Season's greetings from The Picks


Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is suspended for the first half of the Aggies' home opener Saturday against Rice. (AP Photo)

Published: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:16 p.m.

This just in — Johnny Manziel has been accused of accepting a new Mercedes from a Texas A&M booster. The NCAA, after meeting with his lawyers, has decided to suspend Manziel from the opening kickoff of the Alabama game.

Has there ever been a more transparent penalty than the half of a game Johnny Sharpie will miss Saturday for signing thousands of autographs that he knew would be sold? The NCAA has always been known for its suits, but now faces more of them than there are at the Men's Wearhouse.

The last thing they wanted was another one so they gave Manziel a slap on the wrist. But not the one on his throwing arm.

Somewhere, Galen Hall had to be fuming. Since when does the NCAA need actual evidence?

There are things in life that everyone of you believes even though you didn't see it actually happen. You might believe there was a second shooter in Dallas or that Babe Ruth called his homer or that Tennessee watered the field in 1928. Well, I believe Manziel (and Cam Newton) either took money or was promised money or someone in his camp received money for all of those signings.

And it will influence my Heisman Trophy vote at the end of the season.

Enough with the garbage of an unseemly offseason. It's football time, which means it's time for The Picks.

Toledo at Florida: This game could be as unattractive as Miley Cyrus dancing, but the only thing that matters is winning the game. Try to enjoy it Gator fans. You only get six of these home games this year. Florida, 27-17.

Georgia at Clemson: I've been going back and forth on this game. When in doubt, always go with the SEC. Georgia, 34-31.

Mississippi State-Oklahoma State: You know that song by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis where they sing, “Like the ceiling can't hold us?” You don't? You don't have a 12-year-old daughter? You don't know that the One Direction movie comes out today? You aren't a Belieber? I have to get control of my car radio. Anyway, I think about ceilings when I think about Mississippi State. Because the ceiling can hold the Bulldogs. Oklahoma State, 42-28.

Alabama-Virginia Tech: The Hokies have a chance because, oh, what am I talking about. Unless Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas is a completely different player than the one I nicknamed “The Big Teasy” last year, this will be a rout. Alabama, 31-10.

LSU-TCU: The TCU helmets that they will wear for this game have a red stripe in the middle of the purple. Know why? Because a horned frog shoots blood from its eyes when it feels it's in danger. Nice breakfast reading, huh? LSU, 17-14.

Washington State at Auburn: Two of the best offensive minds in the game go head-to-head when Mike Leach faces Gus Malzahn. I know this because they both told me. Auburn, 40-27.

Penn State vs. Syracuse: To commemorate its first season in the ACC, Syracuse opens with two games against Big Ten teams. I think. Penn State, 24-13.

Northwestern at Cal: The Sonny Dykes Era begins at Cal. Would you like some moonshine with your brie? Northwestern, 31-21.

Kentucky-Western Kentucky: It says a lot about your program when you're playing Western Kentucky and it's a revenge game. And I'll bet when the Kitties scheduled the Hilltoppers they weren't expecting to see Bobby Petrino on the other sideline. Unless he was dating a cheerleader. Kentucky, 28-24.

Northern Illinois at Iowa: Am I the only person in Gainesville who finds this to be a really interesting game? Don't answer that. Northern Illinois, 31-20.

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

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