Last week was hit or miss, but after going 3-2, I’m still hitting 60% of my picks on the season (12-8).
Three winning weeks in a row has me feeling like John Paxon after hitting the series-clinching 3-pointer in the 1993 NBA Finals. I’m excited, my family is thrilled, but still, no one recognizes me at the supermarket. At the same time, I’m also aware that being a role player is just as important as being a superstar. Sure, I’d love to hit 80% of my picks and become a legend; however, I was born with nothing more than bird legs and a semi-decent jump shot from deep. I know my limits, and I’m probably peaking right now.
There are several marquee matchups, but no one is bigger than my Ole Miss Rebels visiting Alabama. Y’all, I’m not gonna lie, my confidence is high, but we all know the stats by now. Saban is 24-0 against former assistants; however, that streak must end sometime, and that time is Saturday. Elsewhere, Arkansas visits Georgia and Cincinnati tries to prove they are worthy of a playoff spot when they square off against Notre Dame. The docket is packed with solid matchups, but before we get to that, let’s recap last week.
It was an incredibly early start out West for Boise and Utah State. Both teams came out sleepwalking!! I was confident this over was TOAST after a 10-0 first quarter, and I was right. After a blocked FG, a missed FG, and no offense to speak of, there were only 10 points on the board at the half. The only hope was OT except that wasn’t even logical (especially with the new rule of going for 2 starting with the second OT) at that point. This was my worst pick of the year so far, and I am hopeful things stay that way. I AM SOOOOO DONE with Boise. The automatic hammer let me down on this one.
SMU/TCU was on meth from the start as there were 28 points on the board after only 8 minutes had ticked off the clock. Defense was optional, to say the least. Slowed down a bit with no points in the next 8+ minutes; however, just as I’m starting to worry, Zach Evans catches a pass and rumbles 46 years for a TD. Halfway home, 42 points were on the board, even with SMU being stopped on 4th and goal on the last play of the first half. I don’t know why I ever doubted my boy Tanner Mordecai, as he left my face dripping with egg after leading the Mustangs to another victory. At this point, I sound like a broken record, but that is why I don’t pick teams, just points baby!!
On the Elephant turf, the Texas State/Eastern Michigan automatic hammer paid off in a big way. I’ll be honest, I didn’t see one play from the game, BUT does that matter? I mean If a tree falls in the woods, it still makes a sound. Just like if you don’t watch a winner, you still win when they hit the number. This one was such a smash that EMU almost hit the over alone by hanging 59 on the Bobcats. Automatic hammers are now 1-1 on the year.
At least Memphis beat Mississippi State last week and that can’t be taken away from them; however, they laid an egg at home against UTSA. The Tigers were up 28-14 with 3 minutes left in the third and would not score again. At that point though the over was already toast (needed OT to survive), but the Tigers couldn’t even hold on to their lead. Who knows? UTSA is 4-0 and could be a good team, but they run the ball too much to be a team you can count on to pop an over. I’ll flush this game and move on.
Talk about dead in the water. UNC was thought to be a trendy pick to win the ACC when the season started, but after getting blown out by a pathetic Georgia Tech squad, those dreams are dashed. Sam Howell, who I know to be incredibly overrated, didn’t throw any picks, but he lost 3 fumbles! It’s not rocket science to say that it is hard to win games when you can’t protect the football. I couldn’t have been more off base in my prediction, but luckily the Yellow Jackets came to play which pushed me over .500 for the week.
OK, enough about the past, here are my favorite OVERS for week 5 of the College Football season.
Duke @ UNC (O/U 72)
Maybe I’m hardheaded or maybe I’m just dumb. This pick will determine my fate, and even though I’ve trashed the Tar Heels, I feel like this is a good spot for a bounce back. Duke and Kansas played a game last week that saw them combine for 85 points, and the Blue Devils offense is 6th in the country running about 2.86 plays per minute. They play fast, baby!! Carolina dropped out of the AP poll this week and 7 of the last 8 times Duke has played against a non-AP ranked team, the total has gone over. I expect nothing less to come out of Chapel Hill on Saturday. Sam Howell finally shines, and UNC gets the win at home 52-37.
Tennessee @ Missouri (O/U 65)
The Vols have had a couple of weeks to get their offense going, and they now lead the county in going FAST (running 2.99 plays per minute). Missouri comes in with an offense that also likes to go fast (2.5 plays per minute), and a defense that gives up over 450 yards per game. Just based on the pace of play alone, I love this over. The Vols D also struggles against the run, which should allow the Tigers to break off multiple chunk plays on the ground. I give Missouri the edge since they are at home and have them winning a close one 42-37.
Texas @ TCU (O/U 65)
The Longhorns are coming off a game that saw them score 70 and give up 35. Couple that with the 50-burger they put up the week prior and the Points Junkie cannot ignore Texas anymore. The Horns offense has been a different animal since Casey Thompson took over at QB. They already had an explosive ground game led by the best RB in the country, Bijan Robinson, but now they look to have a passing game to compliment him. The Horned Frogs did enough on offense last week to make me think this game could go over 90; however, it does bother me that the total has dropped 2 points since it opened. What do they know that I don’t? Doesn’t matter. Texas keeps it rolling and wins 45-35 in Ft. Worth.
Ole Miss @ Alabama (O/U 80)
As much as I wanted to not pick this one (and to pick the Louisville/Wake game instead), I simply can’t resist a number this high. Ole Miss comes in with the number one offense in the country (averaging 59 points and 633 yards per game), and they are led by the current favorite to win the Heisman. Will all that still be true when they leave Bryant Denny Saturday night? I think so, but being a lifelong Rebels fan, I know it won’t come easy. Nothing ever does against the Tide, who have only lost 5 times at home under Nick Saban. One of those wins though came from Ole Miss in 2015, and after these two teams combined for 111 points last year, I expect more of the same Saturday. Call me a homer all you want, but Matt Corral cements his name atop the Heisman race, and Ole Miss pulls a MASSIVE 47-41 upset in T-Town.
South Florida @ SMU (O/U 68)
Two words. Tanner Mordecai. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t quit him. It also helped seeing South Florida put up 27 points on the road last week against a tough BYU squad and 20 when they played Florida earlier this year. That tells me the Bulls should be able to get at least 24 against a less than stellar Mustang defense that gives up 6.2 yards per play. SMU is averaging 43 points on offense while giving up an average of 23, which almost hits the number exactly. It’s Homecoming week in Dallas, and the fans will be delighted to see the Mustangs improve to 5-0 on the season as they win 48-31.
Fresno State @ Hawaii (O/U 65.5)
By this point on Saturday night, I should be looking to finish off my first perfect week of the season. Fresno State returns to the picks for the third time (1-1), and Hawaii is back for another go as well. The Bulldogs offense comes in averaging 7 yards per play, and that includes games against Oregon and UCLA. They are legit, folks. In contrast, the Rainbow Warrior defense gives up 32 points a contest and almost 6 yards per play. It isn’t all doom and gloom for Hawaii though as they do bring in a fairly balanced offense, which should allow them to keep it close in the first half. I hope the scoreboard operator is ready to work because he will be busy. The Bulldogs get the win 51-34.