A LOOK BACK AT WEEK SIX
Back on opening night of the season, Michigan played at Utah in a Big Ten vs. Pac-12 tilt. Neither team was ranked in the Top 25, and I don’t know anyone that thought we were seeing two of the nation’s top teams going head-to-head. The Utes defeated the Wolverines 24-17 and are now 5-0 and ranked No. 4. Since that meeting, Michigan has reeled off five straight wins and sits ranked No. 12 in the nation. This past weekend, both teams defeated ranked unbeaten teams, as the Utes withstood a late comeback by the California Bears to win 30-24, and Michigan shut out its third straight opponent, defeating Northwestern 38-0.
COOL FACTS OF THE WEEK
- Michigan become one of only five teams since 1937 to score at least 28 points while shutting out two ranked opponents (BYU and Northwestern). Three of the other four teams who did that had National Championship seasons.
- In the fourth quarter, TCU had 17 plays for 203 yards and averaged 11.9 yards per play while holding Kansas State to 17 plays, 40 yards and 2.4 yards per play.
- Texas Tech has scored 316 points through six games this season after scoring 366 over 12 games a year ago.
Texas used a suddenly dominate running game to beat Oklahoma, outrushing the Sooners 313 yards to 67.
- Utah and California accounted for Nine turnovers. Six for Cal, three for Utah. Yes, the Bears and the Utes entered this game as the two top Pac-12 defenses when it came to forcing takeaways.
- The Clemson defense allowed Georgia Tech only 71 rushing yards! The Jackets gained only 1.4 yards per carry, their lowest total in the Paul Johnson era.
- Florida State’s win over Miami was the Seminoles 27th consecutive conference win in a row!
- Pittsburgh’s win over Virginia was victory No.700 in team history.
TOP GAMES THIS WEEK
No. 18 UCLA (4-1) AT No. 15 STANFORD (4-1) Both teams enter this contest with identical records and off a bye week. The Bruins were beaten soundly by Arizona State. Quarterback Josh Rosen continues to have growing pains under center. The true freshman had trouble picking up the many different looks the Sun Devil defense showed. The loss of several key defensive performers also seemed to catch up to the Bruins. Stanford is hitting on all cylinders since an opening week loss at Northwestern. Kevin Hogan is playing at an elite level. The Cardinal defense, will be the difference in this game. They will follow the same recipe cooked up by the Sun Devils. Stanford has won seven straight in this series, including four times when the Bruins we’re ranked! THE STREAK CONTINUES, TREE FALLS ON BRUINS 38-24.
No.17 IOWA (6-0) AT No.20 NORTHWESTERN (5-1) This is a battle of the top two teams in the Big Ten West. Head Coach Kirk Ferentz may have the best team in his 17 year tenure. This is only the second time he has had a team start 6-0. C.J. Beathard has played mistake free football, guiding the Hawkeyes offense. Jordan Canzeri is coming off a breakout game last week against Illinois. The tailback rushed for 256 yards on 45 carries. The defense has also been much better than a season ago. The Widlcats are coming off an embarrassing loss to Michigan 38-0. I have to wonder about the emotional state of this team after the loss. The Wildcats were physically beaten up by the Wolverines. The home team has won five straight in this series. The Hawkeyes with a little luck could run the table and finish 12-0. HAWKEYES MAGICAL RUN CONTINUES 23-20.
No. 10 ALABAMA (5-1) AT No.9 TEXAS A&M (5-0) Alabama has bounced back nicely, since a week three loss to Mississippi. Last year the Tide blasted the Aggies 59-0. I think quarterback Jake Coker is getting better each week. He appears to finally have a firm grip of the offense. Derrick Henry provides the Tide with a big advantage out of the backfield. The Aggies have surprised many by starting 5-0. Quarterback Kyle Allen has been outstanding with a 13 to 2 touchdown to interception ratio. He has perhaps one of the nations best receiving corps in the nation. This will be the toughest test of the season to this point for the Aggies. This should be a great game that goes down to the wire. I just feel like Alabama is the better team right now. AGGIES DROP A CLOSE ONE AT HOME 30-26.
No.8 FLORIDA (6-0) AT No.6 LSU (5-0) It’s a darn shame that Florida quarterback Will Grier got suspended for a banned substance. He was having an outstanding season leading the Gators to a 6-0 start. Sophomore Treon Harris will step into replace Grier. Grier and Harris had a spirited battle in the spring, before Grier was named the starter. I believe Harris will have eventual success, as he is a dual threat. The Tigers continue to climb in the polls. Leonard Fournette is the clear front-runner for the Heisman trophy. He leads the nation in rushing with 1,022 yards in just five games. The Tigers have a huge edge on offense, and have the home crowd. IT’S ALLIGATOR SEASON IN LOUISIANA, TIGERS 31-20.
ARIZONA STATE (4-2) AT No.4 UTAH (5-0) Quarterback Mike Bercovici has been on fire the last two weeks in wins over UCLA and Colorado. The Sun Devils have also gotten better production from the running game, which has helped balance the offense. The defense has also turned it up a notch. Utah has been “lights out” in opening 5-0. Travis Wilson has returned from an injury to provide a spark under center. Last week the Utes continued to force turnovers, intercepting Jared Goff five times. I believe that the Sun Devils have underachieved, while the Utes have overachieved. Utah has lost eleven games in a row to the Sun Devils! MAKE IT AN EVEN DOZEN, SPARKY GETS A HUGE ROAD WIN 42-35.
No.7 MICHIGAN STATE (6-0) AT No.12 MICHIGAN (5-1) I’ve already given you a couple of upsets, but this is my favorite game of the weekend. Before the season started this future line was set as Michigan State -10. Suddenly Michigan is a touchdown favorite? Yes, the Wolverines have been a juggernaut on defense. Three straight shutouts is an amazing accomplishment. The Wolverines have used a punishing ground game to control clock, while leaning on the defense. Mark Dantonio will have his team fired up for this one. The national media has been all over the Michigan bandwagon. A tool that Dantonio will surely use as motivation for Sparty. While the Wolverines have a statistical advantage on defense, it’s not that significant. The difference to me comes down to Spartan quarterback Connor Cook. Cook has won his last two starts in this series. WOLVERINES “COOKED”, PAUL BUNYAN TROPHY STAYS IN EAST LANSING 16-13.
PICK SIX—–SIX GAMES, SIX WORDS, SIX PICKS
- MISSISSIPPI AT MEMPHIS——– Ole Miss doesn’t miss a trick. REBELS ROLL 49-33
- OREGON AT WASHINGTON——-The Ducks are actually a dog? QUACK 41-28
- NEBRASKA AT MINNESOTA——Can the Huskers last for four? NU 36-24
- USC AT NOTRE DAME—— Trojans prove ineffective at stopping Irish – UND 31-27
- BOISE STATE AT UTAH STATE——-Aggies lost last 12 against Boise – Make it 13, BRONCOS 38-28
- UNLV AT FRESNO STATE——–The Rebels are a road favorite? BULLDOGS 27-21
KEY GAMES 19-11
PICK SIX 23-13
UPSET EXPRESS STRAIGHT 3-3 SPREAD 4-2