Week One Preview
Oh my gosh! It’s here! It’s really, really here! I’m so excited! What should I expect?
No, I’m not talking about the Republican National Convention and whether or not Chris ate Christie to form New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I’m talking about the start of college football. So, what should you expect? I’m glad you asked. Let’s jump into it…
South Carolina travels to Vanderbilt tonight to kick off the season (well assuming UCF/Akron, Eastern Michigan/Ball State, SE Missouri State/Central Michigan or Towson/Kent State don’t transition from the coin toss to kickoff faster than the teams in Nashville). What am I feeling? In a brief and perverse-if-out-of-context response: I’m feeling the Cocks. If you’ve read my stuff from the offseason you know I’m “iffy” on both of these teams. But, here’s where the separation occurs:
- I’m wondering if Vanderbilt can win close games and take the next step forward to becoming a top-half SEC squad.
- On the other hand, I’m wondering if South Carolina can take the next step to a BCS Bowl.
That’s a pretty substantial difference – one that could see Vandy progress and S.Car digress and still yield a victory for the traveling team. I’m taking South Carolina.
Texas A&M was supposed to play at Louisiana Tech later tonight but the game has been postponed due to Hurricane Isaac. On a light note: I will not miss the pick on this game this week, I’ll have to wait until early October. On a serious note: say a prayer for those in the path of the storm.
Tomorrow night we’ll get to see Tennessee take on NC State in the Georgia Dome in the first of two SEC/ACC Chick-fil-A kickoff classic games in Atlanta. Tennessee opened as a 7 point favorite and with the help of Da’Rick Rogers’ dismissal that line has move to 3 or 3.5 depending on who you ask. From what I’ve heard on the radio (very official research) NC State has a pretty sick pass defense so Bray may struggle to throw the ball. But, at the end of the day Tennessee simply has to improve on last year’s campaign and needs this win to do so. I’m taking the Vols – not necessarily because they’re the better team (although they may be), but because they’re the more desperate team.
Georgia takes on Buffalo and I’m taking the Dawgs but tune in tomorrow for more on that.
The Florida Gators are playing host to the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday afternoon and I expect Florida’s super-awesome-never-works two-armed QB monster to cruise.
You can take this to the bank: LSU will beat North Texas, Arkansas will beat Jacksonville State, Mississippi State will be victorious over Jackson State and Missouri will take down Southeastern Louisiana.
Auburn is taking on the Clemson Tigers in the Georgia Dome. I’ve said several times that I think Auburn is down this year, but man I’d love to see them beat an ACC foe. That being said, I just don’t think it happens. Clemson takes this one.
Ole Miss is going to start the season with a perfect record after escaping Central Arkansas on Saturday. Can their perfect season last? Well, they haven’t lost a game since November 26, 2011.
Alabama is squaring off against the teen-wolfs of Michigan in a stadium that is pretty large out in Texas. I refuse to let Alabama lose this. SEC! SEC! SEC!
On Sunday Kentucky travels to Louisville to play football which is an interesting statement because Louisville is in Kentucky. That’s the equivalent of saying the restroom traveled to the urinal to take a leak. And, I do expect the Wildcats to pee all over themselves in a loss.
Other Games of Interest:
Boise State and Michigan State – the two teams who bookended Georgia’s 2011 season with losses – are squaring off in a sick and twisted grudge match to see who is the 2011 Dawgs’ Daddy. I hate Boise State but even without my anti-blue glasses I truly believe the Spartans are the better team here. Michigan State wins.
Top-ranked USC is hosting Hawaii on Saturday. That could get ugly for the once-Rainbowed Warriors.
Georgia Tech travels to Virginia Tech in a game that is made intriguing by VA Tech’s habitual early season screw-up game. The Hokies are the better team – or at least they will be at season’s end – but can they hold off the Yellow Jacket middle school option attack? This time, I think they can. VA Tech takes down GA Tech for the buzzkill.
Each week DudeYouCrazy presents one college football related YouTube video and urges you not to watch it.
This classic features a very sad Clemson fan after an early season loss to Georgia Tech. Can the Tigers avoid that fate on Saturday? Can you avoid watching the video? Only time and view counts will tell.
If I Had to Bet
Every week I’m going to look into a few theoretical bets. Each week I’ll take on the lines on the following:
· Five individual games
· One two-game parlay
· One three-game parlay
· One three-game “recycled” parlay featuring games I’ve already bet on
Here’s what I’m taking this week:
South Carolina (-6.5) at Vanderbilt: For all of the reasons discussed above I’d expect the Gamecocks to win by more than a TD.
Penn State (-6.5) vs. Ohio: This line opened at 10.5 and was tempting, but 6.5 seems like a steel. I have to believe that a program with as much pride (and simultaneously shame) will want to bounce back with a meaningful season and that starts at home week one.
Miami (-1) at Boston College: I like one-point spreads in conferences like the ACC where home-field is less advantageous than the SEC. This seems like a classic “stay-away” to some, but Miami is significantly more talented than BC and could pounce on them.
Southern Miss (+20) at Nebraska: Southern Miss had the nation’s 26th best scoring defense last season, returns 8 starters (3 on the line, 3 at LB and 2 in the secondary) and just brought in a defensive-minded head coach in Ellis Johnson. Nebraska returns only five offensive starters on a run-heavy offense that finished 50th in scoring in 2011. To cut to the chase: I don’t think Nebraska will score enough points to beat Southern Miss by 20 points.
UNLV (+8.5) vs. Minnesota: Why? You got me here. It’s too early for me to know much about either but in name alone Minnesota should be better – but I don’t trust a gopher!.
Two-Game Parlay: UCLA (-14) at Rice. San Jose State (+25.5) at Stanford.
Three-Game Parlay: California (-10.5) vs Nevada. Iowa (-10) at Northern Illinois. Iowa State (+1) vs Tulsa.
Three-Game Recycled Parlay: Southern Miss (+20), Penn State (-6.5), Miami (-1).
That’s all I got/