What has the college football world come to? The No. 2 team in the nation has lost three straight weeks. A Catholic college not named Notre Dame is undefeated. A traditional basketball powerhouse (Connecticut) is currently in the BCS top 25 for the first time in school history. And, oh my goodness, Michigan ran a trick play!
The soap opera that is the college football season gets more unpredictable with each passing week, so for making my picks, I’m just going to use a dartboard.
No. 2 Boston College at No. 8 Virginia Tech, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. – ESPN
Congratulations, Boston College. You’re the new No. 2 team in the nation! Enjoy it while it lasts, because it’s meant disaster for any team not named Louisiana State.
And Thursday night’s game doesn’t bode well for the Eagles. They’re also on the road and playing a solid Virginia Tech defense. Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan will have to wait to hoist the Heisman, because the Hokies’ pass defense is scary good. What does Virginia Tech have going for it? Um, the team is playing at home. Oh, what the heck, it’s worked for the last three weeks. Why shouldn’t it work for now? The Eagles will lose.
No. 8 Virginia Tech 21, No. 2 Boston College 17
No. 12 Southern Cal at No. 5 Oregon, 3 p.m.
So it turns out Oregon really is that good. Despite a loss at home to California, the Ducks have been rolling. All of their wins have been blowouts, and their success starts with quarterback Dennis Dixon. He’s passed for 1,721 yards and 16 touchdowns and has run for 423 yards and seven touchdowns this season. There hasn’t been a week where Dixon failed to show up.
Saturday, Southern Cal gets the pleasure of trying to stop Dixon. The Trojans had a rough two weeks when they lost to Stanford and played poorly against Arizona. But as Michigan fans can, Notre Dame is the best cure for poor play. Southern Cal looked more like itself during the 38-0 thumping last week.
Autzen Stadium should be rocking after the home loss. Oh, and this will be Mark Sanchez’s first game against a good team. Expect him to have some trouble.
Ducks fly together!
No. 5 Oregon 34, No. 12 Southern Cal 23
No. 21 California at No. 4 Arizona State
Just two teams stand unblemished atop the Pac 10 standings – UCLA and Arizona State. The Bruins will be lucky to survive the rest of the season, but the Sun Devils might be a legitimate threat to run the table. Their toughest stretch begins this week when they butt heads with stumbling, bumbling California.
Two weeks ago, the second-ranked Golden Bears were to end Southern Cal’s reign as conference champs. Since then they’ve had two embarrassing losses, and many of their fans would love to go into hibernation.
Keep you eyes closed, California fans. It’s going to be another ugly one.
No. 4 Arizona State 35, No. 21 California 17