TCU Football is on Bye this week, giving you the weekend free to go to the zoo, or visit an art exhibit, or have a staycation, or clean your garage, or take your significant other on a date, or coach youth soccer, or go shopping, or do yardwork, or study. Just kidding, you will be parked in front of the TV with remote in hand to catch glimpses of each game on a stacked Saturday of College Football, free of the crippling anxiety that comes with watching the Horned Frogs.
#1 Alabama (-15) at #11 Florida - September 18, 2:30 PM, CBS
Another week with a heavyweight fight that appears severely slanted in one direction. Think the result works out differently for the Tide than it did last week for the Buckeyes. Alabama is Alabama, and even though The Swamp will be rocking, nothing changes that fact. Bryce Young has lived up to the hype so far, along with the never ending stable of superstar talent at every position. After only winning by 34 over FCS Mercer, Coach Saban got to reap the coachable points from his recurring rat poison speech, going into this big showdown. Even if Anthony Richardson takes over at QB for the Gators and is actually a mix of Tim Tebow and Cam Newton, it wouldn’t be nuts for Alabama to still win by two TDeez
My pick: Alabama wins (-750); Florida covers (+15); Total Under 60
#22 Auburn at #10 Penn State (-5) - September 18, 6:30 PM, ABC
This could be another game where the influence of homefield advantage truly takes over and the White Out in Happy Valley shakes Bryan Harsin in his first big test (at least on the football field) as Auburn Head Coach. I really like the Penn State skill talent around embattled QB Sean Clifford, and if he hits a few early plays the Nittany Lions could be rolling. However, PSU coach James Franklin may already be searching Zillow for homes in Los Angeles, diverting focus away from trying to slow down Auburn superstar RB Tank Bigsby.
My pick: Auburn wins (+165); Auburn covers (+5); Total Over 53
Louisville (+220) vs. UCF (-7) – September 17, 6:30 PM, ESPN
Why wait until Saturday? Friday night features our future Big 12 mate Knights on the road in their only P5 game of the season. UCF was able to overcome a 3 TD deficit vs. Boise in Week One, while Louisville also looked inept early vs. Ole Miss but was never able to recover. It’s possible Louisville may just be straight up bad - a TD home underdog indicates many people think so - and this game may become an embarrassing blowout loss for the Cardinals. But with so many close matchups this week, there aren’t many +200 or better options, so give me the middling P5 TD underdog at home over the highly talented G5 contender.
My pick: Louisville wins (+220); Louisville covers (+7); Total Under 67.5
Mississippi State (-3.5) at Memphis– September 18, 3:00 PM, ESPN2
The Tigers are coming off an escape at Arkansas State, surrendering 50 points (including a bomb to Frog-Fan favorite Te’vailance Hunt), while Leach’s Bulldogs won by two TDs over NC State in a surprisingly defensive struggle. Miss State has a severe letdown-lookahead situation coming off that big win and LSU on deck next week. While Memphis has been successful against Ole Miss when the Rebels travel to Tennessee, the Bulldogs haven’t suffered the same fate, although they haven’t faced off since 2011. I really wanted to pick Memphis in this game, but then their official Twitter account reminded that cowbells aren’t allowed in the Liberty Bowl. It’s just a loser mentality: you are already conceding that there will be in inordinate number of opposing fans in your stadium, that those fans will have an influence on the game, and that your only recourse is to hamper their experience via stadium rules. If you really wanted to hamper their experience and quiet those cowbells, kick their ass on the field…perhaps @TigersAthletics already knows that isn’t an option.
My pick: Miss State wins (-170); Miss State covers (-3.5); Total Under 64
Others Receiving Votes
- #15 Virginia Tech at West Virginia (-3) – Alright here’s the situation. The Western Part of Virginia vs. Western Virginia in the Battle for the Country Roads Cup (which would create so much more passion and vitriol than the Black Diamond Trophy they actually play to win in this rivalry – imagine the winner getting to claim the song as theirs until they lose it, the stakes would be so high!)
- #19 Arizona State (-4) at BYU – This game existing feels like a joke. America’s most disparate collegiate experiences facing off.
- Oklahoma State at Boise State (-3.5) – With the USC job now open, if the Cowboys can win on the Smurf Turf, Mike Gundy could turn the high-profile job opening into another (and another, and another, and another, and another, and another) opportunity for a lucrative contract extension.
- #16 Coastal Carolina (-14) at Buffalo – The Chanticleers may have a tougher time with Lance Leipold’s former team than they did with the Jayhawks team he currently coaches.
- Nebraska at #3 Oklahoma (-22.5) – Reigniting the great rivalr….LOL, JK. Sooners win by 4 TDs.
- #8 Cincinnati (-4) at Indiana – If the Bearcats can win their two big non-conference games, they’ll make the Playo….LOL, JK. Committee doesn’t even know they exist.