As a longtime observer of college football, I've noticed a story line.
Just when you think your favorite team is on a roll and headed for a big bowl game, fate has a way of turning things around.
Don't blame me. It's physics. Or maybe it's Shakespeare.
Either way, there's some ageless force in the universe designed to keep overzealous fans humble. Which is a good thing.
Because just when they reach the boiling point of being obnoxious, a good whipping cools them off.
I know, it's wicked, but I think our two state schools, South Carolina and Clemson, are in trouble today.
-- MIAMI at CLEMSON: Tigers fans are unaccustomed to a 2-0 start from a Tommy Bowden team, but they're adjusting. Wins over Texas A&M and Maryland got them a national ranking. Now they have Miami at home and they're looking at their schedule the way a pool hustler eyes the table when the balls are sitting in the pockets. They think they can run the table.
However, two come-from-behind victories do not a championship make. The Tigers are due for a dose of reality and it arrives today: BURGER'S PICK: Miami by 10.
-- ALABAMA at USC: Gamecocks fans know they let one get away last week when they let Georgia off the hook.
Some take that to mean Steve Spurrier's first USC team is better than they thought. But it really means the Gamecocks weren't good enough to take a game that was being handed to them.
The Gamecocks could be in for a shock today when Alabama comes to town. No, this isn't Bear Bryant's Alabama, but the Tide is getting better faster. BURGER'S PICK: Alabama by a field goal.
-- JACKSONVILLE at CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: Apparently, Jay Mills has two teams at CSU. One that played The Citadel tough and one that got steamrolled by Presbyterian. Let's assume there's a rotation and the first one shows up today. BURGER'S PICK: CSU somehow.
-- S.C. STATE vs. BETHUNE-COOKMAN (Jacksonville): I'm sticking with Buddy Pough and the Bulldogs until somebody proves me wrong. BURGER'S PICK: S.C. State.
-- GEORGIA SOUTHERN at WOFFORD: The toughest assignment in college football is playing against the wishbone offense. Nobody runs it better than Mike Ayers. BURGER'S PICK: Wofford in a low-scoring affair.
-- TENNESSEE at FLORIDA: Urban Meyer is the new offensive guru in college football. Everything he did worked in Utah. But this ain't Utah. BURGER'S PICK: Tennessee in a tight one.
-- FLORIDA STATE at BOSTON COLLEGE: Bobby Bowden takes his team to Beantown in an ACC matchup that's a geographic stretch. But the Eagles are for real and the Seminoles are hurting at quarterback. BURGER'S PICK: Boston College.
-- ARKANSAS at SOUTHERN CAL: They don't know what a pig-picking is in Hollywood, but Arkansas is the main course today. BURGER'S PICK: Southern Cal by a lot.
-- VIRGINIA at SYRACUSE: A lot of orange in this game, but who cares? BURGER'S PICK: Virginia, because somebody's got to win.
-- MICHIGAN STATE at NOTRE DAME: OK, OK, OK, I believe. BURGER'S PICK: Notre Dame.
Ken Burger can be reached at email@example.com or 937-5598.