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Ol' Doc's Football Forecast

August 30, 2012 - Al Stephenson
Ol' Doc Stephenson believes he knows something about football. Ol' Doc is my alter ego. I think we all have one of those residing in us somewhere. Well mine has decided to make some college football predictions. After all, I do sit in front of a TV much of the time on weekends in the fall. I watch a lot of college football games (if there are no reruns of the Shawshank Redemption or Dirty Dancing playing), so therefore I am an expert of sorts.

Now whether I am smart enough to pick winners or not remains to be seen, but I am about to embark on a weekly prognostication that will give you a chance to berate me or shake your head in wonder at my intelligence. Each week this football season I will select three games that have interest to area fans or at the very least to me personally. I will not dodge the tough ones and may even throw in some obscure ones. Ready? Here we go.

Michigan v Alabama in Dallas. The marquee matchup of opening weekend, the Crimson Tide is ranked #2 in the nation while the Wolverines start the year at #8. Perhaps the only factor to consider here is the fact that it is a matchup between the SEC and the Big Ten. If that is all you take into consideration the pick is easy. Big Ten teams do not beat SEC teams, but then again neither does any other conference. No question the SEC is the preeminate conference in college football.

Michigan should be better than a year ago and Alabama lost some top talent. Denard Robinson has the ability to get the Wolverines into the end zone against the Tide (Bama traditionally gives up few big plays and fewer points), perhaps twice. That won't be enough though as Nick Saban will have Bama in the hunt once again for a national title.

Alabama 31 Michigan 13.

Ohio at Penn State. This normally would be a game that attracts little attention, but given the scandal in Happy Valley, Penn State games will be closely monitored all season long. The culprits in the scandal are all gone. The university has been seriously punished. Players were allowed to transfer and a couple of top players did just that. Those that are left will be playing with spirited emotion and it is hard not to root for them as they had nothing to do with the scandal.

They are playing Ohio University however, and that makes it tough for me. My daughter went to OU and was a member of the Marching 110. I spent a lot of Saturdays in Athens between 2004 - 2007 and developed an affinity for the Bobcats. Ohio is one of the MAC favorites this year and this game should be close. You may get a glimpse of the 110 as they are making the trip to State College. They are talented, so is the Bobcat football team, but... Emotion carries the day for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State 28 Ohio 24.

Boise State at Michigan State. Buckeye fans will have to forgive me for featuring both Michigan and Michigan State this week, but the OSU-Miami matchup lacks the status of this game. Boise State has been the poster child for the underdog the last several years. They win a lot of games each year, but seem to fall just short of a bid to a big bowl game. Accordingly they are switching conferences to improve their chances for a big money bowl. The question is whether they are still good enough to finally run the table.

Michigan State will be very competitive in the Big Ten and they are at home. Boise State loses early this year. There can be no whining at the end of this season for the Broncos.

Michigan State 35 Boise State 21.

The view from my seat suggests that Ol' Doc Stephenson sounds like he knows what he is talking about. You won't have to wait long to see if he does or not.


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