We’re running at a fairly good clip now, picking correctly against the spread 61 percent of the time. One of the blemishes last week came from my UCF-South Carolina pick. I should have known better than to pick against UCF. They are now a perfect 4-0 against the number.
What we learned: Jameis Winston is still really good. Tyler Murphy can run the Gators offense efficiently enough to keep winning games. South Florida is truly, truly bad. And Arkansas head coach Brett Bielema could not have looked any goofier in this video.
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It looks like he stepped on an ice patch. Maybe the Gators can have Macaulay Culkin come into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and set up a few more Home Alone style booby traps around the Razorbacks locker room. Bielema standing on the sideline with an iron burn on his face, no shoes and covered in feathers would make my day.
Onto the picks!
Arkansas – Florida
If you like old school, punch you in the mouth, grind it out style of football then this is your game. Arkansas running back Alex Collins is a star in the making, but will he be able to find any running room against the Gators defense. The Razorbacks are averaging 237 rushing yards per game. The Florida defense has given up 214 rushing yards all season. Points will be at a premium and one turnover could be the difference.
Pick: Florida isn’t going to blow out too many teams with Will Muschamp at the helm. They’ll grind out a close victory at home on Saturday, but won’t cover the 10.5 point spread. Arkansas 13 – Florida 21
Maryland - Florida State
The Terps have been one of the early-season surprises in college football. Last year, Maryland was using a linebacker at quarterback due to a slew of injuries. This year, C.J. Brown is back from an ACL tear and has tossed seven touchdowns and only one interception. The Maryland defense is also improved, but I don’t think they can slow down Famous Jameis and his cast of talented characters.
Pick: Maryland has only beaten FSU twice and this won’t be the third time. Florida State wins by two touchdowns, but that’s not enough to cover the 14.5 point spread. Maryland 27 – Florida State 41
UCF – Memphis
The Knights will have to try and avoid a let-down after the huge game against South Carolina last week. This will be the first AAC game for UCF, so I doubt George O’Leary will allow his team to lay an egg on the road at Memphis. The Tigers have held their opponents to only 17 points per game, but that won’t be the case on Saturday.
Pick: UCF opens conference play with an easy victory in Tennessee and continues their undefeated stretch against the number. The Knights are favored by 10.5 points. UCF 31 – Memphis 14
Georgia Tech – Miami
Miami is off to its best start since 2004 and ranked in the top ten in scoring offense and defense. Georgia Tech and their triple-option attack hope to keep the ball away from Stephen Morris and the Canes offense. Morris is nursing a bruised bone in his ankle, but I expect him to gut it out and play Saturday. The Miami offensive line shouldn’t have a tough time keeping Morris upright. Georgia Tech is last in the ACC in sacks and tackles-for-loss.
Pick: Miami might not hit their average 33 points due to the Ramblin’ Wreck ground game, but Canes still win by more than 5.5 points. Georgia Tech 13 – Miami 28
Ohio State – Northwestern
If you’re a Buckeye transplant living in Central Florida, then you can watch your team on Channel 9 for a second straight week. Before we get to a bit about the game, check out this video of the entire Buckeye team hugging Columbus sports anchor Dom Tiberi after the win over Wisconsin. Tiberi’s daughter recently died in a car crash.
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The Buckeyes have dominated the series recently with Northwestern, winning 28 of the past 29 meetings. Braxton Miller is healthy again and the only chance the Wildcats have is if he turns the ball over 3 or 4 times. The Wildcats currently lead the country in interceptions and points off turnovers.
Pick: Ohio State stretches the nation’s best winning-streak to 18 games and covers the 5.5 point spread. Ohio State 35 – Northwestern 28