Last year I became a fan of Kevin's weekly college football prognostications from his old blog, so this past week I asked him if we could do a running head-to-head picks feature this year. So here goes. Each week we'll both pick 5 college and 5 NFL games ATS (against the spread), and we'll keep track of the standings as we go and maybe make it interesting enough to entertain people besides ourselves. Sometimes we'll pick the same games, sometimes we won't - as a general rule I'll stick to the higher profile games and/or games with local flavor, no Alabama/San Jose State cupcakes here. Kevin's locked Week 1 of college football in for himself already (see below), so now it's my turn.
Home teams in CAPS, all spreads courtesy of covers.com
Villanova (+6) over TEMPLE
I generally root against Villanova any chance I get, but 6 points just seems like a lot here. Not sure how much of a "home" game it will really be for Temple, considering they never fill the Linc and there are probably a ton of Nova kids who've already spent Mommy and Daddy's weekly check on tickets, Corona Light (ultimate douchebag beer), and brand new tattered hats in anticipation of this one. Should be a pretty fair matchup, as Temple turned many heads last year by getting to a bowl game, and Villanova of course won the FCS national title. Smells like a one-possession game either way, I'll take the 6 and run in this Friday night game.
NOTRE DAME (-11) over Purdue
Stop me if you've seen this before: new Notre Dame coach comes out with a lot to prove, and does so with a bang in his first year or at least the first half of the year, thanks in large part to a generous schedule. Purdue is a decidedly average team that did a good job last year of sneaking up on some teams that weren't necessarily ready for a fight. This day has been circled on Brian Kelly's calendar for a good while. Irish by two Touchdown Jesuses.
Oregon State (+13.5) over TCU
The Horned Frogs are playing a field trip of a home game at Cowboys Stadium and would like to do nothing more than to justify their preseason #6 ranking against a team that may end up being the only ranked opponent on TCU's 2010 schedule. Oregon State comes in at #24 but boasts possibly the most electrifying (overused term, sorry) runner in the nation in Jacquizz Rodgers - watching him with the ball in his hands is almost as much fun as saying his name 3 times fast. This early in the season it's tough to tell what the difference really is between #24 and #6, but my gut tells me the Beavers stand to be competitive in the up-for-grabs Pac 10 and in this game as well.
BYU (-2.5) over Washington
I had to take this game because it's the two-year anniversary of the Jake Locker post-TD controversy that put the Huskies' 2008 season in the tubes. Now, Locker is a big-time draft prospect and gets a shot to exact his revenge in Provo, where I guarantee he'll merely flip the ball to the official if he scores a touchdown. This is one of two early-season games against legit opponents for BYU before their Week 7 date with TCU, and their potential impending entrance into the Top 25 hangs in the balance. The departure of Max Hall brings an unproven QB into a team traditionally known for whipping the ball all around the field, but I think the Cougars have enough on this night. This line opened at BYU -7, which tells you that people have been hammering away on Washington since. I'll bet against the public here.
VIRGINIA TECH (+2) over Boise State
Going the same way as Kevin on this one for many of the same reasons he provided. In any event, it should be a fun game to watch on Monday night. I have a feeling that "Beamerball" will rear its head at some point, maybe in the form of a blocked punt or a turnover deep in Boise territory. Unless they decide to paint the sod at FedEx Field blue, I'll grit my teeth and go VT here.