And we’re back!! It is the second most glorious time of year, behind only the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s holiday season. After a long hiatus football has returned and it is time to dive into year two of the Pigskin Picks of Profundity. In the inaugural season of the PoPs I finished with a dismal record of 46-71-1 (a 39% winning percentage). I can absolutely guarantee that I won’t lose as much in 2013. Why?? Well…because instead of picking 7 games each week I am only picking 5. There are two reasons for this. First of all I kind of felt like things got a bit repetitive at some point last year, as if I was picking the same teams week in & week out. So this year we’ll spread the love a bit. Secondly, as promised, my eldest nephew Zachary will be making his picks as well. We’ll be the Siskel & Ebert of football. And yes…I am well aware that anyone under the age of 30 is unlikely to get the reference. Deal with it. At any rate, the NFL is still in pre-season mode but college football begins during this long Labor Day Weekend and surprisingly I was able to find a handful of intriguing matchups. I should note that I have not looked at Zach’s picks and he does not know mine so this should be entertaining.
Georgia (-2) at Clemson
Both teams are ranked in the Top 10 of both pre-season polls. In my pre-season rankings I have both teams just outside the Top 10. Both offenses should put on a show, while no one really knows what to expect from either defense. I think that both teams are likely to finish highly ranked with 9 or 10 wins no matter what happens here, but whoever loses this one is almost immediately out of the national championship picture. Also the winning QB…either Georgia’s Aaron Murray or Clemson’s Taj Boyd…will become an early Heisman frontrunner while the loser is probably out of the race. It is certainly the highlight of the first week of action and should be a close, entertaining game. Zach likes Boyd & Clemson’s explosive offense and believes a breakout season starts with a huge home victory. I like Murray and Georgia’s defense just a bit more.
My Pick Georgia
Z’s Pick Clemson
LSU (-4) vs TCU
Neither is a Top 10 team but both are generally considered Top 20. I have LSU ranked 23rd but didn’t put the Horned Frogs in my Top 25. The Bayou Bengals lost a ton of talent to the NFL but do return senior QB Zach Mettenberger. Meanwhile, TCU will be led by either senior signal caller Casey Pachall or sophomore Trevone Boykin. Pachall led the team to a 4-0 record in 2012 before being arrested for DWI and going to rehab. Boykin stepped in and the team was 3-6 with him under center. This is technically a neutral site game that’ll be played in the massive Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, but it should be pointed out that the stadium is 17 miles from Fort Worth, TX (home base for TCU) and 450 miles from LSU’s campus in Baton Rouge. Maybe they define neutral differently down there in the heartland than we do in Appalachia. Anyway, Zach correctly recalls that it took TCU two overtimes in 2012 to defeat our WV Mountaineers and their 119th ranked defense. He predicts a blowout. I am a bit more reserved in my enthusiasm, but either way we agree on the pick.
My Pick LSU
Z’s Pick LSU
Nevada at UCLA (-20)
I predicted big things for UCLA, but for them to have anything close to a Top 15 finish they must win the games that they are supposed to win. I have no doubt that they’ll be victorious in this contest. However, what intrigues me is the point spread. This is exactly the reason I include the spread in these picks. Three touchdowns is a lot…especially in the first week of the season. Plus Nevada utilizes the pistol offense and scored nearly 38 points per game in 2012 while going 7-6. Will the Wolfpack defense improve in 2012?? Can UCLA’s offense, led by sophomore QB Brett Hundley, keep up?? Neither Zach nor myself believe Nevada will lose by 20 points.
My Pick Nevada
Z’s Pick Nevada
Mississippi St. at Oklahoma St. (-13)
Here we have another point spread game. I’d be shocked if the Cowboys lost, but can they cover the two touchdowns?? It is unknown who will start behind center for Oklahoma St. and it is likely that two quarterbacks will see action, but does it really matter?? This is always a high scoring team, averaging about 43 points per game in 2012…which was actually a dropoff from their jaw dropping 48 points per game in 2011. Zach & I both think Oklahoma St. wins this one easily.
My Pick Oklahoma St.
Z’s Pick Oklahoma St.
Boise St. at Washington (-3.5)
I am a bit surprised that the Huskies are favored in this game. Boise St. is ranked 19th in both major pre-season polls and has won 10+ games in each of the past 7 seasons (during which head coach Chris Petersen is 84-8). Meanwhile the Huskies have had three straight 7-6 seasons. I double checked the odds multiple times so there is no mistake. I suppose heavy consideration is being given to home field advantage, but it still seems strange…as if the folks in Vegas know something we don’t. However, taken at face value the situation actually makes the choice fairly easy. Though I don’t have the Broncos in my Top 25 it is only because I think they’ll have to win 11 or 12 games to be ranked at the end of the year and the novelty of their underdog status has kind of worn off for me. But I certainly don’t believe they’ll screw the pooch in their first game against a mediocre opponent. Zach isn’t buying it either.
My Pick Boise St.
Z’s Pick Boise St.
- TCU’s Patterson may play Pachall and Boykin Saturday night (wafb.com)
- Countdown to SEC kickoff: 2 days (espn.go.com)
- Week 1 Picks (paulonsports.wordpress.com)
- TCU may find way to start two QBs vs. LSU (espn.go.com)
- Preview: Louisiana State at Texas Christian (wyff4.com)
- College Football Picks Week 1: Predicting High-Profile Season Opening Matchups (bleacherreport.com)