Happy Game Day, folks. This little exercise is running late this week — I’m trying to stay warm in Knoxville, but it’s a challenge — so what not start a few fires with some college football picks? It seems the right time and day to do just that.
There are some pretty big matchups going on today and some games that teams need to win. Heck, I need to win some games. The record took a bit of a dent last week as I finished 16-9, which puts me at 152-85 for the year. But I did get my Upset Special pick correct last week (thank you, Baylor), but that only puts added pressure on this week’s Upset Special pick.
Let’s get started. Remember, I will pick 10 games and an Upset Special. I will then pick all remaining games involving SEC, Sun Belt and teams from the state with the exception of South Alabama. I don’t pick the Jags’ games as I am the sideline reporter for the team’s radio broadcasts — which places me in Knoxville today.
Auburn at South Carolina: As I noted last week — and proved once again — I can’t seem to correctly predict the outcome of the Tigers’ games. Bo Nix is out, but Auburn should still have enough firepower to top South Carolina. Right? Auburn
Michigan St. at Ohio St.: Mel Tucker is said to be in line for a 10-year, $95 million contract to remain as the Spartans head coach. Wonder what the Buckeyes and John Harbaugh think of that. For sure, it has nothing to do with today’s game. Still, let’s vote for an upset of sorts. Michigan State
Texas at West Virginia: I’ve long been a fan of Neal Brown, now the head coach at West Virginia. I’d like to see him pick up a win today. That is my sole purpose for the following pick between 4-6 teams. Plus, Texas is on a five-game losing skid in Steve Sarkisian’s first season. With it reach six straight? West Virginia
Louisiana at Liberty: I don’t see Liberty creating a bad day for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Some see this as a close game, but I see it as a Louisiana win, maybe even going away. We’ll see. Louisiana
UAB at UTSA: UTSA is a ranked team and UAB is a team looking to pull an upset. The Blazers have had their moments this season, but have struggled at times with consistency. San Antonio is on a roll and this one is on their home turf. UTSA
Arkansas at Alabama: Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman has said all the right things this week, praising Alabama head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. He’s not wrong. The Razorbacks had their moment earlier int he season but have lost some of their momentum, Alabama is creeping up on postseason play, when it all matters. Alabama
UCLA at USC: This is a big game in Los Angeles, but otherwise, meh. Two teams trying to get some footing, looking to inch a little closer to possible bowl eligibility. Coin toss here, and it’s … UCLA
BYU at Georgia Southern: If the Eagles were running their trial-option offense like they have in the past, this would be interesting. But as it stands now, with an interim head coach and Clay Helton waiting in the wings, Georgia Southern is just looking to wipe the slate clean. The Cougars should have no issues. BYU
Iowa State at Oklahoma: With all the talk of Lincoln Riley being LSU’s top choice as the Bengal Tigers’ next head coach and coming off the loss to Baylor, could the Sooners slip again? Sure they could. Will they? Now that’s the question. And Iowa State is a pretty good football team. Still … Oklahoma
Florida at Missouri: Talk about your teams lacking consistency, hello Gators. Dan Mullen still sees a Samford player running for a touchdown in his dreams (nightmares). The Gators are a team with lots of problems and they have a coach whose seat couldn’t be any hotter. A loss here and, well, the writing would definitely be on the wall. Florida
UPSET SPECIAL: Wake Forest at Clemson: I’m really going out on a limb here. Wake Forest is having a solid season with a really good quarterback. Clemson has fallen on, what is for the Tigers, hard times. Wide receiver Justyn Ross is done for the season, which only adds to Clemson’s woes, especially on an offense that has had its share of troubles. There’s no good reason to pick Clemson at all. Which is the only reason I’m using. Clemson.
Other games: SEC: Georgia over Charleston Southern, Texas A&M over Prairie View, Kentucky over New Mexico State, LSU over UL-Monroe, Ole Miss over Vandy, Mississippi State over Tennessee State. Sun Belt: Coastal Carolina over Texas State, Georgia State over Arkansas State. State: Appalachian State over Troy, Eastern Kentucky over Jacksonville State, Texas Southern over Alabama State, Samford over Furman, Alabama A&M over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Hampton over North Alabama,
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