Mr. College Football's Picks: Week 4

I don’t want to talk about it.

No, really, I don’t want to talk about it.

Okay, I’ll talk about it. But only because you asked.

My daddy used to say that “even a blind hog will find an acorn now and then.” His point was that the sheer luck of the draw means that you’ll occasionally get something right. Nobody can be wrong all the time.

Nobody, that is, but your humble scribe.

Yes, we defied the odds and went a less-than-crowd pleasing 0-6 against the spread last week because some very interesting things happened. Really, you can’t make this stuff up:

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**--Kentucky, a five-point underdog, went to South Carolina and won straight up (23-13).

**--Mississippi State, a five-point underdog against LSU at home, won by 30 (37-7).

**--I picked the Florida Gators to beat Tennessee but to not cover the five. Florida won 26-20 on a Hail Mary pass on the last play of the game

**--I picked Clemson, a five-point favorite, to win at Louisville but not cover. That final: Clemson 47, Louisville 21.

**--I picked Duke to beat Baylor at home but to not cover the 14 points. Duke kicked a field goal with about five minutes left and won 34-20.

And now we are 6-12 three weeks into the season. We’ll try to do better this week:

MISSISSIPPI STATE (plus 6 ½) at GEORGIA: Mississippi State looked great against LSU and its quarterback, Nick Fitzgerald, is the real deal. But this is the best Georgia defense I have seen since the 2012 team that lost to Alabama for the SEC championship. That’s a big number but I think a late field goal gives Georgia the win and the cover.

The winner: Georgia.

The score: Georgia 27, Mississippi State 20.

AUBURN at MISSOURI (Plus 18 ½): It has been a very tough stretch for Auburn as it committed five turnovers in a sloppy 24-10 win over Mercer. Then on Monday backup quarterback Sean White, who has 16 starts in his career, was kicked off the team. None of it matters because Auburn has a great defense and Missouri, bless their hearts, is so bad.

The winner: Auburn

The score: Auburn 35, Missouri 3.

ALABAMA AT VANDERBILT (Plus 18 ½): By its standards, Alabama struggled last week on defense against Colorado State. Alabama lost two starting linebackers in the first game with Florida State and so the defense is still trying to find its rhythm. Vanderbilt is coming off a very good win over Kansas State (14-7) and its defense has given up only 13 points in three games. Alabama will wear Vanderbilt down for the win but the Tide doesn’t cover.

The winner: Vanderbilt

The score: Alabama 28, Vanderbilt 13.

FLORIDA at KENTUCKY (Plus 2 ½): As the week went on this line got smaller and smaller because Kentucky is playing with a bit of a chip on its shoulder and Florida, quite frankly, hasn’t figure out what it is. Florida has beaten Kentucky 30 straight times and the streak has to end sometime, right? The streak will end, but not this Saturday.

The winner: Florida

The score: Florida 20, Kentucky 17.

TEXAS A&M VS. ARKANSAS (Plus 2 ½) at Arlington, Tex. Both coaches—Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Arkansas’s Bret Bielema—really need this one to calm down their respective fan bases. Texas A&M has won five straight in the series and has a better defense. The Aggies are plus-8 in turnover margin.

The winner: Texas A&M

The score: Texas A&M 31, Arkansas 24.

DUKE at NORTH CAROLINA (plus 3): Duke is 3-0 after two impressive wins over Northwestern (41-17) and Baylor (34-20). North Carolina’s (1-2) only win was against Old Dominion. Duke is doing it with a defense that is No. 1 in the nation against the run (47.67 yards per game) with their opponents converting only 12 percent of their third downs. Not bad.

The winner: Duke

The score: Duke 21, North Carolina 14.

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