Random thoughts

Percy spent last Saturday at a swim clinic with his daughter, so most of what he caught of the games were random radio broadcasts, a few highlights on SportsCenter and a quick scan of the local newspaper on Sunday morning. So here is a recap of our impressions after week five (the season is flying by).

The college football championship will be decided between Georgia and Alabama. The Dawgs and the Tide should just stop their seasons now to avoid injuries and then play best two out of three for the title. The rest of the teams can be in the college football playoff for third place…. The Pac 10 is out of the playoff with Oregon’s loss to Stanford…. If there is another SEC team that finishes the year with one loss (Ole Miss?) we will argue they should all be in the CFP with UGA and Bama.

The Big Ten has four undefeated teams left, and not one of them is Ohio State. Iowa will drop out of the unbeaten ranks when they lose to Penn State this coming Saturday.  Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State play a round robin the last month of the season that none will get through unbeaten. If any B10 team finishes with one loss, they will make the playoffs…. The Big 12 makes the playoff only if it is an undefeated (or maybe one loss) Oklahoma (or Texas). They play this weekend.

The ACC is out of the playoff. The three teams that were predicted to be CFP contenders at the start of the season (Clemson, UNC, Miami) have two losses already, so they are out. The other one or no loss teams (Wake, BC, NC State, Pitt and VaTech) will not get through the season and the ACC title game without losing a couple games each. Reason is most ACC games this year are toss-ups. Five of the seven games last weekend (including NC State’s out of conference game against LaTech), were decided on the final drive.

The best game left on the calendar for NC/SC college football this year is Appalachian State vs. Coastal Carolina for the Sun Belt East Division Title. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Oct. 20, in Boone…. Charlotte sits atop the East Division of Conference USA this Sunday morning – tied with FAU. Games at Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech look like sure losses, but the others are up for grabs…. ECU has won three in a row. Their season will be defined in the next two weeks with road games at UCF and Houston. If the Pirates can split these, a bowl game is likely.

With a reduced slate of local games, let’s break out the dartboard and see whose gonna win this week’s games:

NOTRE DAME AT VIRGINIA TECH: The Irish are coming off two high profile games (a win against Wisconsin in Chicago and a home loss to Cincinnati). It will be hard to get up for this trip, and a night game in Lane Stadium is a tough task. Tech will be rested after a week off and ready for this overrated Notre Dame team. Vegas would call it an upset. We call it…. Virginia Tech 27, Notre Dame 24.

VIRGINIA AT LOUISVILLE: Averaging almost 400 yards per game through the air, UVA has one of the nation’s most prolific passing offenses. But the Cardinals are stout on the offensive side of the ball as well, so we look for a lot of points in this one. Louisville bounces back in this toss-up where the only sure losers are the scoreboard operator and the kids doing pushups after scores…. Louisville 45, Virginia 42.

EAST CAROLINA AT UCF: The Pirates’ offense behind QB Holton Ahlers and RB Keaton Mitchell is starting to click. East Carolina is averaging over 40 points per game in their last three contests. And with QB Dillon Gabriel out due to a fractured collarbone, the Knights aren’t the same team that has won five straight against ECU. Close cause it’s in Orlando. Upset Special…. East Carolina 34, UCF 31.

GEORGIA TECH AT DUKE: The Yellow Jackets followed up their loss to Clemson and blowout of Carolina by getting whupped on the Flats by Pittsburgh last weekend. Tech has a young team, so that is to be expected. Duke is 3-2 with wins against an FCS school and two of the worst power five teams around.  Look for the Rambling’ Wreck to get back on track here…Georgia Tech 31, Duke 21.

WAKE FOREST AT SYRACUSE: The schedule maker has been kind to the Deacs to start the year. Their schedule is backloaded as they play arguably their four toughest games to finish up the season. Syracuse will finish the season winless in the ACC, so this is not a real test for WFU here. Look for Wake QB Sam Hartman to have a big game in one that won’t be close…. Wake Forest 35, Syracuse 17.

FLORIDA STATE AT NORTH CAROLINA: UNC QB Sam Howell originally committed to FSU, but switched his commitment to Carolina after Mack Brown was hired. Lucky for him because the Noles have been a mess the last three years. And it doesn’t look like it will get better for another couple of years. A visit from Florida State ain’t what is used to be…. North Carolina 42, Florida State 20.

OTHER MAJOR GAMES THIS WEEKEND:  Charlotte over FIU, Georgia over Auburn, Ole Miss over Arkansas, Alabama over Texas A&M, Tennessee over South Carolina, Kentucky over LSU, Florida over Vanderbilt, Ohio State over Maryland, Texas over Oklahoma (Upset Special), Penn State over Iowa, Michigan over Nebraska (close), USC over Utah.

TOFF COMPOSITE TOP TEN:  1.  Alabama 2.  Georgia 3.  Penn State 4.  Iowa 5.  Oklahoma 6.  Cincinnati 7.  Ohio State, 8. Michigan, 9. Ole Miss, 10. Auburn.

Southeast Sports Syndicate, 2021.