This is what I’m calling the Missouri Week in this column. In other words, the “Show Me” week in terms of match ups.
The Mo-West took a big pie to the face last weekend as they had a chance to further cement it’s legacy only to see ranked Utah go down to unranked Oregon, Wyoming not even get off the bus in Boulder and BYU allow 50+ to visiting Florida State.
I’m not sure the conference can make up what they’ve lost in one day, but all hopes now rest on TCU. Their trip to Clemson is now bigger than ever.
In Show Me week, teams have the opportunity to check their bowels and decide if they want to be contenders or pretenders. The Mountain West and Wyoming 3A is littered with several match ups that back this up.
UNLV @ Wyoming – UNLV has at least shown they deserve some credit. Yes, they lost a close one to Oregon State, but they also pulled out a big win against Hawaii. Wyoming on the other hand, took two steps backward and didn’t produce a single point against what appeared to be a backpeddling Colorado squad. The frustration showed. Coach Christensen announced this week that several true freshman have topped the depth chart. Austyn Carta-Samuels will start at QB, Alvester Alexander will start at tailback, and unrecruited walk-on Ian Watt will kick as the Cowboys host UNLV. In contrast, Omar Clayton is a dangerous signal-caller and a threat to run or pass to talented receivers. Wyoming better have their mind set cleared up. A loss this week puts a major dent in the rebuilding process. I’m putting it all on the defense and the young kids on offense who already lead the team in their respective statistical categories despite not starting until now. Llama says : COWBOYS – 27-21.
SDSU @ Air Force – The Falcons should have an easy go of this game in their own stadium. Idaho? The Aztecs should be embarassed at last week’s loss as much as anyone else I’ve mentioned. Llama says: Falcons – 38-14.
CSU @ #19 BYU – There was a time when I called this game the toilet bowl. Can’t both teams lose? Well, that’s bit classless, so I’ll just hope for one afternoon at least that a tire fire will break out and stink up the area around the stadium. I don’t for one minute believe the Cougars will allow CSU to come in and make them lose twice in a row. I think CSU is a paper tiger, and it’s time for the Y? to defend their turf. Llama says: Y? 42-17.
New Mexico State @ New Mexico – I love match ups for trophies and the Silver Spade is on the line here. Both teams have really struggled this season. I think less than two touchdowns for either team is sufficient. I’ll go for the home team in a close rivalry. Llama says: Los Lobos – 13-10.
#14 TCU @ Clemson – All those millions of dollars in profit sharing is on the line this weekend, and every weekend now for the Horned Frogs. Death Valley isn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be this year, but that doesn’t mean Clemson can’t pull the upset. I think it’s fairly close before the Frogs pull away. Llama says: TCU – 24-14.
Louisville @ Utah – Will the real Utah stand up? I guess that’s an unfair question. I’m not sure who Utah is right now. When they play up to their potential, yes, they are a top-25 team. When they don’t? I think they are a middle of the road MWC team. After a loss, you have to give the benefit of the doubt to Coach Whittingham who should have his troops rallied for a home game. Llama says: Utes – 31-21.
Now on to the 3A Class. It’s been a year of uncertainty to this point. Only one team, Douglas, has everyone convinced. Powell is better than expected, Buffalo is human and Star Valley’s offense is struggling mightily. This week is one that will help clear up the picture.
Douglas @ Buffalo – I’ve always said, at least this decade, that you have to give Buffalo the nod in close games. I just don’t think this one will be that close. Buffalo’s defense will keep them in it for awhile I think, but Douglas looks that much better than everyone else. At least right now. Llama says: Bearcats – 28-7.
Cody @ Lander – Offense versus defense. This was the first thought that came to my head when I saw this match up. Cody has put up some gaudy numbers and they also were grounded last week. Lander has shown to be gritty, but also gave up some unorthodox points to struggling Riverton last week and had to score twice in the game’s final two minutes to win. While the focus has been on the Bronc offense, it’s their defense that will hold Lander under 20 points and win this game today I think. Llama says: Broncs – 21-13.
Jackson @ Powell – The Panthers are young, hungry and 3-0. They aren’t blowing teams out, but they are controlling every contest. Jackson has two wins, but over two programs that aren’t tearing it up in Teton, Idaho and Rawlins. I expect Powell to score it’s highest total of the year this week. Llama says: Panthers – 38-7.
Riverton @ Rawlins – One team is definitely going home happy here. I think Riverton, though they’ve struggled and lost two games in the final minutes to Star Valley and Lander, is on the right track. A steady dose of Seth Hosking and the offensive line should be enough to knock off Rawlins. Llama says: Wolverines! (In honor of the last Patrick Swayze of course) – 28-3.
Torrington @ Wheatland – The Blazers look to be for real as they have a couple of impressive wins under their belt. They are riding their best player and he looks to be up to the task. I think they have enough to win this one comfortably. Llama says: Blazers – 28-14.
Star Valley @ Worland – This is a huge game for both teams as they start conference play. I was only off by about 40-50 points in overall swing for last week’s pick. Ouch. Facing a more traditional offense, I have some pretty good feelings about the Star Valley defense. They’ll have to be aware and not give up the big play. I have some real concerns about the secondary and some big passes that might occur tonight. Worland is very tough to beat if you let them have the corner. Alex Cooper and William Buckley will need to have big games for Star Valley. However, my biggest concern is how the offense performs and executes on the road. After looking to be on the right track against Riverton, the offense was battered by a huge, fast Marsh Valley squad. These two teams typically play a very tough contest and I think it stays under 20 with one team winning in the game’s final five minutes. As an unapologetic Star Valley homer, I think that team will be us. Llama says: Braves – 17-14.
Well, there you have it. I’m off on the road to see the last game, and here’s the best of luck to all the teams that no injuries take place.