Yikes. Other than Florida State over BYU, I would have been better off flipping a coin last week, and the only lock about my locks of the week is that they will lose. You can still get rich reading this; just make sure you do the exact opposite of what I'm suggesting.
Record: 7-12-1 (Cal pushed against Minnesota.)
Lock of the Week (Toledo): 0-1
Lock of the Week (Toledo, USC, Penn State): 0-3
As always, I only pick games involving AP Top 25 teams that have a line (so no OK State-Grambling State pick this week), the home team is in CAPS, the lines are Danny Sheridan's, and all of these picks are 100% correct. Also, I'm adding in my predicted lines from my College Football recap.
#1 Florida (-21.5) over KENTUCKY
Predicted line: Florida by 28
After hearing about how much they "struggled" to beat Tennessee by 10, the Gators should be looking to make a statement in Lexington.
#2 TEXAS (-34.5) over UTEP
Predicted line: Texas by 32.5
While complaining about Florida's non-conference schedule, I should have been paying attention to the scrubs the Longhorns have been playing (Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, now UTEP).
Arkansas (+15.5) over #3 ALABAMA
Predicted line: Alabama by 7.5
Beating Virginia Tech by 10 points while scoring 34 on their vaunted defense is pretty impressive; that said, I don't see why the Crimson Tide are getting so much love in this game. Arkansas's offense is legit, while I'm still not convinced Alabama's is (93 combined points against North Texas and Florida International doesn't quite carry the weight that 41 against Georgia does).
SOUTH CAROLINA (+3) over #4 Ole Miss
Predicted line: Ole Miss by 4.5
UPSET ALERT! Ole Miss, who somehow have climbed to #4 despite playing Memphis and SE Louisiana, start a long, disappointing campaign towards 7 wins in Columbia on Thursday night.
Iowa (+10) over #5 PENN STATE
Predicted line: Penn State by 7
Penn State has lost 4 of their last 5 meetings with the Hawkeyes, including last year's 24-23 loss in Iowa City. I don't think Iowa can win this game, but I do think they'll keep it within a touchdown.
OREGON (+6) over #6 Cal
Predicted line: Oregon by 1.5
Cal is off to a great start this year, and they may even be the best team in the PAC-10, but can you remember the last time they won a big game when they were supposed to? And wasn't Oregon supposed to be one of the top teams in the PAC-10? Was their asshole running back really that valuable? If Cal can come out of Eugene with a win, clear space for me on their bandwagon; I'm just going to have to see it to believe it.
#7 LSU (-13) over MISSISSIPPI STATE
Predicted line: LSU by 12
Almost got this one on the nose. Thirteen (or twelve) seems like the perfect number for this LSU team since it is equal to the talent difference between the two teams divided by the Tigers' penchant for playing sloppy and inconsistent football.
#8 Boise State (-17) over BOWLING GREEN
Predicted line: Boise State by 18
I'm starting to get good at this. Maybe I should be a bookmaker.*
*I would be the worst bookie ever, since I have no ability to intimidate. Somehow, I would end up owing the losers money.
#11 VIRGINIA TECH (+2.5) over #9 Miami
Predicted line: Virginia Tech by 1
Miami looked damn good in their beatdown of Georgia Tech, but playing in front of a friendly crowd and playing in Blacksburg are two completely different things. I hope Miami wins, if only to add more drama to the Sooners October 3 visit to southern Florida. My pick, though, is Virginia Tech.
Washington State (+44) over #12 USC
Predicted line: USC by 24
This is one of the most ridiculous lines I've ever seen. How can a Trojans team that has scored a combined 31 points against opponents not from San Jose be favored by more than six touchdowns? Washington State just beat a almost-decent SMU team, so it's not like the Cougars are the completely terrible team they've been for the past few seasons .* I don't get it.
*They're just mostly terrible.
Illinois (+14.5) over #13 OHIO STATE
Predicted line: Ohio State by 11
Juice Williams is 1-2 against the Buckeyes in his career, with the two losses coming by 10 and 7 points (and the win coming in the Horseshoe). I like Williams to cap off his (semi-) successful career against Ohio State with a 9 point loss to the Bucks.
#14 CINCINNATI (-16.5) over Fresno State
Predicted line: Cincinnati by 9
Cincinnati is in the midst of perhaps their greatest season of college football ever, while Fresno State is quickly getting typecast as the plucky underdog that gets overwhelmed in the end. My only concern for the Bearcats in this one is that the slow, steady stream of good things being said about them may cause them to relax a little, which is a dangerous thing to do against a Pat Hill-coached squad.
CLEMSON (-3) over #15 TCU
Predicted line: Clemson by 2.5
I love TCU's defense, but I love Clemson's offense just a little bit more. Add in the home field for the Tigers, and I'm picking Clemson to beat a ranked opponent yet again.
Texas Tech (+1) over #17 HOUSTON
Predicted line: Texas Tech by 2.5
Texas Tech proved they could move the ball (414 total yards, 24 points) against a relatively stout defense in Austin last week, while also possessing far more defensive talent than Oklahoma State. Therefore, I can't see how anyone can expect Houston to outscore the Red Raiders in a probable shootout.
#18 FLORIDA STATE (-18) over South Florida
Predicted line: Florida State by 5
I predicted this line before I knew South Florida QB (and all-time Big East leader in total offense) Matt Groethe was lost for the year. That such a tremendous career should end so abruptly and anti-climatically is a real shame. Looks like my pre-season Big East champions are instead looking at a .500 season.
#19 BYU (-15) over Colorado State
Predicted line: BYU by 15
DINGDINGDINGDINGDING! I nailed the shit out of this one. BYU should demolish the surprisingly undefeated Rams.
Southern Miss (+13.5) over #20 KANSAS
Predicted line: Kansas by 11
I don't really think Southern Miss can win this game, but I really want to see it happen, just so the Conference USA can get a marquee win to hang its hat on.* This pick definitely came from the heart and not the head.
*After typing that sentence, I Googled "Conference USA football upsets." The first result was of course Houston's win over then #5 Oklahoma State. I'm going to leave that sentence in there, though, just so you can grasp how (much more) stupid I am before I edit these things.
#21 GEORGIA (-12.5) over Arizona State
Predicted line: Georgia by 4
Georgia's offense looks like it should have looked last year when Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno were sharing the backfield. (The problem last year, of course, was that Matthew Stafford sucks balls.) I predicted the line so low because I thought Vegas would realize that the Bulldogs' defense still hasn't suited up yet this season.
GEORGIA TECH (-2.5) over #22 North Carolina
Predicted line: Georgia Tech by 4.5
I can't wait until the Yellow Jackets run all over Butch Davis's boys and the Tar Heels finally drop out of the top 25, never to return again.
#23 MICHIGAN (-21) over Indiana
Predicted line: Michigan by 13
The Wolverines Rejuvenation Tour should continue this weekend against a Hoosiers team that spoiled the opening of the Akron Zips fancy new digs.
#24 Washington (+7) over STANFORD
Predicted line: Stanford by 1.5
I like the Cardinal to win this game, but seven points? I could've sworn the Huskies just beat the 3rd ranked team in the country.
#25 NEBRASKA (-26.5) over Louisiana-Lafayette
Predicted line: Nebraska by 17.5
Never bet against the Cornhuskers vs. a Sun Belt team (just ask Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State). And who set up Lafayette's non-conference schedule (doesn't start too badly with Southern, but then Kansas State, at LSU, and now at Nebraska), Lou Holtz? LOCK OF THE WEEK.
Conference Champions and BCS Bowl Projections (changes in italics)
ACC: Virginia Tech
Big 12: Texas
Big East: Cincinnati
Big Ten: Penn State
Conference USA: Southern Miss
MAC: Central Michigan
Mountain West: BYU
Sun Belt: Louisiana-Lafayette
WAC: Boise State
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. California
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Miami
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
Rose Bowl: USC vs. Penn State
National Championship Game: Florida vs. Texas
National Champions: Florida Gators