College football picks: UF, FSU and Miami will win or I'll get a Bob Stoops Cameo video
The season isn’t even a month old, and we can already award the Heisman Trophy for trolling. It goes to whoever hoodwinked Bob Stoops into sending a pep talk video to Iowa’s Brian Ferentz.
He’s also the son of head coach Kirk Ferentz — many Iowa fans believe that is the only reason he’s the team’s offensive coordinator. Considering the Hawkeyes have more punts than points this season, they are probably right.
Stoops now “works” for Cameo, an internet platform where people pay celebrities to make personalized videos. Give them a few notes, and the celeb will fire off a semi-heartfelt video to a lucky admirer.
Some wiseacre told Stoops about a kid who’s struggling in the family business and needs some encouragement. It was all the funnier because the former Oklahoma coach played at Iowa.
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Take it away, Stoopsie.
“Listen, I know you’ve had a tough two to three years there, but the good news is your family still supports you, buddy,” he said. “Especially your dad. He wants you to know that. Even though everyone else seems to be against you, sometimes the best advice is to break free from the family business, man.
“Go do what you gotta do. Anyhow, all the best to ya. And a big Boomer Sooner and good luck.”
Our unidentified hero also hired Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery to deliver a similar video. That one cost $50. Stoops videos go for $250.
That might seem pricey for 31 seconds of work, but college football fans devote about 4.2 million man-hours a week concocting insults, memes and other chatroom salvos. This was a trolling masterpiece, right down to the big Boomer Sooner. Whoever was the mastermind behind it, please take a bow.
Speaking of masterminds, I wasn’t one with last week’s picks. I went 6-4 overall and a pedestrian 13-7 on the season. If this keeps up, I’ll have to lower my Cameo fee to from 50 cents to 10 cents.
College football predictions
USF at Florida – I picked the Gators to lose to Utah and they won. I picked them to beat Kentucky and they lost. If I get this one wrong, Billy Napier will be getting a Cameo video from Bob Stoops. Florida 39-9.
Missouri State at Arkansas – If you know the Bobby Petrino story, you’ll know why this game is notable, and why Mizzou State’s coach should put on a neck brace and ride into the stadium on a Harley with a blow-up doll on back. If you don’t know the Bobby Petrino story, look it up. It’ll be far more entertaining than this blowout. Arkansas 45-11.
Penn State at Auburn – Archie Manning does Cameo videos for $300 a pop. I don’t care if he is 73 years old, Auburn should pay him double to play this weekend. With a good QB, the Tigers might win this. Penn State 17-12.
Miami at Texas A&M – The natives and NIL hedge fund managers are getting restless in College Station. They’ve given Jimbo Fisher enough aid to defeat the Russian Army, and he can’t beat Appalachian State. It’s not going to get much better unless Fisher can talk Tyler Van Dyke into transferring before the game. Upset Special: Miami 20-17.
Cameo News: An Urban Meyer video will set you back $345. Boy George goes for $400. I’d spring for the extra $55.
Akron at Tennessee – You gotta love a team nicknamed the Zips, but I’m afraid that’s about how many points Akron would score if Tennessee really tried. Fortunately, the Volunteers will probably rest its starters in anticipation of next week’s game against UF. Tennessee 43-14.
Georgia at South Carolina – Gamecocks QB Spencer Rattler charges $100 for Cameo videos. Seriously. There’s no way South Carolina wins, but Rattler’s fee will probably jump to $250 if the Gamecocks become the first team to score a TD against the Bulldogs. Georgia 32-11.
Oklahoma at Nebraska – The Huskers are essentially paying freshly fired Scott Frost $7.5 million to not coach this game, since his $15 million buyout would have been halved on Oct. 1. For that kind of money, Stoops probably would have come out of retirement to coach against his old team. Boomer Sooner 27-13.
Cameo News II: Caitlyn Jenner has the priciest video at $2,500. For an extra $500, she might wear her 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medal.
FSU at Louisville (7:30 Friday, ESPN) – I’d feel better about this game if Louisville had LSU’s special teams, but Jordan Travis is a good enough QB to get the Seminoles to 3-0 for the first time since 2015. FSU 25-18.
Mississippi State at LSU – Could Brian Kelly start 1-2? That’s not what LSU is paying him Jimbo-like money to deliver. They’re going to need patience because the Bulldogs are the best team nobody pays attention to. Mississippi State 34-31.
Cameo Trivia: Boy George has as many AFC South wins as Urban Meyer.
The Bob Stoops Special: Nevada at Iowa – Nevada gave up 55 points to Incarnate Word last week, so it’s hard to see how the Hawkeyes can avoid scoring a touchdown. If they don’t, Brian Ferentz’s dad might not even support him any longer. Iowa 12-3.
— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DavidEWhitley.