We went 9-0 on our college football picks last week.
Now before you get all excited, remember that the first week of the college football season has become cannon fodder week. Many of the picks were easy. We weren’t real sure about Harding against Southern Arkansas or UAM against West Alabama going into the long Labor Day weekend.
The other seven picks were a bit easier.
It gets much harder this week. There are some good games on the schedule.
Here we go:
Arkansas 49, Louisiana-Monroe 17 — Louisiana-Monroe is a Division I-A school. Tennessee Tech is in Division I-AA. We still refuse to do that FBS/FCS stuff. What’s the NCAA going to do about it anyway? Put this blog on probation? So Louisiana-Monroe should provide the Hogs with a stiffer challenge than they faced last Saturday in Fayetteville. There just wasn’t much to complain about in the opener as Ryan Mallett went 21 of 24 through the air, Alex Tejada boomed kicks into the end zone and the defense came to play. Louisiana-Monroe opens its season this week. The players will wish they were somewhere other than War Memorial Stadium as Mallett passes for at least four touchdowns. At least one couch will be burned and one portable toilet will be turned over on the golf course before the game. One final prediction: Men who shouldn’t be seen in public without a shirt will do so anyway.
Arkansas State 32, Louisiana-Lafayette 30 — Both of these teams went into SEC stadiums to collect a check last weekend. Arkansas State hung around longer in a 52-26 loss to Auburn than Louisiana-Lafayette did in a 55-7 loss to Georgia. Steve Roberts’ squad gets it done in a close game in south Louisiana, providing the Red Wolves a big boost the week before they open conference play in Jonesboro against Louisiana-Monroe.
Alabama State 28, UAPB 24 — The Golden Lions hung around for a half in El Paso before falling to UTEP, 31-10. The home team scored 17 unanswered points in the second half. Josh Boudreaux threw for 202 yards and Raymond Webber caught 10 passes for 123 yards for UAPB. Alabama State, meanwhile, opened its season with an impressive 36-6 conference win over divisional rival Mississippi Valley State. It’s hard to go against the Hornets at home following that victory.
Eastern Illinois 31, UCA 28 — The Bears played relatively well Thursday night in a 47-20 victory in Conway against Division II foe Elizabeth City State. Nathan Dick, in his first start as the Bear quarterback, was 26 of 35 through the air for 351 yards and three touchdowns. Eastern Illinois, meanwhile, lost its opener, 37-7. But the Panthers were playing the highest ranked Division I-A opponent of any I-AA school last weekend, No. 9 Iowa. Eastern Illinois is No. 22 nationally in I-AA this week. Not only that, the Panthers will retire the No. 18 worn by former EIU quarterback and current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at halftime Saturday in Charleston, Ill.
Ouachita 25, Nebraska-Omaha 22 — Ouachita plays on a Thursday for a second consecutive week, but this isn’t Texas College. The Tigers never broke a sweat in winning their opener, 70-0, over the hapless Steers from Tyler. Nebraska-Omaha came into the season ranked No. 12 nationally in Division II but lost its opener 32-29 to Nebraska-Kearney. This should be one of the better games in Division II this week.
Delta State 21, Arkansas Tech 19 — The Wonder Boys also play for a second consecutive Thursday night. Tech won its opener, 34-19, in Russellville against Lambuth, a good NAIA club. Delta State, meanwhile, was losing to Division I-AA Jackson State from the SWAC, 32-17. This week’s game will be televised on the CBS College Sports Network and should be quite a battle. The slight edge goes to the home team.
Southern University 42, UAM 28 — The Boll Weevils lost an exciting game at home last Thursday to West Alabama, 27-20. West Alabama is ranked No. 7 nationally this week in Division II. The Boll Weevils step up in class to play Southern University from the SWAC on Saturday night in Baton Rouge. Southern opened its season on national television Monday with a 37-27 win over Delaware State in the annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Scott Buisson racks up some passing yardage for UAM this week, but it’s not enough.
Texas State 31, Southern Arkansas 10 — The Mulerider offense was anemic at best Saturday night in a 20-0 loss at Harding. I was there. Now, Southern Arkansas must make the long trip to San Marcos, Texas, to play Division I-AA Texas State from the Southland Conference. Texas State collected a check in a 68-28 loss to Houston on Saturday night. Now, it’s the Muleriders’ turn to collect a check in a losing effort.
With so many teams playing on Thursdays and even Sundays, the college tradition of Saturday games is slowly going the way of the dodo and “amateur” athletics. Hard to get excited about going to a game, and doing all that goes along with it, knowing that you have class the next day!