So I Whiffed on Some...:
LSU 23 South Carolina 21
Texas Tech 49 WVU 14
Oregon State 42 BYU 24.
LSU's late touchdown against third ranked South Carolina definitely muddies the waters in the SEC, but it may have helped clarify the national picture somewhat, especially combined with Texas Tech's whipping of fifth ranked West Virginia. Alabama and Oregon have emerged as the clear favorites with almost half the season yet to play, with Florida sure to be sitting at Number 3 but with some tough games left. The game in Baton Rouge was fantastic, a good example of why most people consider the SEC the nations's premier conference. Tough defense combined with big plays made it a very compelling match-up. If LSU can keep winning, a victory over Alabama could propel them ahead of the Crimson Tide in the polls, especially considering Alabama's fairly soft schedule. As for the Red Raiders, that was an impressive victory over a team that many believed couldn't be stopped, just outscored. Well, it turned out Texas Tech did both to West Virginia. My other miss was picking BYU to upset Oregon St. The Beavers may not have solidified their position in the top ten, but they continued on a path that makes most of their remaining games relevant from a national perspective.
But I Got Some Right (Mostly), Too:
Oklahoma 63 Texas 21: I picked Oklahoma, but I didn't think they would take the Longhorns to the woodshed the way they did. Texas' close loss to West Virginia doesn't look as impressive as it did just a few days ago. They looked outmatched and confused against an inspired Sooner team. We'll have to see how the rest of the season goes, but the Longhorn faithful are probably getting a bit impatient with Mack Brown and his staff. Will Muschamp's departure has certainly hurt them more than a lot of people may have thought at the time.
Notre Dame 20 Stanford 13 OT: Okay, Notre Dame stays nationally viable for another week, no matter how close it was. By some accounts, I guess you could say they were inches away from suffering a devastating home loss, but instead they remain undefeated. But there are still a few obstacles in their way, including Oklahoma and USC, both on the road.
Alabama 42 Missouri 10: No surprise here. Missouri just doesn't stack up against the elite SEC teams, but that's nothing to be ashamed of considering few teams match up well against the power game of Alabama. It appears the only obstacle in the Crimson Tide's march toward another title game will be LSU in Baton Rouge. Given the Tigers performance against South Carolina, I wouldn't count them out. However, it will take an effort at least that good to dethrone Alabama.
Kansas St. 27 Iowa St. 21: This was a little closer than I predicted, but the Wildcats still prevailed in an upset prone environment. With a victory over Oklahoma already in the books, next week's game at West Virginia looms very large for Kansas State. You'll need to wait until Friday for my prediction on that one!
Texas A&M 59 Louisiana Tech 57: This was probably the most entertaining game of the week, with Louisiana Tech falling a two-point conversion short of putting the game into overtime. Although the Aggies' defense will never be mistaken for Alabama's, the Bulldog's grit and fight to stay in the game and make it close to the end was impressive.
Mississippi St. 41 Tennessee 31: Although I got the margin of victory correct on this one, I didn't think it would be quite as high a scoring game as what it turned out to be. With these spread offenses and versatile quarterbacks, it seems as if any score is possible in the current college football environment. Mississippi State better enjoy their undefeated record, because after next week's game against Middle Tennessee (they beat Ga. Tech), things get decidedly more difficult. The Tigers close their season against Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, a rejuvenated Arkansas team and Ole Miss.
Florida 31 Vanderbilt 17: As predicted, the Commodores hung tight against Florida, but in the end the Gators just had too much for them. The top of the SEC East is a real dogfight, with Florida, South Carolina and Georgia fighting for position. South Carolina has bit of an edge with a victory over Georgia, but still will have to contend with Florida, whose victory over LSU now looms large in that race. Even though Florida is undefeated, they have yet to play either South Carolina or Georgia.
Virginia Tech 41 Duke 20: The Hokies spotted Duke a 20-0 lead in the first quarter before putting up 41 straight on the energized Blue Devils. The key play came late in the first half with Duke ahead 20-10 and driving for another score that would have made a Tech comeback very difficult. The Hokies intercepted a Duke pass, made a nice return and then scored a touchdown to get to within 20 -17 at the half. After driving for a score on their first possession of the second half, the Hokies shut down Duke's high powered offense and never looked back. The rest of October will tell if Va. Tech has found enough to stay with Clemson, Miami and Florida State in successive games, with only Seminoles making the trip to Blacksburg.