USC @ Notre Dame (3:30 p.m. NBC)
Quite possibly the most important game of Charlie Weis’ tenure at ND. The Irish bring in a scorching offense and an ice cold defense. How they’re going to stop USC RB Joe McKnight is beyond me. And what about Matt Barkley? So many skilled players for the USC offense and such a horrible defense for Notre Dame. If the Irish can score in the high 30s, they’ll have a good chance at winning this game. But they won’t. Prediction: USC 30, ND 24
Cincinatti @ South Florida (Thursday night)
Cincy QB Tony Pike is ready for some national exposure, especially after all his recent Heisman rallying cries. Well, he gets his chance against a solid USF defense. Cincy has a bunch of weapons surrounding Pike and a strong defense of their own. And that’s enough to get it done on the road against a sketchy Bulls team. Prediction: Cincy 28, USF 21
Pittsburgh @ Rutgers (Friday night)
Rugters has been off the radar since they were dismantled week one against Cincy. But the spotlight returns to Jersey on Friday night. The Tom Savage era has begun at Rutgers. And with home-field and expected downpours, he’ll have a chance. But who am I kidding; Pitt is the much better team here. Prediction: Pitt 27, Rutgers 17
Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech
GT’s triple option has to scare the Hokie faithful. The GT defense, on the other hand, has to have that same faithful licking their chops. VT’s offense is clicking and RB Ryan Williams is ready to let loose on ESPN. If you dig big plays and a lot of points, this game is for you. Prediction: VT 40, GT 30
Oklahoma vs. Texas (game being played in Dallas)
Anyone have a quarter for me to flip? Because that’s what this game is; a toss up. Two star quarterbacks, two great defenses and two Hall of Fame head coaches. OU is looking for revenge for last season’s loss, but Texas is still angry they were snubbed from the BCS Title game. OU QB Sam Bradford and RB Demarco Murray will make enough plays to beat Texas, though. Prediction: OU 31, Texas 27
South Carolina @ Alabama
I really, really, really want to predict the big, big, big upset here. This game is such a mismatch with ‘Bama being a world ahead of the Gamecocks. But USC has already pulled off an upset of a top-five team and Stephen Garcia is making me believe, especially with the play of his wide-outs of late. They were tested last week against an awesome Kentucky defensive line, which could only help their cause. If they can stop Ingram, they can pull it off. Prediction: South Carolina 33, ‘Bama 30 (OT).
Iowa @ Wisconsin
Oh, these tricky Big-10 games. I don’t see Iowa going to Madison and coming out with a victory. Just sayin’. Prediction: ‘Consin 30, Iowa 21.