The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Mcluckie Abides

Welcome back to another edition of my college football forecasts. I’ll tell you my picks for teams on the rise, teams who are on the cusp of greatness but could also fall precipitously, and teams that are flailing around in the bath tub while being attacked by an amphibious rodent, metaphorically speaking. 

One team that is on the verge of such a crisis is USC, which is out of the top 10 for the first time in recent memory. And even with 3000 years of beautiful tradition from Moses to Sandy Koufax, Pete Carroll and the Trojan faithful can’t subsist on past success alone. Dropping one gimme game each season has become something of a trademark for USC, and it enrages their fans every time. At least Carroll was classy in defeat, unlike Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin, who began a juvenile spat with Florida’s Urban Meyer. Hopefully no other coaches will engage in this bush-league psyche-out stuff. It’s laughable, man! The action on the field is always more exciting, and with that in mind, let’s do it. One last note: this is just, like, my opinion, man.



Alabama: The Crimson Tide just keep on rolling over the competition with a dominant defense and offense that has largely replaced last year’s departed talent. ‘Bama just finished the cupcake part of its schedule, and jumps into SEC play this week against Arkansas. If they look good this week, they may be the only legitimate threat to Florida’s reign atop the conference. 

Miami: The U has vaulted up the rankings and after only two games has gone from unranked to number nine in the country. The Hurricanes been very impressive in victories at Florida State and at home against Georgia Tech and, while I think it’s a little early to be putting Miami in the Top 10, they are a strong contender to win the ACC. We’ll see if Jacory Harris (this week’s Little McLuckie Football Achiever) can keep playing like a Heisman candidate when the ‘Canes travel to Blacksburg and face a very talented Virginia Tech defense in my Game of the Week. If they beat the Hokies and Oklahoma next week, they have a good shot at an undefeated season and a trip to the national title game. 

Florida State: The Seminoles looked good while crushing BYU, but they need to become more consistent. I have a feeling that under the tutelage of Bobby Bowden, this team will find its voice and contend for the ACC championship. 

California: The Golden Bears face a tough slate over the next few weeks, but quarterback Kevin Riley and stud tailback Jahvid Best provide the spark for a very potent offense and for once it looks like Cal’s defense can hold up their end of the bargain, too. 



USC: Matt Barkley seems to be the rug that really ties USC’s room together. Too bad the Ohio State defense peed on his shoulder. A week after taking out Ohio State at the Horseshoe, the Trojans fell to Washington without the freshman phenomenon at the helm of the offense. Granted, USC was suffering from other key injuries, but Trojans coach Pete Carroll adopted a far too conservative gameplan that allowed Washington to keep it close until finally pulling off a miraculous upset and sending spoiled Trojans fans into a tizzy. 

Oklahoma State: The Pokes’ offense looked good against Rice, but the defense, which can be mostly blamed for the embarrassing home loss to Houston, still gave up 24 points to the Owls. Their easy schedule over the next few weeks will let them tune up, but they’ll face a real test when my Missouri Tigers come to town on Oct. 17. 



Notre Dame: Things were finally looking up in South Bend after a 2-1 start for the Irish, but with star quarterback Jimmy Clausen, leading rusher Armando Allen and leading receiver Michael Floyd all battling injuries, the next few weeks will be rough for Charlie Weis. If Clausen’s injury isn’t too serious, they still have hope, both for the season and Weis’ job.

Bringham Young: The nascent season has already brought quite a few ins, outs and what-have-yous for BYU. The Cougars opened with a very impressive win over Oklahoma, but were subsequently pounded by Florida State. While they’re still better than most of their Mountain West competition, the Cougars will not be playing in a BCS bowl this winter. 

Georgia Tech: Say what you want about the tenets of the triple-option offense, but at least it’s an ethos. However, that ethos failed to the extreme against Miami, churning out only 95 yards on the ground from 35 carries.

Utah: Though Oregon is bouncing back nicely after facing a lot of early adversity, last week’s loss to the Ducks proved that the Utes aren’t the force they were last year. Utah still plays in a fairly tough conference, too, so expect them to take their share of lumps this season.

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