It finally happened!
For the first time this season, our panel of six has had enough of our alma mater, the 1-3 Colorado Buffaloes. Last week, half the panel remained loyal to the Buffs even though they were heavy underdogs against the West Virginia Mountaineers. In a unanimous decision this week, the Texas Longhorns were chosen to beat CU by as little as 10 points and by as much as a 67-point annihilation. And since the game will be televised on ESPN, one panel member is crying for the Buffs to stop appearing on national TV.
In other news, Matt Hanlon, last week’s guest picker, went 3-5 to drop out of his first-place tie with CU Independent co-sports Editor Cheng Sio. However, Sio still has company as staff writer David Starcer went a sparkling 6-2 to catch him.
Also, staff writer Chris King has left the cellar and would’ve hit perfection last week had Oklahoma not lost by a measly point to Miami. Co-sports editor Ron Knabenbauer is alone in the basement at 21-19, four games behind Sio and Starcer.
Maybe Lucas Brandl, this week’s guest picker, can undo what Hanlon did and reclaim at least a share of first.
Guest picker this season — Overall: 24-16, Last week: 3-5
Lucas Brandl – junior broadcast news major
No. 2 Texas 42, Colorado 27: Believe it or not, this is actually an optimistic prediction because I’m predicting Texas to score less and CU to score more than they have averaged through the first four games. Nevertheless, with Florida having a good chance to lose in Baton Rouge, La., the Longhorns could possibly move to No. 1 in the country and quarterback Colt McCoy could move to No. 1 in the Heisman Trophy race. Texas has too much at stake to lose.
No. 21 Nebraska 31, No. 24 Missouri 13: Missouri almost lost to Bowling Green. They won’t be SPARED by the Big Red.
Arkansas 42, No. 17 Auburn 35: Arkansas got hammered by the good Alabama team. But now, at home, they’re going to upset the bad Alabama team.
No. 5 Virginia Tech 28, Boston College 13: Hokies QB Tyrod Taylor comes off a career passing day even though it was against Duke. I like Virginia Tech, especially because it’s a home game. They can’t afford to lose again if they want to have any say in the national title picture.
No. 3 Alabama 38, No. 20 Ole Miss 21: Ole Miss was overrated at No. 4. At No. 20? Still overrated.
No. 13 Oregon 21, UCLA 20: I think the Ducks are kind of way overrated as well at No. 13 and they are going to lose bad to someone on the road sometime soon. Unfortunately, UCLA really isn’t the team to do it. This will be close for most of the game as both teams feel each other out like heavyweight boxers. But in the end, I like Oregon to land the knockout punch. No pun intended.
No. 1 Florida 21, No. 4 LSU 16: Even possibly without Gators QB Tim Tebow, even at night in Baton Rouge, I still think the Gators pull this out. They have looked far better than LSU to this point.
Florida State 45, No. 22 Georgia Tech 37: Florida State lost to Miami and then beat Jacksonville State in what was basically a loss because of how bad they played. Lots of media members blasted them. Then, they went into Utah and destroyed the BYU Cougars. Now they have had two more losses and people are calling for FSU head coach Bobby Bowden’s resignation. I like Florida State to continue the pattern of two bad games, one great one, two bad games, one great one.
Cheng Sio — sports editor — Overall: 25-15, Last week: 4-4
No. 2 Texas 35, Colorado 13: Here’s hoping Texas is looking past the Buffs and looking forward to the Red River Rivalry against Oklahoma on Oct. 17. Chances are, though, they won’t.
No. 24 Missouri 40, No. 21 Nebraska 32: The great thing about ESPN College Football Primetime on Thursday nights this season is you can count on statements to be made. In week three, the Miami Hurricanes showed “The U” has returned; in week four, Ole Miss was proven to be a fraud; and last week, well, showed how bad our Buffs really are. This week, the country will get to meet Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert — you know, the guy who has made people forget about Chase Daniel with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
No. 17 Auburn 33, Arkansas 21: How can Auburn stink so much offensively last year but be fifth in total yards per game and average 41.4 points per game this year? Can you say Guz Malzahn? He’s the Tigers offensive coordinator and everywhere he’s been, he’s won as he owns a 36-11 record. Malzahn entered the collegiate ranks in 2006 with Arkansas. However, he left after one season amid turmoil and controversy. Malzahn tried to get revenge last year with Tulsa, but they lost 30-23. Revenge will be his Saturday.
No. 5 Virginia Tech 28, Boston College 26: There’s a nice cat-and-mouse game between these two schools. BC has won the last two regular season meetings and both times, they knocked the Hokies out of the national championship picture. However, Virginia Tech would exact revenge both times by beating the Eagles in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game. I predict history won’t repeat itself, barely.
No. 3 Alabama 28, No. 20 Ole Miss 19: Alabama head coach Nick Saban has created a machine that can’t be stopped. A devastating ground game (228.2 yards per game, 10th in NCAA) mixed with a stingy defense (second in NCAA in total defense) and who needs studs like wide receiver Julio Jones? Actually, the Nicktator will need Jones to double his nine receptions this season if ‘Bama wants to ensure victory in its toughest game to date.
No. 13 Oregon 46, UCLA 22: Two weeks ago, I picked Oregon to beat No. 6 Cal even though I had no real tangible reasons to pick the Ducks. I’m at the same crossroads again. Hopefully, it will work out again versus the Bruins.
No. 1 Florida 23, No. 4 LSU 22: At publication time, Tebow was listed as a game-time decision. I don’t think it matters if Tebow plays. In my opinion, LSU is the latest fraud ranked in the top five. All they have done the last two weeks is make Houdini-esque escapes. If Tebow doesn’t play, Gators eke out a win. If Tebow does play, Gators in a romp.
Florida State 38, No. 22 Georgia Tech 17: I love how everyone but Bowden’s wife is pushing for the famous FSU head coach to retire. Personally, I think he should have the right to decide when to go, considering all he’s done for the Seminoles. His demise will be greatly exaggerated after this win.
Ron Knabenbauer — sports editor — Overall: 21-19, Last week: 5-3
No. 2 Texas 42, Colorado 32: I’m going to be optimistic here and say that the Buffs are going to put up a fight somewhere in the game. However, Texas is just too good and CU will ultimately fall to 1-4 on the year.
No. 24 Missouri 31, No. 21 Nebraska 27: I guess Nebraska is the favorite in this one, but I just don’t see them getting the “W” against the Tigers.
Arkansas 28, No. 17 Auburn 26: This one will be close throughout the game and although Auburn has the better team, I like where the Arkansas program is going. Razorbacks will win in the end.
No. 5 Virginia Tech 36, Boston College 24: Two former Big East Conference schools battle in what should be a close game from the start — until the Hokies pull away in the second half.
No. 3 Alabama 34, No. 20 Ole Miss 21: I think Ole Miss can upset Alabama — it just won’t happen this season.
No. 13 Oregon 27, UCLA 17: After beating Cal a few weeks ago, the Ducks have gotten their quack back. Oregon will keep on quacking this weekend, beating a pretty good Bruins team.
No. 4 LSU 38, No. 1 Florida 34: This possible precursor of the Southeastern Conference Championship Game depends on one person — Florida’s Tim Tebow. Even if he does play, I don’t think he will be fully recovered when his Gators face the Tigers. Watch for those Bayou Bengals to upset the defending champs.
Florida State 27, No. 22 Georgia Tech 23: Where has the love gone for Bobby Bowden? Hopefully, he’ll be able to regain some of it back when his ‘Noles beat the Yellow Jackets this weekend.
Alex K.W. Schultz — CU:I’s football beat reporter — Overall: 23-17, Last week: 5-3
No. 2 Texas 45, Colorado 13: A near-unstoppable offense versus a pathetic defense. Enough said. Longhorns win big.
No. 21 Nebraska 27, No. 24 Missouri 17: Defense wins games and with Big Red allowing a meager average of 6.8 points per contest, the Tigers won’t score enough points against the stingy “Blackshirts” to win.
No. 17 Auburn 35, Arkansas 24: The Hogs simply don’t have a playmaker who can carry them to victory. Not one Arkansas running back has cracked the 200-yard rushing mark yet. The Razorbacks, who are already a pass-heavy team, will be too predictable.
No. 5 Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 16: The Hokies were well short of impressive in their 34-26 win over Duke last week. But Blacksburg, Va. is usually pretty nice to head coach Frank Beamer and V-Tech.
No. 3 Alabama 21, No. 20 Ole Miss 13: Here’s a chance for the Tide to prove themselves — well, sort of. Even though the Rebels are a mediocre team in the SEC West, a win for ‘Bama on the road over a top 20 squad would be a good start.
No. 13 Oregon 31, UCLA 17: The Ducks have looked mighty good since their season-opening loss to Boise State. As much as I want to pick the Bruins, I don’t see them pulling off the upset at the Rose Bowl.
No. 1 Florida 38, No. 4 LSU 20: Not one team in the country — right now, at least — can beat the Gators. Even though they defeated Georgia last week, I still believe the Tigers are highly overrated.
Florida State 26, No. 22 Georgia Tech 24: The Seminoles should be mad. Real mad. Not only did they lose Saturday to Boston College, they were defeated two weeks ago by South Florida. Head coach Bobby Bowden had better rally his troops or Florida State will quickly fall to two games under .500. Ouch.
Chris King — staff writer — Overall: 23-17, Last week 7-1
No. 2 Texas 70, Colorado 3: Yes, that’s right, I’m predicting the same score that helped push former CU head coach Gary Barnett out the door in the hope that the same will happen with hapless Dan Hawkins. McCoy should not be playing by the start of the fourth quarter and the Buffs will struggle against a strong Texas defense. How many embarrassments need to be televised before we are banned from ESPN indefinitely?
No. 24 Missouri 24, No. 21 Nebraksa 21: Last year, the Tigers handed the Cornhuskers an old-fashioned whuppin’ in Lincoln, Neb. This year, Mizzou hosts Big Red in Columbia, Mo., and it should be a slugfest. At the beginning of the season, this looked like a chance for Nebraska to get an easy road win. But with Gabbert playing phenomenally (he’s ranked fourth in the country in passer rating), he will gut out a win against the tough Huskers defense.
No. 17 Auburn 45, Arkansas 38: In the traditionally defense-heavy SEC, these two teams are lighting up scoreboards with each of their QBs ranked in the top 15 in passer rating. However, Auburn’s defense, while not as dominant as many of their SEC brethren, is good enough to let the offense win the game. The same can’t be said for the Razorbacks, who have scored 40-plus points in three of their four games and are yet 2-2. Expect this to be high-scoring, but the Tigers will continue their surprising season with another win.
No. 5 Virginia Tech 34, Boston College 6: The Hokies have bounced back nicely from an opening-weekend loss to Alabama — who just might be the best team in the country — and have won their last four, including two over ranked opponents. The Eagles have exceeded expectations, especially considering that star linebacker Mark Herzlich is sidelined with cancer. But questions remain on offense. Despite beating FSU in Chestnut Hill, Mass., they will struggle against Beamer’s team in Blacksburg.
No. 3 Alabama 31, No. 20 Ole Miss 10: After giving up 20 points to Kentucky last week ILB Rolando McClain told his defense that isn’t good enough. Alabama has only given up 72 points all year, and the offense is setting ‘Bama records. Meanwhile, the Rebels have struggled to live up to the preseason hype. Heisman hopeful Jevan Snead has looked abysmal, completing barely over 50 percent of his passes and struggling against any kind of pass rush. The loss of first-round NFL draft pick Michael Oher has affected the offense more than they imagined. Expect the Crimson Tide to keep rollin’.
No. 13 Oregon 38, UCLA 21: After their poor performance in Boise, Idaho, the Ducks have bounced back nicely and put their name back in the running for Pac-10 Conference contention. The Bruins opened strong, but looked toothless against Stanford RB Tony Gerhart’s bruising running style. Ducks head coach Chip Kelly most likely took note of this. The power running game was a staple of the Oregon offense last year and should continue to dominate against the Bruins.
No. 4 LSU 21, No. 1 Florida 18: Yes, I’m calling it. The mighty Gators will finally fall. Tebow is on the mend after a brutal hit in Kentucky and the offense is not nearly as dynamic as it was last year without Percy Harvin. And there is this rule: Don’t EVER bet against the Bayou Bengals in Baton Rouge at night. LSU has snuck out some close wins and they’ll continue the trend here. Florida isn’t as dominant as it has been billed and the Tigers will expose their shortcomings Saturday night in what looks to be the best game of the year.
No. 22 Georgia Tech 34, Florida State 27: Poor Bobby Bowden. He has delivered the folks in Tallahassee, Fla., their only two national championships and turned the Seminoles into contenders. Unfortunately, it’s a “what have you done lately” league. Lately, Bowden has lost to South Florida and Boston College on the way to the worst record since his inaugural season in 1976. The trustees are calling for his job. Things look bleak for FSU and with Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense rolling into town, it doesn’t look like they’re going to get any easier.
David Starcer — staff writer — Overall: 25-15, Last week 6-2
No. 2 Texas 48, Colorado 20: Alas, Buff fans, the time has come for me to start picking against our beloved team. After going 1-3 to start the year and after picking them in every game, I can no longer truthfully take CU over a far superior team on the road in a hostile environment. We can only hope Colorado holds Texas to ONLY 48 points. It could get much, much worse.
No. 24 Missouri 35, No. 21 Nebraska 28: The top two dogs in the Big 12 North division meet up in which should be a great game. Head coach Bo Pelini has the Huskers playing like they did in the Tom Osborne era, but that won’t be enough against Gabbert and the high-powered Missouri offense.
Arkansas 23, No. 17 Auburn 20: Upset alert! I’ve been sticking to the favorites most of the time this season, but I smell an upset brewing in Fayetteville, Ark. The Razorbacks has played all their SEC opponents tough this year and I think they finally break through with a win over the Tigers.
No. 5 Virginia Tech 34, Boston College 17: Boston College is coming off a huge upset win over Florida State, but that momentum won’t be nearly enough against the Hokies. Virginia Tech is at home, playing like a top five team right now and the Eagles won’t be able to muster the same magic against a tough Hokies defense.
No. 3 Alabama 24, No. 20 Ole Miss 10: Ole Miss was proven to be an overrated team and undeserving of their top five ranking when they lost at a mediocre South Carolina team two weeks ago. If they can’t beat the Gamecocks, how will they fare against the Tide? Alabama will come out of Oxford, Miss., with a sound victory this weekend.
No. 13 Oregon 38, UCLA 34: After a season-opening loss to Boise State, the Ducks have turned things around with big wins over Utah and Cal. I like how the Bruins are playing this season, but I think they will come up just short to a red-hot Oregon team who suddenly is in the mix for the Pac-10 title.
No. 1 Florida 31, No. 4 LSU 21: Everyone has a different take on this game depending on whether Tebow plays. I like the Gators either way. LSU has maybe the best defense in the country, but Florida’s offense is an unstoppable rebel force. After losing only one starter from last year’s National Championship team, I like that experience and talent to go into Baton Rouge and come out with a hard fought win.
No. 22 Georgia Tech 27, Florida State 24: I’ve picked against both of these teams this season. Georgia Tech won against Clemson while the Seminoles lost to Miami even though they later beat BYU. I won’t make the same mistake twice. I’ll take the Rambling Wreck by a nose over the ‘Noles.
Contact CU Independent Co-Sports Editor Cheng Sio at Cheng.Sio@colorado.edu.