This year it looks like the UCONN Huskies are going to be heading to the Fiesta Bowl to play against the eventual Big XII champion – either Oklahoma or Nebraska. TCU can move right on into this conference and be a substantial force right out of the gate. They along with Boise State get the knock every year that they play a weak schedule (which they do) but in the past decade TCU has played a lot more of the so call – Big Boys – than the Broncos in Boise have played. Plus they don’t have the stupid blue football smurf turf that Boise is renowned for.

Nope, I predict the Frogs may struggle in the short term as they lose a very experience quarterback in Andy Dalton and an experienced QB is never easy to replace. However, Coach Patterson always has the Frogs playing tough defense and a good defense will keep you in just about every game. The Big East is not exactly full of powerhouses and does not appear to be headed that way any time soon, unless of course you count TCU among that mix.

Speaking of TCU, is there a better mascot name than the Horned Frogs? Come to think of it all two word mascot names in Division I are pretty decent. The Demon Deacons, Thundering Herd, Green Wave, Rainbow Warriors,  Fighting Irish … well maybe the Duke Blue Devils are kind of weak as a nickname but the others are all above average.

Thursday


Arizona State @ Arizona (-5.5)
– the dueling piano bars in Phoenix make a ton off the fight songs in this game. AZ- 31- ASU – 18

Friday

Illinois (-4.5) @ Fresno State – ugh…nasty Friday nighter, I guess it beats re-runs of Who’s the Boss…..Illinois – 28 – Fresneck – 21

Saturday


Middle Tennessee @ Florida Intl (-4.5)
– Might as well call this Jack Daniels State vs well….a country named Florida….. MTSU – 21- FIU – 20

Rutgers @ West Virginia (-21.5) – let down after big win against Pitt but they win. WV – 35- Rutgers – 24

Southern Methodist @ Central Florida (-9.5) – Love to wager on SMUUUUUU. CFU – 15- SMU – 7

Pittsburgh (-1.5) @ Cincinnati – The Natti Playing Better, Pitt is overrated. Natti – 28 – Pitt 24

North Dakota State @ Montana State (-2.5) – Battle of the upper frozen tundra of the Great Plains. Mont St – 21- NDSU – 17

Utah State @ Boise State (-43.5) – Big Number, Boise has nothing left to play for so will call off the dogs and empty the bench this week. BSU – 49- UT ST – 14

Oregon (-16.5) @ Oregon State – Civil War, Ore St will be up but Oregon is well….good. ORE 55- Ore St – 17

Auburn (-7.5) vs South Carolina – Gimmie the old ball coach! SC – 21- AUB – 20

Washington (-10.5) @ Washington State – does anyone outside of Pullman care about this game? Wash – 28- Wazzo – 14

Florida State vs Virginia Tech (-4.5) – Hokies looking for 11 in a row. Va Tech – 28- Fla St 20

Oklahoma (-4.5) vs Nebraska – Landry Jones won’t throw for 470 this week against the Blackshirts. Neb – 23- OU – 21

Connecticut @ South Florida (-2.5) – UConn goes bowling to the desert. Huskies – 21 Bulls – 17

USC (-7.5) @ UCLA – USC still stinging after 82 dropped passes cost them game last week agaist the No Defense Fighting Irish. USC – 24- UCLA -10

UNLV @ Hawaii (-30.5) This game will be on too late for me to care…so no pick on this game.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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