Back again for another year of sibling-induced angst as BH and his brother, The Skinny, square off in their weekly handicapping contest during the college football season.
For those who have forgotten how this works, I'm stunned. Anyway, both of us will pick five games against the spread each week. As always, a delicious chocolate martini on Christmas Day goes to whomever finishes the year with the best record.
Blatant Homerism -- Week 1
Florida State (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State
I believe college football etiquette would require me to root for the Cowboys to pull off the upset here, yes? At the very least, I want them to keep things respectable, right? Um, no.
It’s not that I’ll be rooting against the Pokes. It’s that I will be rooting for my wallet.
The pick: Defending champs in a landslide.
Ole Miss (-10.5) vs. Boise State
What would have once been a glamour game involving the SEC and everyone’s favorite BCS buster comes quietly sneaking into the season on a Thursday night.
The thrill was already starting to fade with the Broncos, who regressed from superb to better than average in the two years after Kellen Moore graduated. Did Chris Petersen take whatever was left of the magic with him to Washington? New coach Bryan Harsin is a disciple of Coach Pete, but I haven’t seen much yet to sell me on him as Boise’s next big thing.
With all the talent acquired by Hugh Freeze lately, I see Ole Miss winning comfortably in what should be a pro-Rebel environment.
The pick: Brawn over Boise.
Alabama vs West Virginia (+26.5)
On its face, this feels like a name-your-score game. In the past it might have been.
Nick Saban has a few more kinks than usual to work out, though, starting with his quarterback situation. Don’t be shocked if ‘Bama stumbles a few times offensively in this game versus a West Virginia defense that should take a few steps forward this season.
The pick: Crimson Tide, 27-10.
UCLA at Virginia (+21)
As excited as the rest of us may be to see the season kick off, I can’t imagine the Bruins are thrilled to be kicking it off at 9 a.m. PT. I’d look for a sluggish start out of UCLA and for UVa’s seasoned defense to ugly this game up a little.
The best part for attendees is that the early start should leave plenty of time for a round (?) of polo afterwards.
The pick: As much as it pains me to bet on a chauncey team like Virginia, I’ll take the Hoos plus the points. If you can find someone offering a first-half line of UVa getting around 10.5, I’d snag it, too.
SMU at Baylor (-33)
Art Briles generally likes to let his Bears stretch their legs versus the tomato cans. Seeing as this one is going down in his team's stylish new digs, I’d expect he won’t show much mercy in front of a Baylor-raucous crowd.
The pick: Bears 60, SMU 20.
The Skinny -- Week 1
Texas A&M (+10.5) at South Carolina
Boise State (+10.5) vs. Ole Miss
Fresno State (+21.5) vs. USC
Southern Miss (+30.5) at Mississippi State
Wisconsin (+5.5) vs. LSU