After going 4-3 the first week I really, really thought we were set up for success on the second week.
Brutal. Just brutal. Let us count the ways:
My upset pick of South Carolina over Georgia was so wrong. I picked Clemson to win at Texas A&M and they did but the Tigers didn’t cover the 10 ½.
Kentucky broke its 31-game losing streak to Florida by winning straight up in The Swamp.
In fact, the only games I got right were Mississippi State, which was very impressive in winning big at Kansas State, and Ohio State winning and covering the 35 against Rutgers.
So after two weeks we are 6-8 against the spread but I am not deterred nor am I afraid. It’s a long season. Here are this week’s picks:[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
The game: LSU (plus 10) at Auburn, 3:30 p.m., CBS.
The Pick: Auburn
The Score: Auburn 20, LSU 10.
The Skinny: If I had real money on this game I would take the Under (45) all day long. Auburn (2-0) has the most athletic defensive line it has had since Gus Malzahn has been head coach. Auburn will shut down the run and make the LSU (2-0) quarterback, Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow, throw much more than he would like.
The game: Alabama at Ole Miss (Plus 21) 7 p.m., ESPN.
The Pick: Alabama
The Score: Alabama 46, Ole Miss 21
The Skinny: Ole Miss (2-0) scored 76 points last week against Southern Illinois, an FCS team, but gave up 41. The defense is bad which means that the new Alabama offense is going to have a very fun day. Watch for Alabama to pound Ole Miss early with the running game and then throw over the top later in the day. This game is up to Nick Saban. If he wants to cover the 21 points he’ll turn his guys loose.
The game: Vanderbilt (plus 13.5) at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. NBC
The Pick: Vanderbilt
The Score: Notre Dame 35, Vanderbilt 24
The Skinny: The line started at 14.5 and by Friday it had dropped to 13.5. Vanderbilt (2-0) has looked pretty efficient in its first two games against Middle Tennessee State (35-7) and Nevada (41-10). The Commodores go on the road for the first time and face a Notre Dame (2-0) team that struggled last week with Ball State. The last time Notre Dame faced an SEC team at home Georgia pulled out a 20-19 win in 2017. Notre Dame wins but the Irish can’t cover 13.5.
The game: Colorado State (plus 19.5) at Florida, 4 p.m., SEC Network.
The Pick: Florida
The Score: Florida 42, Colorado State 20.
The Skinny: Kentucky beat Florida in The Swamp last week by pounding the rock (303 yards rushing). Colorado State has averaged only 86 yards rushing in its first three games. There is a lot of restlessness going on down in Florida and next Saturday the Gators go to Tennessee trying avoid an 0-2 start in the SEC. QB Feliepe Franks took a step back last week. He needs to take a step—or two-- forward in this game because the schedule is about to get real.
The game: Ohio State vs. TCU (plus 12), at Arlington, Tex. 8 p.m., ABC
The Pick: TCU.
The Score: Ohio State 24, TCU 17.
The Skinny: Last week I said I was going to pick Ohio State to cover every single week. I’ve changed my mind as the Buckeyes go to Arlington, Tex., with coach Urban Meyer still under suspension. This will be the first road trip for the Buckeyes and their opponent will be playing only 18 miles from their campus in Fort Worth. TCU’s Coach Gary Patterson is 5-1 against Big Ten opponents. I don’t see the Horned Frogs winning this game but do see them getting under the number.
The game: Boise State (plus 2.5) at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.
The Pick: Boise State
The Score: Boise State 35, Oklahoma 30.
The Skinny: Boise State has the kind of team that can go 13-0 and become a part of the playoff discussion. The major potential stumbling block is this trip to Stillwater, America. In wins against Troy and UConn the Broncos, led by quarterback Brett Rypien (73.2 percent completions), scored 118 points. Oklahoma State (2-0) has scored 113 points in two non-conference games. I like the Broncos straight up in this one.