The Picks roll on despite early bye week

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) is joined by wide receiver Kenric McNeal (5) and defensive back Dustin Harris (22) as they celebrate a 29-24 win over top-ranked Alabama last season at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Published: Friday, September 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 9:57 p.m.

It’s just weird.

We’re not used to this. Two games in and we have the weekend off? I’m not prepared to make my famous chili. I don’t need a rest from week-after-week of grinding out columns and stories.

Doesn’t anybody consult Dr. Football when they’re making out these schedules?

On the other hand …

I am a little worn out after spending this week talking Gator fans off the ledge. And it’s a football Saturday that is layered with game after game to watch.

So we’ll enjoy this weekend with my Dad in St. Augustine and may even sneak over to see Mumford & Sons and the other groups playing at Francis Field. Or not. Because as big a fan as I am of music, college football is what makes me happiest and it should be a doozy.

Last week wasn’t the best week for The Picks. The record was an acceptable 7-3, but I missed on my upset pick (thanks Arkansas State) and missed on the Florida-Miami game (thanks turnovers) and for some reason picked Texas (thanks Manny Diaz).

That’s 15-5 for the first two weeks. And there are no sure things this week.

Alabama at Texas A&M: The greatest accomplishment of Johnny Manziel’s career? It isn’t winning the Heisman Trophy. It isn’t leading the SEC in rushing as a freshman. It isn’t signing thousands of autographs without getting a cramp. It’s getting so many people around the nation to root for Alabama. Alabama, 31-17.

Tennessee at Oregon: I was curious so I Googled it. It would take one day and 18 hours to drive the 2,534 miles from Knoxville to Eugene. And that’s if you didn’t stop for food and wore a diaper. So I’m guessing there won’t be a lot of Tennessee RVs in the parking lot at Autzen Stadium. Oregon, 42-18.

Mississippi State at Auburn: Does Dan Mullen officially go on the hot seat with a loss? Certainly, he’d be off it with a win. The heat is on. Auburn, 28-16.

Ole Miss at Texas: One team is on the rise. The other is a train wreck. In fact, there are sports writers all over Austin this weekend. Of course, they couldn’t get rooms in College Station. If I were Mack Brown, I’d take my team to Sixth Street in Austin where the Soup of the Day at one place I was at in March was “whiskey.” Have some fun, guys. Texas, 28-23.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina: The ball coach isn’t going to be happy if his team goes from world-beaters to 0-2 in the SEC. South Carolina, 35-21.

Ohio State at Cal: All of you Urban Meyer haters were probably pointing to this game because Cal gave the Buckeyes fits last year in Columbus. That was until Cal gave up 553 yards to Portland State last week. Ohio State, 49-31.

Louisville at Kentucky: If Mark Stoops wants to put his mark on this program, would there be a better way to do it than knocking off Charlie Strong? Louisville, 38-15.

UCLA at Nebraska: The Picks would be remiss if we didn’t send out our prayers to the family of UCLA freshman receiver Nick Pasquale, who was killed when he was hit by a car over the weekend. Really sad. UCLA, 30-27.

Wisconsin at Arizona State: If you can stay up until 10:30 p.m. Saturday, this should be a really interesting game. What’s the over/under on my bedtime? Who said 7 o’clock? Arizona State, 23-20.

UCF at Penn State: This will be a bit of culture shock for the Knights, who will go from playing in a 20,000-seat stadium at FIU to a 106,000-seat stadium in Happy Valley. Penn State, 27-14.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at

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