Well, the first week wasn’t great but neither was it awful as I went 3-3 on my regular picks and picked Ohio State to cover in my bonus pick.
I didn’t believe LSU could play that well and sure didn’t believe Tennessee would play that poorly.
And I figured Coach Khaki Pants was due--overdue in fact--to win something. Wrong. But I was right about this: Jim Harbaugh has no clue how to use quarterback Shea Patterson.
So we will take 4-3 and hope to do better in Week Two. Here we go:
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The game: Georgia at South Carolina (plus 10.0), 3:30 p.m. CBS
The Pick: South Carolina
The score: South Carolina 28, Georgia 27
The skinny: The Bulldogs (1-0) are a strong favorite but they also have a history of going to Columbia and struggling when they have the better team. Georgia is 1-3 in its last four trips to Williams-Brice Stadium. South Carolina (1-0) has installed a new up-tempo offense and will hope to keep Georgia’s defense, which is rebuilding, on the run in what are sure to be hot conditions. Georgia may wear South Carolina down with its superior depth but hey, we need an upset on the board.
The game: Clemson at Texas A&M (plus 12), 7 p.m. , ESPN
The Pick: Clemson
The score: Clemson 35, Texas A&M 21
The skinny: Clemson (1-0) is loaded, particularly on the defensive side of the ball where they have four pros playing up front. Texas A&M (1-0) was very physical in its opener with Northwestern State, as Trayveon Williams ran for 240 yards. Well, Clemson ain’t Northwestern State. Clemson is going for its fourth straight trip to the College Football Playoff.
The game: Kentucky (plus 13.5) at Florida, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network
The Pick: Florida
The score: Florida 35, Kentucky 20
The skinny: Kentucky (1-0) has lost 31 straight games to Florida and that streak will not end on Saturday night. The Wildcats have one of the best running backs in the SEC in Benny Snell and last week they rallied from a 17-7 deficit to beat Central Michigan 35-20. The Gators looked excited last week in their first game under Dan Mullen. Kentucky has played Florida (1-0) tough for several years so don’t be surprised if they get inside the number. But I don’t see the Gators losing in The Swamp.
The game: Mississippi State at Kansas State (plus 8), Noon, ESPN.
The Pick: Mississippi State.
The score: Miss. State 27, Kansas State 17
The skinny: A couple of interesting facts: In September games under Bill Snyder, Kansas State (1-0) is 68-9, with six of the losses coming on the road. In September home games Snyder is 55-3. In fact, the last time Kansas State lost a September home game was in 2014 to Auburn. The Wildcats had to struggle to beat South Dakota 27-24 in their opener. Remember that Mississippi State (1-0) quarterback Nick Fitzgerald will make his first start after sitting last week due to suspension.
The game: Georgia Tech at South Florida (plus 3), Noon, ABC
The Pick: Georgia Tech.
The score: Georgia Tech 35, USF 31.
The skinny: This one is going to be entertaining. USF (1-0), coached by Charlie Strong, showed a dynamic offense last week with four passing plays of 20 yards or more. USF is quarterbacked by Blake Barnette, a graduate transfer from Arizona State who began his college career at Alabama. Barnett completed 24 of 34 passes last week against Elon. Georgia Tech (1-0) easily handled Alcorn State in its opener, 41-0. It was the first shutout Georgia Tech has recorded in 57 games. Look for Georgia Tech and quarterback Taquon Marshall to run the ball well. This game opened as a Pick'em.
The game: Arkansas at Colorado State (plus 14), 7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network
The Pick: Arkansas.
The score: Arkansas 35, Colorado 17
The skinny: When the week started Arkansas (1-0), which handled Eastern Illinois in its opener, was a mere 6.5-point favorite. Now the number is 14. That’s interesting. The Hogs are trying to settle on a quarterback, Cole Kelly or Ty Storey, to run the up-tempo offense of Chad Morris. So look for both of them to play. Colorado State (0-2) has really stumbled out of the gate, losing at home to Hawaii (43-34) and Colorado (45-14).
THE DOUBLE PLATINUM, TAKE-OUT-TWO-MORTGAGES ON THE HOUSE, DEAD-SOLID-PERFECT LOCK OF THE WEEK
The game: Rutgers (plus 35) at Ohio State, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
The Pick: Ohio State.
The score: Ohio State 49, Rutgers 10
The skinny: Folks, I’ll just tell you straight up. I’m going to pick Ohio State (1-0) to cover every single week. The Buckeyes are a mad football team and are going to take it out on every team they play. Ohio State has been especially tough on Rutgers since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten in 2014. Here are the results of the past four meetings.
2014………………..Ohio State 56, Rutgers 17
2015………………..Ohio State 49, Rutgers 7
2016…………………Ohio State 58, Rutgers 0
2017…………………Ohio State 56, Rutgers 0
Total��…………..Ohio State 219, Rutgers 24