The Picks are back for a crazy season
For days, week, months we walked in the desert, our throats feeling like sandpaper and our skin more crusty than an old man complaining about leaving the crusts on his sandwich.
We felt some drips finally and then the sweet euphoria of a gully-washer.
OK, that's the way I looked at our sports-less few months followed by a plethora of games in various sports bombarding us and we kept asking for more.
Just be happy you don't have to live with me.
(I tried to explain to my lovely wife how amazing it was that the Braves won to their 20th division title considering the pitching issues and I might have been telling her about how many lights I caught on the drive home.)
Anyway, it's been great to have choices and to feel like we can even skip the football games we would have watched on pay-per-view in June.
Technically, we have had three Saturdays of college football and each week Dr. Football has tried to cull together 10 meaningful games to do The Picks. Alas, I always stopped at around six.
This week is different, even as we are still confused about who is playing, who think they are playing, who wants to play and who wishes it could play.
Once the Pac-12 and Mountain West and Mid-American show up fashionably late for a couple of slow dances, we should be short only three FBS teams. Hey, maybe there will be a Duke Mayo Bowl after all.
Of course, we know that it all really begins this Saturday when they start playing big boy football. I appreciate the SEC giving me some layups to start the season.
Florida at Mississippi: The one thing keeping Todd Grantham awake at night is trying to figure out how crazy Lane Kiffin is willing to get, especially with his quarterbacks. I have no doubt the Gators can score on a defense that has been soft the last few years, but the most fascinating thing will be to see how these athletic Florida defenders respond to misdirection plays and double passes and the like. Mostly, I'm just interested to watch the Gators play a football game. It feels like longer than 271 days since they last played. Florida, 34-21.
Kentucky at Auburn: Mark Stoops could end up in Atlanta at the end of the season and still not get any respect. He'd start sweating and loosen his tie at the news conference and say, "I get no respect. The other night I was eating in a Chinese restaurant and opened a fortune cookie. It was the guy's check at the table next to me. I tell ya, my wife used to be afraid of the dark. Then I took my clothes off and now she's afraid of the light." I could go with Dangerfield jokes all night. Tip your waitresses. Auburn, 24-21.
Miss. State at LSU: Mike Leach made it clear this week that he will keep someone between him and the LSU tiger this week. With Leach, Kiffin and Deion Sanders coaching in the Magnolia State, Southern Miss must be scouring comedy clubs to find its next coach to keep pace. LSU, 26-19.
FSU at Miami: I'm not sure Miami is all the way back. What I know for sure is that beating the crud out of a coach-less FSU team won't tell us much. Miami, 42-21.
Tennessee at South Carolina: OK, Kardashians, let's see what you got. I know South Carolina is an SEC East middle-of-the-pack kind of team, but, so are you. We remember how well you started last season. Tennessee, 31-19.
Georgia at Arkansas: Can't wait to see the quarterbacks in this game. For a half anyway. Maybe a quarter. OK, first possessions. Georgia, 40-12.
West Virginia at Oklahoma State: I'm going to believe that the Cowboys struggled last week because of a tumultuous offseason and first-game jitters. And the quarterback was injured. OK, I'm out of excuses. Okie State, 42-34.
Texas at Texas Tech: Tech almost lost its opener to a school many of us didn't know had a football team. Texas, 38-13.
Alabama at Missouri: Eli Drinkwitz likes keeping secrets from Alabama. Nick Saban has no secrets. All of his players are better than yours, Eli. Alabama, 48-10.
Vandy at Texas A&M: I am curious to see when Vanderbilt opts out of the season. A&M, 51-3.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.