven wrong by a scoreboard I'm going to believe Miami's finally onto something here.
Ole Miss @ #4 Florida
HOLLY, QUASI-RATIONAL: Florida's offense and the Tebow Child haven't exactly been themselves, but it's everyone else's job to stop then and no one's managed. Ole Miss held Vandy to just over 200 total yards last week, but only scored 17 points of their own. It wasn't enough then, and it won't be enough tomorrow.
Orson, IRRATIONAL. Because Urban Meyer has done nothing all week but talk about his team not scoring points, meaning he's had them locked up in cages with minions tossing lit Black Cats and Screaming Chasers at them for days now. When they emerge, look for a period of sluggish play as they adjust, possibly even giving up a long TD to one of Ole Miss's speedy receivers Mike Wallace or Dexter McCluster(fuck). Then, once their eyes adjust to the sun, well, it's Flower of Alachua County singin' time.
"Bold hearts and nodding plumes wave o'er their bloody tombs,
Deepeyed in gore is the green orange and blue tartan's wave,
Shivering are the ranks of steel dire is the horseman's wheel,
Victorious in battlefield Scotland Florida the brave"
Tennessee @ #15 Auburn
ORSON, QUASI-RATIONAL. It would be nice to ape the theory that Phil Fulmer always brings his team back from the brink of disaster, but experience tells us that sometimes they'll just lay there and pant heavily. (See: 2005.) The better math is to use a different theory: that Daniel Cobb, Brandon Cox, and Chris Todd are all the same person, a theory proposed by Cuddles Swindle that we believe is one hundred percent true, and that like them their rag-armed passes will get thrown into the waiting arms of Eric Berry, and that this is even more likely considering Tony Franklin has said he'll call even more passes this week than against LSU.
HOLLY, QUASI-RATIONAL: Tennessee has an oddly consistent history of outperforming expectations, but it's accompanied by a history of competent quarterbacking and playcalling, so pretty safe to say we're breaking new ground here. It's a dark day when I'm not looking forward to an SEC matchup in the melodious care of Uncles Verne And Gary, but an afternoon of them shaking their heads in disappointment in the booth as boys in orange are picking their teeth out of the grass at Jordan-Hare? No, thank you kindly. Don't let them see us this way. Give this game to Raycom and let us focus on mocking the camera work instead of Tennessee's "offense". (Auburn, obvs.)
#25 Fresno State @ UCLA
HOLLY, QUASI-RATIONAL: Bad for the resume: Fresno State gave a real fight to Wisconsin and then sleepwalked (sleptwalk?) through Toledo. Bad for humanity: UCLA allowed Mike Stoops to win a football game. Like, convincingly. This one's not rocket surgery.
ORSON, IRRATIONAL: Because Rick Neuheisel was beginning to tug at the heartstrings a bit, and fate won't let us feel pity for him that long. Also, because we sort of suspect Fresno State isn't that great.
Colorado @ Florida State
ORSON, IRRATIONAL: Florida State, but only because we imagine another boomlet of "here's the Seminole Comeback!" before they inevitably choke in three or four more games down the line. At least that's what the sadist in me wants, since it's so much more delicious when they think they're hope.
HOLLY, IRRATIONAL: Colorado, on account of unpleasant flashbacks at the thought of Florida State being a contender again coupled with extreme fondness for typing THE MAJESTIC BUFFALO in all caps, all the time.
Purdue @ Notre Dame
HOLLY, IRRATIONAL: A guy in my history class junior year once interrupted a lecture to ask about the origins of Purdue's mascot. The legendary Dr. Wheeler replied, "You should know what a Boilermaker is, son. You consumed enough of them before entering my classroom."
ORSON, QUASI-RATIONAL: Someone pointed out to us that Notre Dame is just running the Jeff Bowden offense now. If you didn't die at the cutting shiv of truth contained in that, Notre Dame fan, then nothing may kill you. Purrrrrdue.
Missy State @ #5 LSU
ORSON, QUASI-RATIONAL: [EXTREMELY ACCURATE DEPICTION OF GORE CONTAINED WITHIN CENSORED DUE TO BEING FOUL AND REVOLTING ENOUGH TO CAUSE SPONTANEOUS TONGUE-SWALLOWING AND AUTOGOUGING OF THE EYEBALLS.] LSU.
HOLLY, QUASI-RATIONAL: The SEC West is kinda scrummier than usual, innit? There are few constants in college football, fewer still this year, but Death Valley holds fast.
#22 Illinois @ #12 Penn State
HOLLY, IRRATIONAL: Penn State. Watching Zook's hewn jaw clench and unclench on the sidelines is good clean fun. Watching JoePa lose a game is kinda the same as watching him win a game---wincing on his behalf with every motion of every limb. Hard to enjoy.
ORSON, IRRATIONAL: Revival redacted: the loss of Rashard Mendenhall has all but ended any consideration Illinois really had as a Big Ten contender. Now, they're basically Indiana with a bit more talent on defense, and a slightly less accurate quarterback under center.
#8 Alabama @ #3 Georgia
ORSON, QUASI-RATIONAL: Georgia, if only because of their consistency and the three to four terrifying moments in the game when John Parker Wilson will be asked to do something.
HOLLY, IRRATIONAL: Georgia. Please. In the name of interesting television, let that black-shirted defense force Das Saban to put this game in the hands of John Parker Wilson, and let nature take its course.