Like with my high school picks, I pretty much stunk in my first shot at the college picks, going 3-7 against the spread. Let’s nip that in the bud before whatever credibility I have left gets flushed.
USC (-7) at Ohio State
Everyone knows that the Trojans romped the Buckeyes last season at the Coliseum. Everyone knows that USC kills Big Ten teams with impunity. Most know that Ohio State struggled with Navy last week. However, a true freshman making his first road start at the Horseshoe makes me take the home team here.
Pick: Ohio State
UCLA (+10) at Tennessee
This spread has grown two points since it was originally released, with the betting community being pretty impressed with the Vols’ destruction of Western Kentucky. Not sure how good Tennessee really is, but they have a score to settle from last year at the Rose Bowl.
Purdue (+12.5) at Oregon
It will be interesting to see how the Ducks respond after the LaGarrette Blount-Boise State fiasco. With the Ducks laying an egg, no pun intended, and Blount laying out a Boise defensive player with a straight right, along with a Purdue team that scored 52 coming in, I have to go with the Boilers to cover.
Stanford (+3) at Wake Forest
Got one thing to say about this game – noon Eastern start. That means Stanford will be playing at 9 a.m. Pacific time according to its internal clocks. Cal did that once last year at Maryland and was in a funk, getting down big before losing close late. I see the same thing happening here.
Pick: Wake Forest
Oregon State (-7) at UNLV
Could be a big of a tricky game for the Beavers, who are notoriously slow starters. The Rebels have talented and can nab unsuspecting Pac-10 teams, winning at Arizona State last year. I’ll go with UNLV to give Oregon State a headache.
Idaho (+20) at Washington
The Huskies, despite losing their 13th straight game, impressed against LSU, moving the ball at will at times against the Tigers. Steve Sarkisian has U-Dub going in the right direction and they’ll break the streak in style.
Hawaii (-2.5) at Washington State
This game is not for the faint of heart. Hawaii struggled mightily with I-AA Central Arkansas before winning its opener, while Washington State was beat down by Stanford. I refuse to think that Hawaii is bad enough to actually lose to Wazzu, so I’ll go with the Warriors here.
Notre Dame (-3) at Michigan
Being a Michigan graduate, I’ll try my best to take off the homer goggles here. Both of these teams were surprisingly impressive against decent non-BCS conference competition last year, combining to beat their opponents 66-7. This series tends to favor the underdog historically, which is why I’m going with the Wolverines in a coin-flip game.
South Carolina (+7) at Georgia
Whatever you bet in this game, take the under as one of your wagers. This game is always low scoring and hard hitting, as Georgia won 14-7 last year. Both offenses struggled mightily in their openers while the defenses looked good. With Georgia QB Joe Cox gimpy, I’ll go with the Gamecocks here.
Pick: South Carolina
North Carolina (-4.5) at Connecticut
This would be an awesome basketball game, as these two programs have combined for four national championships on the hardwood since 1999. Its not a bad football game either, with Butch Davis bringing some talent to the Tar Heels and Randy Edsall making UConn a tough out. I’ll go with the better basketball team here.
Pick: North Carolina