Ladies and gentlemen it's official. We stink.
Morale is low around the The Rivalry, Esq. headquarters (Jon's studio apartment in the Victorian Village), after another defeat at the hands of the fans.
Last round's totals are as follows:
Week 2 Obligatory Results
For those of you keeping track that makes our...
Week 2 Franz v. Filler winner FILLER
Graham advances (not uncharacteristically) to 2-0 on the season.
Week 2 OVERALL WINNER BAMA
Who earns the much lauded right to publish a manifesto on the mainpage. (To claim your 15 Minutes of Big Ten Blogging Fame send your salvo to Franz.firstname.lastname@example.org).
As friend of The Rivalry, Esq. author F. Scott Fitzgerald would say "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Here are our Week 3 Predictions. (For those of you West Coasters just joining us you can get in on the action, just reference the official rules. Editor's Note: Because of the delayed nature of this post, entries will be accepted through tomorrow morning -- with KU/South Florida naturally excluded from group competition.)
1. No. 13 KANSAS at No. 19 SOUTH FLORIDA (9/12) 8:00 p.m. EST, ESPN 2
FILLER predicts KANSAS by 10
Todd Reesing has picked up right where he left off in 2007 and 2008 while All-American George Selvie is being slowed by double teams…Can Mark Mangino’s shotgun offense continue its devilish efficiency or will South Florida knock off another highly ranked BCS team (i.e. West Virginia, 2007)? If it rains in FL (30% chance of precipitation), USF can alter some Jayhawk dreams.
FRANZ predicts KANSAS by 7
USF struggled to handle rival UCF last week -- earning an overtime victory, after UCF piled up 148 yards in penalties. Quarterback Matt Grothe looked sensational in the air (348 pass yards), but he'll play pitch n' catch against a much tougher Jayhawk defense tonight.
2. IOWA STATE at IOWA, 12:30 p.m. EST, Big Ten Network
FILLER predicts IOWA STATE by 10
Much improved Iowa State defense and much improved Iowa defense (Adrian Clayborn) will be the stories here. New QB Ricky Stanzi will face his first interstate test at home. This half of the Rivalry dislikes fresh faced quarterbacks, if only that they are chick magnets…
FRANZ predicts IOWA by 14
My compatriot talks about a "much improved" Cyclone presence on both sides of the ball. He forgets that the 2008 Hawkeyes aren't exactly standing still. An offense that's averaging 7 yards a play isn't likely to play down to the "up and coming." Expect Ricki Stanzi to continue to to maintain his 70.8 completion percentage.
3. UCLA at No. 18 BYU, 3:30 p.m. EST
FILLER predicts BYU by 14
This is the "mystery game" of the week…UCLA has a huge win over Tennessee under their belt, while BYU is ranked 18, but probably should have lost last week to a mediocre Washington Husky team. Will the Pac 10 athletes overcome the Cougars passing offense that harkens back to the great 1980’s teams?
FRANZ predicts UCLA by 7
The Bruin team that lost to BYU in last year's Sun Bowl on a blocked kick will make sure this rematch doesn't come down to a field goal. A Cougar team that escaped from Seattle last week on a technicality, won't pack the Pacific 10 again. Expect quarterback Kevin Craft to make less pocket mistakes, and the Bruins to better their 29 total team ground yards in the opener. Don't think so? Remember, UCLA already knows what it feels like to beat a No. 18 team (Tennessee).
FILLER predicts OREGON by 17
Oregon’s offense has not missed Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart yet, piling up points and yards at a nation leading clip. Can Purdue’s basketball on grass keep pace with the Nike Ducks? Warning: If you have heart problems, please do not watch this game closely due to extreme offensive firepower.
FRANZ predicts OREGON by 10
As commentators have pointed out, Purdue's opening combustion engine wasn't quite as explosive as it originally appeared once a few stalled drives and turnovers factored into the equation. Autzen is not a friendly place to play jet-lagged -- and the Boilermakers will struggle to put it all together against Nike U.
5. MICHIGAN at NOTRE DAME 3:43 p.m. EST, NBC
FILLER predicts NOTRE DAME by 10
Tom Brady v Joe Montana, Desmond Howard v Tim Brown, Bo Schembechler v Knute Rockne…This is a college football historians dream. However, 2008 will bring an inefficient duo of Wolverine QB’s against an ND team that hasn’t looked comfortable on a football field in two years. Expect home field advantage to help Jimmy Clausen lead the Irish to victory. Oh…I think I threw up a little in my mouth…damn.
FRANZ predicts MICHIGAN by 6
San Diego State. They almost lost to San Diego State. After giving the Wolverines enough bulletin board material to last a season Charlie Weis will have to sit back, relax, and watch RR's getting-better-by-the-day spread offense stretch his defensive belly. UM's defense, the team's strength hands down is finally playing up to preseason expectations. Plus Graham hates when I pick his Wolverines. Take that.
FRANZ predicts USC by 7
Murphy's Law has plagued the 2008 Buckeyes, who despite a 2-0 start are sans the man in the middle and a demonstrated ability to make plays. USC, by contrast, is swimming -- after a Week 1 cross-country pummeling of UVA, they're well-rested and ready for their Big 10 equivilents. Ohio State needs a quarterback to step up and lead, and a near perfect defensive showing to run with the Trojans. As much as it pains me to say it, this looks like another Hollywood ending for L.A..
Alas, let's hope for a solid showing from the Scarlet. Go Bucks!
FILLER predicts WISCONSIN by 10
Fresno can be a pesky bunch; remember that 50-42 loss in 2005 to USC when Reggie Bush went all Barry Sanders on the Bulldogs and Fresno almost pulled it off? Good coaching has kept Fresno nationally relevant since then, and a win here against Wisconsin could make them a Top 10 team. The Rivalry had too much faith in the Big 10 for this game to get away.
FRANZ predicts WISCONSIN by 14
If the badgers were going to choke it would have been last week. Don't expect to see a repeat of 2001 when the Badgers were upset by the Bulldogs, their lone win against the Big 10.