Back by demand (at least my demand) are my college picks. I’ll take 10 games, pick against the spread, and hopefully make myself and all of you a hefty profit.
San Jose State (+34) at USC – With true freshman Matt Barkley making his first-ever start in his first-ever game, 34 points seems to be a little much. Expect USC to keep it simple. Pick: San Jose State
San Diego State (+19.5) at UCLA – Another kind of hefty spread, but I like Neuheisel in year two to roll over Brady Hoke and the mess at San Diego State in year one.
Maryland (+21) at California – After being forced to play at 9 a.m. Pacific time in Maryland last year and losing, Cal is having the Terps play at 10 p.m. Eastern time. Turnabout is fair play.
Stanford (-17) at Washington State – Stanford seems to have things building toward a bowl bid this year. Washington State is basically a dumpster fire at this point.
LSU (-17.5) at Washington – After finishing 0-12 last year, the last thing the Huskies needed was to face a national-title contender in week one. The losing streak continues.
Virginia Tech (+6.5) vs. Alabama (Atlanta) – The Tide established themselves as a BCS level team at this site last year, blowing out Clemson. I don’t expect a blowout, or much scoring, in this one.
Pick: Virginia Tech
Georgia (+4.5) at Oklahoma State – Apparently Joe Cox, Georgia’s starting quarterback, has swine flu. I’m not making that up. That gives the Bulldogs little margin of error against an Okie State team hungry to prove its worth.
Pick: Oklahoma State
BYU (+22) vs. Oklahoma, Dallas – The Cougars and Sooners get to play the first-ever non-exhibition football game in the posh Cowboys Stadium. At least the BYU fans will get big-screen, HD replays of Sam Bradford’s five touchdown passes.
Missouri (+6.5) vs. Illinois, St. Louis – Ever since these neighbor-state schools started battling each other, the wins have gone toward Missouri. But with no Chase Daniel or Jeremy Maclin, the Illini have too much Juice (Williams that is).
Miami (Fla) (+6) at Florida State, Mon – These teams are moving back to Labor Day after a two-year absence, apparently forgetting the two visually displeasing season-opening matchups in 2005 and 2006. This one won’t be pretty either.
Pick: Florida State