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Week 6 Preview

by Big Al

I say it every year, and I will say it again:

September is for pretenders
November is for contenders
And October makes fools of us all

What that means is that some teams that we think are awesome in September are going to fall flat on their faces. And some teams we have forgotten about are going to come storming back. And, more importantly, November is also going to change our opinions about some things we say about teams in October. Generally, it takes the form of a national title contender we can't say enough good things about in October falling flat on their faces in November. There will be another one this year. Who will it be?

Texas vs. Oklahoma

This damn game.

I think I finally picked it right last year. I think that was the first time. I have picked favorites, I have picked underdogs, I always get it wrong.

Texas has taken some steps forward this year, but Oklahoma hasn't particularly gone anywhere. Texas may finally have themselves a quarterback. Oklahoma has yet another one that is just fine, thank you.

I confess that I have little idea of either team, as I can rarely see either one play. I am spending family time on the weekend, and if I turn on the television, my kid immediately turns it only The Loud House. Great show and all, but I want to watch football.

Anyway, I'll go with Texas here, because Oklahoma hasn't been all that overwhelming this year and the gap between the two isn't as large as Oklahoma might like.

Maryland at Michigan

This game is more interesting that the names first seem. Maryland has been winning some football games, and Michigan didn't exactly wow anybody last weekend. Maryland seemed like it was on the verge of something good last year, then they lost a succession of quarterbacks that could only be compared to the work of the Cleveland Browns. Michigan has been good, but I'm not seeing a team that absolutely blasting other teams out of the water like I would expect Michigan to do.

This week we learn a lot more about both teams. Has Maryland made strides? Is Michigan going to take the next step? I think this is more of an, "Ask again later," as Michigan does just enough to win.

LSU at Florida

Florida took a tumble this year when they lost to Kentucky. But suddenly, losing to Kentucky doesn't look quite as bad as it did. LSU has been remarkably impressive so far this year as they have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, and find ways to win. Florida is not going to have a shortage of talent, but they don't seem to have all the pieces they need. That's enough for LSU to get their win.

Florida State at Miami

Florida State could really show that they are on the right track with a win here. They won't show any such thing.

Indiana at Ohio State

I am including this game for two reasons. One, to point out that Ohio State is beaten up and mentally fatigued after another emotional, come-from-behind victory against Penn State; that means they are probably going to be flat this game even though I fully expect them to win. Two, this is the last time I am going to be talking about Ohio State until November, unless a truly shocking upset happens. Because October is not an interesting month for Ohio State football this year.

Arizona State at Colorado

Arizona State needs a win here to get back into the Pac-12 race. I'd give them more of a chance if they were in Tempe. But they are one mile up and teams wear down when they need to play at altitude. Colorado wins.

Kentucky at Texas A&M

Texas A&M has not quite gotten it done this year. They had a huge chance against Clemson, but a fumble near the goal line undid it all. Now they have a chance to at least play spoiler.

Kentucky, on the other hand, has people in Lexington excited... for football, if you can believe it! With their win over Florida, they are suddenly looking pretty good in the SEC East. And they have a chance to wow people some more with a win here. I'll go with Kentucky to keep this going.

Notre Dame at Virginia Tech

With Stanford vanquished, Notre Dame is suddenly looking like a pretty good pick for the playoffs. Stifling defense, powerful offense, they have what you need to make a run. Contrast that with Virginia Tech, who somehow lost to Old Dominion. People will be wondering about that for years to come. Blacksburg rocks on Saturday nights, and they are going to be excited for a game against a top-10 Notre Dame.

Virginia Tech will keep it interesting, but Notre Dame will just have too much in the long haul. It won't be in doubt for the last 2-5 minutes, but it will be worth watching up until then. Notre Dame wins.

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