Last week I came back down to earth which is to be expected. I wasn’t going to be able to keep up that pace, but I’m going to do my best to stay above .500 and with more teams and leagues coming online, there are plenty of options to pick from this week.
Alabama -28 vs. Missouri: : The SEC is back, supposedly the best conference in football history, is back in action for what will be a dog fight of a season with only conference games being competed. There’s not a lot to talk about here, you have to expect Bama is on a mission to reclaim their title as the best team in college football. The past two years they’ve faltered in the CFP and Nick Saban and company are going to be on a mission to make the most of the 2020 season. Mizzu is the first sacrificial lamb. I don’t know if Bama is the most complete team in the country, but I do know the Tigers with a new head coach and COVID issues all over are not ready. Bama -27.
West Virginia +6.5 vs. Oklahoma St: The Cowboys left a lot to be desired by me with their slow start and inconsistent play last week in their opener. It looks like Spencer Sanders is not going to be a go this weekend. That leaves the entire OSU offense left on Hubbard’s shoulders and that’s a lot of responsibility even for him. West Virginia is trying to get their program heading in the right direction. The best opportunity to make a statement on a national stage comes against Oklahoma State, and they will be up for the challenge. West Virginia +6.5
Texas -19 vs. Texas Tech: Generally as a rule, I dislike favorites as big double digit favorites in conference games. But sometimes it just feels right. Texas looked great in their season opener, and Sam is looking to put his mark on the college football world this season as the Longhorns gear up for a showdown with Oklahoma. Texas Tech gave up 600 yards to Houston and barely escaped with a win. Their defense is not ready to keep pace with the Longhorns. Texas -19
Tennessee -3.5 vs. South Carolina: It’s been a long time since the Vols have been a favorite on the road, but it’s 2020 and here we are. The Vols started the last season as a laughingstock but they turned it on down the stretch and won 6 straight. Could this be the year that we finally see Rocky Top reestablish itself? I don’t know about that, but I do like the momentum they carry into Saturday’s game. Vols -3.5.
Virginia -5.5 vs. Duke: I don’t pick Virginia games, partly because there’s enough emotion wrapped up in them for me, that the last thing I need to do is add money to it. The other part is when I started really looking at spreads etc. It was the late Groh/early London era and well there wasn’t much to talk about during that time.
The 2020 Hoos have a ton of questions and so much potential. I’m not sure I’ve been this curious and excited about a Hoos team team since the Schaub era. We all know the offense will look very differently but how different? Bronco and his staff have done a great job keeping the offense under a tight lid. There haven’t been many clips to judge on. In addition, Armstrong didn’t play a lot last year so you can’t judge what he did too closely. What we do know is Armstrong throws a solid deep ball, and he likes to get up and go. I’m excited to see the Hoos play at pace, it’s a new wrinkle and I think it will give them a tremendous edge. Playing at a high clip and getting the ball out will help the Hoos to create and take advantage of mismatches across the field. I’m also excited to see Shane Simpson in action. 2,058 all purpose yards in 2018 that’s legit skill right there.
Sleeper on the UVa team? The defense. Eight starters are seniors or Red Shirt Seniors. It feels like that is something that’s been overlooked in the buildup to the season. Virginia’s defense was solid last year and they played with a patched together secondary by the end of the season. Those players who were thrown into the fire last year, are ready to step up and lead this season.