College football for muggles

As many of you know, the football team will face off in a duel against the vicious Bearcats on Saturday. But I must caution you: The Tampa Sports Authority, or the Ministry of Electro-magic, is equipped with special wands that are designed to stun. I implore you, stay off the pitch. First-years remember, the dark forest of Ybor City is off limits after hours.

After the match, most of you will wander out of the close confines of Raymond James Stadium and head back to your dormitories to watch other duels in college football.

If you are confused about these games, always remember that help will always be given at USF to those who ask for it.

The Sorcerer’s Stone: While it may not be as great this season, the rivalry between No. 9 Ohio State and No. 17 Michigan is still as intense as a Quidditch match between the houses of Gryffindor and Slytherin. The Buckeyes have been courageous for fighting back after losses against Texas and Penn State, but who knows how brave they will be when they travel to the Big House. I have no idea who wins this one, so I decided to consult the semi-wise elder of the Oracle, Mark Lennox, before he left to attend this game. When asked for his prediction, the Michigan native simply said, “Hail to the Victors!” banged on his chest and walked out the door.

Hence, Michigan 28, Ohio State 20.

The Chamber of Secrets: I’m going to open it up for this one. The late-night matchup of No. 16 Fresno State and No. 1 USC is an intriguing one. The Bulldogs played like a team possessed against Boise State on Saturday, and USC has been awoken by a close win over Notre Dame and the momentary loss of the title of BCS No. 1. It’s a classic battle of the underdog and the favorite, good and evil – but sorry Fresno, this isn’t a movie.

USC 42, Fresno State 21.

The Goblet of Fire: When going through the names of the elite SEC teams, few would expect someone to spit out South Carolina. But the No. 19-ranked Gamecocks are deserving of a major bowl, and if, by some miracle, Georgia loses its last two games, then South Carolina will compete for fame and fortune in the SEC championship. The ol’ ball coach easily handles all tasks against rival Clemson on Saturday.South Carolina 23, Clemson 10.

The Prisoner of Azkaban: Penn State has escaped imprisonment from the cellar of the Big Ten and is trying to get one more win to prove it’s deserving of a BCS bowl. Standing in the Nittany Lions’ way are the Spartans, who are reeling after dropping five of its last six games. If Penn State makes it to a BCS bowl game, it will be sure to take revenge on its opponent for the disrespect it received in the preseason.

PSU 38, MSU 17.

The Order of the Phoenix: The only other Big East team in action this Saturday is Syracuse at No. 6 Notre Dame. Notre Dame has risen from its own ashes this year, just one of the surprising events in the topsy-turvy world of college football. This could be the Orange’s worst season for a while, and a showdown against the Irish could be their undoing. Can they fight against the odds and pull out a surprise win? I don’t think so. Notre Dame looks like they are headed to Arizona.

Irish 45, Orange 13.

The Half-Blood Prince: Who knows if No. 7 Virginia Tech will revert to its old ways against Virginia on Saturday. The Hokies have a habit of fading late in the season, and with a recent loss to Miami, Frank Beamer is hoping his team can hold it together. Who knows if this team is good or bad, but without a Miami loss, Virginia Tech is no longer in control of its own destiny. A loss to Virginia will not help.

Cavaliers 27, Hokies 23.

Book No. 7: There is a rumor that the last word of this one will be “scar.” If Tennessee loses to Vanderbilt on Saturday, it will take a while for the emotional scars to wear off of the Volunteer players. At 4-5, if Tennessee doesn’t win its last two games, it will be the first time in 17 years that the Volunteers won’t play in a bowl. If they don’t make it, Phil Fulmer might be destined for a few years of futility, reminiscent of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. Just the opportunity to use the words “Phil Fulmer” and “Hufflepuff” in the same sentence makes this game worthy of a pick. What the heck.

Vandy 20, Tennessee 15.

Oh yeah, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opens tonight at selected theaters.