The Picks: Hot mess coming for college football

LSU players take the field before a game in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Patrick Dennis)

We are halfway through this season (although some slackers have only played five games, because of the double byes). For the most part, it has been unremarkable.

(Unless, of course, you were in The Swamp last Saturday).

Seriously, the biggest result of a game this season might well have been Clemson’s WIN over unranked North Carolina because it so drastically changed the narrative on the Tigers (one of the few sets of Tigers UF doesn’t play this year. Or DO they?)

There haven’t been that many upsets and few WOW moments. There have been some great players and some great plays, but not much movement among the contenders.

Of the teams in the preseason top 10 in the Associated Press poll, only two are not still in the top 10 and they have hardly fallen off the face of the earth (Texas is No, 12 and Michigan is No. 16).

Where’s the chaos? Where is the mayhem?

We want anarchy. Cats and dogs living together. We want a hot mess for anyone trying to figure out an unpredictable sport.

But I have a feeling it’s coming.

(Weekly “Tombstone” quote.)

You tell ’em I’m comin’! And hell’s comin’ with me!

Yeah, I think we’re about to shake down the thunder in college football.

We have the SEC elimination tournament that should be enough to quench the thirst of any college football fan over the next couple of months.

We have the Clemson equation, which tells us that the ACC’s only hope of having a playoff team is that Dabo’s Darlings don’t mess up and lose a game.

We have the Red River Shootout, which probably will get a sequel.

And the Big Ten’s quest to make sure it remains relevant.

The Pac-12? I guess anything is possible if we have true chaos.

Dr. Football is just going to sit back and watch. If only this darn job didn’t get in the way.

Last week’s record for The Picks was a respectable 7-3 despite missing on Florida and Miami. You’d think I would know this state after living in it for 64 years (but who’s counting?)

That’s 48-17 for the season, and some of you blow off my record because it’s not against the spread. Sir, there is no gambling at Bushwood, and I never slice.

As a compromise, I give you the spreads this week. But I am not going to stoop so low morally and offer my opinion on something so repugnant as gambling (Psst. Take Florida and the points and the over on the Texas-Oklahoma game).

FLORIDA AT LSU (Bayou Bengals by 13½): Yes, I am aware that I picked against the home team last week. That probably wasn’t a smart move. Not because I am a homer, but because I should have realized this team had something left in the tank. I apologize in advance, but — as good as the Florida defense has played — I just can’t see the Gators scoring with LSU. LSU, 30-24.

OKLAHOMA-TEXAS (Boomers by 11): I already have this one figured out. Some chicken wings in the hotel room while I watch a noon game and curse 8 p.m. starts. Oklahoma, 48-39.

ALABAMA AT TEXAS A&M (Elephants by 16½): If Alabama covers the spread, there’s no telling how high the Aggies will be ranked. A&M moved up a spot because if was idle last week, which is still a better Saturday than its biggest win. Sheesh. Alabama, 38-21.

PENN STATE AT IOWA (Nittanies by 4): Before the game Saturday, a certain head ball coach asked me if I was watching Michigan-Iowa. I was. “They need some offensive coaches up there,” he said. Iowa, 6-3.

MISS. ST. AT TENNESSEE (Bullpups by 7): Here is where Volunteer football is at right now — I heard two national radio guys praising Tennessee after a 29-point loss. Sad. Just sad. Miss. St., 23-20.

USC AT NOTRE DAME (Leprechauns by 11): OK, Clay Helton. Here it is. A chance to avoid being fired on the tarmac at LAX. Notre Dame, 34-24.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT GEORGIA (UGAs by 24): Remember when this game was a big deal? That was before Georgia got really good and South Carolina did not. Georgia, 41-24.

FSU AT CLEMSON (Other Tigers by 27): I am so close to picking FSU. I have my reasons. Some of them even make sense. But I am not as dumb as I look. No, I’m not. You are. Clemson, 28-14.

OLE MISS AT MISSOURI (Kelly Bryants by 12): Missouri has the easiest schedule in the world outside of the first two weeks of November. Even easier than the Harlem Globetrotters. Mizzou, 40-19.

ARKANSAS AT KENTUCKY (Kitties by 7): Hello, McFly? Anyone in there? If you want to go to a bowl game, you darn sure had better win this one. Kentucky 28-20.

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


  1. Florida 31, LSU 17. I think Florida’s coaches are better and they have that hunger back. Dan Mullen has also coached against LSU every year he was at Miss. St. as well as when he was at UF as offensive Coordinator.

    Clemson will maul FSU and the Iowa game will include more points. Go Gators!

  2. Pat…Did you forget that Vandy scored 17 points against LSU in the first half, 14 pts in the third, and 7 in the fourth. That’s a total of 38 pts, so you’re saying the Gators can’t put up as many points against the Tigers as the Dores? Methinks the difference in tonight’s game will be the fact that the Gators have the better Defense. Hopefully, Trask’s knee won’t hamper him and he’ll show LSU that it ain’t really DBU. Gators by 10.