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Don't Bet On It!: College Football Predictions in the National Games of Interest

By going 3-1 in my most recent set of national prognostications, I improved my record for the season in non-SEC picks to 17-11. Yeah, that’s right, 17-11. Now you know why I tell you . . . Don’t Bet On It!

This week’s national games of interest all will be played on Saturday, October 22, because I just flat missed that Arkansas State-Florida International Sun Belt barn-burner on Tuesday night:

USC Trojans at Notre Dame Fighting Irish: I admit it; I briefly considered making this the national game of disinterest, but, seeing as how the Men of Troy are 5-1 and the Golden Domers are 4-2, I thought that would be a bit of a stretch. I’m not sold on Southern California, nor will I ever be sold on any team coached by Lane Kiffin, and the purple-faced Brian Kelly (who, for all the absurd outrage directed at Todd Grantham and not at James Franklin, had the season’s most startling display of sideline outrage) has put some degree of fight back in the Irish. I’m taking Notre Dame to win at home, but, no, I don’t think that will wake up any echoes, so relax, South Bend.

North Carolina Tar Heels at Clemson Tigers: Those of us who have been waiting for the Fort Hill Felines to fold after their fast start thought last Saturday was the Jungaleers’ day of reckoning, but Dabo Swinney’s crew came roaring back to remain unbeaten. That makes it tough to disbelieve in this team, particularly when it’s playing in Death Valley. When the Orange and Purple renew their longstanding rivalry with the country’s oldest state-chartered university---oh, wait, they don’t renew that rivalry until 2013; this is just North Carolina---Clemson will win.

Washington Huskies at Stanford Cardinal: I want to believe in the Huskies, who have scored at least 30 points in each of their first six games, winning five of them. I want to disbelieve in the Cardinal, who have yet to defeat a team with a winning record. On the Farm, though, I’m taking Stanford to defeat a Washington outfit that didn’t exactly impress against the only other ranked team it faced.

Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan St. Spartans: Did you remember that, last year, Wiscy got the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl bid, even though the Badgers were tied for the league championship with a Michigan State team that beat the Badgers by a double-digit margin? Sparty sure does. I look for the perpetually smirking Bret Bielema to look as glum as Mark Dantonio after the Spartans win at home over cupcake-fattened Wisconsin.

As always, my skills as a forecaster are not to be trusted, so I strongly encourage you to enjoy my predictions for whatever entertainment value they happen to possess, but otherwise to place no stock in them whatsoever. In other words, whatever you do . . . Don’t Bet On It!

Coming Soon: National game of disinterest.

Go ‘Dawgs!