After an awful showing a couple weeks ago, I found my footing again last week (sorta).
Sure, I whiffed on Tennessee, thinking they’d be able to hold a candle to Nick Saban’s squad of Terminators.
And I completely tanked on Texas Tech, but that’s beside the point. Overall, I nailed down a solid 5-1 record straight up, but only went 2-for-6 against the spreads.
This week should be better, but we’ll see.
1) Georgia vs. Florida (UGA -3): Georgia is favored by three huge points. Coincidentally, that’s Todd Gurley’s number, who should be back this week. Legitimate running game? Check. Michael Bennett should be back, too. Legitimate passing game? Check. Tray Matthews should be back, too. Defense? No comment. What we have is a match-up of strengths. The Bulldogs finally have an offense again, and it’ll be going up against the Gators’ suffocating defense. Florida, meanwhile, has never had an offense this season, and they’ll be going up against Georgia’s open airway defense. I think Gurley makes the difference, and the Dawgs bring home a three-game winning streak. (see? more threes.) Georgia 24, Florida 21
2) #7 Miami @ #2 Florida State (FSU -21.5): It’s not too common that a match-up of Top 10 teams has a bigger point spread than #11 against an unranked opponent (#11 Auburn is an 8.5 point favorite over 3-5 Arkansas). Granted, the Hurricanes are about as unimpressive to me as any 7-0 team can be. They’re coming off consecutive nail-biters against North Carolina and Wake Forest. The Seminoles, meanwhile, have only gotten more impressive with each passing week. “Famous” Jameis Winston is simply a phenom. He’s already got one huge win under his belt (a beat down of Clemson on the road), and now he gets to do it in his own backyard. FSU wins and covers–maybe striking a Heisman pose along the way. Florida State 45, Miami 10
3) #21 Michigan @ #22 Michigan State (MSU -4): Talk about an interesting game. On one side you’ve got a pretty potent offense (Michigan), and on the other side you’ve got one of the most dominant defenses in the land (State). The Spartans are only giving up an unreal 12.3 points per game (third-best nationally). Save for a 28-point hiccup against Indiana, Michigan State hasn’t allowed more than 17 points to anyone they’ve played. The Wolverines had an all-important bye week, but defense always trumps in my book. Michigan State 14, Michigan 10
4) #18 Oklahoma State @ #15 Texas Tech (TTU -2): A few weeks ago, this would have been a no-brainer, when the Cowboys fell flat on their faces in West Virginia. The Red Raiders are still licking their wounds from last week’s setback against Oklahoma. They’ll take their potent passing attack (413 yards per game) and get back on the winning track. Cliff Kingsbury gets that first signature win (just not as big as last week’s would have been). UPSET ALERT: Texas Tech 38, Oklahoma State 34
5) Mississippi State @ #14 South Carolina (USC -12.5): Last week the Gamecocks were (to quote the late Larry Munson) “out of it and gone.” Then some guy named Connor Shaw came into the game. Shaw led South Carolina back from a 17-0 deficit to tie it up late and send it to overtime. Then he found Bruce Ellington on a do-or-die, fourth-and-15 touchdown pass in the first overtime. A clanked field goal later, and the Gamecocks had a win. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are limping in after close escapes against lightweights Bowling Green and Kentucky. I think they’ll keep it close. You gotta believe the Gamecocks are riding the high–not to mention they’ve gotta be tired from that roller coaster last week. Spurrier’s minions win, but give me Mississippi State and the points. South Carolina 31, Mississippi State 21
6) Navy @ #25 Notre Dame (ND -17): The Midshipmen come in boasting the nation’s 10th-best rushing attack (289 yards per game). Their only problem? The Irish already had a chance to prepare for it with last week’s 45-10 smackdown of Air Force, who runs a similar option offense. Notre Dame doesn’t really have a strong offense in their own right (the Air Force game is the only time they’ve broken 40 this year), but Navy doesn’t really have a defense (giving up 25 points per game). I expect the Irish run away with this one. Notre Dame 37, Navy 14
Hard to believe we’re already ten weeks into the season. It feels like yesterday I was writing the very first Pick Six for week one.
Ah, nostalgia (I didn’t have a losing record yet).
I’m hoping it gets better this week, but we’ll see.
For now, let’s enjoy it.