Posted: 12:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, 2013
By Chris Pendley
So Tennessee's fresh off a bye week, South Carolina's fresh off a massacre, and this is a noon kickoff so the normal laws of reason don't really apply here.
Wisconsin-10 over Northwestern. "Northwestern put everything into last week. I'll wager that'll show this week with the Badgers overpowering Northwestern." I'll wager that was a good wager. 1-0
Utah+8 over Stanford. Gotta love the dog with the straight up win. 2-0.
Oregon St./Washington St. over 62.5. A bit nervy after a 3-3 first quarter, but they got rolling for a total of 76 points. Thassa win. 3-0.
BYU-7 over Georgia Tech. As it turns out, neither team changed that much from the 41-17 thrashing in Atlanta last year. 4-0.
UNLV-8.5 over Hawaii. I went to bed when UNLV was outgaining Hawai'i by 200 yards and leading by 19 in the fourth quarter, so I'm going to assume that's a win. . . wait, they then let Hawai'i score 20 straight? I have a rule about never betting the road team in Vegas. Maybe I should expand that. 4-1.
BC+24.5 over Clemson. BC literally could've covered this without scoring. 5-1.
Iowa @ Ohio State (-17.5) - I had a horrible week last week. Let's return to something I know: hoping Iowa is abjectly terrible.
Iowa State @ Baylor (-33.5) - oh, and Baylor outscoring everyone by horrific margins.
Georgia @ Vanderbilt (+7) - I'm going to punch James Franklin when he just fails to cover. SEE YOU AT MIDFIELD, JAMES. BE THERE WITH BELLS ON, SON.
Kent State (+7) @ South Alabama - South Alabama - still - has yet to play a game at a margin larger than 7 points. This seems like a small stretch, but South Alabama is a weird team, and the only team South Alabama beat by a TD is Western Kentucky, last seen throwing interceptions into a sarlacc.
Southern Miss @ East Carolina (-22.5) - Southern Miss is so, so bad. Why'd it take me this long to go against them?
Northern Illinois (-15.5) @ Central Michigan - I'm kind of counting on nobody paying attention to Central Michigan and driving this line down by a few free points.
Steve Spurrier-7 over Tennessee: I just don't think we have the horses on either side of the ball to keep it close. Plus I don't think Tyler Bray was very good.
Akron-7 over Hipster Miami: Akron is far from a juggernaut, and not even by MAC standards, but Hipster Miami is just on a different planet right now, and not in a good way. They are just absolute pure trash -- atrocious at every single aspect of the game of football other than being atrocious at the game of football. They, in fact, excel at being certifiably atrocious at the game of football.
Duke+2.5 over UVA: Smart kid fight!!! Who's gonna get their glasses knocked off? But seriously, UVA is abysmal on offense and so the fact that Duke isn't very good on defense isn't really a major deal. Because one thing I've noticed in observing college football over the years is that a certifiably abysmal offense won't score points on even the most atrocious of defenses. In other words, an offense has to reach a certain level of competence before they can put points on ANYBODY. And I"m not sure UVA meets that threshold on offense. Duke, on the other hand, has shown that they can put points on the board, and I think they'll do that here. I think Duke wins outright.
Clemson+3 over Florida State: There is no question that FSU is a solid football team this year, but I just think it's Clemson's year in the ACC.
Maryland -5.5 over Wake Forest: Wake is arguably terrible at the game of football.
North Texas-3.5 over La. Tech: The Mean Green have treated me well this year. And Skip Holtz is still coaching La. Tech, last time I checked.
Kent State +7 over South Alabama. Kent State is nowhere near as bad as their record indicates. Their five losses have been to the three best teams in the MAC (including a tight one with Ball State Saturday), LSU, and Penn State. South Alabama may not be the pushover expected in preseason, but they'll present a legitimate chance for the Flashes to get into the win column. And that they love close games is a bonus.
Indiana +9.5 over Michigan. Michigan has trouble putting folks away. Indiana is getting a doctorate in hanging around.
Arizona -4 over Utah. Utes are going to have to prove to me that they can leave their home state and win (yes, this is their first game outside the state. I guess they traded scheduling philosophies after Urban bolted to UF). After two consecutive down-to-the-wire battles against ranked teams, I'm not sure they're at 100% sharpness a third straight week.
Florida -3 over Missouri. Do you trust Missouri's backup quarterback? Didn't we see that movie last year? As much as I hate to say it, I trust Florida's defense to talent their way into a 17-13 victory. Which would be plenty in this case.
Georgia Tech -7.5 over Syracuse. When you ask yourself what the most Georgia Tech thing in the world is, beating a mid-level ACC team by 30 the week after losing by three scores to BYU seems pretty high on the list.
New Mexico +10.5 over Utah State. It's hard to say how far USU will fall without Chuckie Keeton, but a road game against a suddenly feisty New Mexico team is probably not the best way to find out.