(5) Boise State (0-0) at (19) Georgia (0-0) (+3.5)
I may be willfully misunderstanding some things about this game, but that’s why I’m a blogger: I get to pretend like I know what I’m talking about.
The first thing I don’t get is why anyone thinks Georgia is so great suddenly. What have they done to improve over last year’s disaster? Aaron Murray is good, yes, but their running game is even less intimidating and they lost their best receiver. Plus, while their defense has talent, they had talent last year when they sucked too. I like Mark Richt as a person too, but he’s in a rut there at Georgia. The Bulldogs have become stale and predictable. He may have changed coordinators a few times, but the offense still looks like the same Florida State offense Thad Busby was running back in the day.
The worry for Boise State is that they’ll get suckered into playing the finesse game because of Georgia’s size and speed defensively. This is exactly what Georgia wants because it means they can ugly the game up and maybe even win like 19-17 or something. I would expect Boise to go run-heavy with some easy draws and screens mixed in for their first couple of drives to take advantage of Georgia’s potential over-pursuit. The problem with the possession game is that it limits Boise’s explosiveness, so I expect a close game in the early going because Boise keeps it conservative. I don’t even have to say that Georgia will keep it conservative. That’s the only thing they do.
From a gambling perspective, Boise plays close with virtually every major conference opponent they play. They did it with Virginia Tech and Oregon State last year and sort of again in the Las Vegas bowl against Utah (scoring a season low 26 points in a victory).
Of course, this could all be hype for Boise State and a setup for a huge letdown season. Guess it depends on how you see Bryan Harsin. Dude actually took something of a demotion to coach at Texas. Co-offensive coordinator for a squad that wasn’t even .500 while Boise was almost in the national title game? Please. Harsin easily could have turned one more year with Moore and Co. into a head coaching job instead of a co-coordinator job at Texas trying to fix Gale Gilbert’s freaking kid. Chargers’ fans know what I’m talking about.
This isn’t the apocalypse for whichever teams loses this game, but if Georgia wins, the piling on Boise will begin immediately and be extremely exciting for those that hate parity and love big money dominating everything that is good and true in the country.
So root for Georgia if you want the big guys to always win, if you want ESPN to honk the SEC a little more because they’re in business together, and if you want to spend the next four months with no blue turf on national television and without a perceived underdog in the national title pictures. Who’s going to do it if Boise doesn’t? Hmm? F-ing TCU? Please. You need Boise to win as badly as they do. Do not let the biggies suck the life out of the game like this. It’s them that have been cheating in the first place and ruining college football.
The Boise revolution continues in 2011! Attica! Attica! Attica!
Pick: Boise State wins and covers 35-24