Picking 10 this week was a tough task


Published: Friday, September 2, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 2, 2011 at 12:30 a.m.

While we have been breathless this week in anticipation of the start of college football season, it's really next week that is fun.

Because then, we actually have something to go on rather than preseason magazines and conjecture.

Even though there are very few games with a pulse on the first weekend of college football, we will draw conclusions from the performances of first-year quarterbacks, second-year coaches and third-year hot dog vendors.

We will overreact to debuts and project seasons based on four quarters of football. It's what we do.

Unfortunately, the schedule-makers made it difficult on Dr. Football this opening week because finding 10 games worthy of The Picks is harder than finding 10 people who think Nevin Shapiro is misunderstood.

But ... game on.

Florida Atlantic at Florida: I know Gator fans are tired of hearing what Florida might be or could be or may not be. They want to know what Florida will be. I'm not sure we will know after Saturday, but first impressions are important for a new coach. Florida, 35-14.

TCU at Baylor: Usually we get dog games on Friday nights, but this one could be a good one. First upset special of the new season, Baylor 24-23.

South Florida at Notre Dame: On the one hand, Notre Dame should be better in its second year under Brian Kelly and is coming off a strong finish. On the other hand, I think momentum from one year to the next is overrated. On the third hand, uh, where did that third hand go? Notre Dame, 38-26.

Boise St. vs. Georgia: The last time Georgia played in the Georgia Dome was the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2006. The significance of this? I haven't had lunch yet. Georgia, 35-30.

LSU vs. Oregon: The next time someone is ranting about the poor student-athletes needing money, ask them how Jordan Jefferson ended up with 49 pairs of shoes. On an unrelated note, “The Hat” will find a way to rally his team and Jerry Jones will offer Les Miles the Cowboys job after the game. LSU, 28-20.

Brigham Young at Ole Miss: When you don't think a Houston Nutt team will be any good, he usually surprises you. And vice versa. Because I think Ole Miss will be awful, Mississippi 28-24.

East Carolina vs. South Carolina: Steve Spurrier said Connor Shaw may start the game. But he may give Stephen Garcia another chance. Heard that before? South Carolina, 34-20.

Elon at Vanderbilt: How many times this year will The Picks be able to say this? Vanderbilt 34-10.

SMU at Texas A&M: Normally, this game would have no chance to make The Picks. But I wanted to welcome the Aggies to the conference. Texas A&M, 42-21.

Miami at Maryland: I'm out of Miami jokes. Maryland, 17-14.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at dooleyp@gvillesun.com.

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