Thursday, May 23, 2024

Injuries dont stop players, prognosticators

The prognosticators apologize to our cult following for taking last week off, especially to our biggest fan, MSU sophomore offensive lineman DeMarco Monroe. This week Racy Lacy made his picks from bed because the MSU football team’s plague of injuries rubbed off on him and he is sidelined with an ailment of his own.

Sorry we can’t disclose the specifics of that injury as its source is in an unpleasant place. Despite the injury, Lacy still leads at 33-22 while Vanilla Rice is 31-24. But this week could be Rice’s last chance to take the lead since Lacy is heavily medicated.

Missouri (4-6) at MSU (5-5)

At 5-5, MSU finds itself in the same position as last year, needing to win its final game to become bowl eligible. The game, originally scheduled for Sept. 15, was postponed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. MSU lost to Penn State 42-37 last week while Missouri lost to Kansas State 24-3.

Vanilla Rice: They may not go to a bowl game, but they’ll get that sixth win Saturday. Well, knowing my luck, former head football coach George Perles will politic them into the Motor City Bowl. At least it will save The State News some money on travel.

MSU 35, Missouri 21

Racy Lacy: At this point, should I even care? The Spartans are once again the butt of many jokes this season, and that’s not going to change until they find a way of shooting themselves in the foot similar to those whimpering Motor City Kitties down the road.

Quite frankly, I have no idea who will win this game, because there’s really not much at stake. A chance to go to the Motor City Bowl with a win and a little help from Georgie Porgie Perles? Give me a break. Since it’s the holidays I’ll give our boys the benefit of the doubt.

MSU 31, Missouri 27

No. 5 Tennessee (9-1) at No. 2 Florida (9-1)

Florida, No. 2 in the Bowl Championship Series, will be tested Saturday against Tennessee, the No. 6 team in the BCS. Florida handily beat its in-state rival Florida State 37-13 last week while Tennessee shut out Vanderbilt 38-0.

Vanilla Rice: Tennessee is good but they still need a Payton Manning-type quarterback to get past a team like Florida. Florida will roll in this one on its way to the National Championship game at the Rose Bowl.

Florida 31, Tennessee 14

Racy Lacy: Gators head coach Steve Spurrier has referred to the Volunteers as the Citrus Bowl champions in years past since they haven’t been able to win the big games at the end of the season. And this year won’t be any exception. Like the 1989 Detroit Pistons who repeatedly had the Chicago Bulls’ number, the Gators will once again be in the driver’s seat to control their own destiny. That offense along with a defense that gives up only 12 points can’t be stopped.

Florida 41, Tennessee 28

Notre Dame (4-6) at Purdue (6-4)

The Spartans still have a shot at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, but they need Purdue to beat Notre Dame this week. A win would give the Boilermakers a chance at a higher bowl making room for another Big Ten team in the Sun Bowl. Purdue lost to Indiana 13-7 while Notre Dame lost to Stanford 17-13.

Vanilla Rice: I haven’t had too much luck in the past few weeks with my picks, so for the Spartans’ sake, I’ll pick Notre Dame and maybe Purdue will win.

Notre Dame 21, Purdue 14

Racy Lacy: Don’t get too happy Irish fans, head coach Bob Davie is here to stay. C’mon things could be worse, you could have a coach that would rather argue with referees at crunch time than rally his own troops. Davie has a long-term contract and most importantly pride, so expect the Irish to rock the house harder than the last time the House of Pain went on tour.

Notre Dame 28, Purdue 7

Penn State (5-5) at Virginia (4-7)

Unlike Penn State, Virginia’s shot at a bowl has come and gone with last week’s 31-17 loss to in-state rival Virginia Tech 31-17. Penn State kept its bowl hopes alive and kept MSU hanging on with a 42-37 win.

Vanilla Rice: With PSU’s bowl hopes on the line, this one could get really interesting. Even if Penn State doesn’t get its sixth win, it’s still the best story in all of college football this year. But it should be able to beat Virginia and that will make the team really attractive for the Sun Bowl or maybe even the Alamo Bowl.

Penn State 28, Virginia 21

Racy Lacy: The Nittany Lions have a shot to put together one of the greatest comebacks in college football history. I’m all for it. Joe Paterno received a lot of flak for an earlier season record of 0-4, but his players have finally bought into the system and are playing with plenty of confidence. Heck, who can’t play with some confidence after going up against the Spartans, who have even made clock operators celebrities this year? This game should come down to turnovers, and if the Nittany Lions strike first they should roll.

Penn State 17, Virginia 14

Alabama-Birmingham (6-4) at Pitt (5-5)

If Alabama-Birmingham wins this game the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando would open up to one at-large team. If a Big Ten team went to that bowl it could leave a vacancy in the Sun Bowl for MSU to snatch. Pitt beat West Virginia 23-17 last week while UAB blew out Houston 43-21.

Vanilla Rice: Who would’ve thought Spartan fans would be watching a matchup between UAB and Pitt? But the Spartans’ shot at a bowl game could hinge on it and they need all the help they can get this year - even if it comes from the South.

UAB 17, Pitt 13

Racy Lacy: Consistent teams deserve bowl bids, and the Blazers are just that, winning four games in a row. You have to root for those boys down South. C’mon now, those guys need somewhere warm to visit during the holidays. Unleash the trailer parks!

UAB 24, Pitt 21

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