This might be called the "Saturday of Tradition" in college football. Army and Notre Dame will renew their rivalry tomorrow, but in a venue where they formerly played every year--Yankee Stadium in New York. And, Northwestern and Illinois will do battle in Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The playing of these games in traditional, old stadiums recalls the days when the Chicago Bears played at Wrigley, along with some college games, and the Army-Notre Dame battles took place at the Polo Grounds and then the original Yankee Stadium. In fact, the term "subway alumni" originated as a result of this rivalry, given that Notre Dame fans and alums would journey, via that transportation mode, from the New York boroughs to the South Bronx to watch this game each year.
Here are this week's predictions:
Notre Dame over Army. Army is bowl eligible for the first time since 1999 but is facing a Notre Dame team playing with renewed confidence, given their defeat of Utah last week.
Illinois over Northwestern. Northwestern lost starting QB Dan Persa last week in the big win over Iowa, thus making the Illini the favorite in this week's game in Chicago.
Oklahoma State over Kansas. KU's season has devolved to one of "let's see if we make improvement each week," given the final three games of Nebraska last week, OSU this week, and Missouri next Saturday. Staying within the spread of 24 would be considered a good day for the Jayhawks.
Missouri over Iowa State. Has there been a more up-and-down team in the Big 12 this season than Iowa State? They've lost their last two, won the two before that, lost the two before that, and won the two before that, meaning they should win this weekend, right? No. Even though the game is in Ames, QB Austin Arnaud is out for the remainder of the season.
Colorado over Kansas State. Perhaps Colorado's win last week for interim coach Brian Cabral was a one-time thing. Or, perhaps the Buffs were shocked to reality with the firing of Dan Hawkins. I think CU builds off last week's victory with another win in Boulder.
Stanford over California. Yes, I know that Cal held Oregon to 15 points last week. The Golden Bears are good but Stanford QB Andrew Luck is special--Stanford will win in a tight one befitting this rivalry.
Ohio State over Iowa. Last week's loss had to take it out of the Hawkeyes, who no longer are involved in the Big Ten race.
Nebraska over Texas A&M. This will be the best game in the Big 12 tomorrow. And, NU seems to rise to the level of their competition.
Oklahoma over Baylor. The Bears continue to tumble.
Texas over Florida Atlantic. Don't be fooled by the name of the opponent--FAU has won three straight. And, this game is huge for Texas--win and they are bowl eligible; lose and they need to defeat A&M next week to get to a bowl.
Texas Tech over Weber State. In an odd scheduling twist, the Red Raiders finish their season with two non-conference games--against Weber State tomorrow and against Houston next week.
South Florida over Pittsburgh. This game is in Tampa--a win puts the Bulls in a tie with Pitt atop the Big East.
Season predictions to date: 84-33, or 72%.