Perhaps I need to emphasize this again, as my attempts at picking the winning team in college football games did not go that well last week: I’m not particularly good at this. It’s part of the job and so I happily put myself and my picks out there every week, opening the door for ridicule after the results of the games are known.
In all, I was 9-6 last week. In my defense, I did correctly pick UCLA over LSU and Georgia over Clemson. I also correctly picked Alabama and Auburn outcomes (duh) and UAB and a few other good ones.
But North Carolina let me down against Virginia Tech, Wisconsin couldn’t hold on against Penn State and Stanford fell to Northwestern. My Upset Special of Louisiana over Texas looked OK for a little while, but as it turned out, I was the one who was upset.
Still, I march on. Here are this week’s picks. Take them as you will, and I’ll wait for your responses next week. (Again I remind you that because of my association with South Alabama as sideline reporter for radio broadcasts, I do not pick the outcome of the Jags’ games).
Let’s get a couple of easy ones out of the way without much fanfare (and to boost my won-lost record):
Mercer at Alabama: Nick Saban will probably consider this “rat poison” but seriously, this one is a gimme. Alabama.
Alabama St. at Auburn: The Tigers’ offense had some punch against punchless Akron. They’ll also have plenty of punch for the Hornets. Auburn.
UAB at Georgia: The Blazers looked good in their win over Jacksonville State last week, but Georgia looked really good, especially on defense, in its win over Clemson. Georgia looked like a national title contender. Georgia.
Oregon at Ohio State: In truth, I’m not completely sold on Ohio State. But Oregon had its problems out of the gate as well. It may be a case of which team takes best advantage of its strengths. Ohio State.
Utah at BYU: Some are calling this the Mormon Bowl. Whatever. It should be a game matching two pretty good teams. I’ll have to lean toward the Utes, whatever a Ute is. Utah.
Iowa at Iowa State: Iowa cost me a loss in last week’s picks by winning when I decided it wouldn’t. Perhaps I should have learned my lesson from that, but I haven’t. Iowa State.
Pitt at Tennessee: The Vols opened the season with a win and scored a few points. Big Orange fans were happy. Pitt isn’t a world-beater, but can it beat Tennessee? Yep. Pitt.
Texas at Arkansas: The Longhorns are another team I’m simply not sold on, despite their Top 25 ranking. Arkansas is getting better. Future SEC rivals. Arkansas.
Kansas at Coastal Carolina: Congrats to the Jayhawks for getting a win last week. It was surprising. The feeling won’t last long. Coastal Carolina.
N.C. State at Mississippi State: The Bulldogs needed a big fourth quarter comeback to survive last week, but they managed it. N.C. State is being touted as a darkhorse in the ACC race. Good enough for me. N.C. State.
Upset Special: Appalachian State at Miami: The Hurricanes are smarting over their loss to Alabama, as much in a pride sense as a points and national standing sense. If this pick comes true, their pain will increase. Appalachian State.
Other picks: Here are some picks involving in-state teams: Liberty over Troy, Florida State over Jacksonville State, West Alabama over Tuskegee, Huntingdon over Birmingham Southern, Faulkner over Thomas More, Miles over Southern, Samford over UT-Martin, North Alabama over Chattanooga.
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