Last season ATS: 111-113-5 (58-56-3 National, 53-57-2 B1G)
2018 ATS: 1-1 (1-1 B1G)
Of course I split Thursday night’s Big Ten action. Maybe if Purdue wasn’t so PurDUMB then I would have a 2-0 start to 2018. If you want to check out the rest of the Big Ten picks posted yesterday that I’ll probably end up splitting, you can find them here.
National games (All games Saturday unless otherwise noted):
San Diego State v. No. 13 Stanford (-14.5) - Friday 8/31 9:00 PM EST - Fox Sports 1
This is a fun little game for the first Friday of the college football season. Last year San Diego State beat Stanford 20-17, and the Aztecs return a pretty good team this year. They won’t have Rashaad Penny, who rushed for 2,248 yards and 23 touchdowns, but Juwan Washington held his own last year, rushing for 759 yards and seven touchdowns.
No offense to Washington, but the running back that most of the people will be tuning in to see is Stanford’s Bryce Love. Last year, Love rushed for 2,118 and 19 touchdowns and finished second in Heisman Trophy voting. Last year in a losing effort, Love rushed for 184 yards against the Aztecs.
Stanford gets some revenge on San Diego State for the upset last year, but the Aztecs will make Stanford work with it. I just think this a few too many points for Stanford to be laying. San Diego State has a solid team and should hang touch with the Cardinal.
Stanford 31, San Diego State 21
Florida Atlantic v. No. 7 Oklahoma (-21) - 12:00 PM EST - FOX
What a footBRO coaching matchup we have here with Lane Kiffin squaring off with Lincoln Riley. The two combined to post a 25-5 record last year, as Kiffin led Florida Atlantic to their best season in school history, while Riley took the Sooners to the College Football Playoff.
Last year Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary put up Playstation numbers, rushing for 1,920 yards and 32 touchdowns. The junior likely will have to shoulder even more of the load this year, as the Owls don’t have the services of quarterback Jason Driskel anymore.
Speaking of quarterbacks, outfielder Kyler Murray will try and fill the void at quarterback left by Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. Murray will play one last season of football before getting that baseball paper. If I were Murray I’d want to hand off to Rodney Anderson on EVERY. SINGLE. PLAY. to avoid any possible injury jeopardizing my baseball career.
I want to talk myself into Florida Atlantic pulling the upset and winning outright, but I don’t think quite that level of hilarity will occur in Norman. Kiffin will have his team prepared and the Owls should be able to stay within two touchdowns at least.
Oklahoma 38, Florida Atlantic 27
No. 6 Washington v. No. 9 Auburn (-2.5) - 3:30 PM EST - ABC
Auburn has played more games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium lately than they have at Jordan-Hare. This marks the third consecutive game the Tigers have played in Atlanta. Gus Malzahn has to be hoping that the third time is a charm, since Auburn lost the SEC Championship Game and Peach Bowl at the new stadium.
Chris Petersen keeps on doing what Chris Petersen does. Churning out solid teams. The Huskies went 10-3 last year, and should be in the College Football Playoff mix this year. Washington has quite a duo in the backfield with Jake Browning at quarterback and Myles Gaskin at running back.
Originally, I liked Washington in this game, but the more that I think about it, the more I’m leaning Auburn. Last year, Jarrett Stidham became just the second Auburn quarterback to throw for more than 3,000 yards. I’m a little worried that the Tigers don’t have Kerryon Johnson to lean on, but I think their defense is strong enough to keep Browning and Gaskin in check.
Auburn 27, Washington 21
Tennessee v. No. 17 West Virginia (-10) - 3:30 PM EST - CBS
This game is being played in Charlotte because neutral-site games insist on ruining college football. How is this game not in Knoxville or Morgantown? The scenes we’d get from this game being played in either one of those two cities would be amazing.
I just hope Tennessee gets floored because they felt they were too good for Greg Schiano. I’d laugh so hard if Will Grier passed for 500 yards and eight touchdowns on Saturday and West Virginia wins by a hundo. It won’t be quite that bad, but I don’t think this will be all that close.
West Virginia 44, Tennessee 24
Louisville v. No. 1 Alabama (-25.5) - 8:00 PM EST - ABC
I just realized that in this game we get Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley matching up with Louisville defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. This game just turned exceptionally foul.
Alabama is going to mash folks this year. New Louisville starting quarterback Jawon Pass will spend all game trying to avoid getting decapitated by the Alabama defense, but somehow Louisville ends up covering. Bobby Petrino will have a trick or two up his sleeve that will work, which will lead to the Cardinals barely getting inside the number.
Alabama 34, Louisville 13
No. 8 Miami (FL) (-3.5) v. No. 25 LSU - Sunday 9/2 7:30 PM EST - ABC
This pick is going to be extremely biased. Really I’m only siding with LSU because Joe Burrow is starting for the Tigers, and I only want good things for him. Also, I want Mark Richt to lose control of something. We need more of those jokes.
LSU 20, Miami (FL) 17
No. 20 Virginia Tech v. No. 19 Florida State (-7.5) - Monday 9/3 8:00 PM EST - ESPN
Florida State is like the Pittsburgh Steelers of college football. Willie Taggart is just the third head coach of the Seminoles in the last 42 years, and Taggart inherits a team that is loaded with talent. Back for Florida State is quarterback Deondre Francois, who missed all but the season opener last year. The combination of Francois and running back Cam Akers could make a lot of noise this year.
After throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2017, Josh Jackson returns at quarterback for the Hokies. Virginia Tech may have some stability at quarterback, but I’m not all that convinced with the rest of what they’ll be fielding this year. The Hokies will probably win eight or nine games this year, but this won’t be one of them. The Seminoles win by double digits.
Florida State 34, Virginia Tech 23