Monday, September 22, 2014

Pre Week 5 Polls:
Week 5 Opponents

Week Five….already? Some movement in the polls this week. Not in the top seven but not far below that. LSU drops from #8 to #17 while Mississippi State debuts at #14 after the Bulldogs decisively beat LSU last week. Other changes occurred because of that one game.

Once more there are a number of teams with the weekend off, but that won’t mean there’s no changes coming. Several PAC-12 games pit teams of comparable abilities including #11 UCLA vs #15 Arizona State, and those games could shack the rankings.

(Ranks on the left are those of the AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by NR = Not Ranked)

1/1/4 Florida State (3-0) The Seminoles will head north to face the North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-0). FSU will win…even on the road.

2/4/1 Oregon (4-0) The Ducks have this weekend off.

3/2/3 Alabama (4-0) The Crimson Tide will be idle this week.

4/3/2 Oklahoma (4-0) The Sooners are also idle this weekend.

5/5/5 Auburn (3-0) The Tigers host the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2-2). Auburn wins.

6/7/6 Texas A&M (4-0) The Aggies play the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1) in a “neutral” site near Dallas. Aggies will do fine on defense and the offense will continue to roll.

7/6/7 Baylor (3-0) The Bears are on the road to face the Iowa State Cyclones (1-2). Bears will add to the Cyclones woes.

8/8/8 Notre Dame (3-0) The Fighting Irish will play the Syracuse Orange (2-1) in MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, NJ. The Orange usually play the Irish tough. Won’t be enough this time. (Two teams poaching in Rutgers backyard. Bet the Syracuse students are real pleased with this “home” game 200+ miles from home.)

9/9/9 Michigan State (2-1) The Spartans host the Wyoming Cowboys (3-1). Michigan State by a bundle.

10/11/11 Ole Miss (3-0) The Rebels will host the Memphis Tigers (2-1). Give a Rebel yell.

11/10/10 UCLA (3-0) The Bruins hit the road to face the #15 Arizona State Sun Devils (3-0). Good tight game. Pick ‘em.

12/13/15 Georgia (2-1) The Bulldogs host the Tennessee Volunteers (2-1). Bulldogs win.

13/15/12 South Carolina (3-1) The Gamecocks host the Missouri Tigers (3-1). Mizzou lost one they shouldn’t have to Indiana last week. They could rebound against the Gamecocks.

14/16/13 Mississippi State (4-0) The Bulldogs have this weekend off.

15/12/14 Arizona State (3-0) The Sun Devils will host #11 UCLA (3-0). Pick ‘em.

16/14/20 Stanford (2-1) The Cardinal head north to face the Washington Huskies (4-0). Huskies at home will keep this a tight game. They might even prevail.

17/18/16 LSU (3-1) The Tigers host the New Mexico State Aggies (2-2). Tiger, tiger shining bright. After being embarrassed at home last week, look for the Bounce!

18/22/19 Southern California (2-1) The Trojans host the Oregon State Beavers (3-0). Another of the PAC-12 games that will be pick ‘em.

19/17/22 Wisconsin (2-1) The Badgers host the South Florida Bulls (2-2). Bulls break their legs in Badger holes. Wisconsin by a bunch.

20/21/18 Brigham Young (4-0) The Cougars will have the weekend off.

21/19/17 Nebraska (4-0) The Cornhuskers will host the Fighting Illini of Illinois (3-1). Huskers win.

22/20/21 Ohio State (2-1) The Buckeyes will host the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0). Buckeyes win the title for best team in Ohio.

23/24/25 East Carolina (3-1) The Pirates have shore leave this weekend.

24/NR/NR Oklahoma State (2-1) The Cowboys host Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-1) on Thursday night. Good game to start the weekend. I’d say pick ‘em, but my gut says Cowboys.

25/25/23 Kansas State (2-1) The Wildcats host the Texas-El Paso Miners (2-1). Wildcats aren’t feeling so giving this week.

NR/23/NR Duke (4-0) The Blue Devils head south to face the Miami Hurricanes (2-2). Devils win a close one.

NR/NR/24 Clemson (1-2) The Tigers host the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (2-1). Clemson wins.

My Rutgers Scarlet Knights lost junior running back Paul James for the second consecutive year due to a leg injury. Last year it was a broken leg. This year it’s a torn ACL. Last year he had 850+ yards in four + games and was leading the nation in rushing yards. This year he was averaging 5.7+ yards per carry and had 363 yards in a little over three games. Hopefully, Rutgers will have the depth to absorb that huge loss. As if anticipating James’ injury, they had moved Justin Goodwin back to running back after he had switched to defensive corner. Along with Desmon Peoples there’s a chance the slack will be picked up. (Goodwin and Peoples rushed for 186 yards against Navy AFTER James had 96 yards in the first half.)

This week, Rutgers (3-1) hosts the Tulane Green Wave (1-3). Look for the Knights to win this one as they tune up for the remainder of their BIG Ten schedule.

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