Rob is noted at "RP" and in black. My responses are after "JD" and are in blue.
Behind the scenes/techy dork note: writing emails in GMAIL seem to be terrible. It auto-saves every third word and takes about 20 minutes to type a paragraph. I am trying to figure out what works the best as I try to transfer and update the text, so the format of this thing may be jacked up. Bear with me, or not. Who cares, I’m not getting paid other than these picks. America.
RP: The easy one first:
OSU -35 vs. Buffalo
Because The's schedule sucks, the best route to a national title game is to impress in every. Single. Game. Plust with suspensions to Roby and Hyde, the backups should want to do everything possible to earn playing time for later in the year. And Buffalo...well they're Buffalo.
JD: Agreed. The first games are always tricky because you never know what your team is and the suspensions and the hype and there are just a lot of questions. But...Buffalo isn't going to stop the Buckeyes and the Buckeyes will stop Buffalo. Also, Urban runs his offense with his 1s, 2s, 3s, and random students from the south stands. If it gets 28-0...he's still going to score. I'll be back at the tailgate by the early 4th with this game locked up. Not like Rice or Pitt in the 90s, but I think the Scarley and Gray are looking in the 60s. MACTION will have to wait.
RP: The rest of these picks will demonstrate my ignorance:
Georgia-2 @ Clemson
This game feels like Clemson driving for a game winning score only to watch Tajh Boyd turn the ball over in the most mind blowing of ways. The 14th straight season of Clemsoning away a marquee win won't stop the Clemson fan-base from pretending that 1981 championship still means they're a top-tier program. Also, a Georgia loss probably starts up the whole hot-seat discussion again.
JD: Agreed. Top 10 team as a home 'dog, at night...never happens. Unless you're playing the SEC apparently. Anyway, this game is RIGHT in Clemson's wheelhouse. High preseason pick, marquee game, at home. And giving points?? No brainer. Ok, take Clemson to do something positive on a big stage...I dare you...they did show the nation something (for those who were actually watching on their couch on New Year's Eve) by beating LSU (SEC) in a comeback bowl thriller which is great for Clemson. But it comes down to Georiga vs the Clemson defense is better than Clemson vs the Georiga defense. Georiga will get more stops than Clemson and the Bulldogs walk out of Death Valley with a tremendous early season W. Also, big ups for these teams playing week 1.
RP: Florida State -10.5 @ Pitt:
Monday 8:00 ESPN
Pitt's last home opener, they lost by 17 to FCS Youngstown State (YOUNGSTOWN STAND UP). I have no reason to think that anything has changed between then and now and Florida State is ready for a return to glory (cue Jimbo Fisher getting a long term extension way too early).
JD: FSU should show up and win by at least 14. This is an alternate pick. Pitt showed great improvement after last year's start (YOUNGSTOWN STAND UP) after I thought Crist would get fired after year one (WISCONSIN STAND DOWN) but they battled, made a bowl game and then got their doors blown off by Ole Miss (SEC SEC)...Florida State is a little under the radar but they got super freshmen Jamis Winston, who everyone will know by October and he could break out...fist game though and Pitt gets the cover at 10...anything less than 10 and I'm all over it. Thanks Vegas.
RP: Western Michigan +27.5 @ Michigan St.
Friday 8:00 BTN
TIME TIME FOR SOME TIME FOR SOME MACTION!! For Michigan State to win this game by 28 points, they have to score at least 28 points. Good luck *Albanian from Taken voice*
JD: I love your MAC pick but I don't want to watch this game nor really care about Sparty just yet. Is MSU better by 4 touchdowns on anyone?? I don't know but sometimes these early paycheck games get out of hand...wise going with the huge 'dog in this one. UPDATE: Friday night at 8:00. I will be watching this game, damnit.
RP: Hawaii +22.5 vs. USC
Thursday 11:00 (what?) CBS Sports Net (huh?)
Season opener in the middle of Pacific just screams struggle game to me.
JD: USC hasn't named a starting quarterback yet, and I don't know what that means. After the 10 guys run onto the field, does Lane literally flip a coin?? Kiffin is the best coach in America and it's not even close. Hawaii is complete dogshit, but that trip out there can do some funny things, especially with a team who is coached by a guy who does funny things. I'd like Hawaii if the spread was closer to 28...too many unknowns for me to touch this one...
RP: Utah -2.5vs. Utah St.
Thursday 8:00 FS1 (Fox Sports 1)
I'm a sucker for rivalry games I know nothing about. Utah owes them for last year.
JD: Utah has revenge on their mind and Utah State lost their coach to Wisconsin. I have no idea who is coming back or if this is just based on last year. Utah seems they would be normally favored by at least 7-10, so yeah, I have no idea about this one. But it's on Fox Sports 1 on Thursday, so I'll be flipping between that and Ole Miss-Vandy.
RP: MONEY PICK
South Carolina -12 vs. North Carolina:
Ol' Ball Coach is still made at Carolina over some shit that happened in 1988. North Carolina might not score more than 10 points this game.
JD: Not my money pick, but I have SC as well. UNC is under second year coach Fedora, but it seems all their NFL guys are now in the NFL, and SC has some NFL guys still playing in college. I do think Clowney is overrated, but that doesn't mean UNC will run at him. 12 is a big number, and SC didn't cover vs. Vandy in last year's opener, so they may stuggle but anything under 14 and I'm going 'cocks. UNC could easily keep this at 7-10 throughout. Thanks Vegas.
JD: Here are my other picks to click:
Syracuse +8 vs. Penn State (MetLife Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ)
I’m coming around to closer to home than the other team home ‘dogs, and 8 is a lot for an average team in an average conference. That same average team from an average conference is coming off a ton of momentum, but their new qbs scare me and the fact that the number one pocket passer out of high school isn’t starting in BOB’s pro-style offense means he’s not ready yet. Penn State could win this by a few scores or be in a dogfight in the dome East Rutherford. I’ll take the dogfight.
RP: I considered picking this game, but going the other direction. Syracuse had their mediocre college coach leave to be a mediocre NFL coach, so they'll be getting used to a different, mediocre system. Syracuse has been so blah recently that I could pick against them every week this year and my 'Cuse grad-girlfriend wouldn't bat an eye. Ultimately, Penn State's quarterback situation left me in the stay-away zone.
JD: Northern Illinois +3.5 at Iowa
MAC vs Iowa, I’m going MAC
RP: I think Northern Illinois wins this outright and the athletic department stars to at least do the math on Kirk Ferentz's buyout. "Good morning, Random Donor. You sure did raise a lot of corn this year. How do you feel about naming rights on our Ag Building?"
JD: Northwestern -5.5 at Cal
Cal is terrible. They have a new coach, a new offense, and no players. Northwestern is coming off their first bowl win since the Depression or WWII, I forget, and have a majority of their offense back. Going to Cal is a long trip, but it’s not like they are coming off a game or anything. Now let’s see what Fitzgerald can do when his team actually has bowl expectations and won’t sneak up on anyone this year…
RP: The most concerned person about this game should be Cal DB #6 (big ups to the EA Sports Naming system). This was him last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zadaQRP2w0o. This year he'll have to deal with this and WAY more often: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk89NBcO9q0. He probably shouldn't invite anyone but the most supportive of family members to the game.
JD: MONEY PICK:
$$$ Alabama -19.5 $$$ vs. Virginia Tech (Georgia Dome - Atlanta)
Bama will cover by halftime. Virginia Tech has been overrated since they lost Vick. Bama QB1 has been underrated since he started. You think last year’s Michigan game was bad?? Holy hell.
RP: I was completely ready to mock Blacksburg at night and "Enter Sandman" then I realized the game was being played in Etlanna. Bold prediction on a game I did not pick: Beamerball is in full force as Va Tech makes a key special teams play.....and keeps it within three scores.
JD: Alternate (games I like to pick but aren't officially clicking)
Washington State +16 at Auburn
Wazzu can’t be as bad as they were last year under Leach Year 1.Auburn for a fact won’t be as bad as they were last year.16 is huge, and this is based on SEC speed, or whatever. War Eagle may be running the same offense they were 2 years ago, but they don’t have those players (but last year's QB and top recruit is now playing safety WAR DAMN EAGLE), and it takes some time to get that hyper-spread going.Auburn gets the W, but it’s closer than the experts think.
RP: This game is the NCAA's best argument against paying players because I don't know the name of anyone from either team. Useless fact: I googled "Auburn Washington State" for a kickoff time and found out there's an Auburn in Washington. #TheMoreYouKnow
JD: Boise State +3.5 at Washington
Don’t sleep on the Broncos. They be down a little, and Washington may be up, but bet against Boise and see what happens. Especially early, where they have shown up year after year after year. Petterson knows how to get his guys ready. Washington’s renovations to their stadium will be cool to see. This comes down to a field goal and the Broncos use their magic to knock the Huskies down a peg or two.
RP: I think Washington wins this game and Peterson becomes one of the many people to think "Maybe I should have left Boise before now."
$$ SCAR -12
RTD (Record to Date): 0-0-0
MG (Money Games): 0-0
LW (Last Week): 0-0-0
L2Ws (Last 2 Weeks): 0-0-0
$$ BAMA -19.5
WSU +16 (alternate)
BOISE +3.5 (alternate)