College Football


I usually get the picks out Thursday afternoon, but there was too much real life stuff happening yesterday for me to think about sports, so they got delayed until today. Posting the picks on Friday the 13th? What could go wrong?

Georgia at Auburn (-1.5)

Auburn’s offense, after an abysmal start, is finally catching on. The defense is still catching up, but Georgia is dealing with so many injuries I’ll give the Tigers the edge. Auburn 27, Georgia 17

NC State at #16 Florida State (-9.5)

I can’t get a read of the ‘Noles, who are decidedly better than the 2014 team that stumbled to an undefeated regular season, but are so in a decidedly unspectacular fashion. If Florida State sticks to the time-tested game plan of “give the dang ball to Dalvin Cook as many times as possible,” they should be able to keep a Wolfpack unit missing its leading rusher, Matthew Dayes, off the field. Florida State 32, NC State 24

Miami at #17 North Carolina (-12.5)

The Tar Heels are currently enjoying their best season since the Mack Brown-led 11-1 campaign in 1997. The Hurricanes are . . . well, let’s put a nice spin on it and say the Hurricanes are enjoying a nice post-head-coach-firing bounce, going 2-0 since relieving Al Golden. They’ve won two slobberknockers but I can’t see this defense slow down the powerful big play threat posed by UNC. North Carolina 38, Miami 27

#3 Alabama at #20 Mississippi State (+8)

This one screams letdown game for Alabama after the big win over LSU last week . . . the 2015 Tide are a phenomenal football team wins games the way a boa constrictor hunts prey. It’s not sexy but man is it ever effective. Normally I would like Dak Prescott‘s chances to shake things up but the Tide are so solid defensively, Prescott may not be much of an x-factor. Alabama 31, Mississippi State 17

#25 Memphis at #16 Houston (-7)

The Tigers’ offense can score points, but so can the Cougars’, and Houston has a much more solid defense. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. is as dynamic a playmaker as there is anywhere in the country, and he’ll have plenty of options to dice up a poor Tigers defense. Houston 38, Memphis 30

Oregon at #7 Stanford (-10)

With a healthy Vernon Adams this Oregon offense has returned to form, scoring 61 points against Arizona State and shredding Cal for 777 yards . . . but that defense, allowing 37.2 points per game and ranked 115h in rushing S&P+, won’t be able to slow down Christian McCaffrey and the Cardinal. Stanford 52, Oregon 38

#12 Oklahoma at #4 Baylor (-3)

Even without Seth Russell, even against the best Sooner team in years, the oddsmakers like the Bears at home against the resurgent Sooners, who since losing 24-17 to Texas have scored 55, 63, 62, and 52 points. Jarrett Stidham performed about as admirably as you could hope in his debut against Kansas State (419 yards, three scores, no picks) . . . but Baker Mayfield has been similarly impressive (10.2 yards per attempt, 28 touchdowns, 4 picks). The Bears’ defense will have its paws full . . . I’ll take a Sooner team with fewer defensive issues. Oklahoma 56, Baylor 49

Minnesota at #9 Iowa (-12.5)

Which is the real Gophers team: the one that surrounded 48 points to Nebraska or the one that battled Michigan, Ohio State, and TCU to near-stalemates before conceding late? I’m not sure the Gophers have really figured out who they are offensively yet (and at this rate, probably won’t in 2015), and while Iowa is about as fun to watch as grass growing, they’re set in their identity. Iowa 29, Minnesota 20

LAST WEEK, ATS: 1-7 (23-33 SEASON)

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