College football games, matchups Week 6: Pressure is on Miami, Michigan, LSU
Will the Hurricanes finally -- finally -- get over the hump against the Seminoles?
You ever wonder why coaches go through the aggravation of a radio show?
They've got game plans to draw up, practices to run, players to discipline, prospects to recruit. Well, for one, coaches get paid handsomely for lending their presence to the airwaves. The call screener usually keeps things civil. And like I said, coaches get paid handsomely.
But is all of that worth what Ed Orgeron went through this week at TJ Ribs in Baton Rouge? The embattled coach caught it from all sides from fans upset with a 3-2 start and loss to Troy. You can see some of shots launched O's way here.
The call screener must have been paid off.
Sometimes the closer coaches get to the vox populi, the more dangerous it can be.
The point of all this -- as it always is -- is money will fix pretty much anything except a Ford Pinto and a struggling football program. That's why we urge you to be wise with your money in Week 6.
There are some huge point spreads out there. Almost a third of the 57 games beginning Thursday (18) have a spread of at least two touchdowns. In the 21 games involving ranked teams, the cumulative point spread is 345.5 points.
Try to cover that!
1. Wide, Right? I was good-naturedly shredded this week on a South Florida station for . Here's an idea: Play someone besides Bethune-Cookman, Toledo and Duke. Win the ACC Coastal. It's going on 14 years of an 0-fer since joining the ACC. Oh, and end this seven-game losing streak to your biggest rival. It starts here and now for Mark Richt's program that is definitely on an upswing but not there yet. The standard at Miami is competing for national championship. Beating an offensively-challenged Florida State is still beating FSU. If not on Saturday, then when, Canes?
2. John O'Korn, it's on you: The discussion now becomes whether O'Korn win the Big Ten at Michigan. The redshirt senior quarterback suddenly finds himself in the position of saving the season after the loss of starter Wilton Speight for "multiple weeks." O'Korn transferred from Houston a couple of years ago with the expectation he would be Jim Harbaugh's first starting quarterback. It never happened. Jake Rudock snagged the job and actually made it to the NFL. Speight started in 2016-17. So, the quarterback who is supposed to keep the Wolverines' season afloat has been lapped twice. It may not matter Saturday night against Michigan State, but it will soon.
3. Aggie Resurrection: Let me see if I have this right … Alabama's star defensive lineman D'Shawn Hand is out with a leg injury. Kevin Sumlin has been within 18 points of Nick Saban once since beating him in 2012. Alabama has given up only five touchdowns this season and 8.6 points per game going against a true freshman quarterback (Kevin Mond) who debuted 3 of 17 against UCLA. (Since then, Mond is 66 for 109.) Also, Texas A&M (4-1) has won four in a row and completely reshaped its image since that epic gag job against the Bruins. This is a suddenly tasty SEC showdown in College Station, Texas.
4. As the Tiger Turns: Baton Rouge's hottest soap opera takes its act to Gainesville, Florida, this week. The week started at LSU with Tiger Nation melting down over the Troy loss. Then the real tiger, Mike VII, has moved from his habitat after a leak in his pond. What could be worse? Glad you asked. Turns out athletic director Joe Alleva met with Orgeron and his coordinators. We'll have to take his word for it. Alleva might as well be a mythical character who is never actually seen in public. Wait until that public realizes the Tigers are playing at Florida in consecutive years because of the Hurricane Matthew flop. I can't believe I'm writing this, but expect the Tigers to rally this week and swamp the Gators in the Swamp.
5. Audacity in Autzen: His name is Alex Grinch, and he is a central figure in toledo, duke, houston, ucla, texas, washington, missouri, south alabamaWashington State-Oregon. The Cougars' defensive coordinator is making quite a name for himself, having forced Sam Darnold last Friday into the worst game of his career. Asked where he found Grinch, Mike Leach said "on film." Actually, Leach found him at Missouri where he was the safeties coach under Gary Pinkel. Grinch has developed a fast, undersized physical defense not seen in the Palouse for decades. Washington State continues to rewrite the conversation, not just the record book. Leach brings to Oregon the Pac-12's most precise passing game (74 percent, not surprising) and the conference's best pass defense (146.6 yards per game, shocking). Forget the SEC West or Big Ten West, the Pac-12 North is one of the toughest conferences in the country.
6. Mike Riley's last stand? Both schools are located in state capitals. Both are in sparsely populated, rural states. Both have a dearth of prospects in those states. Both have changed coaches several times in recent years. But in Wisconsin-Nebraska, only the Badgers have played for four of the last six Big Ten titles. Only the Badgers have a football philosophy that has flowed through those coaching changes. Only the Badgers are once again favored to win the Big Ten West. There's no reason the Huskers shouldn't be something close to what the Badgers are these days. Embattled Nebraska coach Mike Riley is 2-0 since the man who hired him (AD Shawn Eichorst) was fired. Upsetting Wisconsin would be a giant statement for him and the future of Nebraska football. The Huskers took the Badgers to overtime last year in Madison.
7. Gary Patterson and the Heartbreakers: God bless G.P. and God bless T.P. (Tom Petty). For years, the TCU coach has embraced a recording of Petty's "I Won't Back Down" played before the beginning of the fourth quarter at every home game. (Florida will also be playing the Gainesville-native's tune before the fourth quarter of its game on Saturday.) West Virginia should be feeling some of that in a bit of a Big 12 showdown in Fort Worth, Texas. If the Frogs can slow down Oklahoma State, they can certainly slow down the Mountaineers (second nationally in total offense).
8. Man of Troy: OK, Alabama is the No. 1 football story in the state -- all day, every day. But for this week at least, Arkansas or Texas A&M or even LSU. Brown, 37, can pretty much write his own ticket out of the Sun Belt. He has SEC roots as a Kentucky native who played receiver for the Wildcats. The Trojans return to action Wednesday against South Alabama.. The win at LSU propelled the program -- but mostly Neal Brown -- to the next level. That level being a Power Five job. That level being the supposed opening at Ole Miss or
9. Quick kicks: Michigan and Michigan State are playing at night for the first time in 110-game history of the series … Washington State is playing its first road game in the season's sixth game … UNLV is planning quite a salute in the wake of this week's shootings. Before the San Diego State game, both teams will join local first responders and country singer Kaya Jones on the field. The players will unfurl a 100-yard American flag. Jones sang "God Bless America" onstage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival an hour before the shootings started.
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