Brett McMurphy's Weekly Picks: SMU Will Cover at Texas Tech
In an exercise to determine exactly how smart (or clueless) I am, I will make my college football predictions right here each Friday. And, no 1-900 numbers to call. They're absolutely free!
In a tremendous show of confidence in my prognosticating ability, FanHouse executives decided to spot me with an imaginary $5,000 bankroll for the season. So each Friday, I'll pick a few games using my Monopoly money bankroll and at the end of the season we'll see if I'm either (a) a football-picking savant or (b) asking my imaginary friends for an imaginary loan.
Legal disclaimer: this is for entertainment -- or a poor attempt at entertainment -- purposes only. Please consult with a physician before taking Lexapro.
On to the games. Point spreads are from Wednesday's USA Today. Each pick is for $50, except for (let's hope it's) a $100 best bet.
SMU at Texas Tech. The Craig James Bowl kicks off on Sunday from Lubbock, Texas. James understandably will have mixed emotions in this one. James is a former SMU running back whose son Adam plays for Texas Tech. What? You haven't heard of Adam James, the Red Raiders' 10th-leading wide receiver last season? Where have you been living? In a shed? Tommy Tuberville wins his debut, but take the Mustangs +14.
Utah State at Oklahoma. I'm not sure what's more surprising: that this game is on pay-per-view – $39.95, operators standing by -- or that probably 99 percent of the state's population base, minus the 80,000-plus fans at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, will actually pay to see this. Sorry to spoil the ending, but I've seen this movie before: an Oklahoma rOUt (Like how I used OU in 'rout?' Clever, huh?). Lay the 34.
UConn at Michigan. This is, without question, the biggest game for coach Rich Rodriguez since he arrived in Ann Arbor. It's so important that the Wolverines have actually been putting in extra pract ... uh, never mind. Nothing to see here, NCAA. Move along. When Rich Rod was at West Virginia, he owned UConn. I'm guessing he still remembers what worked. Michigan wins by more than 3.
Western Kentucky at Nebraska. NU coach Bo Pelini apparently will wait until Saturday's kickoff before naming a starting quarterback from among Zac Lee, Taylor Martinez and Cody Green. Doesn't matter. They could start 60-year-old Jerry Tagge and still handle the Hilltoppers. Huskers cover 37.5.
Arkansas State at Auburn. The Tigers are paying Arkansas State $1 million and expecting the Red Wolves to just lay down. What is this, a remake of "Indecent Proposal?" Gene Chizik in the Robert Redford role might be a stretch, but Auburn wins. Just not by 31.
Washington State at Oklahoma State. The Cowboys' state of the art locker room in Boone Pickens Stadium features an elaborate ventilation system for each locker to combat odor. And boy, did those come in handy last year, because O-State's offense seriously stunk up the joint. OSU coach Mike Gundy is still a man, I suppose, but he's no longer the offensive coordinator. Dana Holgorsen, who directed Houston's video game-like offense last year, takes over the offensive reins. Hold your nose: Cowboys cover the 16.
Miami, Ohio at Florida, the week's Best Bet. This is the first meeting between the teams since the 1973 Tangerine Bowl. Or to put in perspective for Gator fans: 14 years before Tim Tebow was born in a manger. Miami, meanwhile, is the alma mater of Ben Roethlisberger. Talk about your classic battle between good and evil. Take the good: Gators -35.
The Trifecta of Terror: Each week as an added bonus -- you can only get exclusively here on the internet -- a long-time "acquaintance" of mine will provide his top three picks. I can absolutely guarantee they will be worth the price of this article. He is currently in the witness protection plan and/or unemployed, so we'll call him "Cover Me" (not my idea, his). Anyway, "Cover Me" likes: Army (-10) at Eastern Michigan, Tulsa (-8.5) at East Carolina and Virginia Tech (+2.5) vs. Boise State.
About Last Night: On my Twitter page Thursday, I predicted Utah -3 over Pittsburgh. Utah won by three in overtime, so no harm, no foul.
Lock of the Week: Schlage B-62 series, double-cylinder deadbolt, antique brass
Brett McMurphy is a national college football writer for FanHouse. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or please follow him on Twitter.com/BrettmcmurphY