Remember how I spent the first part of yesterday’s picks bragging about my gambling prowess? Well, yesterday wasn’t a great day against the spread. So obviously, I should be a little more humble today. WRONG!
Stick with me, I know the way to navigate this road to riches. This only a little speed bump on the path to excess and success. And if you don't believe me, trust my grandma's rules of gambling. This applies to rule No. 28, which states: If you lose all your money, don’t be afraid to take money from your child’s inheritance to try and win it back.
I’m confident I will bounce back today and have a more productive day than the WSU offense.
To quote Randy Moss: “Straight Cash Homey!”
San Jose State at Stanford (-24)
So Josh Nunes is apparently taking over for Andrew Luck. Sure, no pressure kid. What do we know about Nunes … well according to his profile on the Stanford website … his full name is Joshua Lawrence Nunes and he is majoring in management science and engineering. His hobbies include playing golf, basketball, fishing, hiking, camping, skin diving, spear fishing and off-road motorcycling. Interesting. But can he grow a beard like this …
Because that’s really important.
But if you look at Nunes, he doesn’t have that beard-guy look.
So if he tries to channel his inner Luck, he may end up looking like this …
Still, it isn’t about the quarterback with Stanford. It’s about running the football and controlling the line of scrimmage. The Cardinal should be able to do that every game this season and rather easily against San Jose State.
The pick: Stanford … the Cardinal is good, the Spartans are not. Stanford has won eight of the last nine meetings. It’s pretty much that simple.
If I were a betting man … Man, that’s a lot of points with a first-time quarterback at the helm. But Stanford won by 54 last season. The Cardinal will hang 40 on the Spartans and the defense won’t allow San Jose State to do anything. Give them the points.
Nevada at Cal (-11)
After much anticipation and waiting, Memorial Stadium has been renovated and modernized into a legitimate college stadium instead of looking like one of the early arenas Maximus fought in before advancing to Rome in Gladiator.
I often want to post at the end of the picks … “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?”
Wait, don't answer that.
Cal is better team than some people think. Cal is not as good of a game as some people think. So that means they are basically another Jeff Tedford team that has talent, has potential and will likely be frustratingingly inconsistent. The Bears have the pass catching duo of half-brothers QB Zach Maynard and WR Keenan Allen. There is talent at other positions. And defensively, Cal should be decent. Really it falls on Maynard, the lefty transfer was maddening at times with his interceptions and decision-making. But when he’s good, Cal is really good. If he plays like he did in the final few games of the season, Cal could be very, very dangerous.
According to a few Cal alums I know, it would be a very Cal and Jeff Tedford thing to lose this game. I guess I can see that. I mean, would you really be surprised if they came out flat and somehow lost? I didn't think so.
The pick: Cal is playing at home. Surely, they wouldn't ruin the debut of the new stadium. The Bears are the better team. Despite what those worry warts said, Cal wins this game.
If I were a betting man … I’d tease this game and the Stanford game and start cashing checks, cause I’ll be getting paid. But still give the 11 and hope that Maynard doesn’t experience the temporary color blindness that led himinto all those interceptions last season.
Colorado (-6.5) vs. Colorado State
I really can’t figure this game out. I don’t know about Colorado. They have a new QB, lost their leading rusher and their best receiver and yet Vegas has them as favorites. Is CSU under new head coach Jim McElwain (who I once had beers with) that bad? Does Vegas know something I don’t? Well, Vegas seems to know a lot of things I don’t - like why I will always play three team parlays on MAC games because I’m an idiot, why all 24 hour restaurants in casinos must have a French dip for me to order and why I will always be out so late that I will drink the $5 bottle of water on the nightstand.
So Vegas knows a few things. And they seem to know this line with the Buffs as a 6.5 point favorite is generating action on both sides.
Colorado State has actually been better in the recent matchups, but McElwain had several players leave and had to boot off a bunch of players. It’s basically the same thing Jon Embree had to do with the Buffs when he took over. Rebuilding can be an arduous task that tests the patience of fans and alumni. Sometimes the right way isn’t always the easy way … and I think I read that off a fortune cookie.
The pick: I guess I will take the Buffs. I have no good reason for it. But like in Billy Madison when he says, “I painted the duck blue, because I’ve never seen a blue duck.” I’m taking the Buffaloes because this might be the only time I can say I did this season.
If I were a betting man … I’d tease this game down for the Buffs as well. As you notice, I’m fan of a two-team or three-team tease, which Vegas already knows very well. But since this about the spread, take the Buffs and hope CSU gives up.
Hawaii at USC (-42)
After reading this Sports Illustrated story on Matt Barkley, it’s tough not to like the kid. He seems like a great ambassador for college football. Now his coach, that’s a different story. I’m not going to bash on Lane Kiffin. There’s enough people to do that, and I will just link to them or retweet them. But man he does it make easy for people to criticize him. Oddly, he’s still not the most disliked college football coach in the greater Los Angeles area at this moment.
USC is good. And you have to give credit to Kiffin for kind of keeping things together when everything went wrong. That’s as much of coaching as Xs and Os and game planning.
The pick: USC …. As if there were any doubt.
If I were a betting man … If Barkley is going to win the Heisman, you have to put up numbers. And Kiffin isn’t afraid to let his guys put up numbers. Give all 42 points and hope that Kiffin acts like, well, Kiffin and Barkley throws passes, like Barkley.
Toledo at Arizona (-10.5)
New head coach Rich Rodriguez makes his debut in Tucson. On the bright side, I don’t have to listen to him as a color analyst on ESPN broadcasts. Not to be a TV critic, but he wasn’t great. But in a backhanded compliment, I will say he was better than Dick Vitale, Tim McCarver and Petros Papadakis. Rodriguez is a good coach and he will make Arizona legitimate. And any city that has an In N Out burger deserves a legitimate college football team.
But the bad part about Rodriguez’s debut is a reminder that we won’t get to see any more of this ….
I miss it already.
The pick: I will take RichRod and the Wildcats. I think they could be much improved.
If I were a betting man … This line has moved a whole bunch. I think giving 10.5 points may be a little too much. I'd take the points and hope that Toledo's 3-3-5 defense gives Arizona a few problems to keep the game close.
Arkansas St. at Oregon (-37)
Wow, just wow. That might be the worst song I've ever heard.
Well, at least he didn't a video to this song.
I can't even write anything quippy about Marcus Mariota being named the starting quarterback because "Call Me Maybe" is stuck in my head.
I will say this ... if Chip Kelly picked Mariota, there's a reason - the kid can play. Any guesses on what type of uniforms the Ducks will go with?
The pick: Oregon will win. They will win by 45 maybe 50 maybe 60. And that video above will be played Autzen at least twice.
If I were a betting man ... 37 points, no problem. Chip won't even have to adjust his huge visor to win by 37.