Because one guy flying to Brazil was so desperate for a successful business that he tried to smuggle seven snakes and three tortoises out of Florida by stuffing them in his pants (cue Mae West: “Are those reptiles in your pocket or are you …”), and because Miami president Donna Shalala suddenly can’t figure out why Nevin Shapiro would corrupt her fine young scholarly athletes with money and girls named Bambi and Candi (he seemed so nice when she was taking his booster checks), and because Nike continues to take over the world one football uniform design at a time (stitched together in Vietnam for 79 cents an hour) . . .
Hello. I am back.
We provide economic dreams here. By now, you should know how it works here at Weekend Predictions. Every week, I give you the winners. You just have to find them. Some projections might appear blemished when the game is played, but those are just clever plants to throw off competing investment firms. Your W.P. code book (available for $357.22) will help you decipher the real picks from the fake ones and accumulate great wealth. So sayeth my new director of economic development, Jim Donnan.
The “Sack Schultz” college football picks contest also returns this year. You can win tickets to the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, $100 Taco Mac gift cards, Fatheads and (drum roll) a $5,000 trip to Hawaii. Go to ajc.com/go/sack-schultz to enter. As usual, I get nothing.
So, onto this week’s big game. Georgia and Boise State both will be wearing new uniforms, designed by a 16-year-old on a Nacho-Cheese-Dorito-and-Red-Bull high. Players will look like escapees from “Rollerball.”
Otherwise, it should be a good game. Georgia will be better than 6-7 this season, if for no other reason than most of the schedule looks like Wofford on steroids. But there are too many questions. The offensive line, the defense, a freshman running back, no A.J. Green.
Boise State is 0-4 against SEC teams but it hasn’t faced one in the past five years. The Broncos also have won six of their past seven against BCS schools (including Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Oregon twice). Georgia is 2-8 in its past 10 games against ranked teams. So this isn’t the time to mock the Mountain West.
Just not feeling it, Dog fans. Boise State wins and covers 3.
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Western Carolina at Georgia Tech: The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive commemorative probation shirts that read, “The NCAA Says I’m Corrupt But All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt From Demaryius Thomas’s agent.” It’s Paul Johnson vs. his alma mater, and if his alma mater wins he might just want to get on the bus with them after the game. No worries. Not happening. No official line, but let’s say Jackets cover 24.
Oregon vs. LSU: LSU is missing quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who has been suspended pending charges that he kicked a man in the face, resulting in facial fractures and a concussion, which would have been fine if only Jefferson had made the SEC all-conference team last year. Damn liberals. LSU wins anyway (and take the 3).
Clark Atlanta at Georgia State: It’s year two for Bill Curry’s start-up program, although the Panthers are still a year away from conference play. Funny line from Curry on Clark: “They run an unusual offense. They play with two backs and a tight end, which is all we saw until six or eight years ago.” I love those old stories. GSU covers 10.
Utah State at Auburn: Cam Newton is gone, the trees are dying and Cecil Newton has been forced to close up his business, “The Huggy Bear Church of Ticket and Offspring Scalping.” Welcome back to reality, Gene Chizik. Then again, Utah State lost to Idaho last year. Check? Auburn covers 21.
East Carolina at South Carolina: Steve Spurrier has managed to suspend Stephen Garcia five times without him ever missing a game. Now he wants us to believe he’s acting tough and Garcia might lose his job to Connor Shaw. The only thing worse than a mercenary is a disingenuous mercenary. Roosters win but take East Carolina and 21 on principle.
Miami at Maryland: New Miami coach Al Golden needs a hug. He left Temple for this? Eight of his players are suspended. The line has dropped from 5½ points to 1. Ah, I’m feeling frisky. Canes win anyway.
(I just watched Donna Shalala’s latest video. When she responded to the NCAA investigation by comparing Miami to Stanford and Notre Dame, it reminded me of Billy Madison’s oral exam on the industrial revolution. My response follows.)
By Jeff Schultz