WE FINALLY MADE IT!
THERE IS A REAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME ON THIS WEEKEND!
Thank God ESPN decided to bump Florida vs Miami up a week to save us all from the treachery that is the offseason. This is technically Week 0. Oh well.
The end is near.
For the last two years, I’ve participated in a workplace College Pick’em group (with confidence points) on ESPN. It’s provides a lot of entertainment without any actual gambling involved!
BUT, if I were to gamble, it’d be interesting to keep a running total of a hypothetical pool of money.
Here’s How It’s Going Down
Each week, ESPN selects ten games of interest for you — the contestant — to pick the winner. You rank the games in order of your confidence, from 10 being most confident to 1 being least confident.
Since this group is private, I’ll be posting my picks on here once ESPN locks the pick’em selection on Thursdays.
But I can’t contain my excitement, so here it is on a Monday.
Just for fun, I’m going to pretend to start with a pool of $1,000 and “bet” on point spreads and totals for each pick just to see where I would be at the end of the season if it were real.
But I’m not actually betting anything. I gave that a try during the 2015 season and it was so, so stressful. Even if I could afford to lose every penny I bet, I really didn’t want to lose it all.
Without Further Ado
BIAS ALERT: I’m loyal to Middle Tennessee (alma mater) and Alabama (familia).
Please enjoy this soundtrack to your reading:
10. Georgia -21 over Vandy
Georgia is pissed off, y’all. And they’re a very talented bunch of pissed off bulldogs. In fact, Georgia is the best combination of healthy talent in SEC right now.
9. Nebraska -35 over South Alabama
Yes the Cornhuskers are superiorly talented compared to the Jags. Yes this is a mismatch in the worst possible way. Yes this will be an easy victory for the block N. Yes 35 points is a lot.
8. Washington over Eastern Washington (no odds)
Honestly, these first three games are all a “10” as far as my confidence goes, but someone has to be No. 8. It also speaks volumes that there’s no odds for this game anywhere.
7. USC -13.5 over Fresno State
USC was a proud athletic program dripping with riches (still true), trophies (minus one), and championships (a long time ago). Lately? They’ve been one of the most disappointing blue blood football programs in the country. Fresno State could give them a run for their money.
6. South Carolina over North Carolina and the under 63
It’s Will Muschamp on the hot seat vs Return of the Mack! I’d feel better about picking one team over the other if this game was either in Columbia or Chapel Hill, but I’ll have to settle with the possibility of two not-so-great offenses not putting up more than 31 points each.
5. Auburn over Oregon +3.5
I don’t feel good about this matchup. Plus, either team has the potential to be really good or a sore disappointment (per tradition). It’s an odd-numbered year, so that means Auburn will win, but I’m hedging Oregon to cover.
4. Virginia Tech over Boston College and the under 57
I guess Virginia Tech? They offer more talent but at this point I’m throwing darts.
3. Boise State +3.5 over Florida State
Florida State is in bad shape, y’all. Boise (unlike USC) never disappoints.
At least when I don’t need them to.
2. Stanford over Northwestern +7
Pat Fitzgerald is a helluva coach capable of coaching up a 5-win-caliber team to 9-wins. On paper, Stanford is superior, but I think Northwestern keeps is uncomfortably close.
1. Upset Special: Memphis -7.5 over Ole Miss
I mad at myself for making this pick but I’m not going back on it. Memphis crushes Ole Miss’s season before it really ever hits the ground.
Honorable Mention: Michigan -30 over Middle Tennessee
I’ll actually be at this game in Ann Harbor. It’ll be my first visit to The Big House, and while I’d rather that first visit be in Week 13 in a snowy, early morning hate fest vs Ohio State, a warm Labor Day weekend watching my Alma Mater on a B1G stage won’t be so bad.
Remember when Ruth’s Chris offered a discount matching Michigan’s margin of victory as a percentage off the total bill?
Let’s just say I plan on eating a $4 luxury steak Saturday night.