The first week of the season always has a bunch of easy picks and honesty compels your Fearless Friday Forecaster to admit that none of the tough picks went his way:
Picking Georgia over Oklahoma looked good after the first possession of the game. Then Oklahoma State woke up and the Georgia offense took a nap for the rest of the day.
The Florida State pick over Miami looked promising until the Seminoles dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone as time expired.
I really thought Wake Forest was going to beat Baylor 24-21. Instead it was the Bears, and QB Robert Griffin, who prevailed by the same score.
So that gives us a modest record of 7-3. And it will only get tougher from here on. So let’s press on with this week’s edition of the Fearless Friday Forecast:
1. South Carolina at Georgia: The latest internet rumor has Joe Cox selling barbeque sandwiches out on East Campus and Buck Belue coming out of the broadcast booth to start at quarterback against South Carolina. That’s not true and neither was the rumor that Logan Gray would start ahead of Cox against the Gamecocks. Cox starts. Gray plays. Georgia wins because it HAS to with a trip to Arkansas coming up next week. Georgia 17, South Carolina 10.
2. Mississippi State at Auburn: Auburn and its new coaching staff got a solid test against Louisiana Tech while Mississippi State was picking on Jackson State. The good news is that a rookie head coach gets to say he is 1-0 in the SEC. That will be Auburn’s Gene Chizik. Auburn 35, Miss. State 17.
3. Vanderbilt at LSU: LSU had better hope the 478 yards its defense gave up at Washington was not a sign of things to come. This will be closer than the experts think. LSU 28, Vanderbilt 20.
4. UCLA at Tennessee: Tennessee takes a significant jump in class after pounding a bad Western Kentucky team. The goal is the same: Establish the run to make QB Jonathan Crompton comfortable. This is all about getting ready for the Mighty Gators next week. Tennessee 31, UCLA 17.
5. Troy at Florida: I thought Troy might have enough athletes to at least make this competitive for a half. But the Trojans lost their opener to Bowling Green. We do know that Troy is better than Charleston Southern. Florida 45, Troy 14.
6. FIU at Alabama: Coach Nick Saban told everybody—players, managers, media, and fans—that we are not allowed to overlook FIU. The Golden Panthers, who were 1-23 in 2006 and 2007, rolled to an impressive 5-7 last season. Okay coach, whatever you say. This game is about working on the offensive line and making QB Greg McElroy even more comfortable. Alabama 42, FIU 3.
7. TCU at Virginia: After losing to Bill & Mary last week, things don’t look good for the Cavaliers of Al Groh as TCU comes to town. Every time a Mountain West team plays an ACC team it wants to make a statement: We deserve an automatic BCS bid, not you guys. TCU 28, Virginia 17.
8. Jacksonville State at Florida State: Bobby Bowden has had a lot of gut wrenching losses to Miami. Given the time and place in his career, Monday night’s 38-34 defeat to the Hurricanes has to be right up there with the worst. The Seminoles bounce back and get ready for a trip to BYU. Florida State 45, Jacksonville State 14.
9. Notre Dame at Michigan: The fan bases at these two schools began the season in a bad mood. Both were calmed down a bit when Notre Dame beat Nevada (35-0) and Michigan beat Western Michigan (31-7). If Notre Dame loses, then the Urban Meyer rumors start again. If Michigan loses the heat gets turned back up on Rich Rodriguez. Notre Dame has more athletes and a veteran quarterback (Jimmy Clausen). Notre Dame 31, Michigan 27.
10. USC at Ohio State: USC has won eight straight non-conference games on the road. The Trojans will play a true freshman quarterback (Matt Barkley) making his first start on the road. Ohio State’s Terrell Pryor is just a sophomore and will have to play well for the Buckeyes to have a shot in the Horseshoe. USC has too much speed. USC 28, Ohio State 20.
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