A funny thing happened last week as teams headed into their games. Most teams set up their schedules so they could get settled into their offensive, defensive special teams systems, and finalize their player rotations against teams that are not up to their level (most describe them as cupcake games).
Well Wisconsin and Arkansas found out they took these games too casually and lost any chance at a title game or even a BCS game.
Wisconsin, which last year was a scoring machine, failed to put points on the scoreboard in Corvallis, OR and lost to Oregon State 10-7. Heisman hopeful RB Montee Ball, who had his touchdown scoring streak stopped at 21 games, has not looked like he did last year, which could lead to the thinking that the off-season attack on campus could be more of an issue than first thought.
As upsetting as Wisconsin loss was, the real shocker of the weekend was in Little Rock as AP #8 Arkansas Razorbacks lost in OT to the University of Louisiana – Monroe (ULM) 34-31. The Warhawks from the Sun Belt Conference, knocked out Razorback QB Tyler Wilson in the first half (concussion) with several big hits, and then mounted a late game comeback tying the game with 55 seconds left with a touchdown from Junior QB Kolton Browning (42 for 67 for 412 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception, plus 69 yards rushing and another touchdown) to Senior WR Brent Leonard (11 receptions for 112 yards) and then won it on a 16 yard touchdown run by Browning in OT to complete the amazing win.
Here is this week’s look at the Top 10:
1. Alabama (2-0)
The Tide easily got by Western Kentucky35-0 last week and now get to go to Little Rock, AR and play the Wilson-less Razorbacks. This would have been the marquee matchup before the shocker last week. Tide continues to roll winning by 24.
2. USC (2-0)
The Trojans beat a game Syracuse team last week 42-29 in a contest that was not as close as it seemed. This week they play the game of the week at. Stanford.
3. LSU (2-0)
LSU had little difficulty getting by the Washington Huskies 41-3 in Baton Rouge last week. They play at home against this week as they host what will be an overmatched Idaho team. The Vandals will be huge underdog and will lose by at least 45 to the Tigers on their home field.
4. Oregon (2-0)
The Ducks got by Fresno State last week 42-25 as they opened up a 35-6 halftime lead and coasted to the big win. Heisman candidates Kenjon Burner (34 carries for 201 yards and three touchdowns) and De ‘Anthony Thomas (7 carries for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns) led the way vs. the Bulldogs as they now get another easy game vs. Tennessee Tech. This will be ugly with the speed the Ducks have shown. This will be over by half time.
5. Florida State (2-0)
Last week the only thing that stopped the Seminoles from beating the record breaking 70+ point spread vs. Savannah State was Mother Nature as the game was stopped in the third period with Florida State leading 55-0. This week the Seminoles vs. Wake Forrest won’t be as big of a mismatch, but the high powered Florida State team should win this before the fourth quarter.
6. Oklahoma (2-0)
Another blowout win for the Sooners last week for Florida A&M 69-13 as they now prepare for their big game next week in Norman vs. Kansas State and QB Collin Klein.
7. South Carolina (2-0)
South Carolina had little difficulty with last week’s opponent East Carolina as they won 48-10 without QB Connor Shaw. This week they get UAB at Williams Brice Stadium. This should be another good tune up for another Heisman candidate Marcus Lattimore. The Gamecocks win this going away vs. the Blazers.
8. West Virginia (1-0)
The Mountaineers are ready to get back to work after an off week as they take on James Madison in Morgantown. Heisman contender QB Geno Smith should be able to pad his stats for the trophy as West Virginia will crush Dukes by at least 40, if not 50 points.
9. Michigan State (2-0)
The Spartans had little trouble with their in state opponent last week as the beat Central Michigan 41-7. Michigan State this week will be hosting the fighting Irish of Notre Dame in East Lansing in a very tough game. Spartan QB Andrew Maxwell who struggled vs. Boise State came back and had a very good game last week, and will need to continue this week, or Michigan State will need to ride RB Le’Veon Bell to a victory. Spartans in a close one.
10. Georgia (2-0)
This is a team that seems to prime for an upset, but last week got by Missouri 41-20 behind Junior QB Aaron Murray, who threw for three touchdowns. The Bulldogs this week will get an easier opponent in Florida Atlantic as they get ready for the grueling SEC schedule. Bulldogs by at least 35 points this week.
USC QB Matt Barkley still leads a talented group followed by PAC-12 running backs from Oregon RB Burner and Thomas, and newcomer UCLA Jonathan Franklin who ran all over Nebraska last week. West Virginia QB Smith had last week off, but should stay in the hunt with a big week again this week. South Carolina’s RB Lattimore is still in the discussion but he needs to start showing more to stay with these players.
Game of the Week
USC vs. Stanford – Saturday 7:30pm, September 15, 2012 at Stanford Stadium
The Trojans looks to snap their 3 game losing streak to the Cardinal as they play a Stanford team without Andrew Luck. QB and Heisman favorite Barkley will be looking to avenge last year’s 3OT lost in the Rose Bowl, as he continues on his “Unfinished Business” quest.
This year the Trojans bring back stud Soph. WR Marquis Lee (21 catches for 263 yards and 4 touchdowns) who along with Junior transfer (Penn State) RB Silas Redd will make the difference as the talented Trojan team will end the Cardinal’s hope of continuing what Luck left behind.
Prediction: USC leaves no doubt winning 51 - 21
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