Welcome to the land of .500. At least that was the case last week.
Corey Jones, last week’s guest picker, CU Independent co-sports editor Ron Knabenbauer and the CU:I’s football beat reporter Alex Schultz are all at 8-8 after two weeks. For Jones and Schultz, they made up a little ground by going 5-3 last week.
Meanwhile, the other three staff members, leader David Starcer (10-6), co-sports editor Cheng Sio (9-7) and bottom-feeder Chris King (6-10) went 4-4 last week. Now can you see how the CU:I is the land of .500?
Guest picker this season — Overall: 8-8, Last week: 5-3
Brian Fox — junior finance major
Colorado 28, Wyoming 14: Gotta keep staying loyal to quarterback Cody Hawkins, but this is seriously a must-win for the Buffs.
No. 20 Miami 34, No. 14 Georgia Tech 31: Even though Georgia Tech has won the last four meetings, I think this is going to be a great game and I think Miami has something to prove. I like Miami to win this one.
No. 10 Boise State 28, Fresno State 13: I don’t think Boise State will have too much trouble with this game.
No. 8 Cal 45, Minnesota 21: Cal’s high-powered offense is just too good to be stopped. I’m lovin’ Jahvid Best’s running game.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 35, No. 19 Nebraska 24: I’m really pulling for the Huskers, but it’s just too good to be true.
No. 1 Florida 38, Tennessee 21: The Gators are going to be beat, but it’s just not going to be Tennessee who does it.
Florida State 20, No. 7 BYU 17: Florida State can pull this off if they can figure out a way to shut down QB Max Hall. I never rule out any teams from the state of Florida.
No. 2 Texas 49, Texas Tech 34: I think QB Colt McCoy is going to rebound from last year and win this one.
Cheng Sio — sports editor — Overall: 9-7, Last week: 4-4
Colorado 33, Wyoming 23: If the Buffs lose this game, I’m never picking CU again for the rest of the season.
No. 20 Miami 24, No. 14 Georgia Tech 21: There’s a rumor that the ‘Canes have lost four straight to the Rambling Wreck. Is that true? Actually, it is. What’s also true is that a week isn’t enough time to prepare for Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense. However, “The U” will prevail because they had last week off to study the finer intricacies of GT head coach Paul Johnson’s baby.
No. 10 Boise State 23, Fresno State 16: I have loved Boise since its one-point win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, but I wouldn’t want to be them this week. Pat Hill’s Fresno State teams are always tough regardless of the talent level. The Broncos will survive on the road and keep their national championship hopes alive…barely.
No. 8 Cal 38, Minnesota 20: I want to pick Minnesota for the upset, but I can’t. How can I pick a team who needed overtime to beat Syracuse with QB Greg Paulus in his first football game in about five years? Cal, on other hand, has hung at least 50 in the first two games. The Golden Bears will hand the Golden Gophers their first loss in their shiny, new on-campus football stadium.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 26, No. 19 Nebraska 20: Another tough call. In my mind, I want to pick Nebraska because I think they are slightly better, but the Hokies are at home. When it’s basically a coin-flip, you go with what the heart says, and right now, it says Nebraska sucks!
No. 1 Florida 105, Tennessee 0: In case you feel like you need glasses, don’t bother. It is not a typo. Look, I love Vols head coach Lane Kiffin. He took over the Oakland Raiders and made them better before owner Al Davis’ ego got too big and fired him. I love how he took over Tennessee, pissed off Southeastern Conference coaches and backed it up, so far, in recruiting. But he made one mistake: he pissed off the wrong coach in the wrong year. Gators head coach Urban Meyer and do-no-wrong QB Tim Tebow will make sure the Vols will drown in the Swamp.
No. 7 BYU 30, Florida State 27: Like Minnesota, I want to pick Florida State for the upset. Like Minnesota, I can’t pick a team who survived Jacksonville State at home last week. If you need a better reason, then I think karma is on BYU’s side. You probably don’t remember this since most of you weren’t born then, but this season is the 25th anniversary of BYU’s last championship team. Karma example No. 1: Sam Bradford injured his throwing shoulder two weeks ago in BYU’s 14-13 upset.
No. 2 Texas 44, Texas Tech 34: Texas fans can blame Oklahoma all they want about them stealing last year’s Big 12 Conference’s South division through a technicality, but they should direct their anger at the Red Raiders. After all, it was Texas Tech who beat them, not Oklahoma. QB Colt McCoy and Co. will dish out whatever frustration is left from last year on Mike Leach’s squad.
Ron Knabenbauer — sports editor — Overall: 8-8, Last week: 4-4
Colorado 25, Wyoming 20: After holding Texas to 13 first-half points last week, the Wyoming defense is a force to be reckoned with in college football. I know it’s only the third game of the season, but it feels like a must-win for the Buffs. CU will find a way to get it done and get their first win of the season.
No. 20 Miami 34, No. 14 Georgia Tech 27: The Hurricanes are back. They’ll upset the Yellow Jackets at home in South Beach.
Fresno State 45, No. 10 Boise State 42: Boise State is poised for another great year, but Fresno State looks really good through the first two games of the season. I’m picking the Bulldogs to upset the Broncos in one of the best Western Athletic Conference games this fall.
No. 8 Cal 37, Minnesota 13: The Gophers will put up a fight, but the Golden Bears will be just too much. I like Cal to win big in this one.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 39, No. 19 Nebraska 23: Nebraska is definitely turning things around in the Big 12, but the Hokies will take care of business at home by smashing the Huskers.
No. 1 Florida 30, Tennessee 28: This one is going to be close till the end, but Tebow and the Gators will rally for a last-minute drive to keep their No. 1 ranking.
No. 7 BYU 27, Florida State 23: Respect the Mountain West Conference. Sorry FSU head coach Bobby Bowden, but all BYU in this one.
No. 2 Texas 45, Texas Tech 39: A rematch of last year’s epic game that forced Texas out of the national championship picture. I want Tech to win, but they have lost a lot of talent since last season. This game will still be an entertaining shootout, but the Longhorns will win in the end.
Alex K.W. Schultz — CU:I’s football beat reporter — Overall: 8-8, Last week: 5-3
Colorado 31, Wyoming 24: OK, last time, Buffs. I’ve been behind you guys twice, just as everyone in the CU Independent sports section has, but you’ve failed miserably to deliver. Let’s go. “It’s Division I football,” as CU head coach Dan Hawkins once so eloquently said. OK, so play like you’re a Division I team.
No. 20 Miami 33, No. 14 Georgia Tech 27: The Hurricanes beat arch-nemesis Florida State and will have had nine days off when they host the Yellow Jackets on Thursday. Momentum and rest—that’s a tough combination to beat.
No. 10 Boise State 28, Fresno State 18: I am from the Valley where the Bulldogs reside, but it’s hard to pick them when they’ve lost seven of their last eight to the Broncos. Fresno State is also coming off a heart-breaking loss to Wisconsin in overtime. Boise State won’t have any problems kicking its WAC rival while it’s down.
No. 8 Cal 35, Minnesota 13: Look for the Golden Bears to grind this one out on the ground. Junior RB Jahvid Best is averaging 10.4 yards per carry and has already rushed for 281 yards on 27 carries. When a team’s running game is operating smoothly, look out.
No. 19 Nebraska 27, No. 13 Virginia Tech 26: History isn’t on the Huskers’ side. The Hokies haven’t lost a nonconference home game in 31 tries. But Nebraska will be looking to exact a little revenge after falling 35-30 to Virginia Tech last year in Lincoln, Neb.
No. 1 Florida 41, Tennessee 19: Senior QB Tim Tebow has passed for 425 yards and five touchdowns. Sophomore RB Jeffery Demps is averaging 14.7 yards per carry. Senior wide receiver Riley Cooper has caught 10 passes for 187 yards. How do you stop all of this? You don’t. Gators roll.
No. 7 BYU 30, Florida State 17: Max Hall is a passing machine. The Cougars’ senior quarterback has tossed for 638 yards and four touchdowns on 70 attempts. The Seminoles, on the other hand, are coming off a thrilling 19-9 win over “powerhouse” Jacksonville State. As much as I dislike the Cougars, I don’t see Florida State giving them any fits.
No. 2 Texas 40, Texas Tech 20: You can bet the Longhorns won’t let up on the Red Raiders after Texas Tech derailed Texas’ bid for a national championship last season when WR Michael Crabtree caught a last-second touchdown pass. Senior QB Colt McCoy will lead the ’Horns to victory with his arm as he has done on so many occasions.
Chris King — staff writer — Overall: 6-10, Last week 4-4
Colorado 31, Wyoming 27: After two losses to supposedly “inferior” teams, the Buffaloes are hoping to rebound and earn their first win. Wyoming is a cellar dweller in a weak conference (MWC), so CU should be able to pull off a “W.” But, as Dan Hawkins has shown us so far this season, nothing is guaranteed. This one will be closer than it should be.
No. 14 Georgia Tech 34, No. 20 Miami 31: The last time these two teams met, Georgia Tech handed Miami an old-fashioned beat-down, rushing for 472 yards in their 41-23 win. But that was last year. Miami is better and more prepared for the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option attack. Expect this one to be full of fireworks, with Tech pulling out the win with a late field goal.
No. 10 Boise State 34, Fresno State 13: Fresno State is coming off of a heartbreaking double OT loss to the Wisconsin Badgers while Boise State just dominated the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. Expect this one to be fairly one-sided. The Broncos offense will roll, and the Bulldogs will struggle against a surprisingly good Boise “D.” Boise State QB Kellen Moore has looked good so far this season and will continue to do so.
No. 8 California 45, Minnesota 21: Cal RB Jahvid Best, just might be—pardon the pun—the best running back in the country. Jeff Tedford’s Golden Bears have racked up 50-plus points in consecutive games now and Best has already racked up over 300 total yards of offense and four touchdowns. Despite playing a solid Minnesota team, expect Best to keep adding to his gaudy totals and put his name in for dark horse Heisman Trophy contention.
No. 14 Virginia Tech 38, No. 19 Nebraska 21: So far this season, Big Red has played Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State. Not exactly the most frightening opponents. Meanwhile, the Hokies have already played a primetime game against powerhouse Alabama. Yet, somehow, these two are ranked in the same neighborhood. After Saturday’s matchup, expect it to be clear which one of these is a contender and which one is a pretender.
No. 1 Florida 45, Tennessee 12: New Vols head coach Lane Kiffin has been talking up a storm since getting hired this offseason, taking more than a few jabs at the Gators. I have a feeling that Meyer and the rest of the Florida team hasn’t forgotten. Expect this one to be a run-up-the-score affair with Meyer tormenting Kiffin like he did Georgia last season.
No. 9 BYU 35, Florida State 27 – BYU has already beaten a vaunted Oklahoma Sooners squad and QB Max Hall has proven to be a leader. The Seminoles looked good against Miami, but struggled against Jacksonville State. Expect FSU QB Christian Ponder to try valiantly, but fall short against a solid BYU defense.
No. 2 Texas 51, Texas Tech 38: Last year’s epic match-up had the Red Raiders pulling off a stunning upset against Texas and knocking the Longhorns out of Bowl Championship Series title contention. Don’t expect McCoy and Co. to forget. This one will be a shootout (then again, which ones aren’t when Leach is at the helm?), but Texas has superior talent and QB Graham Harrell and Crabtree are gone, meaning this one won’t be in the Red Raiders favor.
David Starcer — staff writer — Overall: 10-6, Last week 4-4
Colorado 34, Wyoming 31: It’s now or never for the Buffaloes because things aren’t getting any easier after this week. Wyoming gave Texas a game for 30 minutes and their new head coach Dave Christensen brings the spread offense to Folsom Field for the first of many times this season. If nothing else, it’ll be a good test of whether CU’s defense can handle such an attack. My prediction: a late Aric Goodman field goal is the difference.
No. 14 Georgia Tech 35, No. 20 Miami 27: I like both of these teams, and I think head coach Randy Shannon finally has things turned around at Miami. But RB Jonathan Dwyer and the Georgia Tech option attack will be too much for the ‘Canes to handle in this one.
No. 10 Boise State 42, Fresno State 24: Sound the upset alert on this one as Fresno State went to the wire with Wisconsin last week and has the home field advantage. As tempted as I am, I like the Broncos and their high-powered offense too much to pick against them…this week.
No. 8 Cal 45, Minnesota 14: The Golden Gophers christened their brand new stadium with a win against Air Force on Saturday. Their perfect home record will come to an end this weekend as Cal’s highflying attack continues where they left off with a 45-point performance.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 27, No. 19 Nebraska 10: The Hokies bounced back from a tough loss to Bama with a convincing 52-10 thumping of Marshall last weekend. The Huskers are back in the national spotlight and both the head coach, Bo Pelini, and quarterback, Zac Lee, are for real. That being said, I think they stumble on offense this week against Virginia Tech and I like the Hokies by at least two touchdowns.
No. 1 Florida 60, Tennessee 10: A friend of mine asked me whether the margin of victory in this one would be more or less than 50. I thought about it for a while before going with the push. I like the Gators to chomp on Tennessee all game long and this one will sting in Volunteer country for a while.
No. 7 BYU 35, Florida State 21: BYU and Utah are destined for a late-season showdown to decide the Mountain West crown. Both teams are poised for at least 10 wins. The Cougars will win this one decisively; the question is can they keep the perfect run going the rest of the way?
No. 2 Texas 41, Texas Tech 17: With Sam Bradford out, it’s time to put the Big 12 South title out of reach for the Longhorns. No more Harrell or Crabtree spells doom for the Red Raiders this time around. Longhorns win this one, handily.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Cheng Sio at Cheng.Sio@colorado.edu.