The Picks: Ho-hum, the Pac-12 is back
It was certainly a big deal when the Big Ten started to play a couple of weeks ago although we had no idea Wisconsin would only stay for one dance. Now we get the start of the Pac-12 and color me underwhelmed.
The best thing about the Left Coast League is that we get to go back to making fun of Chip Kelly again. He is building his program salmon croquette by salmon croquette. (Did you see how much UCLA spent on food for the football team?)
It's difficult to imagine a scenario where a conference starting in November could built a resume strong enough to qualify a team for the College Football Playoff, but it's 2020 and pigs are on the runway. (When pigs fly? Get it?)
I should stop because I received an email from a reader who said I should remember I'm a sportswriter and not a stand-up comedian. Sir, I will inform you I have written every one of these columns sitting down.
This has been a strange Florida-Georgia week and it will be a strange setting with each school getting a little less than 9,000 tickets and tailgating being forbidden. It is the 40th anniversary of Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott, the single worst moment in the history of Florida football. But that has nothing to do with this game and so I will sweep it into the corner and hope nobody else notices.
Anyway, it is time for The Picks and I was hesitant to check the results from last week because I thought I had a really bad Saturday. The Texas win was big, but I also picked LSU (defense sold separately) and Michigan. But I apparently skipped over some games that turned out to be upsets and ended up 8-2.
So Dr. Football feels rejuvenated. That's 44-16 for the season. The art of being good at picking games is to pick the right ones, a great man once told me. On to this week.
Florida-Georgia (Jacksonville): Man, I have so many great Florida-Georgia stories and some of them are even suitable for print. This one time, oh wait, no, can't tell that one. So we're at the Jacksonville Ramada and, no, that's a really bad one. OK, my favorite story might be when Ray Graves hired the great Norm Carlson to be the UF sports information director and his edict was to clean the politicians out of the press box. And he did. That one makes me smile. So does the time Lewis Grizzard left a running rental car in the street because they ran out of press parking. The game? I was leaning to Florida early in the week, but now I am leaning back the other way. Georgia, 24-21.
Clemson at Notre Dame: No Trevor Lawrence, no worries. Clemson is built for games like this. Notre Dame is a very good team and if this was a full-crowd game I would probably pick the Irish. Clemson, 33-23.
Texas A&M at South Carolina: I think the Gamecocks had a bye last week, but with Will Muschamp's team it's difficult to tell. I do know this — be prepared for a Texas A&M team that doesn't go to Atlanta, but does make the College Football Playoffs. A&M, 37-21.
Tennessee at Arkansas: I kind of forgot about the Kardashians. That's what giving up 126 points during a three-game losing streak will do to you. Tennessee, 31-24.
Stanford at Oregon: Back in college, I had two roommates named "Duck." And they were brothers. One of them married me. I don't mean he married me, I mean he performed the ceremony. You know what I mean. Oregon, 28-20.
BYU at Boise State (Friday): This will test the so-called rejuvenation of Dr. Football because kickoff is scheduled for 9:45. 9:45 P.M.! I have been known to be on my second dream by then. BYU, 40-34.
Arizona St. at USC: I'll be up for this because this game kicks off at 9 a.m. local time. In other words, a sportswriter's dream. If any of you guys miss deadline, we're going to have words. USC, 30-21.
West Virginia at Texas: I was so not impressed with Sam Ehlinger last week. And then he went out and won the game in OT. The guy has that "it" factor. Texas, 39-31.
Pitt at Florida State: FSU has a winning record at home. The Semis are 2-1. Pitt has yet to win a game on the road. That is about as in-depth as I am going to get on this game. FSU, 28-19.
Vanderbilt at Miss. State: First one to seven wins. Miss. State, 7-3.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.