Anyone else wondering if the Waterboy movie should have focused more on academics? Just us? Okay, on to the picks.
TEXAS (+8) over Oklahoma: So many fits and starts have created righteous pause before uttering those three powerful words. Saying, “Texas is Back” is akin to conjuring Beetlejuice. One should not play around. But if ever the Longhorns had a chance to prove that they are once again relevant contenders, this is it. Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray has been Baker Mayfield 2.0. Tom Herman’s offense (19.8 points/game) must continue to be strong and Sam Ehlinger must continue to be judicious with the football. We’re banking on Texas grinding and grinding to the final five minutes before succumbing to their Red River Rivals. Oklahoma 24, Texas 17.
SYRACUSE (-3) over Pitt: The Orange outplayed Clemson last week before falling just short. Meanwhile, the Panthers have been a trainwreck, giving up 32 points/game while trotting out a lackluster offense. Syracuse’s Eric Dungey has done it against the fiercest front four and should encounter must less resistance. And if you can perform in Death Valley, you can perform anywhere. Cuse 41, Pitt 28.
WAKE FOREST (+20) over Clemson: Dabo Swinney survived the Trevor Lawrence injury nightmare. Chase Brice, the next man up, did enough to win. Travis Etienne was spectacular. Yet doubts persist. Clemson does not seem on-par with the other serious College Football Playoff performers, and certainly can’t match resume-wise. The Demon Deacons can score and provide a challenge with a few stops. Back on a sleepy start from the Tigers before roaring late. Clemson 45, Wake Forest 28.
WISCONSIN (-17.5) over Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are abjectly terrible. A trip to Ann Arbor ended in a 56-10 bloodbath as Michigan simply lined up and ran through monster holes. Iowa put up a 56-burger as well. Purdue scored 42 in Lincoln. The Badgers will do the same thing, just more effectively. Hide the children, folks, because this will be unsuitable for their precious eyes. Wisconsin 73, Nebraska 14.
LSU (-1) over Florida: Not to jinx it but there’s a guy out there who said LSU would be undefeated at this point of the season. Joe Burrow has been a revelation, the defense has been stout and Coach O is weighing in on the marching band playing “Neck.” It’s all happening. It will be a bit of a Spiderman pointing meme in Gainesville, but the Tigers won one of those already, at Auburn. LSU 16, Florida 13.
2018 Record: 11-13