Welcome to a weekly feature here at Peach State College Sports called the Pick Six!
I’m going to pick the winners six of the biggest (or most interesting) games every week against the Vegas lines, complete with a take-it-to-the-bank upset special (if you lose, I never said anything).
And if you want to play along for fun, leave a comment at the bottom with your picks included! I’ll give a shout-out to anyone who beats me, though I’m considering calling it the “Wall of Lame” just for fun.
But I digress.
1) #1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (Bama -20): Wow. I had to do a double-take when I saw the line on this one. The Tide are 20-point favorites over the Hokies. Then again, it’s hard to argue with the likes of A.J. McCarron, T.J. Yeldon, Amari Cooper, and some guy named Saban. Virginia Tech returns sporadic quarterback Logan Thomas, and will be breaking in new offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler. Their scheme should be a bit of an unknown to the Tide, but I doubt it matters too much. Give me Bama and the points on this blowout-in-the-making. Tide win it 45-10.
2) #5 Georgia at #8 Clemson (Georgia -1): Despite all the questions surrounding a rebuilt defense going up against Tigers quarterback Tahj Boyd in week one, the Bulldogs are still a favorite on the road. I must admit that even as a Georgia student, this one has me a bit perplexed. It could really go either way, but I’ll take Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall’s ability to establish the ground game and keep Boyd on the sidelines. Georgia wins it, and covers (duh) 41-31.
3) #12 LSU vs. #20 TCU (LSU -4): The Tigers, much like Georgia, are inserting a host of new players on defense. Will Horned Frogs quarterback Kasey Paschall play? Will it matter? Gary Patterson has been playing this one close to the vest, but I don’t think it is going to make a difference in the long run. LSU completes the SEC sweep with an improved Zach Mettenberger and a stable of running backs pounding TCU defense into submission. Tigers win, but I’ll take TCU and the points. LSU comes out with a 24-21 win.
4) #19 Boise State at Washington (Washington -3.5): Odds makers like the Huskies christening their new (sort of) stadium despite Boise State coach Chris Petersen making his career out of being a proverbial giant killer. The Broncos have beaten Oregon, Virginia Tech, and Georgia in openers on his watch. Sure, he has Joe Southwick instead of Kellen Moore nowadays, but coach always finds a way to get the job done. UPSET ALERT: Boise beats the spread and wins this one straight up. Broncos win 24-10.
5) #13 Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State (Oklahoma State -12.5): The game is being played in Houston, and the Cowboys are nearly a two-touchdown favorite. OSU coach Mike Gundy already said that he will play two quarterbacks, so we’ll find out whether or not his offense hits its usual stride. My guess is… no. It won’t be the explosive attack like it was with Brandon Weeden at the helm. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen needs a big win in the worst way, too. He’s brought his squad to a consistent, competitive level in the SEC, but he continues to lag behind the behemoths of Alabama, LSU, and (now) Texas A&M. That said, I still pick the Cowboys to win, but the Bulldogs keep it close. OSU takes it 34-27.
6) BYU at Virginia (Virginia -6): This game is one of the most intriguing of the weekend for me, and (much like the Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State game) it doesn’t get hardly any coverage, thanks to the other big games of the weekend. Still, it pits an independent with a major conference foe. I’m a little surprised that the Cavaliers are picked as six-point favorites; I would have guessed it to be closer. Virginia needs a win in this game desperately, though. Why? Because #3 Oregon comes to town a week later. An 0-2 start paired with some bad breaks, and the Cavaliers might well be sitting at home during bowl season. Unfortunately for them, I think the Cougars take it and cover. BYU wins 34-20.
If you do decide to take my picks and make a fortune, I think you should feel obligated to share, but that’s up to you. I’m just a poor college kid.
And I’ll give you a shout-out, of course.