Let's set the scene: Son of Rankman was 2-0 on opening with tie-dyed Cal, favored by 7 and up by 21 against North Carolina in Berkeley.
The Kid was so stoked he lit a victory cigar and nearly choked on the fumes while doing cartwheels down Tightwad Hill in rapt anticipation of taking a three-game broom (sweep) out of Labor Day.
The game was so over coach Larry Fedora claimed Tar Heel football was "under attack" and he feared North Carolina would not be recognizable in 10 years, or even maybe 10 days, and that if it got to that point, "the country might go down too." Or something like that.
But then, Carolina scored two touchdowns in the final 6:08 to push the line into wash cycle. Son learned a valuable lesson--"It's not over until Vegas says it's over"--but his 2-0-1 week was still good enough to edge Father Knows Bets (1-2) on a combo-plate winning weekend that reads like a NASA rocket launch (3-2-1).
On to Week 2...
UCLA at Oklahoma (-30)
Fresno State at Minnesota (-2.5)
Rice at Hawaii (-17)
Duke at Northwestern (-3)
Cal (-2.5) at Brigham Young
Michigan State at Arizona State (O\U 54)[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
Father Knows Bets:
I know UCLA is going to lose, probably big, in this mismatch of Powder Blue vs. Power 5, but 30 points is a lot of cover against a Pac 12 school that played in a Jan. 1 Rose Bowl as recently as...1999. Oh, wait, let's try it this way. If UCLA has any backbone at all under new Coach Chip Kelly it will NOT lose by more than four touchdowns?
Score: Oklahoma, 45-21
Rankman has been a Jeff Tedford admirer since Downey's favorite son took over at Cal and coached Aaron Rodgers to a huge upset win over USC in 2003. Tedford is now at Fresno, coming off a 10-win season with a returning quarterback. Not only do I like his Bulldogs to cover at Minnesota, I like Fresno to win.
Pick: Fresno State (24-21)
Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald has already thrown for 846 yards and nine touchdowns. Rice has already defeated Prairie View...by three points.
Pick: Hawaii, 50-21
Son says Brain Bowl between Duke and Northwestern will come down to a game-ending, three-point equation that keeps the lawn clean in Chicago's lush north side suburbs.
Pick: Northwestern, 31-28
Son says Cal restores Pac 12 pride by ONLY losing by two points at Provo Tech (Caffeine Free). But that's good enough to cover the 2.5 points the Bears are getting.
Score: BYU, 30-28
Son says ASU will be inspired by the other ASU, Appalachian State, and throw a serious points scare into another Big Ten East team favored by some to make this year's playoff. First-year coach Herm Edwards screams "You play to win the Over" as he leads the home team against Michigan State.
Last week: Rankman (1-2), Son (2-0-1) for 3-2-1