We went 8-2 last week as Tennessee was brought back down to Earth by UCLA and Notre Dame used some questionable clock management and fell at Michigan. That’s a two-week record of 15-5 but starting this week and next week things get a little harder as some of the cupcakes are going to be replaced by conference games.
Without further delay, let’s get to the Fearless Friday Forecast:
1. Georgia at Arkansas: The Bulldogs have had two tough games while Arkansas had last week off. Logically, Georgia should be in real trouble in Fayetteville, which is why they are the underdog according to the boys in Vegas. I just have the feeling that QB Joe Cox is going to play well again. I also think Georgia will be able to run the ball and milk the clock, keeping the ball away from Bobby Petrino’s offense. Georgia 17, Arkansas 14.
2. Tennessee at Florida: Yes, Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin used his mouth to write a check that his team cannot cash. But Kiffin knew that when he accused Urban Meyer of cheating. Kiffin bought himself some good will with the Tennessee fans, but on Saturday the bill finally arrives. What I’m wondering is how long Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton will last in this game before he gives way to Nick Stephens. It is going to get ugly. Florida 48, Tennessee 9.
3. North Texas at Alabama: Wide receiver Julio Jones (bruised kneecap) and running back Roy Upchurch (high ankle sprain) may not go in this game. It won’t really matter as this game should be about getting the offensive line and quarterback Greg McElroy ready for next week’s SEC opener with Arkansas. Alabama 42, North Texas 7.
4. West Virginia at Auburn: West Virginia will never be able to replace Pat White, but they have found a very good quarterback in Jarrett Brown, who had four touchdown passes in last week’s 35-20 win over East Carolina. Auburn has 1,145 yards and 86 points in its first two games. This one looks like a shootout. Auburn 38, West Virginia 31.
5. Florida State at BYU: Florida State coach Bobby Bowden really needs this game. The Seminoles lost a heart breaker to Miami on Sept. 7 and needed to rally with two scores in the final 35 seconds to beat Jacksonville State. BYU has quarterback Max Hall who has a chance to play himself into the Heisman Trophy discussion. The Cougars also know that a win over Florida State, coupled with their Sept. 5 victory over Oklahoma, puts them right in the middle of the BCS discussion. BYU 31, Florida State 24.
6. Boston College at Clemson: The Tigers are still upset about the loss at Georgia Tech last week. They’ll take it out on the Eagles and go to 1-1 in the ACC. Clemson 24, Boston College 14.
7. Nebraska at Virginia Tech: Nebraska is looking for a signature victory to use as a measuring stick of the program’s progress under Bo Pelini. Virginia Tech, thought to be the ACC’s best hope for a national championship contender, needs to win to avoid a 1-2 start. Virginia Tech 17, Nebraska 14.
8. Texas Tech at Texas: Michael Crabtree’s touchdown catch to beat Texas was the signature moment of the 2008 season. The loss simply cost Texas a shot at the Big 12 championship AND the national championship. The Longhorns are determined to win them all in 2009 and get to the BCS championship game. Texas 35, Texas Tech 20.
9. Florida Atlantic at South Carolina: Coach Steve Spurrier let quarterback Stephen Garcia throw it 53 times in last week’s high-scoring loss to Georgia. How many times will he throw it against the Owls of Howard Schnellenberger? South Carolina 31, Florida Atlantic 10.
10. Southern California at Washington: The Trojans, who won a very tough game at Ohio State (18-15) last Saturday, go on the road for the second straight week. This time they may be without Matt Barkley, who has a bruised right shoulder. I can’t go with the Huskies in a straight up win. But this one will be closer than a lot of people think. Southern California 21, Washington 17.
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