Well, that didn’t take long, huh?
There are a few reasons these picks aren’t posted earlier than Thursday. The biggest is because I’m lazy and that’s the furthest I could reasonably push them, but the more practical reason is because point spreads are constantly fluctuating and so I want to get them as close to kickoff as possible. And then there’s this year, which introduced a third: I want to make sure there aren’t any games offered that end up getting postponed/cancelled. And I thought, surely, things will have completely settled by Thursday. But no, as we found out; on Friday the Baylor-Houston game — itself scheduled to previous cancellations — was pushed off, giving us our first scratch. Sorry, y’all. The Illuminati have deemed you shall see this game later, if at all. I’ll try reading the tea leaves a bit more in the future, but, of course, there are no guarantees.
Fewer points available means a smaller points distribution, but even then, last week was pretty rough for most of y’all, with nearly half of y’all getting only one (or less!) pick correct. Special shout out to fearless leader Ben, who along with Osmosis Jones went 0-fer. It’s okay, the season’s still young. Props to CodyShow for getting the week’s only perfect score; hopefully there are no more perfect 4s, though. My friend Lee, who has been relocated from Germany to Eswatini (fka Swaziland), is still riding his strong week 1 performance to maintain the overall lead. He has described his internet situation there as “1 Mbps off a SIM card”, which prevents him from watching any college football at all, yet here he is, still doing better than all of us.
#23 Kentucky Wildcats @ #8 Auburn Tigers (-7.5)
Oh, good, finally, the SEC is here. (Let the record state that I said that of my own free will and am not being coerced.) I mean, one one hand, it would be funny to see the SEC continually delay the start of its season while the polls put more and more of their teams in the top ten, while claiming with a straight face there’s no bias — seriously, they’re six of the top ten teams and so many teams are ranked even Kentucky is — but, really, we need the football. If that means we’ll pretend we were dying to watch a “ranked” matchup between Kentucky and an Auburn team that, on paper, is far more talented, so be it.
Mississippi State Bulldogs @ #6 LSU Tigers (-16.5)
After the longest offseason ever, the defending champions are finally back in action against a new-look Mississippi State, coached by someone who’s pretty overrated as a football coach but he’s just so quirky, y’all. Mike Leach fit in perfectly where he was in eastern Washington, and Starkville will probably be a good match for him as well. Anyway, LSU has lost a lot of pieces from last year’s potentially best ever college football team, and it will be interesting to see how life is for them in a post-Burrow world. Will we get a definitive answer from this weekend’s game? Probably not.
#8 Texas Longhorns (-18) @ Texas Tech Red Raiders
Now that the Big 12 has had a week off to recover from being thoroughly owned by the Sun Belt, a real occurrence that actually happened, it’s time to see if anyone will actually challenge Oklahoma for the conference crown this year. Texas was the only team in the conference to both play an FBS team for its non-conference game and win convincingly (without breaking a sweat, even), so, sure, it’s them again. But maybe Baylor, if they ever actually play a game.
#22 Army Black Knights @ #14 Cincinnati Bearcats (-13.5)
I’ll be frank: losing Army-BYU off the schedule last week was a huge bummer, as it was one of the more intriguing G5 matchups of the early season. But not to worry, because Army-Cincy is sliding into our DMs just a week later. Forget about that BYU matchup, babe. They weren’t good for you anyway. Cincy’s not a “strong”, independent program, but one with a solid, healthy support system around it. I don’t have a weird crush on Cincinnati or Luke Fickell, okay? It just sounds like I do.
Florida State Seminoles @ #12 Miami Hurricanes (-11)
It’s been fifteen years since the ACC split into divisions, and fifteen years since the conference’s two Florida schools were placed opposite each other. Those in charge toasted themselves with the finest wines available, confident in having assured they would have exciting, eye-grabbing championship games featuring Miami and Florida State for years, nay, decades, to come.
Anyway, Miami has yet to score a touchdown in an ACC championship. Luckily, their romp over Louisville last week means DA U IS BACK, BAYBEE, at least until they play Clemson in two weeks. This should be another exciting chapter in their rivalry with FSU, seeing as they may be not just bad, but extremely bad, and.... their coach is in quarantine? Seems bad.
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