After a rough week two, I thought T.J. Yeldon was going to come in and double throat-slash my picks. We did get the train righted this past week with a 3-1 performance, pushing the overall record to 8-5 against the spread.
Here’s what I learned in week three: Johnny Manziel is the most entertaining football player I have ever watched. Johnny Football torched a Nick Saban defense for more than 500 yards of offense and made it look easy. Everyone talks about the Bridgewater sweepstakes in the NFL, but if my team needs a QB, I want Manziel. Maybe not first overall, but I want an arrogant quarterback running my team.
That brings me to my next point. UCF is good enough to hang with Louisville and could very well end up in a BCS Bowl. Bridgewater looked pedestrian against Kentucky, while the UCF offense proved it’s talented enough to beat just about anybody.
Jimbo Fisher has done it again. Florida State was my lone miss in week three, thanks in part to Karlos Williams. The move from defense to offense instantly paid off for Williams, as he took the first carry of his career 65 yards for a touchdown. Fisher has a proven track record of moving players around and it working out. See Corey Webster, Devery Henderson and Xavier Rhodes.
Finally, be happy that Florida, FSU, UCF and Miami don’t play in the Pac-12. If they did, you’d have to deal with refs like these on a weekly basis.
<iframe width="350" height="263" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JQmNYPOgx40" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Let’s get to this week’s horrendous slate of games:
Tennessee – Florida
First off, if you still need a ticket to the game. Check this out: A step-dad is selling a date for his step-daughter that includes a ticket to the game. Only in the SEC.
I think Matt Jones is going to have a few dates with the end zone on Saturday. Tennessee was torched by Oregon this past week (471 yards passing/217 yards rushing). I know the Gators and Ducks offenses aren’t even in the same realm, but Florida had a week off to work out the kinks and they get guard Jon Halapio back from injury.
I believe Butch Jones will get the ship righted at Tennessee, but it’s going to be another year or two.
Pick: Similar to last year, Florida plods away through the first half and breaks it open late to cover the 17.5 point spread. Tennessee 10 – Florida 30
Bethune-Cookman – Florida State
Quick disclaimer, I would never bet on a FBS vs FCS game. The spreads end up being absolutely ridiculous and you never know when a coach is going to call off the dogs. Tip of the cap to Bethune-Cookman for their first ever win over an FBS-opponent last week when they knocked off FIU in South Florida. Florida International and Florida State are two different beasts.
Brian Jenkins has done a great job in Daytona over the past three years, but they don’t stand a chance in Tallahassee. Jameis Winston + Karlos Williams = Scary
Pick: Florida State takes care of business and covers the spread (-39) for a third straight week. Bethune-Cookman 7 – Florida State 52
Savannah State – Miami
Miami is also welcoming in a FCS opponent, but calling them an opponent may be too strong of a statement. Savannah State is one of the worst college football teams in the country. They’ve already lost this year to Troy and Georgia Southern by a combined score of 143-12.
Duke Johnson, Stephen Morris and the Canes should score 50 points by halftime.
Pick: Miami is favored by 60 points, which sounds ridiculous, but Florida State was favored by 70 against the Tigers last year. I trust in the awfulness of Savannah State and am picking the Canes to cover. Savannah State 3 – Miami 70
Clemson – NC State
The last time the number 3 ranked team in the country visited Raleigh, they lost. Remember that Florida State fans?? The fat man won’t be dancing tonight.
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/k5PaZw7Zm1U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Tahj Boyd torched the NC State defense last year with 426 passing yards and the Wolfpack lost most of their secondary from a year ago. They better have some backup light bulbs for that Carter-Finley Stadium scoreboard.
Pick: Clemson lights up the scoreboard again and cover the 13.5 point spread. Clemson 45 – NC State 21
Auburn – LSU
This weekend’s primetime matchup on Channel 9 (Michigan vs Connecticut) is a joke, so I’m throwing the Tiger on Tiger showdown in the Bru’s Clues rundown. Gus Malzahn has the Auburn faithful screaming “War Eagle,” but those yells will be muffled in Death Valley Saturday night.
Cam Cameron has Zach Mettenberger looking like a different quarterback from a year ago. On the other side, Nick Marshall led a nice final drive to help Auburn snap their ten-game conference losing streak.
Pick: This was a two-point game last year at Jordan-Hare. It won’t be that close in Baton Rouge, but give me Auburn and the 17.5 points. Auburn 20 – LSU 30.