It’s my birthday y’all!! However, the difference between 23 and 46 is that doing these picks will be the highlight of my day, sandwiched between doing laundry and going to work later tonight. Adulting really isn’t much fun sometimes. And speaking of no fun…last week was pretty brutal. Zach (4-4) bested me (3-5) and has now taken the season lead. Both of us are still below .500, but for now we’re not going to chase wins with bonus picks.
My Season: 13-18
Z’s Season: 14-17
Texas vs. Oklahoma (-7.5)
The Red River Shootout. I know the talking heads don’t use that moniker anymore because of misguided social engineering, but I don’t follow their rules. The 5-0 Sooners have steamrolled thru a fairly mundane schedule and haven’t missed former QB Baker Mayfield at all. The Longhorns are 4-1, but wins over USC & TCU have created a ripple of excitement in Austin, TX that’s been missing for several years. This is a neutral site game being played at the old Cotton Bowl in Dallas, which means no discernible home field advantage for either team. Oklahoma has looked unstoppable thus far, but this will be their first legit test. Texas has shown a spark here & there the past few seasons, but it never amounts to anything. So this appears to be a crossroads for both teams. I don’t know who will come out on top, but I believe that the victor will win by less than a touchdown. Zach concurs. He believes this game will be a high scoring affair with very little defense.
My Pick: Texas
Z’s Pick: Texas
LSU (-2.5) at Florida
The Bayou Bengals have been en fuego!! At 5-0 they have victories over Auburn, Miami (FL), & Ole Miss, which has them in the playoff conversation. The 4-1 Gators have looked pretty solid and The Swamp is one of the best home fields in college football. I think this will be a fun game, but at the end of the day LSU is clearly the better team. Zach thinks this game will be a lot better than most expect, but his concern is Florida’s inconsistency on both sides of the ball.
My Pick: LSU
Z’s Pick: LSU
Kentucky at Texas A&M (-6)
Kentucky is good…at football?? We have to go all the way back to 1984 for the last 9 win season for the Wildcats, but at 5-0 it looks like that is a reasonable goal. And with wins over Florida & Mississippi St. we can’t say their schedule has been soft. A&M is 3-2 under new $75 million head coach Jimbo Fisher, which probably has the folks in College Station dissatisfied, but they need to be patient. I’m a little surprised by the points. I know all about The Twelfth Man at A&M, and it’s no shock that folks are a bit hesitant to buy into Kentucky just yet, but a six point spread seems a bit disrespectful. Having said that, I have to go with the favorites. Zach is looking forward to a close game but believes Kentucky is legit.
My Pick: Texas A&M
Z’s Pick: Kentucky
Notre Dame (-6) at Virginia Tech
This is probably the best matchup of the weekend, with Notre Dame in the playoff conversation and Tech one baffling loss to Old Dominion away from being a Top Ten team. Of course it’s that inexplicable misstep that has everyone perplexed. If this game were being played in South Bend the Irish would be a double digit favorite, no one would bat an eye, and we probably wouldn’t even be discussing it. But strange things happen in Blacksburg on Saturday nights. I anticipate a really fun & close game, and I’m going to pull the trigger on picking the upset cause that’s how I roll. Zach agrees.
My Pick: Virginia Tech
Z’s Pick: Virginia Tech
Jacksonville at Kansas City (-3)
These are probably the two best teams in the AFC right now given New England’s shaky start and Pittsburgh’s dysfunction. I’m not sure that’ll be the case by season’s end, but we’ll deal with that when the time comes. Essentially what we’re all looking forward to seeing is the Chiefs’ high flying offense versus the Jags’ impermeable defense. In my season preview I called Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette “an injury waiting to happen”, and sure enough he is missing games with a hamstring issue. Is that enough to cost his team this game?? I think it might be. Conversely, Zach likes the Jags’ defense to finally get KC quarterback Pat Mahomes to come crashing back down to Earth.
My Pick: Kansas City
Z’s Pick: Jacksonville