Last week I had a moment or two of amnesia and forgot to make my college football picks. Yes, I forgot … until Saturday morning. So instead of devoting a decent intro into the venture I simply made a list of picks, and did so quickly as some games were about to kick off. Needless to say, this was not a good idea.
In truth, I did fine with my SEC, national and Sun Belt picks. It was my state picks, made on the fly without benefit of research, that brought me down. Hard. I leaned toward the state teams and, well, it didn’t turn out as I had hoped. Listen, even if I had done more research, I may have made the same picks. I’m just looking for an excuse here that might work.
So I’m back, the picks are being made on time and there has even been some research involved, but admittedly not a lot. I am hoping to do much better than my 10-9 record of the previous week. It will be hard not to accomplish that task as the record was so poor. But again, that doesn’t mean I won’t slip further. I am now 104-57 on the year.
You know the drill by now. I’ll pick 10 games, which is a mix of all the groups from which I pick, and I’ll include an 11th game that serves as the Upset Special of the week (by the way, last week’s Upset Special pick was terribly wrong). I’ll then pick all the remaining games involving SEC and Sun Belt teams, a couple of national games and all the remaining games involving state teams (but not including South Alabama as I am the team’s sideline reporter for the Jags’ radio network).
Here’s hoping not being rushed will lead to a much better record.
Michigan at Michigan State: May as well start with the undefeated teams. Is this the year for the Wolverines? Could be. They have been playing well. But so has Michigan State and Mel Tucker is a National Coach of the Year candidate for what he has done with the Spartans. I have to lean that way. Michigan State.
Georgia at Florida: Officially, this may not be called the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, but we all know the truth. Another truth associated with this game is the Bulldogs’ defense is the best in the country, which doesn’t match well for a Florida offense that has been up and down. Georgia.
Penn State at Ohio State: This could actually be considered an Upset Special, I guess, but I’m just going to leave it right here as my Upset Specials haven’t turned out that well this year, though I did hit on one and if Texas had played 60 minutes against Oklahoma I would have had another. Let’s go with the Nittany Lions here. Penn State.
Ole Miss at Auburn: The Rebels know how to score points, and regardless of the success of the opposing team’s offense, it usually produces enough points for the win. Auburn has had moments when it looks solid and moments when that isn’t true. What will happen this week? Which team will have the better day? Ole Miss.
Alabama A&M vs. Alabama State: This is a long-time rivalry in a season when both teams have been consistently inconsistent (feel free to use that phrase if you’d like in other areas). Of late, the Hornets seem to be the team that is playing best. So that’s my pick. Alabama State.
Kentucky at Mississippi State: Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach apparently is an expert in Halloween candy. That will serve him well this weekend. It is to be seen if his defensive unit is an expert on stopping the Wildcats’ offense. The guess here is nope. Kentucky.
Florida State at Clemson: Man, this should be a battle royale among Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouses. That’s certainly not the case this year. Which makes this game so compelling. One gets the feeling the fan base for both teams have enjoyed watching the other have a disappointing season. Now they face each other. Which fan base will be happy Saturday night? Clemson.
Central Arkansas at Jacksonville State: The Jax State Gamecocks are not having the type of season they hoped to enjoy, certainly not one that resembles recent seasons. Central Arkansas is having a similar year. So which team puts it together in a better fashion this week? Jacksonville State.
Georgia State at Georgia Southern: Admittedly, this one is a toss-up, coin flip, your guess is as good as mine type of game. So, we’ll go with all those elements. For no good reason whatsoever (at least I can admit it) … Georgia State.
Southern Miss at Middle Tennessee: In honor of Southern Miss announcing this week it is leaving Conference USA to join the Sun Belt, we’re selecting this game. But our leanings toward the Golden Eagles only goes so far. This is a season they will be happy to conclude. Middle Tennessee.
UPSET SPECIAL: Troy at Coastal Carolina: Troy’s defense has played fairly well all season and the offense is starting to find its rhythm and identity. Will it have enough to defeat No. 24-ranked Coastal Carolina. The guess here is, yes, yes it will. Troy.
Other games: SEC: Missouri over Vandy; Sun Belt: Appalachian State over Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana over Texas State; National: West Virginia over Iowa State, Notre Dame over North Carolina, Texas over Baylor, Iowa over Wisconsin; State: Huntingdon over N.C. Wesleyan, Kentucky State over Tuskegee, West Alabama over North Greenville, Miles over Edward Waters, Faulkner over Webber International, VMI over Samford, Birmingham Southern over Berry.
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