The separation between first place and fifth place is a mere four games. But that’s not the point. Staff Writer David Starcer leads the pack with 32 wins, and then the guest picker has 31, followed by CU Independent’s Co-sports Editor Cheng Sio with 30. In fourth is CU:I football beat reporter Alex K.W. Schultz at 29 wins and behind him is Staff Writer Chris King with 28. Notice the line now?
This week’s guest picker is junior integrative physiology major Alex Wilson.
Guest picker this season — Overall: 31-17, Last week: 7-1
Alex Wilson – junior integrative physiology major
No. 17 Kansas 42, Colorado 21: Can Colorado Buffaloes head coach Dan Hawkins handle coaching a new quarterback on the sidelines while simultaneously shampooing his son’s hair with Johnson’s “No More Tears” shampoo? Heavens, no.
No. 5 Boise St. 24, Tulsa 2: QB Kellen Moore will miss the snap as he scans the crowd trying to wave to his mother and father, causing a late third quarter safety and Tulsa’s only score.
No. 8 Cincinnati 3, No. 21 South Florida 3: An unexpected and unprecedented tie will result from two great teams having an existential realization that no matter how well they play football, there’s just nothing they can do to stop an inevitable death.
No. 20 Oklahoma 35, No. 3 Texas 14: Texas will take an early 14-10 lead at the half only to be completely trounced by Oklahoma in the next two quarters. Karma’s a chameleon. It comes and goes, it comes and goes.
No. 11 Iowa 63, Wisconsin 14: The Wisconsin defense will miss the plane to Iowa, forcing Wisconsin to recruit locals.
No. 6 USC 31, No. 25 Notre Dame 10: The Fighting Irish will look more like the fighting Cub Scouts in a depressing loss to a team I hate dearly.
No. 4 Virginia Tech 3, No. 24 Georgia Tech 2: Which technical school is the best?! Technically, neither.
No. 2 Alabama 28, No. 22 South Carolina 14: It’s like they always say, the best offense is a good defense and the best defense is to plead the fifth. I plead the fifth.
Cheng Sio — sports editor — Overall: 30-18, Last week: 5-3
Colorado 34, No. 17 Kansas 23: If the Buffs lose this game, their season is OVER. Here’s hoping they stay alive.
No. 5 Boise State 54, Tulsa 27: The Broncos are, in my opinion, easily the best team outside the big six conferences. They can score at will with running back Jeremy Avery toting the pigskin, Moore under center, and receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young being the recipients of Moore’s darts. Plus, their underrated defense is allowing 14.4 points per game. And did I mention this isn’t last year’s Tulsa team that started 8-0?
No. 8 Cincinnati 34, No. 21 South Florida 20: After the program’s breakout year in 2006, we’ve been waiting for South Florida to rule the Big East Conference. But it hasn’t happened yet because the Bulls are 0-3 the last two years against conference foes on ESPN College Football Primetime on Thursday nights. Let’s make it 0-4.
No. 3 Texas 33, No. 20 Oklahoma 32: Texas upset Oklahoma 45-35 last year in the Red River Rivalry. Oklahoma lost more from last year’s team than did Texas. The Longhorns are undefeated while the Sooners have suffered a pair of one-point losses. Oklahoma will get the hat-trick.
Wisconsin 19, No. 11 Iowa 18: The Hawkeyes are good, but they are not No. 11-in-the-country good. Wisconsin will bounce back after its 31-13 loss to Ohio State, another overrated team. I mean, how often does a team that possessed the ball for 42 minutes and three seconds lose?
No. 25 Notre Dame 24, No. 6 USC 20: You can ignore this pick if you want since I’m a Fighting Irish fan. But beware, Notre Dame has won its last three games by seven points or less and rallied from behind each time.
No. 19 Georgia Tech 10, No. 4 Virginia Tech 6: Did I mention I used to reside in Miami and am impartial to the Miami Hurricanes? For “The U” to truly be back, they need to at least win the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division. To accomplish the feat, the ‘Canes will need help in the form of Virginia Tech losing two conference games. Here’s ACC loss No. 1 for the Hokies.
No. 2 Alabama 19, No. 22 South Carolina 13: ‘Bama has been impressive through its first six games so far, but I can’t imagine the Tide to keep rollin’ like they have so far; everybody slips up once in a while. They are going to let down just enough here to slip by, especially since they spanked Ole Miss last week and overtook Texas in the rankings.
Ron Knabenbauer — sports editor — Overall: 26-22, Last week: 5-3
Colorado 27, No. 17 Kansas 23: I don’t know how they will do it, but the Buffs will find a way to not lose a game and beat KU.
No. 5 Boise State 31, Tulsa 17: Boise will keep on moving up in the polls with a big win against Tulsa.
No. 8 Cincinnati 24, No. 21 South Florida 21: What is a Bearcat? Either way, Cincy will win against Big East rival South Florida.
No. 20 Oklahoma 47, No. 3 Texas 45: If there were ties in college football, then this would be one of them. Since someone has to win, I’m picking the Sooners—barely.
No. 11 Iowa 33, Wisconsin 24: I want the Badgers to win, but the Hawkeyes will pull away for the victory in the second half.
No. 6 USC 42, No. 25 Notre Dame 27: The Golden Domers are popping their heads out from underground, where they have been hiding for the past few years. They probably should have stayed below ground as the Trojans will embarrass them.
No. 4 Virginia Tech 29, No. 19 Georgia Tech 19: The Yellow Jackets will put up a fight, but the Hokies will come away with the “W.”
No. 2 Alabama 43, No. 22 South Carolina 22: This one may turn out to be a good game, until Alabama breaks South Carolina’s soul with a punishing defeat.
Alex K.W. Schultz — CU:I’s football beat reporter — Overall: 29-19, Last week: 6-2
No. 17 Kansas 35, Colorado 24: I can honestly see the Buffs pulling this one out. It will all come down to which defense shows up for CU: the one that allowed more 600 yards to Toledo or the one that allowed just two touchdowns and a field goal to mighty Texas?
No. 5 Boise State 30, Tulsa 14: Even though the Broncos squeaked out a 34-16 victory over powerhouse UC Davis on Oct. 3, Boise State will have had 10 days of rest when it hooks up with the Golden Hurricane. The Broncos aren’t deserving of the No. 5 spot, but they’re definitely the better team here.
No. 8 Cincinnati 24, No. 21 South Florida 21: Both teams are 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big East Conference. This will be a chance for both to prove something. Bearcats senior QB Tony Pike will pass Cincinnati past the Bulls.
No. 3 Texas 30, No. 20 Oklahoma 24: The Longhorns had better establish some type of running game against the Sooners if they want to win and preserve their No. 3 ranking. If not, Texas senior QB Colt McCoy should be able to do enough to push the Longhorns past Oklahoma in the 104th edition of the Red River Rivalry.
No. 11 Iowa 28, Wisconsin 21: Wow. The Hawkeyes are starting to look like a legit football team. After wins over Michigan, Penn State and Northern Iowa (what a dandy of a game), I’d be a fool to pick against them.
No. 6 USC 30, No. 25 Notre Dame 13: The Trojans’ offense isn’t as explosive as it was last season, but good luck getting past their defense, which is allowing an average of 8.6 points per game. Finally, I get to pick against the Irish. And not only do I get to pick against them, I—and everyone else—will get to see the Men of Troy turn this one into a laugher.
No. 4 Virginia Tech 31, No. 19 Georgia Tech 20: The Yellow Jackets surrendered 44 points to Florida State last week. With that in mind, I don’t see Georgia Tech containing junior QB Tyrod Taylor and the Hokies’ crafty offense.
No. 2 Alabama 23, No. 22 South Carolina 10: The Tide went into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium last week and held senior QB Jevan Snead and the Ole Miss offense to a measly three points. A good defense always comes in handy, and it will again for head coach Nick Saban against the Gamecocks.
Chris King — staff writer — Overall: 28-20, Last week 5-3
No. 17 Kansas 21, Colorado 14: What is going on with the Buffaloes? Burning Tyler Hansen’s redshirt in a season where even the staunchest fans would admit is lost seems like a terrible decision. If we’re going to lose, save Hansen and let him develop. But I digress. The point here is the Buffs will lose. Again. Except this one will be close. Kansas QB Todd Reesing is 3-0 against CU, but the average margin of victory is only slightly above eight points. KU will eke out another close victory and stay the nation’s worst unbeaten team.
No.5 Boise State 41, Tulsa 38: Listen, I’m all for supporting the underdog, but ranking the Broncos fifth is preposterous. They beat Oregon early, but otherwise, they have played a WEAK schedule considering this is their “marquee” matchup. Regardless, these are two teams with potent offenses and they will score points in bunches. If this game was on the Smurf Turf, Boise State wins in a landslide. But in Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane has the advantage. However, they won’t be able to pull it out and the Broncos will keep their eyes on the Bowl Championship Series prize.
No. 8 Cincinnati 24, No. 21 South Florida 23: Now THIS is a match-up: One of the nation’s top offenses going up against one of the stingiest defenses. These two teams are quickly legitimizing the Big East and there may be no team more underrated than the Bearcats. If QB Tony Pike and WR Marshwan Gilyard played at a different program, they would be talked about in Heisman Trophy circles and Kirk Herbstreit would gush over them like he does Tim Tebow. But head coach Brian Kelly and the rest of the Cincy squad has enjoyed living under the radar. Although the USF Bulls will challenge them, expect the Cats to prevail and keep pushing for recognition.
No. 20 Oklahoma 17, No. 3 Texas 14: Poor Bob Stoops. The Oklahoma head coach tries to add a few tough teams to the non-conference schedule and the next thing he knows, he’s quickly out of the national title talk. But it doesn’t mean they can’t play spoiler against the Longhorns. Reigning Heisman winner Sam Bradford is back and looks like he has something to prove while Texas QB Colt McCoy has not found a groove all year. This is a rivalry that goes in cycles. It’s the Sooners’ turn.
No. 11 Iowa 28, Wisconsin 21: The Hawkeyes are off to a 6-0 start for the first time since 1985, with seemingly every game being a nail biter. The Badgers are off to a 5-1 start behind redshirt sophomore RB John Clay’s power running. But the hopes of the Badgers lie in the pass defense and picking off Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi, who has been errant with the ball this season. This will be a tooth-and-nail, knock-down-drag-out fight between two Big Ten rivals. But the Hawkeyes and their “Six seconds of hell” defense will prevail in Madison, Wis.
No. 6 USC 31, No. 25 Notre Dame 24: After five games this season, Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen has been marvelous and he has to be a Heisman contender, having thrown 12 TDs to two interceptions. Unfortunately, for all the points the Irish are putting up, it seems like every game they are involved in comes down to a final drive. USC freshman phenomenon Matt Barkley led one of the most important last-second drives this season against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. The fans in South Bend, Ind. shouldn’t faze him. It’ll be closer than the Trojans like, but they will come out on top because they only seem to lose in bizarre Pac-10 Conference match-ups.
No. 4 Virginia Tech 45, No. 14 Georgia Tech 27: After an opening-week loss to Alabama—which may be the best team in the country—the Hokies have really hit their stride. Junior QB Tyrod Taylor is getting it done throwing the ball, and the defense and special teams are playing good old-fashioned “Beamerball.” The Yellow Jackets, a surprise team last year, have flourished under head coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option scheme. However, it was clear that there are serious holes on the defensive side of the ball when they gave up 44 points to FSU last week. They won’t be able to contain Taylor and freshman RB Ryan Williams, and the Va. Tech defense will be too powerful for the Yellow Jackets to overcome.
No. 2 Alabama 35, No. 22 South Carolina 10: The Crimson Tide is the No. 1 team in the country, whether or not the polls say so. They score points in bunches (30-plus in all but one game), they don’t give up much (they have held opponents to single digits three times), and they have played a more challenging schedule than the Florida Gators or the Longhorns. While the Gamecocks are having a solid season, they are no match for Nick Saban’s powerhouse. The Tide will roll.
David Starcer — staff writer — Overall: 32-16, Last week 7-1
No. 17 Kansas 31, Colorado 17: I mistakenly thought the Jayhawks were going to have a down season this year; oh what a fool I was. Quarterback Todd Reesing and the offense look as good as ever and with the inability of CU’s defense to hold an offense in check for a full 60 minutes, I like Kansas to win even if Cody Hawkins and/or Hansen have a good game.
No. 5 Boise State 38, Tulsa 24: A tempting upset pick, and I’m sure many of my colleagues will take the bait and pick the Golden Hurricane. I will not. Boise State has just as good a defense as their offense. Though they may not be the fifth best team in the country, they should be and will be a BCS team this year. The question is which Broncos team in blue and orange will lose first?
No. 8 Cincinnati 20, No. 21 South Florida 14: This might be the best game of the weekend between two very underrated teams. The Big East hasn’t gotten any respect since Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech bolted for the ACC, but these two teams (and Pitt) have some talent. Though the Bulls are at home, they are without stud QB Matt Grothe, who is out for the season. My gut tells me the Bearcats will pull this one out, which means I should probably pick South Florida. Oh, well. I’ll take Cincy by six.
No. 3 Texas 35, No. 20 Oklahoma 24: It looked for a while on Saturday like our beloved Buffs might have a shot against the Longhorns. Then Earl Thomas picked off Hawkins and ran it back 92 yards for a touchdown. It was all Texas after that. Oklahoma does not look like Oklahoma and I think it’s because Sam Bradford doesn’t look like Sam Bradford. The reigning Heisman winner’s injury, plus a Texas offense that is unstoppable once it’s clicking on all cylinders, is too much for the Sooners to overcome. Wide receiver Jordan Shipley has a big day and Texas hooks OU to win this year’s Red River Rivalry.
No. 11 Iowa 27, Wisconsin 14: The Iowa Hawkeyes are for real. Don’t believe me? Just ask Penn State and Michigan, who have both fallen at the hands of the Hawkeyes. They are solid on both sides of the ball, and I like their chances to stay undefeated all the way until Nov. 14 when they head to Columbus to take on Ohio State. We’ll save my prediction for that game—and the Big Ten Conference champion—for another day. For now, I like Iowa on the road over the Badgers.
No. 6 USC 30, No. 25 Notre Dame 20: As much as it pains me to do this, I have to take the Trojans over the Irish. USC bounced back from its loss to Washington with a 27-6 win over Washington State at home and a 30-3 thrashing of Cal on the road. Playing in South Bend should pose no significant test. The Irish have looked good this year, but they have an easy schedule and their true colors will show on Saturday. Hopefully, Notre Dame can keep it within 10. I could see it being much uglier, though.
No. 4 Virginia Tech 27, No. 19 Georgia Tech 13: The Yellow Jackets came through for me with a big win in Tallahassee, Fla. over the Seminoles on Saturday. What do I give them in return? A two-touchdown loss to the Hokies, that’s what. Barring any major upset taking place between now and December, I could see Virginia Tech matching up with the Southeastern Conference winner (Florida or Alabama) in the national title game. Hokies stay on a roll with a win this week.
No. 2 Alabama 35, No. 22 South Carolina 10: Despite their good play of late, including a win over then No. 4 Ole Miss, the Gamecocks are not a Top 25 team. They barely beat Kentucky on Saturday and now they hit the road to face the second-ranked team in the country. Alabama is trying to keep pace with Florida, who remains No. 1. The Tide will continue to roll this week and look towards a possible meeting with the Gators in December to decide the SEC champion and a berth in the national title game.
Contact CU Independent Co-Sports Editor Cheng Sio at Cheng.Sio@colorado.edu.