We learned last week that I can’t be trusted with power.
Or, the power of predicting the future, anyway. So it was taken away from me.
I went 3-3 straight up, nailing down the winners of the Alabama-Virginia Tech, LSU-TCU, and OKST-Mississippi St. games and completely whiffing on Georgia, Boise State, and BYU.
I did even worse against the spread, only getting two victories against four losses. Bama covered their 20-point spread, and BYU kept it close enough in a 19-16 loss to Virginia. All the others were wrong.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t have any real money involved. Clearly I would have picked much better if I did.
Or if I had some help.
That’s what I’ve got this week, as we have a guest appearance from none other than Brad Nessler!
He’ll be picking five of the games with me (he can’t pick Georgia-South Carolina because he’ll be calling it). So, blame him if you lose untold riches.
1) South Carolina @ Georgia (UGA -3): The last Bulldog quarterback to beat the Gamecocks was Joe Cox (the Ginger Ninja, as the students called him) back in 2009. Aaron Murray was there, but he was on the sideline with a headset and a red-shirt. The Gamecocks don’t have Marcus Lattimore anymore, who always gave Georgia trouble. But they still have Visor Boy, and he ALWAYS gives the Dawgs trouble. South Carolina doesn’t need the points, either, because they’re going to win it straight up. South Carolina 34, Georgia 27
2) Florida @ Miami (UF -3): Here’s where Mr. Nessler starts helping. We didn’t cover score predictions, but here’s how he thinks they’ll stack up against the spread. He’s gonna take Miami straight up because he thinks quarterback Stephen Morris and running back Duke Johnson will make the difference. “I’m not sold on Florida’s offense,” he said. I agree, but I disagree. I think Florida wins thanks to defense and special teams. The offense won’t help much, but they’ll do enough. Nessler: Miami wins/covers. Brian: Florida 23, Miami 14
3) Notre Dame @ Michigan (UM -4): Nessler again picks the underdog. He’s got Notre Dame straight up, citing a rejuvenated Tommy Rees at quarterback and a star-studded defensive line. I tend to agree. Though I never consider myself anywhere close to the “Notre Dame hype train,” I think Brian Kelly has made them solid once again. Keep the points, because the Irish win this one outright. UPSET ALERT: Nessler: Notre Dame wins/covers. Brian: Notre Dame 28, Michigan 24
4) Texas @ BYU (UT -7): The Longhorns are favored by a touchdown on the road. Sure, the Cougars will have a solid defense, but Mack Brown has slowly brought the Texas ship back on course. Plus, did you even see BYU against Virginia last week? They hardly looked like a power house. But then again, on those fields…nobody would. Brad agrees. He thinks BYU is overrated, and now that UT quarterback David Ash is finally settled in as the starter, this Longhorns squad could get Mack Brown back on the map. Nessler: Texas wins/covers. Brian: Texas 31, BYU 13
5) Oklahoma @ West Virginia (OU -21): It says a lot about a game when the road team is favored by three scores. Still, last year’s 50-49 shootout let us know that defense may well be optional. The Sooners are starting a freshman quarterback, Trevor Knight, in a hostile environment, but it’s against a team that barely escaped William & Mary last week. Here, Nessler and I agree: the Mountaineers can’t stop anyone. But, we disagree: Nessler: Oklahoma wins, West Virginia beats the spread. Brian: Oklahoma 55, West Virginia 21.
6) Oregon @ Virginia (Ore. -22.5): The Cavaliers got their much needed win over BYU in week one, and they are instantly rewarded with a visit from Marcus Mariota and the Ducks’ high octane offense. Mr. Nessler thinks Mariota is one of the more underrated players in the game, and at any moment he could explode for a ridiculously high day in the stats column. Virginia might get a few stops early on simply from the jet lag the Ducks experience on their cross country journey, but once the Ducks find rhythm, forget it. Oregon wins, and covers. Nessler: Oregon wins/covers. Brian: Oregon 48, Virginia 24
Hopefully my prognosticating skills will be better than last week. My apologies if you lost any money, but then again… you were warned.
Perhaps this week you can win your money back by betting completely against me!
Either way, I still want some of the winnings.