Down, But Not Out!

Ever feel like you lost at something prior to it really even getting started? I’ll give a few examples… planning to go to the beach for the weekend and jumping in the car on Friday only to peek at the forecast and it shows 90% chance of rain all weekend. Starting a diet fresh on a Monday and walking into work and it is someone’s birthday and they have unlimited freshly baked cupcakes with the icing you love. Studying all weekend for a test and the first 3 questions are from that chapter where you missed that day of class and just skimmed over the information because you didn’t think it was that important. How about picking four teams to be in the College Football Playoff, only to have two of the teams lose their first games of the season? The fact of the matter is, there is always a window of time to recover.

Things can happen to change the landscape and drastically change your probability of failure. Weather can change on a dime, the cupcakes could be worse than you thought, and the rest of the test could be filled with questions you know the answers to. That being said, the teams the lost their openers can run the table the rest of the way, win their conference, and end the season with just one close loss that was at the beginning of the season (when their fans will attest, the team was a “much different team back then”).

Fear not, Michigan and Washington fans. Your programs definitely laid a couple eggs last weekend to open their seasons. On the bright side, they were one-score games against very good teams. Obviously, any hiccups from here on out will close the door on their chances. However, if they make the proper adjustments and run the table, they can very much be in the playoff picture at the end of the year. This especially pertains to a team like Michigan who has to play teams like Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State in conference play this year. Time remains for redemption. No eventual national champion has lost in Week 1 since Miami in 1983, but someone is due to repeat this feat! So keep believing, fans. You went down for a standing 8-count, you are wobbling, but you still have a few haymakers left in you.

Week 1 was filled with filled some great games. I expect each week two get more competitive as we get more and more conference matchups. That being said, let’s take a look at some games to make some money on this weekend.

South Carolina +10 vs. Georgia – This is a huge game in the SEC. Georgia comes in with the credentials of playing in the College Football Playoff last year and is currently ranked #3. Columbia is not an easy place to play. The Gamecocks have the talent to compete and keep it close. Georgia wins, but they are in for a close game.
Georgia 30 South Carolina 24

Stanford -5.5 vs. USC – Stanford does what it needs to do to rattle USC’s freshman QB and they capitalize on a few turnovers. I’m betting the seniority advantage at the QB and RB positions give the Cardinal the edge. It will be a little payback for losing to the Trojans twice last year. Being at home helps.
Stanford 34 USC 27 

Clemson -12 at Texas A&M – Jimbo’s first big game and it is a doozy. I don’t think he has the horses quite yet to stay with Clemson for an entire 60 minutes. Clemson’s defensive line and overall team speed is the difference in this one.
Clemson 34 Texas A&M 20

Florida -13.5 vs. Kentucky – Kentucky has come close to upending the Gators three out of the last four years. My feeling is that this one reverts back to when Florida shellacked the Wildcats in 2016, 45-7.  One thing we know won’t happen is that Florida will not lose the game. They haven’t lost to Kentucky since 1986.
Florida 41 Kentucky 13

Michigan State -6 at Arizona State – This is a perfect example of how each week is independent of itself in college football. Arizona State isn’t as good as they made it out to be last week. Conversely, the Spartans aren’t nearly as mediocre as their first game showed. Things settle back to normal this week.
Michigan State 31 Arizona State 23

Penn State -9 vs. Pittsburgh – The Nittany Lions survived a scare from giant killer Appalachian State last week. I’m guessing they also had a few wake-up calls this week at practice, with a pesky Pitt team looming. Pitt’s program is picking itself off the turf and trending upwards, but Penn State currently has superior talent.
Penn State 37 Pitt 24

Iowa State +4 at Iowa – Iowa State scored in the first few minutes last week, only to have their game canceled due to weather. They are rested and ready to roll. 12 starters back from a team who beat Oklahoma in Norman last year. This game is going to come down to the wire. Four points doesn’t seem like a lot, but in a rivalry game like this, it can make the difference needed to cover. Remember kids, winning isn’t everything, covering is!
Iowa 24 Iowa State 23

Kansas State +7.5 vs. Mississippi State – Everyone is all over Mississippi State’s jock this year. While I think they have a talented team, they still got to deal with “The Wizard”. Just when you think Bill Snyder’s team is a joke, they will punch you in the face. The line is all over the place, with it hitting a high of 10 this week and now back to 7.5. Something stinks with this game, so I am going with the old reliable.
Kansas State 31 Mississippi State 27

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