until Texas vs Kansas

Sunday, September 25


Cleaning the Crystal Ball

Sunday morning calls for an examination of the Crystal Ball's Saturday picks. We've yet to see how LSU-Tennessee fare, but three other games are already finished. How'd the forecasts stand up against reality?

Iowa (+7) at Ohio State
Crystal Ball: 24-13 Ohio State
Actual: 31-6 Ohio State
Breakdown: Ohio State turned the ball over twice inside the Iowa 10 yard line or it could have been worse. The Buckeyes were dominant, though, and certainly covered the spread, as the crystall ball foresaw.

Colorado (+14) at Miami
Crystal Ball: 31-21 Miami
Actual: Miami 23-3
Breakdown: The forecast was for Miami to have too much athletic talent for the Buffs to be able to win. That happened, but the Miami defense was underrated, completely shutting down Colorado. The Canes covered the spread despite having offensive problems of their own. The Miami-Virginia Tech game is going to be huge. Which leads us to...

Georgia Tech (+11.5) at Virginia Tech
Crystal Ball: 21-10 Virginia Tech
Actual: 51-7 Virginia Tech
Breakdown: Somebody predicted non-offensive scoring from Virginia Tech; it just wasn't the Crystal Ball. Tech got three scores from their defense and special teams, more than enough to completely demolish the spread (and my prediction). There will be whispers from the peanut gallery for Virginia Tech to be #2. I say hush. Beating Georgia Tech at home isn't the same as beating Ohio State on the road. Still, an impressive blowout.

USC (-21.5) at Oregon
Crystal Ball: 45-31 USC
Actual: 45-13 USC
Breakdown: For one half, I looked like the genius. Then in the second half, USC showed why they're the #1 team in the country, absolutely blowing out Oregon. The Ducks didn't have the offense to get in the shootout that I predicted. The Trojans pass one of their three tests this year. If they beat Cal and Arizona State, it's off to Pasadena once more.

Monday: Tennessee (+7) at LSU
Hurricane Rita forced the Saturday game to be postponed until Monday. Whew. An alternative to watching the Broncos and Chiefs. I don't mind watching the Chiefs. It's the Broncos that are so boring these days...

All in all, a mixed debut for the Crystal Ball. Correctly predicted a good win for Ohio State and correcly saw USC stumbling out of the gate in its Pac 10 conference opener. Did not foresee it being only a first half stumble. The dominant USC showed up in the second half to take care of business. Predicted Miami and Virginia Tech wins, but underestimated the margins of victory. Hope no one was betting the farm as the Crystal Ball got warmed up.

Oh, and anyone who was remaining on the Louisville bandwagon on Saturday can safely disembark now. The Big East is toast. Their BCS representative will be a waste.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far. Lots of good NFL games to watch this weekend, including the rematch of the AFC Championship game, as Pittsburgh heads to New England. The Steelers dominated the Pats in last year's regular season matchup, only to lose to them in the AFC title game. Big Ben Roetholisberger is still undefeated as a starter in the regular season. That will be put to the test this week.

Coming this week on Hornsblog: Full previews and analyses of the Saturday road matchup against Missouri. Both teams are coming off of a bye week.

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