Although I did fairly well in my Labor Day weekend SEC predictions, I managed only a 3-3 record in last week’s national picks. Now you know why I tell you I’m awful as a college football prognosticator, so, please, no matter how tempting it may be to trust my apparent acumen, take heed when I tell you: Don’t Bet On It!
Each of the following games will be played on Saturday, September 10, unless otherwise indicated:
Arizona Wildcats at Oklahoma St. Cowboys (Thurs., Sept. 8): By the time kickoff rolls around, this could count as the first Pac-16 conference game, but, for now, it’s just a clash between head coaches with anger management issues that would give Brian Kelly pause. Though there is little doubt which team wore the uglier uniforms on Labor Day weekend---not that I’m one to talk---it appears equally clear that the Pokes will rope the ‘Cats.
Missouri Tigers at Arizona St. Sun Devils (Fri., Sept. 9): One of these two teams has the media markets to be an SEC expansion target, while the other has the NCAA history to be an SEC candidate. Yeah, road trips to Tempe would be tough if ASU joined the SEC West, but the last time Georgia played there was also just about the last football game Bulldog Nation enjoyed, so the Sun Devils have that going for them. Arizona State also has in its favor home field advantage and the fact that Mizzou fields a bunch of paper Tigers, which is why I’m siding with the Sun Devils to help right the Pac-12 ship after a subpar opening weekend.
TCU Horned Frogs at Air Force Falcons: The last three national games I’m picking this week, starting with this one, all have something in common: None of them would be competitive in the wild. I mean, falcons versus frogs? That’s not even close to a fair fight. Texas Christian’s vaunted defense looked less than impressive last week, so it will be interesting to see how the Horned Frogs fare against a completely different style of offense, but I trust TCU to right the ship. (Please note that I did not just endorse Gary Patterson to be the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs in 2012. Let’s not even go there.)
Nevada Wolf Pack at Oregon Ducks: See what I mean about mascot battles that would be slaughters in nature? A pack of wolves against a badelynge of ducks---yes, a badelynge of ducks---would be too brutal to watch. On the football field, however, I believe Nevada will give the home team a game in Eugene, but I like Oregon to prevail in a shootout in Autzen Stadium.
BYU Cougars at Texas Longhorns: By the time kickoff rolls around, this could count as a battle between the country’s two leading independent powers (sorry, Notre Dame), but, for now, it represents the Cougars’ attempt to start out 2-0 against AQ conference clubs in Southern states. Though the ‘Horns didn’t succeed in hooking very many opponents last autumn, I believe Brigham Young will find Texas a tad tougher to tame than Ole Miss.
Those are my picks, but, then, what do I know? I don’t even know what a saluki is, which should provide you with all the warning you would ever need. Just in case you enjoy an undue level of risk, though, I will take this opportunity to offer a less than subtle reminder: Don’t Bet On It!
Coming Soon: National Game of Disinterest.