NCAA Notes:

College football raged forward this past weekend as upsets and blowouts topped story lines around the country. On nearly every channel, exciting and meaningful action consumed the tube as I was reminded in week one that each and every squad deserves my partial attention especially this early in 2012. In what was a weekend full of sloppy play, penalties and squads trying to find a mid season rhythm, several teams (UCLA, ASU, Oregon State, Arizona) with new coaching staffs put together vital victories for the Pac 12. While western region teams continue to trend upward,  fans are in for exciting play while the Pac-12 conference gains more key victories and finally has gotten the boost it has needed for quite some time now. In the end of it all, could one of these teams can give the SEC conference a real run for their money?

1. USC- Up ends a Syracuse team with a lot of fight and a good QB in Ryan Nassib. The Trojans however need to step it up on defense. Allowing 29 points is unacceptable and much better play will be needed in the future.  @ Stanford

Prediction: USC 35 Stanford 17

2. Alabama- Rolling opponents via stellar defensive play. Although, the score was not as ugly as I thought, the Tide played down to the competition. On the other hand, a doughnut is always impressive and 4 TD passes by McCarron is notable. @ Arkansas

Prediction: Alabama 40 Arkansas 20

3. LSU- Proved that they are fierce especially at in the backfield. Youngsters Blue, Ford, Hilliard and Ware split the load, while Mettenberger gains comfort in the offense and Washington limps away with 3 points. IDAHO

Prediction: Idaho 0 LSU 55

4. Oregon- Continues to rage on the ground accounting for 366 yards and 5 TD’s. Defense must improve. Fresno State putting up 25 points scares me. TENNESSEE TECH

Prediction: Tennessee Tech 6 Oregon 55

5. Georgia- Takes care of a shifty Mizzou team proving that they have the ability to win tough games. Jarvis Jones is a beast off the outside and Aaron Murray continues to show poise throwing the ball. FAU

Prediction:  FAU 6 Georgia 50

6. South Carolina- A new QB and the Game Cocks didn’t miss a beat as Connor Shaw recovered from his shoulder injury suffered in week 1. After a tough first game against Vanderbilt a big win is just what they needed. The bad news is the schedule dooms tough. Having options at QB is nice however. UAB

Prediction: UAB 17 South Carolina 35

7. West Virginia- Stays at home to play James Madison. This game will be a nice way to gain experience for young starters as a trip to Texas and a home game against Kansas State lurk around the corner. @ James Madison

Prediction: WVU 58 James Madison 7

8. Florida State- Continues to dominate low competition. Wake Forest this Saturday will be a better measuring stick. @ Wake Forest

Prediction: FSU 30 Wake Forest 21

9. Michigan State- QB play improves behind Maxwell. Bell adds 70 yards and 2 TD’s. Big game against the Irish this week. NORTRE DAME

Prediction:  ND 32 MSU 28

10. Oklahoma- Quietly wins big. Damien Williams has 4 rushing TDs and Kenny Stills records 10 catches for over a 100 yards and a TD. Chatter about Landry Jones has been quiet. September 22nd:  KANSAS STATE

Prediction: Kansas State 35 Oklahoma 50

11. Clemson- Looks great while continuing the pace after a 26-19 victory over Auburn in week 1. Sophomore receiver DeAndre Hopkins records 3 TD’s. FURMAN

Prediction: Furman 14 Clemson 60

12. Texas- QB David Ash continues to look good however will need to continue to grow in the offense. Definite progress has been made from last year. A big test comes up on Saturday. @ Ole Miss

Prediction: Texas 42 Ole Miss 30

13. TCU- The Horned Frogs were off this week and Casey Pachall still boasts a 397.6 rating. Saturday they play at home and a lot remains to be seen. @ Kansas

Prediction: TCU 43 Kansas 14

14. Virginia Tech- A 42-7 win is a start, but unless the receiving score steps up a 2-3 loss season seems more than plausible in 2012. @ Pittsburg

Prediction: VT 30 Pittsburg 13

15. Kansas State- The Cannes are embarrassed after being pushed around by QB Klein who rushed 22 times for 73 yards and 3 TDs.  Watch the hype build, as Klein and the Cats could make big waves with his skill set. At the end of the season Klein will be a house hold name. NORTH TEXAS

Prediction: Kansas State 44 North Texas 10

16. Notre Dame- Gholson is quite shifty at QB, but after watching the Irish against Purdue, this game showed that they could have major problems down the line. Defense seems to be the concern here. @ Michigan State

Prediction: ND 28 MSU 32

17. Michigan- Struggles against the option oriented Air Force offense and the defense once again fails to close the curtain. Robinson however continues his tear on the ground with two highlight reel runs of over 70 yards. MASSACHUSETTS

Prediction: Massachusetts 21 Michigan 55

18. Stanford- Lucks replacement Josh Nunes continues to gain experience. However, Nunes had an average day against below average Duke team . The Trojans come to town Saturday hungry for their first Pac-12 win of 2012. USC

Prediction:  USC 35 Stanford 17

19. Florida- Jeff Driskel looked good and the Gators defense came to play when needed. In the end RB Mike Gillislee 83 yards on the ground and 2 TD’s were enough to edge a very good Texas A&M team. @ Tennessee

Prediction: Florida 20 Tennessee 28

20. Ohio State- Urban Meyer has the Buckeyes playing extremely well. QB Braxton Miller is an early Heisman standout for next year. Miller accounted for 4 TDs. It is a shame that these kids will be penalized. CAL

Prediction:  Cal 17 OSU 35

21. UCLA- New promise has landed in West Wood, as Jim Mora has changed things around quickly behind the great play of QB Brett Hundley who accounted for 305 passing yards and 4 passing TDs. Why didn’t he play last year? In addition, Jonathan Franklin looked like an All-American carrying the ball 26 times for 217 yards against a solid Big-10 defense. HOUSTON

Prediction: UCLA 40 Houston 21

22. Arkansas- Saturday marked a devastating loss and this one is sure to leave a mark all year. Louisiana Monroe’s QB Kolton Browning was 42/67 for 412 yards and 3 TDs easily out performing SEC QB favorite Tyler Wilson. It is scary to think about what some SEC players might accomplish against the Razorbacks defense given Louisiana’s success.  ALABAMA

Prediction: Alabama 40 Arkansas 20

23. Wisconsin-  Hopes seems to end before they even start as a under the radar Oregon State team pulls off the huge upset at home and Montee Ball is stuffed. The offensive line is young but the Badgers should be embarrassed. UTAH STATE

Prediction: Utah State 10 Wisconsin 30

24. BYU- After handling Washington State with ease in week 1, the Cougars continued their success tallying 532 total yards of total offense. Although battered and beaten the Utah Utes will be hungry for redemption. This saturday’s game should be a substantial test. @ Utah

Prediction: BYU 35 Utah 34

25. Arizona- Oklahoma State ended up being half the team they were last year, after QB Matt Scott and Ka’Deem Carey led a newly modified Arizona attack Rich Rodriguez style. On the other hand the secondary must improve. Oklahoma State QB Lunt had 426 passing yards and 4 TDs. SOUTH CAROLINA STATE

Prediction:  SCU 3 Arizona 40

Honorable Mentions: Arizona State University, Utah State

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