Last week, upsets across the college football landscape took quite a few people by surprise. That includes us. Stanley’s Stinkers finished the weekend 14-6 bringing our season success rate down to seventy-seven percent. But that is still not bad considering the fact that we never back away from the big games. We use Reverse Prognostication to predict the losers in college football. With that said, here are the games we’ll be watching this weekend.
Georgia Bulldogs at Vanderbilt Commodores. The Sea Captains can just about say “anchors aweigh” to their season if they can’t reel in a few key wins in the coming weeks. A win against a hobbled Georgia squad would definitely hoist the yardarm. But, Vanderbilt maybe playing the Junkyard Dogs at the wrong time. After a loss last week effectively ended their run for the BCS title, Georgia has nothing to lose from here on out. Look for a pass happy Aaron Murray to return to the Heisman race against a pass unhappy Vandy defense. Stanley’s Stinker: Vanderbilt.
Washington State Cougars at Oregon Ducks. Mike Leach takes his Mountain Cats to Eugene this weekend for their annual Duck hunt. This, on the heels of a disappointing loss a week ago to Oregon State. Leach is one of the innovators in college football and his mind might be racing to find a way to stop Heisman front-runner Marcus Mariotta and the Quackers. A win for Wazzou would be a signature for Leach and a fork in the title hopes of Oregon. Possible but unlikely. Stanley’s Stinker: Washington State.
USC Trojans at Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This is a game that used to be a highlight of the college football season, But, this year, it’s just a sideshow with a couple of 4-2 teams trying to salvage their seasons. It could, however, be a chance for USC receiver Marqise Lee to return to stardom. Lee had fourteen touchdowns a year ago and, through the first six games of this injury hampered season, has just one. Both teams have a lot to prove but, in front of Touchdown Jesus, Stanley’s Stinker: USC.
LSU Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels. Former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in the Grove last week, tailgating before the Ole Miss loss to Texas A&M. This week, it is Les Miles headed to Oxford and with another near miss against a high-caliber team,the Insurgents could have destiny on their side for this one. Or, there might be a run-off brewing. Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze has amassed the talent but has yet to pull off the big win. This could be the weekend it happens. Hotty Toddy, gosh almighty. In an upset, Stanley’s Stinker: LSU.
Arkansas Razorbacks at Alabama Crimson Tide. First-year Arkansas Head Coach Bret Bielema may not have expected his inaugural season in Fayetteville to be so harsh but life with the Piggies has not been easy. Arkansas drew sympathy from South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier after last week’s slaughter and this week, they take on the number one team in the nation. Bielema does have the second best run defense in the country but, if the Piggies stop Bama’s rush; they will then have to stop A.J. McCarron and his Heisman dash. Things don’t look good for the newcomer this weekend inTuscaloosa. Stanley’s Stinker in a barbeque: Arkansas.
South Carolina Gamecocks at Tennessee Volunteers. The Head Ball Coach might have the roost back in order now with a healthier Connor Shaw and Jadaveon Clowney. But, this week, they head to General Neyland’s battlefield against a Tennessee team that has had two weeks to prepare. The Riflemen have shown steady improvement since the first game and they should be ready for the Fearsome Fowl. But, ready doesn’t always mean a victory. Tennessee may still be one season away from contention, But this will be a close game, nonetheless, for Butch Davis and his very young recruits. Stanley’s Stinker: Tennessee.
Florida Gators at Missouri Tigers. The Swamp Lizards take a trip to the ‘Zou this weekend but it certainly won’t be a stroll in the park like some may expect. The Striped Cats from Columbia, Missouri have arrived on the SEC scene after a blowout win over Georgia last week with the only undefeated record in the Eastern Division. But,if you think Florida Coach Will Muschamp is afraid, you probably think Old McDonald was a good speller. Without their top star, James Franklin, it will be hard for the Tigers to match talent against Florida. Stanley’s Stinker:Missouri.
UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal. With a loss last week to Utah, Stanford may have lost their chance at a title and now, all they can do is spoil the dreams of others. That will be the chore this weekend on the Farm with the Bears. UCLA is still unbeaten and their offense, lead by Heisman hopeful Brett Hundley, is second in the league compared to a Cardinal defense that has shown signs of fatigue. Former NFL coach Jim Mora will need to have his Bruins ready to climb the Stanford tree. But, that’s what Bears do. In a mild upset, Stanley’s Stinker: Stanford.
Auburn Tigers at Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggie Nation held their breath last Saturday night as Johnny Football limped through a scary injury to lead his team to another come-from-behind win. Now, the flamboyant signal caller will take on the Gus Bus. Last year, A&M embarrassed Auburn 63-21 on the Plains so pay back might be an issue. This is the biggest test, so far, for the young Kittens and it could provide a boost that carries them through the end of the season. But,it won’t. Don’t look for another blowout but the Aggies should still be too much to handle. Stanley’s Stinker: Auburn.
Florida State Seminoles at Clemson Tigers. This is a game that features two of the top quarterbacks in the country and the two top teams in the ACC. Clemson lead man Taj Boyd has fifteen touchdown tosses with just two picks while FSU’s Famous Jameis Winston has seventeen scoring passes against two interceptions. Something’s gotta give. If there is a weak point in either team, it belongs to Clemson. The Cats are middle of the pack when it comes to running the ball and defending against the run. With an extra week for preparation, that may be the point of attack for the River Chiefs. One more Heisman candidate will fall Saturday along with his team. Stanley’s Stinker, in a Death Valley classic, Clemson.
While we are at it, here are a few more games we have our eyes on: TCU will be roped by Oklahoma State, West Virginia will be raided by Texas Tech, Syracuse will be swarmed by Georgia Tech, Central Michigan will be mushed by Northern Illinois, Arizona State will lose to Washington, Iowa State will be bitten by Baylor, Illinois will fall to Wisconsin, UNLV will be buried by Fresno State and, in a game with a lot of eyes on it, the Iowa Hawkeyes will not see a win against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Stanley’s Stinkers is intended for entertainment only. A free podcast and blog is available online at www.StanleysStinkers.com.