The Picks: Ignoring guidelines when picking games

While you’re sifting through the bones today looking for a last morsel of white meat so you can dunk it in cold gravy and declare Thanksgiving dinner (Part Deux) officially over, I hope you all stopped to give thanks Thursday.
Technically, that’s what the day is for and the fixin’s are just a way to get everybody to have a mouthful of something so they won’t talk about politics, religion or SEC officiating at the table.
Certainly, Dr. Football had plenty of thanking to do on Thursday — great family and friends, the luxury of covering a classy athletic program, senior tees, peach ice cream, four noon games this year and coaching searches that do not involve Florida.
Those are the best because you can throw out a crazy notion and it could be true. Not that I would put into print that Greg Schiano will be the next coach at FSU, but it’s great podcast fodder. (Wait, what did I just do?)
Anyway, the best thing about this weekend (after the “giving thanks” stuff, of course) is that we have all of these amazing football games, so many that it’s difficult to narrow it down to the Terrific 10. (New name, same awful picks).
In fact, there were two that were very difficult to leave out. For one, I am going to go against my rule/guideline and I am not picking an SEC game. Missouri plays at Arkansas with nothing on the line, now that an NCAA clerk found the lost appeal behind the filing cabinets and made a ruling.
Plus, I’ve watched Arkansas and have fellow scribes who have seen the Lazybacks play in person, and the consensus is that Arkansas does not qualify as an SEC team anyway.
The other one I hate to leave out was set up by Tuesday night’s Western Michigan loss to a 4-7 Northern Illinois in the rain. Who cares? Your old pal cares.
Jim McElwain’s Central Michigan team now plays Toledo tonight for a chance to win the MAC West title.
Wanna hear something freaky? When he won the East at Florida in 2015, it was UF’s first division title since 2009. If Mac wins tonight, it will be Central Michigan’s first division title since 2009. (Is it Thanksgiving or Halloween?)
Still, on a busy weekend, not worthy of The Picks. But if the Chippewas win, they will be in next week.
Last week, Dr. Football went 7-3 (101-34 for the season) because of two mistakes. I knew better than to pick Missouri. I had just seen them play with my own two eyes. The Tigers stink like Sex Panther cologne. (“They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.”) And while it was a nice gesture to pick Lehigh and Lafayette, I know nothing about those teams. (Here’s where you say, “Harumph, you don’t know much about Florida either and that doesn’t stop you.”)
FSU AT FLORIDA: The College Football Rankings threw me this week when Baylor was elevated five spots after beating a putrid Texas team. That matters to Florida, which stayed at 11th. If only Florida had someone on that committee. Florida, 37-10.
ALABAMA AT AUBURN: I know, I know. Scott Stricklin is on the committee and I know he has to recuse himself when they are discussing UF. It was a joke. I’ll stick to me day job. Do I sound like I’m stalling because I don’t know who to pick here? That’s because I am. Alabama, 27-26.
OHIO STATE AT MICHIGAN: Ryan Day made the first mistake of his coaching career this week when he called this game “the greatest rivalry in all of sports.” Obviously, he hasn’t watched any of the impeachment hearings. Ohio State, 30-23.
VIRGINIA TECH AT VIRGINIA (FRIDAY): The winner gets to play Clemson. So the loser is kind of the winner, right? Virginia Tech, 27-23.
WISCONSIN AT MINNESOTA: P.J. Fleck finally got GameDay to come to town. And I think the Gophers are ready for it. Minnesota, 24-20.
CINCINNATI AT MEMPHIS (FRIDAY): I wonder if the players know how much swag is on the line? Because there is a big difference between the Cotton Bowl and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. On a hunch, Cincinnati, 23-21.
LOUISVILLE AT KENTUCKY: This is a big deal in the state of Kentucky. And nowhere else. Louisville, 33-21.
OKLAHOMA AT OKLAHOMA STATE: They call it Bedlam for a reason, said some guy on my radio. But he never said what the reason was. I think they took it from the ancient insane asylum and torture parlor in England. Because THAT would be a cool story. Oklahoma, 45-43.
VANDERBILT AT TENNESSEE: I got some Tennessee fans who watch Paul Finebaum angry with me because I splashed cold water on their renaissance. After they beat Vandy on Saturday, the combined record of their five SEC wins will be 23-33. That’s all I was trying to say. Maybe I shouldn’t have called them the Kardashians again. Go Vols, 31-13.
TEXAS A&M AT LSU: Ed Orgeron has been ticked off for a year about what happened in College Station last season. And he is high up on that list of people you won’t want to be mad at you. Right between the guy cooking your food at Arby’s and Buford Pusser. LSU, 48-21.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at


      • 6…Pretty sure you’re right that most of us were more than ready for Mac to take his corny, sockless act elsewhere after his short tenure in which he took little to alienate himself with his strange rhetoric. But what fault is there in Dooley devote a little space in his column to mention that the former Gator coach was about to take his C. Michigan team (which won only one game last season) to the MAC Championship game in his first season there? To be fair, it is noteworthy. But all that about 2015 and 2009? Too much space.

    • Lot’s to ponder, 6. If you don’t talk about religion at Thanksgiving, who is there to give thanks to? I suppose I’d sound more like a UF grad if I said something like “to whom should we give thanks”, but I’m from the Panhandle, so… .

    • Therein lies a big part of his dilema at UF. He was able to coach up Chump’s recruits, but he wasn’t able to replace them with equal or better talent. So, his Gator teams, which couldn’t keep up with FSU and Bama when he arrived, got progressively worse the longer he hung around Hogtown. Then he decided to blame Gator fans for death threats he couldn’t substantiate.

      Good riddance! He’s a better fit at Central Michigan.

  1. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches only work for so long. Did anybody catch the “Dog Pee” play last night in the Egg Bowl? This dude will forever be dubbed for his rendition of “How to piss the game away.”