I’m not gonna lie, last week hurt me.
Sure, I’ve had worse weeks than 4-6 (obviously not often). There’s also great handicappers, that I respect, that just had a worse week than me. But there’s something about laying an egg to start the season that takes some of the air out of you. Thank God for LSU coming through or things could have been really ugly.
Its no secret that I’ve struggled with picking Tennessee games. I literally preached the Tennessee moneyline to anyone willing to listen Saturday morning. I went back and did some research and since the start of last year I’m 2-6 in picking their games (The two wins were when I picked against Tennessee). This past year has been the Tennessee Shit Storm for us. It culminated on Saturday when we went 2-6 on the day. Coincidence? I think not.
Something else happened as I combed through last year’s blogs. I was reminded that I went 10-3 in week 2. I was reminded that I was F***KING 26-10 through week 4. I was reminded that I finished the regular season well above 55 percent and I’m here to remind you mother truckers that this is what I do and this is what I do well. Stonewall Jackson was whipped at the Battle of Kernstown at the start of his Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1862. That same campaign ended with him driving a much superior force clean out of the valley and made him a legend. Week one does not define us, lets fill our cash buckets to the brim.
Arizona @ Houston -4.5
College football junkies around the world spent late last Saturday night watching Arizona – BYU for a night cap. If you stayed up and watched the full game, you’re more of a sicko than I am, but I did watch pieces of the first half. Despite the fact that Arizona has a talented qb and Kevin Sumlin as HC, they are still not worth a damn. Come to think of it, why did anyone think Kevin Sumlin of all coaches would make any bit of a difference there anyway? His perpetually underachieving Texas A&M teams were some true tragedies, and if it wasn’t for Johnny Manziel he would have been out the door there a while ago. Houston beat Arizona straight up (on the road) last season and I don’t see why they won’t take care of business Saturday. Keep an eye on Houston’s defensive lineman Ed Oliver, he may be a top 5 draft pick in next year’s class.
Duke @ Northwestern -3
If you like watching white people play skill positions, then look no further because this game is for you. Surprisingly, this is a sneaky good game between two hot teams. At the end of the day, I’m sticking with the hotter of the two in Northwestern. They are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games and they get this one at home. When you watch them play you can tell they are a well coached, physical, typical Big10 team. Hopefully Pat Fitzgerald learned his lesson against Purdue and leaves his senior quarterback in the game.
Mississippi State -9.5 @ Kansas State
Everyone kisses Bill Snyder’s ass like he’s some coaching savant and I have to say I just don’t get it. The guy took an L to Vandy Candy at home last year, finished in the middle of the pack in the Big12, and then gets rewarded with an extension until he’s 107 years old? I guess some teams strive for mediocrity. To be fair, what is your ceiling when you’re recruiting kids to Manhattan, Kansas? Mississippi State is getting a lot of love this year and I’m buying in a bit. They have a great defensive front, which everyone knows I’m a sucker for. Speed kills and no doubt these SEC Mississippi boys are about to run wild on the team in purple.
Georgia @ South Carolina +10.5
Is it just me or does Columbia seem like a legit homefield advantage? Everyone in that stadium looks so drunk. Georgia rolls in Saturday for a game that very well could decide the SEC East in week 2. Muschamp has built himself a bit of program. They get overshadowed by Clemson but this year they could legitimately compete with some teams. They have a very solid quarterback in Jake Bentley and one hell of a weapon in Deebo Samuel. Georgia will probably win this game, but this is a tough early test for a very talented, young team. They’ll have all they can handle in this one and the game stays close.
I’m counting on you South Carolina fan, yes you, to get rowdy af for this one.
Arkansas State +36.5 @ Alabama
Just cause I went 4-6 last week doesn’t mean I’m playing it safe this week. Scared money don’t make no money and if you want to get rich you got to take a few shots. Is it crazy to go against Bama? For sure. I’ve stuck to a fairly strong philosophy of staying away from the notion. But there’s something about this Arkansas State team that intrigues me. They have a gun slinger for a quarterback and offense is their M-O. If they can sling the ball around and find a way to put 3 TDs on the board, I think they’ll cover this spread. If you remember, WKU under Brohm came in and covered a big spread against Bama in a similar situation a few years back. It can be done.
Clemson @ Texas A&M +12.5
Every year there’s a team or two that comes out of the woodwork that is much better than people expected. LSU showed they could be one last Sunday night and I also have Texas A&M circled as a team that may surprise some people. Say what you want about what A&M paid to get Fischer, but I for one think the guy can coach. He also has a hell of a lot of pride and he’s aware of the fact that Dabo had his number his final years at FSU. Clemson is a wrecking ball in college football right now and I think they’ll end up back in the playoff. They have a defensive line that is literally starting all first or second round draft picks. But this line feels big and Texas A&M has enough play makers to make this one semi-interesting.
Kentucky @ Florida -14
Kentucky in the Swamp is always a recipe for disaster. Well.. Kentucky playing Florida in general is that too. Kentucky these last couple years have had teams you could refer to as average or ‘kind of decent’. But despite Benny Snell, I think they come back down a few notches this year. The Gators have a veteran team that’s been given new life with Dan Mullen. This is his first SEC game at Florida and I think his team is about to get up for this one. Felipe ‘Pool Boy’ Franks leads the charge and they annihilate the poor Wildcats.
USC +5.5 @ Stanford
What’s wrong with Bryce Love? That guy did not look like someone poised to make a Heisman run. He was a little banged up at the end of last season and he didn’t look right to me in game one. Stanford struggled a bit as a whole and I honestly don’t see why this line isn’t at best Stanford -3. I think USC is a team flying under the radar that has a ton of talent. Last season USC beat Stanford twice and they did that cause at the end of the day they just have the better athletes.
Michigan State -5.5 @ Arizona State
I don’t like this pick. I love this pick. This line is a reflection of people overreacting to week one. Arizona State blows out a nobody and Michigan State has a bit of trouble with Utah State, and this is a direct result of recency bias. I will point out, Michigan State did show some moxy on their drive in winning time. I don’t care what happened in week one, you can’t tell me Herm Edwards who hasn’t coached in like 20 years stands a chance in a matchup with Mark Dantonio. Michigan State gets back on track in the desert Saturday night.
A-Rob’s 3 Game tease
Florida -8, USC +11.5, Michigan St -0.5