McD took quite the beating last week in his picks so he’s taking the week, and probably longer, off from picking spreads on games. He swears it’s a sucker’s bet to pick spreads early in the season anyway. Something about it being hard to tell what the hell a team is going to do this early in the season blah, blah, blah. That said, you weren’t very smart if you actually took his advice anyway. So here’s this week’s preview of Saturday’s best games. Enjoy. As always, the picks are for novelty purposes only.
Akron (1-1) at Indiana (2-0) (-13)
Yeah, yeah, yeah we’re homers for even including this game in our weekend picks. Whatever. We don’t care. Even the possibility of IU going 3-0 is enough for us to freak out. Plus, it puts IU that much closer to the MAC title game. They already made it through Western Michigan and, should the Hoosiers beat Akron, only have to beat Ball State later this season. Going 3-0 against MAC teams may not sound impressive to most fans, but it’s a big deal for IU fan.
Anyway, Akron has really struggled on offense this season while Indiana has not. Hence the Zips being 13-point road ‘dogs to freaking Indiana. Quarterback Kellen Lewis is the best dual-threat quarterback in the Big Ten. That’s right, I said it. And I hope receiver James Hardy ends up on the Chargers one day, as long as he keeps his speed and doesn’t become a tight end. We already have Antonio Gates, dude, put the hamburger down.
(22) Tennessee (1-1) at (5) Florida (2-0) (-7.5)
We don’t know why ESPN’s preview calls Florida’s quarterback “Jeff Tebow,” but we think it has something to do with one of those soap-opera plot twists where the evil twin brother comes to town and causes havoc. Some on of the Gators’ staff needs to make sure Tim Tebow isn’t stuffed in a closet somewhere.
We all know that Florida is tough to beat at home in the Swamp and Tennessee didn’t exactly look stout in their first road game at Cal this season. Phillips and I always take this occasion to throw around the Steve Spurrier classic “you can’t spell ‘citrus’ without UT” quote because no one has been the SEC’s Colonel Klink quite like Phil Fulmer. So now he’s taking his squad into Gainesville and things aren’t looking so good. This looks to be another nip-and-tuck, SEC affair, but don’t be surprised if Urban’s Heroes fool Colonel Fulmer again.
Notre Dame (0-2) at Michigan (0-2) (-8)
As we said in our preview of this matchup yesterday, at least Michigan has its offense to fall back on, even if Lloyd Carr is using the same playbook that Bo Schembechler used. This game just seems like great fun to watch because either way, a team many love to hate will end up 0-3. Sometimes Greg Easterbrook’s football gods give us something we didn’t even know we wanted. If we were gambling this week, we’d say that Notre Dame may actually be able to get within eight points of Michigan. Luckily, we’re just watching out of pure enjoyment this weekend. Misery loves company, so we’ll be right there mocking whoever loses this one.
Pick: Michigan, but in the end, we all win.
(10) Ohio State (2-0) at Washington (2-0) (+4)
Ohio State played close with Akron last week and Washington beat ranked Boise State. Plus the Buckeyes are on the road and Washington freshman quarterback Jake Locker is turning himself into quite the hero. When we said you shouldn’t sleep on Willie Tuitama, we really meant Jake Locker. Suddenly, this game is actually interesting. Will Ohio State drop a road game they probably scheduled a few years ago because Washington was terrible? We sure hope so. Hating Ohio State in the Big Ten is the only thing more fun than hating Michigan.
(16) Arkansas (1-0) at Alabama (2-0) (+3)
Talk about a contrast in styles in this game. Alabama is headed by excellent-college-head-coach Nick Saban while Arkansas is run by Houston “King of Cell Phones” Nutt. Arkansas still has Darren McFadden and Felix Jones in the backfields, even if they don’t have a sane head coach. This game could be a calling-card win for Saban in his first season. It’s hard not to notice that Arkansas is ripe for a bad conference loss. They ought to beat Alabama, even if they can’t throw the ball. Maybe they shouldn’t have run Mitch Mustain out of town quite so quickly though. It’s just hard not to see Alabama winning this game in one of those close, but not exciting games that can only happen in the SEC.
Fresno State (1-1) at (19) Oregon (2-0) (-16.5)
Weird game here. Oregon is coming off the Michigan win, which leaves them reeking of “letdown game.” Fresno State nearly beat Texas A&M and their high school offense last week too and the Bulldogs are usually good for one or two games a year where they play close with a power conference team. They may have spent their bullets last week, however. Whatever the case, since we have no money, we can’t say that we’re sure Fresno covers, but don’t be surprised if they make it interesting for a bit. Also, this is week two of our Free Jonathan Stewart campaign. We implore you again, Oregon, stop with the shotgun spread offense and let Jonathan Stewart run the ball like Greg Easterbrook’s football gods intended: with a full back ahead of him instead of getting the ball from the quarterback next to him. Do it for the children.
(21) Boston College (2-0) at (15) Georgia Tech (2-0) (-6.5)
This should be an excellent game in the wacky ACC. BC is a senior-laden team with a really great offense and Georgia Tech has a fast, mean defense and running back Tashard Choice. Plus there is no Reggie Ball on Georgia Tech to screw things up anymore. One doesn’t often get to say that they could do a better job than a division 1-A quarterback and have it be actually true. It’s going to come down to who will make more plays on offense and BC has a couple more weapons than Georgia Tech. However, given how last week turned out, it’s probably best to pick against us, so for the sake of karma, we’re picking…
Pick: Georgia Tech
(1) Southern California (1-0) at (14) Nebraska (2-0) (+9.5)
Nebraska has no option in this game but to try and slow the pace way down. They will win if, and only if, they can run the ball successfully. If Sam Keller has to throw 35 times, they’re done because they cannot win a shoot out with USC. The problem is that Southern Cal didn’t wow anyone against Idaho two weeks ago. That was probably because they didn’t want to give away anything on film for this game, but it still leaves one unsettled. 9.5 points seems a bit high for a road favorite, but it IS USC. We bet it stays close for the first half or so, but eventually USC pulls away because Nebraska just won’t be able to slow things down for long enough.
Season record: 2-6 Last week: 2-6