The Picks: Pluses, minuses to Pac 12 promotion

Washington head coach Chris Pederson talks to the media about his team getting less exposure than other teams on the East Coast due the late starts of the Huskies' games.

Chris Peterson is exactly right.

At the same time, he has it all wrong.

The Washington Huskies coach decided to sound off this week about the “Pac 12 After Dark” promotion that he feels is bad for his fans and bad for the program.

“We want to play at 1 p.m.,” he said. “It hurts us tremendously in terms of national exposure. No one wants to watch our game on the East Coast that late, and we all know it.”

Here’s where he is right — it isn’t fair for the fans to have all late games. And it does hurt Pac 12 Heisman Trophy candidates and it could be an issue with the College Football Playoffs.

Here’s where he is wrong — it shouldn’t.

This is part of the problem in college football, that it’s a sport that goes from noon to 2 a.m. in the East and we have to get some sleep. But for the voters, whether it be the AP Poll or Heisman or Groza or Butkus — and the CFP committee, you owe it to the teams east of the Mississippi to make an effort.

I’m not saying voters have to stay up and watch all 14 hours worth of games. That’s a “me” problem because I’ll hang in there as long as there is a competitive game and at least the threat of a cold chicken wing in the fridge.

But they need to take some time on Sunday morning to find out what happened and watch highlights at the very least. You shouldn’t be voting if you don’t have DVR capabilities. I’ve said it before, there are too many Heisman voters who can cast a ballot without seeing legitimate contenders play even one game.

I’d cut the Heisman to 100 voters and, if I’m not included, I can live with it. And any AP or Coaches poll ballots that come in with late FBS games still in doubt should be thrown in the trash.

Then again, I’m a curmudgeon.

I was a successful curmudgeon last week, however. I called for 10-0, but went 9-1 on The Picks with USC-Washington State being the lone loss. And, yes, I watched it Friday night.

Most of it.

Some of it.

So Dr. Football doesn’t have to take the degree down from the wall quite yet after a great comeback from futility. Some days are diamonds. Some days are rocks. Had to sneak one Tom Petty lyric in there.

That’s 34-16 for the season so far. You can look back, but it’s best not to stare. OK, two Tom Petty lyrics. You just want me to get to The Picks? Well, the waiting is the hardest part.

LSU AT FLORIDA: It was 11 years ago that Florida played a 3:30 p.m. CBS game against LSU on Homecoming (16 days after Tom Petty’s famous Gainesville concert). Nobody cared then that LSU was Homecoming and you know what? Nobody cares anymore this year. Losing your own Homecoming to Troy can suck all of the indignation out of a fan base. I have no idea what will happen Saturday because I have no idea what the LSU mindset is. So, Florida 24-21.

MIAMI AT FSU: I’m curious which team Florida fans are rooting for. On the one hand, Miami is still in the national championship picture. On the other hand, FSU is not. But it’s still the Semis and rooting for them might make you throw up in your mouth a little. I’m not going against winning streaks this year. FSU, 28-18.

ALABAMA AT TEXAS A&M: Ha ha, right. Like I’m picking against Alabama. It’s the one game I know I’ll get correct. Roll Tide. Alabama, 37-23.

WASHINGTON STATE AT OREGON: This game drew the prime time slot of 8 p.m. which means it will be over before Sunday. Washington, on the other hand, starts its game at 10:45 EDT and might not be over before church. Oregon, 42-35.

GEORGIA AT VANDERBILT: Poor Vandy. Derek Mason puts together a pretty strong team and the SEC hits the Commodores with the Alabama-Florida-Georgia trifecta. That’s just not right. Georgia, 38-16.

ARKANSAS AT SOUTH CAROLINA: This game is an example of why the SEC is still thought of to be down. I thought both would be better. But injuries change everything. Arkansas, 28-21.

WEST VIRGINIA AT TCU: GameDay will be here and I think it’s just because Fort Worth is such a cool city. Oh, and there’s kind of a big game. The Fighting Will Griers are going to break some hearts. West Virginia, 42-34.

OLE MISS AT AUBURN: This nightmare will too end some day for the Ole Miss fans. Just not on this day. Auburn, 45-19.

MISSOURI AT KENTUCKY: Is Missouri still in the league? Kentucky, 23-14.

MICHIGAN STATE AT MICHIGAN: If Sparty wants to be nationally relevant again, this is the opportunity. Not so fast. Michigan, 27-20.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

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