I continue to impress myself with my ability to predict exactly what won’t happen in the future.
Call me an anti-psychic.
Last week I went an embarrassing 2-4 straight up, and even worse 1-5 against the spread.
That brings me to 5-7 straight up on the season and 3-9 against the Vegas odds.
But let’s be honest. Nobody thought BYU would obliterate Texas the way the did. Or that Oklahoma and West Virginia (who combined for over 1,000 total yards last year) would play to a 16-7 contest of who-wants-to-be-here-less.
I also had help last week. You may recall that I got none other than Brad Nessler to make a few picks with me. He couldn’t offer an opinion on Georgia-South Carolina (he was covering it), but he did pick the other five games. He went 3-2 straight up and 3-2 against the spread.
That’s why they pay him the big bucks.
But it’s a new week.
Here’s my attempt to win all your money back.
1) #1 Alabama @ #6 Texas A&M (UA -8): Revenge is always sweet, and the Crimson Tide have been licking their lips for nearly a year waiting to taste it. The Aggies are at home, which is always tough thanks to their famous “12th man.” I say it doesn’t matter. Take Bama straight up, and take ’em by a lot more than eight. They’ll put up plenty of points (even Rice managed over 500 yards on A&M’s porous defense), and their defense will keep Johnny Football in check. The Tide haven’t given up 30 points in nearly three years. And they won’t now. Bama wins and covers. Alabama 52, Texas A&M 27
2) #16 UCLA @ #23 Nebraska (Neb. -4.5): This is one of the more intriguing games of the weekend, and it has been immensely overshadowed by the game I just picked before it. Still, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is leading the eighth-best rushing attack in the nation at 330 yards per game. Unfortunately he’s also leading the 94th-best passing attack at 174.5 yards per game. And UCLA is coming off a bye week. Both teams have something to prove, and the Cornhuskers should be the better team. And they’re at home. I’ll take my corn and shuck the points, too. (Sorry, that jokes was a bit too…corny.) Nebraska 26, UCLA 20
3) #25 Ole Miss @ Texas (Tex. -2.5): The Longhorns are in an immensely rocky situation at the moment. They just gave up the most rushing yards in school history…to BYU, and they have a new defensive coordinator after just two games. Still, they’re rematching the Rebels, a team they blew out last year on the road. But times have changes. The Rebels are riding high after their win over Vandy, and a talented team paired with confidence is a scary combination. Keep the points, because Ole Miss wins this one straight up. UPSET ALRET: Ole Miss 42, Texas 31
4) Tennessee @ #2 Oregon (Ore. -27): The Vols are certainly talking the talk, but can they walk the walk? They aren’t scared of the Ducks, even thinking they’re going to shock the world with an upset for the ages. It’s possible, sure. But I’m not buying it. Marcus Mariota and company are a freight train, and simply won’t be stopped. The Oregon defense might struggle against Tennessee’s offensive line, which is one of the best in the nation. Oregon wins, but they won’t cover that massive spread. Oregon 48, Tennessee 28
5) #19 Washington @ Illinois (UW -10): It says a lot about a game if the road team is favored by double digits. But don’t count the Illini out just yet. They just hammered a good Cincinnati team 45-17. That said, they didn’t look nearly as impressive as the Huskies, who systematically destroyed Boise State in week one 38-6. Then they had a week off to get ready for this long road trip. I’m taking Washington and the points. Washington 37, Illinois 24
6) Vanderbilt @ #13 South Carolina (SCAR -13.5): Boy, talk about a game full of hunger (not to be confused with the Hunger Games). Both teams desperately need a win against a quality opponent. The Commodores are still aching from that heart breaking loss to Ole Miss in the first game of the year, and the Gamecocks are coming off a 41-30 loss to Georgia, where the Bulldogs racked up over 500 yards of offense against Jadeveon Clowney and the South Carolina defense. Look for Jordan Matthews and co. to try to do the same. I think they’ll fail. Connor Shaw will extend Vandy’s losing streak against the “Big 3” (South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida) and Clowney will finally be the dominant force he was expected to be this year. Carolina wins and covers. South Carolina 34, Vanderbilt 17
If you’ve learned anything from me this year, it’s that you should to exactly the opposite of what I said above.
That, or something unexpected is about to happen. Like a quarterback gashing Texas for over 250 yards rushing.
I’d bet on it, but we’ve seen how that works.