The Back Nine comes at you with real games to talk about and even more real games to talk about in a full weekend of college football coming up. Sorry, I’m a little giddy. It’s Game Week!
- So let me get this straight. The media has been looking forward to the start of college football season and propped up Illinois as a possible team to throw the first body blow of the season. And then the Illini did just that hitting Scott Frost and Nebraska where it hurts and everyone is acting surprised? I don’t get it. We all thought it was a real possibility. I guess what stood out the most was that Nebraska handed Illinois the game and the Illini were disciplined enough to take it. Bret Bielema is the same guy he was at Arkansas and don’t be surprised when this ends up a .500 season. But that’s why this was a game Frost had to win. He will win the next two (Fordham and Nebraska), but after that it is very possible Nebraska could lose out.
- I know. The Gators dodged a bullet. After Chip Kelly turned Florida down, UF made a call to Frost’s people but he was already negotiating with Nebraska. Let’s remember, he was the hot coach in college football four years ago. It’s just amazing that in year four his team is undisciplined and finds ways to lose games. Meanwhile, Kelly’s UCLA team beat up on a bad Hawai’I team. Maybe Chipper didn’t wand the Florida job because he preferred a job where he could take time to get it right. And we know that the patience of Gator fans is very small.
- By the way, did you see that crowd at the Rose Bowl? It looked like a COVID crowd. It was near a record low (not in temperature though) of 32,582. It was hot, there were no students and it was the first game allowed in the Rose Bowl in two years. I get all that. But there weren’t close to 32,582 actually there Saturday.
- OK, so last week I went 2-1 against the spread in The Picks, but Doctor Football knows it gets serious this week. That’s why I will do five picks of national games and then five from our state. Here we go:
* Georgia +3 against Clemson. I really had a temptation to fly to Vegas and put some big money don on Clemson not to go under the 11.5 wins projected. I like Georgia to win. And if Clemson loses this game, I’ve won the over/under bet. I just don’t have the guts to do it. Georgia, 35-33.
* LSU -3 at UCLA. It wouldn’t be a football season if LSU didn’t have to move a game or its entire team because of a hurricane. Our prayers are with everyone in Ida’s path. Two questions: Was UCLA really that good Saturday? Is LSU’s leaving town too much of a distraction? I think both answers are “No.” LSU, 40-27.
* Penn St. +4.5 at Wisconsin: The kids will have a great time now that they can “Jump Around” all over Penn State’s football team. The Nittanies finished the year was some momentum, but I’ll give the points. Wiscy, 30-23.
* Ohio St. -13.5 at Minnesota: (In best Chris Farley voice) Remember when you were really good? And your coach was the bomb? Remember when you used to row the boat? That was awesome. What I really remember is that Ohio State will be in the playoffs again this year. But that’s too many points to give up on the road. Ohio St., 34-27.
* North Carolina -5.5 at Virginia Tech:
- OK, let’s move on to the state teams:
* FAU -24.5 at Florida: I think Florida will struggle early as they try to feel their way out with a new offense. But in the end, all will be well. Florida 41-23.
* Alabama -18.5 vs. Miami: I think Miami is going to give the Tide a game and will take those points to the bank. Do they cash dreams at Campus USA? Alabama, 44-27.
* Notre Dame -7 at FSU: I keep hearing that FSU is better and that Notre Dame may struggle earlier. That’s why I am taking the points and the outright. Booya! FSU, 31-23.
* USF +18 at N.C. State: Worth watching to see how bad Florida’s second opponent will be. N.C. State, 43-9.
* Boise State -5 at UCF: This is actually a really good Thursday night game to watch. I may have to put on my Boise State t-shirt. Boise, 38-36.
- Next week I will give you my “Take It To The Bank” predictions for the NFL season. You can take to those winners to the bank and they might give you a pen.
- Congrats to Mary Wise for getting her 900th career win over the weekend and getting the Gators off to a 3-0 start. Next up is Stanford ranked No. 21 and then the first home match against No. 7 Minnesota. Should be an interesting week for the Gators.
- So, as we get things going with college football season, we will retire the “Florida Four” for a few months and start predicting my Gators of the Game each week. This week, I am going with Dameon Pierce on offense and Zach Carter on defense. I have a feeling. And be sure to clock on to WRUF.com right after the game for my Grading the Gators feature.
- OK, so I promised by favorite songs for tailgating and you might see me around Saturday. Feel free to invite me over. I like ribs, deviled eggs and cold Bud Lite. Anyway, here’s what I have for you.
“You Wreck Me” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. You knew I’d have one Petty song in there and I can’t choose the obvious one.
“Start Me Up” by the Stones and may Charlie Watts rest in peace.
“Gator Country” by Molly Hatchet.
I mean, these are some of the lyrics – “Oh gator country