Porkins- It's already week 3! It's going by much too fast! And this week is huge for me...I've been doing some practice vomiting to prepare myself for Saturday night. Speaking of which, no one is more prepared to discuss this week's card than my insightful co-host, Lakers. What's going on?
Lakers- Just really excited, this is a big week for college football, a lot of big games. And Porkins you just vomited on my shoes.
Porkins- That's good luck. Ask Mark Schlereth. Anyway, now that the season is rolling, we've seen some real surprises, both good and bad. What really sticks out to you so far?
Lakers- ECU has really suprised me, I thought they would start out 0-2, but they came out and beat two ranked teams and have played as well as anybody in the country. Could they be this year's Hawaii or Boise State?
Porkins- The Pirates have definitely been great so far. An enkoyable story in college football. On the other side of things though, I'm pretty annoyed at the polls. I think ranking teams at this point is a joke anyway, but if you're going to try, at least get it right. The Pirates bust up two highly-ranked powerhouses and rise to..14th? 20th in the USA Today poll?? Come on. Give some credit where credit is due. Based on actual performance rather than hype, ECU is a Top 10 team. Lakers, who, if anyone, is in the Top 10 right now that shouldn't be?
Lakers- Honestly, I think the top 10 is pretty good right now. All the top 10 teams deserve it in my opinion. If I had to pick a team to be knocked out it would be Auburn, but you know...
Porkins- Yeah, yeah Tide fan. Going by on-field performance, I can't see having OSU at number 5. I know they want to preserve the big matchup this week, but even as Buckeye fan, I think we're too high right now. You have to prove it on the field, and a win over 1-AA Youngstown and a lousy performance against Ohio doesn't prove anything to me. Fra nkly, they were outplayed last week, and if they don't make some big strides, the Trojans will make sure they are out of the Top 10 for next week
Now that we've had a couple of weeks to size up the different schools, which conference has surprised you the most, good or bad?
Lakers- How about the C-USA. ECU off to a hot start with two big wins, Tulane looked pretty good against Alabama, although Alabama did not play well. Southern Miss played Auburn pretty tough as well. Then you had UCF almost knocking off USF. The C-USA has really impressed me so far this season.
Porkins- I'm really disappointed in the ACC. Clemson's drubbing in week 1, VT getting upset by ECU, Virginia looking like a bunch of high school kids against USC, Boston College and Georgia Tech slogging to an ugly finish last week, and Miami unable to do anything offensively...With the exception of Wake Forest, this conference is bumming me out. I had really hoped this year would be different. I just don't think this conference can compete with the powerhouses.
Lakers- I agree the ACC has looked weak. Wake Forest who is supposed to be one of the better teams in the conference almost lost to one of the worst SEC teams in Ole Miss. The ACC needs to step it up.
Porkins- So Lakers, aside from the OSU-USC tilt, what game is tops on your list this week?.
Lakers- I like the Oregon Purdue game. Curtis Painter is one of the better QBs in the nation, and I'm interested in seeing if he can lead Purdue to a big win over the Ducks.
Porkins- I've got my eye on Wisconsin and Fresno. This matchup is going to tell me a lot about the quality of the Big 10, and will also reveal the true nature of one of the predicted "BCS busters". If Pat Hill can hold on and get a W, it'll be a strong resume line when BCS voting begins.
So on an individual level, tell me who you think will rock it out this week?
Lakers- I like the RB tandem of James Davis and CJ Spiller to break out and have big games against NC State. I think they will both put in over 100 yards rushing and make up for the lack-luster performance against Alabama. NC State is in trouble this week.
Porkins- Well, NC Statre is in trouble every week- trust me, they're my next-door neighbors. I'm looking for a big game from Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis. Big players have to show up in big games, and the OSU defense is the strength of the team. I think you'll see Laurinaitis step it up a notch and do his best to keep OSU in the mix.
It's still early, but who tops your ballot thus far for Coach of the Year?
Lakers- No doubt the man from ECU Skip Holtz. Nobody has gotten more out of their team this year than Holtz. He has had his team perform to a very high level the first two games. We will see if he can keep it up.
Porkins- Definitely a great choice. Holtz is the toast of the town, and for good reason. If I had to pick another, it would be Nick Saban. As much as I hate to admit it, the guy has got his team ready to play. They dominated in their opening week clash and avoided the post-win letdown in week 2. I'll be very curious to see what happens going into SEC play.
So who is on upset alert in week 3? You've gotten it right twice with ECU, but this week you'll need to go elsewhere to find your underdog.
Lakers- I'm putting Auburn on upset alert. Miss. State went to Auburn last season and escaped with a 19-14 win. Now the Tigers go to Starkville to take on the Bulldogs. Miss. State had a tough opening week falling to LA Tech, but I don't count out the Bulldogs against Auburn.
Porkins- I'll leave the OSU game out of this and go with Purdue over Oregon. The Ducks are a great team, but Purdue QB Curtis Painter can be a game-changer. The only other time these two teams met, there were 20 points total. I think with Oregon's #1 offense and Purdue's potential, we'll see a significantly higher score this time.
As always, what is your "off the radar" special?
Lakers- I'll go with the in-state rivalry of Iowa Iowa State. This game seems to be off the radar, even though both teams have gotten of to good starts. This is an interesting matchup, and I can't wait to see it.
Porkins- Nice pick. I'm going with UNC and Rutgers. These are two quality programs and this game should be a good one. Butch Davis is trying to take a page from Coach Schiano's book and generate a Tarheel turnaround that mimics what the Scarlet Knights have done in recent years.
Finally, let's talk about redemption. As we said, it's still early. But in your opinion, which team with a loss has the best chance of turning this around and contending for a BCS spot?
Lakers- I still like West Virginia's chances, they fell early to ECU, but I still think they can come back and win the Big East and make it into a BCS bowl game.
Porkins- Although I don't think they'll deserve it, Clemson is probably going to earn a BCS spot by winning the ACC. They've shown me that they can't compete with the other top conferences...or at least the SEC. But I think they'll keep their house in order in league play. Maybe they'll get another shot at a big stage, and hopefully can do a little bit better than in week 1.
Ok. Enough talk. Let's make some predictions, starting in Tampa. What's your take on the Jayhawks and Bulls?
Porkins- I am not and have never been sold on Kansas. I respect what they've done, but they just haven't had the strength of schedule to really impress me. On the other hand, USF struggled with Central Florida last week. In the end, I think KU will have enough in the tank. The Big 12 is strong.
Porkins- This is potentially a huge upset. If the Gamecocks can somehow pull out a win, then Georgia's title hopes would take a big hit. However, I saw SC play Vandy last week, and I just don't think they have the firepower to compete with the Dawgs.
Lakers- South Carolina looked pretty good in week one just to come back and dissappoint yet again against a less than steller opponet in Vanderbilt. If they can't beat Vandy, there is no way they can beat Georgia.
Porkins- I love Pat Hill...well, not literally, but I just can't see FSU keeping up with the Badgers. Now if Wisconsin plays like they did in the first half against Marshall, we might have a game. But as badly as everyone wants to see another WAC Cinderella, I just don't think they can pull it off.
Lakers- I think Fresno is going to be right in there until the end with the Badgers, and I think they will put a scare in Wisconsin, I just don't see them having enough in the take to knock off one of the Big 10's best.