The Picks: Say goodbye to defense


Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 8:18 p.m.

Fads never last, whether they are silly or serious. “American Idol,” long putters, 3D TV, Anthony Weiner — they come and they go.

Which brings us to college sports where another passing fad appears to be saying goodbye — defense.

Oh, defense has been more than simply passing through. It has won a lot of championships. But whether it's football (nobody is allowed to hit anybody or play pass defense anymore), basketball (no more hand-checking) or baseball (the flat-seamed ball is coming and there it goes over the fence), we seem to be suddenly obsessed with offense these days.

(This is where you insert your joke about Florida's offense. I thought it was too easy.)

There are still teams playing excellent defense out there, but only 21 teams in college football are allowing less than 20 points a game and 71 schools are allowing 25 or more points a game.

It's a changing game and it's kind of funny because the object is to score more than the opponent, right? Some coaches would rather do it by holding the other team to as few as possible, but more and more we're seeing teams trying to outscore each other.

Consider the juggernaut that is Dr. Football. An 8-2 week last week brings the overall record to 81-19 for the season. The Picks are scoring at will.

Vanderbilt at Florida: Another week, another starter down. Instead of “Man Down, Man Up,” Florida's motto should be, “ARE YOU BLEEPING KIDDING ME?!!!!” Instead of pads, these guys should be wearing bubble wrap. Felix Unger was healthier than this team. (Wow, that's an old reference. I apologize to “Generation LOL” readers). I know there will probably be a lot of empty seats Saturday and I know that this team is struggling, but I just have a feeling that being home for the first time in more than a month is going to be the push that these Gators need. Florida, 24-19.

LSU at Alabama: Have you noticed that whenever Alabama and LSU have big games they give unfettered access to ESPN and it doesn't seem to hurt their preparations? I'm just saying. Alabama, 31-14.

Mississippi State at Texas A&M: Dan Mullen, who is now 14-22 in the SEC during his head coaching career, could use a win. It's not coming this week. Texas A&M, 43-21.

Auburn at Tennessee: The Vols need two wins to become bowl eligible and have Vandy and Kentucky left after this game. That's the good news. The bad news? Auburn, 35-10.

Missouri at Kentucky: This completes a run of six straight games against the SEC East for Mizzou. Nice way to finish it off. Missouri, 38-14.

Arkansas at Ole Miss: Hugh Freeze this week referred to Arkansas as “scary.” Only if you live in Fayetteville. Ole Miss, 31-14.

Nebraska at Michigan: Two preseason top-20 teams, two major disappointments. Nebraska, 23-21.

Houston at UCF: Pat yourself on the back if you thought this would be a huge game with BCS bowl implications. You're smarter than most college football fans and all of the Kardashians. UCF, 35-34.

Virginia Tech at Miami: Tough pick because Miami is without Duke Johnson and Tech is with Logan Thomas. Miami, 28-21.

FSU at Wake Forest: OK, I get one gimmee this week. FSU, 51-13.

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

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