Picking winners is apparently a skill I possess.
Picking against a spread, however, is not.
Last week, I once again did better and worse simultaneously. I managed another excellent 5-1 week straight up, improving my record in that department to 15-9 on the year. I also went another unimpressive 2-4 against the Vegas lines, bringing my record to 7-17 on the season on that side of the stat sheet.
I can be proud of myself for only whiffing on the Arizona State upset call (what was I thinking?!) and nailing Auburn’s keeping-it-close-but-still-losing game plan against LSU.
It’s a new week, and I’ve still got some time to get back on top.
1) #6 LSU @ #9 Georgia (UGA -3): College Gameday is going to be on hand, and certainly Sanford Stadium is going to be electric. But this game presents quite an enigma. Let’s start with LSU. Are they for real? Their offense certainly looks to be the real deal, and as usual they have a scary good running game. Pair that with a legitimate threat of a passing game against a young Georgia secondary, and it could get ugly. Georgia has some guy named Murray and another guy named Gurley, though. They can put up a few points as well. I think we’ll finally see the defense make a few plays. Murray brings out a performance just like he did against South Carolina, and the Dawgs ride the home crowd to a close win. Georgia 31, LSU 28
2) #14 Oklahoma @ #22 Notre Dame (OU -3.5): Blake Bell started against the Irish last year in Norman, and it was ugly. Notre Dame should have a pretty good defense once again, and Oklahoma’s is very much improved. The Irish don’t seem much of a threat offensively, though. I’m thinking Tommy Rees is going to struggle. Lennay Kekua will be there in spirit, though. Give me the Sooners and watch ’em beat that spread all the way back to Norman. Oklahoma 37, Notre Dame 17
3) #21 Ole Miss @ #1 Alabama (BAMA -17): The Rebels went into their off week riding some insanely strong momentum with their destruction of Texas. Alabama looked less-than-stellar against Colorado State (though the final score doesn’t indicate it), but don’t expect the Tide to lose focus this week. Ole Miss has an upset on its mind, but the Alabama running game will pound them into submission. The Tide win, but Ole Miss keeps it close for awhile. Alabama 27, Ole Miss 14
4) #23 Wisconsin @ #4 Ohio State (OSU -7): The Badgers vented their frustrations from their loss to Arizona State against Purdue last week. The poor Boilermakers got the bad end of a 41-10 beatdown. Wisconsin comes in with the nation’s third-best rushing attack at just under 350 yards per game. Not to mention they’re averaging 41 points per game. But this is an Ohio State team that is only giving up 15 points per game, and Braxton Miller should be back on offense. Should be a fun one to watch. Keep the points, because Wisconsin wins it straight up. UPSET ALERT: Wisconsin 21, Ohio State 20
5) Arizona @ #16 Washington (WASH -9): Both these teams come in sporting top-10 defenses statistically. Arizona, who has admittedly played a very fluffy schedule, is only giving up 8.7 points per game, and Washington is only giving up 10 points per game. The Huskies have played a slightly tougher schedule, owning wins over Boise State and Illinois. Something tells me we’ll see a bit more than a 10-9 game with the likes of Washington QB Keith Price going up against Arizona’s tailback duo of Ka-Deem Carey and Daniel Jenkins. And the Huskies cover. Washington 34, Arizona 20
6) #12 South Carolina @ UCF (SCAR -7): This is one of the more interesting match-ups on the slate this weekend. Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks looked dominant in the first half against Vanderbilt, but let the Commodores back into the game two weeks ago. The Knights are 3-0, and another quality win (they beat Penn State 34-31 in Happy Valley) could put them squarely in the BCS Buster driver’s seat. The only problem is that they are giving up 180 rushing yards per game, which includes games against Akron and Florida International. The Gamecocks have Mike Davis, who is sorta really good. Gamecocks win it, and the Knights move to the passenger seat. South Carolina 38, UCF 28
This should be the most exciting week of football so far. Sure, it may lack that one humongous, been-circled-on-the-calendar-since-January game like Alabama-Texas A&M, but it features four match-ups of ranked teams.
But then again, I’ve always thought that every single week of the college football season is absolutely fantastic.
Even if I miss a bunch of picks.