The craziness of this season continues. First off let me apologize to all the Texas and Oklahoma fans for not mentioning the Red River Shootout in the top games last week. I can’t believe I left it out myself, and what a great game it was. It came down to the wire as Oklahoma scored in the final minutes to beat Texas 28-21.
A couple of surprises this week as well. Stanford upset #2 USC 24-23, Tennessee found some defense to knock off #12 Georgia 35-14. Georgia was never in the game trailing 28-0 at the half, and the Fighting Illini of Illinois continues to roll as they clip #5 Wisconsin 31-26.
Here is what to watch for in week 7:
I mentioned last week that the Fighting Illini of Illinois may be the most underrated team in college football, not any more. Get ready, Ron Zook. A week ago Illinois was hardly on anyone’s radar. Their win over Penn St was a fluke they said. This week the detractors will be jumping on the Illini bandwagon after upsetting #5 Wisconsin for their 5th win in a row and second win in a row against ranked teams.
Illinois is hot, real hot! Of course don’t mention it to Fighting Illini coach Ron Zook. He won’t admit it and will change the subject.
“We have to just keep playing,” Zook says. “We can’t be concerned by the noise in the system.”
Great advise from the former Florida Gator coach, but how about this for some noise: Illinois is…the best team in the Big Ten. They have better wins than anyone in the Big Ten. A punishing ground game and offense that can score from anywhere on the field.
There is no team in the Big Ten that possesses as much talent at the three key positions of quarterback, tailback and wideout as Illinois.
Quarterback Juice Williams, tailback Rashard Mendenhall and wideout Regis Benn combined for 505 yards and three touchdowns against the Badgers. Mendenhall gained 160 of those on only 19 carries.
Defense…although not great, it improves every week led by linebacker J. Leman.
“We’re getting there, man,” said Leman. “We’ve got to play at the same level as the offense; the same attitude.”
If that happens the Illini will be smelling roses in Pasadena come January.
Now that is noise in the system.
The now 18th ranked Illini (5-1) will travel to Iowa (0-4) but don’t let the record mislead you. This will be a battle of a football game. Iowa’s defense will match up well against the Illini’s spread option style offense. Illini will win in a low scoring game 14-10.
Previously #9 Florida has now lost two in a row to unranked Auburn and #1 LSU. Good news for the Gators. They get a bye this week to regroup, but things won’t get any easier as #17 Kentucky is next on their schedule.
Upset Watch:Sorry, no time for analysis, but I got a few games on the upset watch:
Louisville 32 vs. #15 Cincinnati 28
Penn St. 24 vs. #19 Wisconsin 10
#11 Missouri 34 vs. #6 Oklahoma 28
Now the rest of the top 25:
#21 Florida St. 17 vs Wake Forest 14
#16 Hawaii 38 vs. San Jose St. 21
UCF 10 #5 South Florida 32
#3 Ohio St. 48 Kent St. 3
#12 Virginia Tech. 34 Duke 7
#23 Texas 52 vs. Iowa St. 9
Baylor 6 vs. #20 Kansas 45
#25 Tennessee 28 vs. Mississippi St 24
#9 Oregon 42 vs. Washington St. 10
#7 South Carolina 30 vs. North Carolina 6
#1 LSU 43 vs. #17 Kentucky 38
#4 Boston College 21 vs. Notre Dame 16
#10 USC 17 vs. Arizona 14
#24 Georgia 34 vs. Vanderbilt 16
Oregon St. 21 vs. #2 California 31
#22 Auburn 10 vs. Arkansas 7