After a blistering, almost cocky run, Rankman the Magnificent slipped on a few betting banana slips last weekend and managed a pedestrian 1-2-1 result, nailing only his “over” pick for Texas vs. Oklahoma, which was like taking candy from a baby at the Texas State Fair. USC receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster ruined my Trojan cover over Colorado, though, by magnanimously passing up a free touchdown to run out the clock. Never mind this was the correct strategic move, but what college kid in the world passes up a glory run for the good of the team? Thank goodness I was only listening on the radio because the game was on the Pac Never Network. Anyway, on to the picks: Stanford at Notre Dame, Wake Forest at Florida State and Alabama at Tennessee. There’s also a bonus pick.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
The Game: NOTRE DAME giving 3 to Stanford
The Pick: Notre Dame, 31-24
The Comment: Both schools are reeling but maybe for different reasons. Notre Dame’s normally potent offense got caught in Hurricane Matthew during last week’s 10-3 loss at North Carolina. Stanford has been blown out in consecutive defeats to Washington and Washington State and limps into South Bend with a banged-up Christian McCaffrey and a depleted secondary. Both coaches are desperate for a win, but Brian Kelly is more desperate.
The Game: FLORIDA STATE giving 21 to Wake Forest
The Pick: Wake Forest. Score: FSU 30-23
The Comment: Florida State wins but not by three touchdowns. The Seminoles are coming off an emotional win over Miami and have a recent history of overlooking Wake Forest. Florida State leads the all-time series, 27-6-1, but four of Wake’s win have come since 2005. Two of those victories were in Tallahassee. FSU only won last year’s game at Wake by the margin of 24-16. Catching my cover drift?
The Game: Alabama giving 12 to TENNESSEE
The Pick: Tennessee, 30-27.
The Comment: Only one of Nick Saban’s five national title teams has gone undefeated—Alabama in 2009—so the odds are the Crimson Tide are going to slip up once. This could be it. Tennessee is an emotional team, playing at home, coming off a heartbreak loss at Texas A&M. If the Vols aren’t ready to play this game…?
Bonus pick: Rankman is living off his over-under picks this year and thinks 64 is too low for USC at Arizona. Got a feeling this could get wild.
Last week: 1-2-1