TGIS Top Ten – Week 6

1. Clemson Tigers

Clemson won convincingly over Miami 42-17 and it is clear no team will challenge them in the ACC. The Tigers are in danger of losing the #1 spot to the winner of Alabama/Georgia this week only due to their strength of schedule.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama logo

647 yards and 48 points to Ole Miss… not good. However, the offense was absolutely flawless with Mac Jones going for 28/32 and 417 yards and Najee Harris running for 206 yards and 5 TDs. We’ll find out Saturday whether the defense really is suspect or the performance was just a wacky anomaly.

3. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Logo

Georgia has the best defense in the nation. But their offense continues to look pedestrian with Jake From 2.0 aka the Mailman aka Stetson Bennett IV. The battle with Bama will be a true test for both units on whether they are the best team in the SEC.

4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame messed around with Duke and Florida State… but I’m forced to put them at #4. Not because the Fighting Irish have been impressive, but because there are so few teams undefeated with very few games played. Let’s see if they mess around against Louisville on Saturday also.

5. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Nothing has changed with Oklahoma State after a bye week last week and this week due to a cancelled game. It is clear the Oklahoma State defense has improved from last season. The Pokes will face their first real test against Iowa State in a few weeks. I still believe this team has playoff potential in the pedestrian Big 12.

6. North Carolina Tar Heels

Another team that is just an above average, undefeated team. 4 point win against Boston College? Ew. 56-45 shutout against Virginia Tech? Eh. We have to let the season develop to see if North Carolina stays this high. The Tar Heels next three games are against Florida State, NC State, and Virginia.

7. Texas A&M Aggies

Texas A&M moves back into the top ten with their win over Florida. I honestly don’t understand how you can rank Florida above the Aggies, but there are plenty dumb AP voters who did just that. The Aggies are good… not great.

8. Florida Gators

The upset loss has Florida down, but not out. Florida is still a major contender in the SEC East with their explosive offense… the defense remains a huge issue though. The scenario remains the same: Beat Georgia to win the East.

9. Miami Hurricanes

My opinion of Miami remains unchanged. Possibly the second best team in the ACC, but nowhere near ready to compete with Clemson. Clemson was able to keep D’Eriq King in the pocket and make him throw. Can other ACC teams do that? We will wait and see.

EARN YOUR LOGO (#10)

10. Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati has not played anyone decent, but the bye week leaves them in the ten spot. If the Bearcats win their next three games (Tulsa, SMU, and Memphis) pencil them into the top ten and as the Group of Five team with the best shot at a New Year’s Six bowl.

Week 6 College Football Preview

2020 SEASON RECORD: 24-21-0 (53.3%)

TGIS went 5-8 last week after being fooled by LSU and Florida. I’ve learned and I’m moving forward… HERE IS THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

Week 6 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

#3 Georgia at #2 Alabama (-3.5) – Saturday 7:00pm

Game Preview: No Saban? No problem. The Alabama defensive performance against Ole Miss was pathetic. But it has caused a major overreaction instead of looking at the brightside… Alabama’s offense is lethal. The game comes down to a simple concept: Mac Jones > Stetson Bennett. Sure Georgia has the edge on defense, but I don’t see Georgia’s offense being able to keep up with Bama’s. Bama wins. (UPDATE: Saban is one negative test from coaching… hope you grabbed the line when it was at -3.5)

Pick: Alabama 31-24

Top Picks of the Week

Auburn (-3) at South Carolina – Saturday 11:00am

Auburn squeaked out a close victory against Arkansas, but they are still a better team than the Gamecocks. We learned last week from LSU a big win over Vandy doesn’t make a team good… so don’t be fooled by the Cocks 41-7 win. Auburn by at least a touchdown.

Pittsburgh (+13.5) at Miami – Saturday 11:00am

Pittsburgh plays solid defense and will be able to contain D’Eriq King. They may not win against the Hurricanes, but they will keep it within two touchdowns.

Kansas at West Virginia (-22.5) – Saturday 11:00am

If Kansas is an underdog by less than four touchdowns take the other team. Kansas has lost to Coastal Carolina by 15, Baylor by 33, and Oklahoma State by 40. Take West Virginia.

Louisville (+17) at #4 Notre Dame– Saturday 1:30pm

I just can’t quit Louisville. Their defense is awful, but they can put up points. Notre Dame couldn’t even cover against Florida State… the Cardinals will be fine.

Duke at NC State (-4.5) – Saturday 2:30pm

This isn’t enough points… NC State is the much better team and Duke won’t be able to keep up. NC State by double digits.

Ole Miss (-1.5) at Arkansas Under 76– Saturday 2:30pm

Keep an eye on this one before kickoff. Ole Miss has some unknown COVID cases. Regardless I think Ole Miss is one of the better teams in the SEC despite their terrible defense. I also don’t trust Feleipe Franks with a point total of 76. Ole Miss wins 41-30.

#11 Texas A&M (-5) at Mississippi State – Saturday 3:00pm

Mississippi State is not good. The LSU game fooled all of us. Texas A&M wins by over a touchdown and KJ Costello keeps throwing interceptions.

North Carolina (-13.5) at Florida State – Saturday 6:30pm

Florida State is still awful… I don’t care that they covered against Notre Dame. North Carolina in a blowout.

Boston College (+12.5) at Virginia Tech – Saturday 7:00pm

The ACC is random… but I don’t understand this line. Boston College has proved to be better than expected at 3-1 and hasn’t lost a game by more than four points (against North Carolina that thumped VT by double digits). The line is way too large and is worth a moneyline sprinkle.

Week 5 College Football Preview

2020 SEASON RECORD: 19-13-0 (59.4%)

TGIS is on fire recently as we have almost hit the 60 % point through four weeks… WE ARE GOING TO HIT IT THIS WEEK!I absolutely love the board early. So… HERE ARE THIS WEEKS PICKS:

Week 5 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

#7 Miami (+14) at #1 Clemson – Saturday 6:30pm

Game Preview: There are a lot of unknowns with this game. And I hate betting on unknowns. But it is the game of the week and we have to do it. Clemson is in sleepwalk mode through the first few games of the season and have yet to cover an ACC game. But they are still too good to let the Hurricanes walk into Death Valley and win this game. While D’Eriq King and Miami have looked like a dangerous team early in the season, I don’t see them winning this game. But Miami could still keep it within two TDs (unless Clemson decides they want to show up and be dominant for the first time this season). Clemson wins by double digits

Pick: Clemson 31-20

Top Picks of the Week

Louisville (-4.5) at Georgia Tech – Friday 6:00pm

A little Friday night action to wet the beak. Louisville should be favored by way more than they are. The Cards were competitive with Miami and narrowly lost to a good Pittsburgh team. All Georgia Tech has done is mess around with a bad Florida State team, get blown out by overrated UCF, and lose by double digits to Syracuse. Louisville with their explosive offense is the easy call.

Oklahoma (-1.5) vs #22 Texas – Saturday 11:00am

Oklahoma is in desperation mode after losing their first two Big 12 games. The interesting thing is quarterback Spencer Rattler hasn’t played bad, he has just made some redshirt freshman mistakes (Lincoln Riley’s first year with a QB that wasn’t a transfer). Anyways, I think Oklahoma is the better team and that is what I am betting on. Texas’s secondary is a mess and will be torched by Rattler. The Texas offense is mistake prone and can’t hang. Oklahoma 41-31.

#17 LSU (-13.5) at Missouri – Saturday 11:00am

This line doesn’t make any sense. When it was scheduled in Baton Rouge it was LSU (-20) and I was leaning that way. Now I am jumping on the line after a 6.5 point swing after the teams rescheduled the game moving it to Columbia due to the hurricane. This is the same Mizzou Tigers that were torched by Tennessee last week. Give me LSU. Give me the win.

#4 Florida (-6.5) at #21 Texas A&M– Saturday 11:00am

You have the best QB in the SEC (Florida’s Kyle Trask) going against the accident waiting to happen (Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond). Florida’s offense is one of the best in the nation and Texas A&M won’t be able to keep up. Gators by double digits.

NC State (+9.5) at Virginia – Saturday 11:00am

NC State has been one of the hardest teams to figure out after getting blown out by Virginia Tech, but beating Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. Virginia gave Clemson a game, but I’m not making them as 9.5 point favorites. NC State covers.

#19 Virginia Tech (+5) at #8 North Carolina– Saturday 11:00am

These are two even football teams. So if I have the chance to get one team and five points you bet I’m going to take it. Honestly, North Carolina is still living off pre-season buzz and overall has not been impressive. Not only do I think the Hokies cover… I’m sprinkling some on the moneyline for a Hokies upset win.

Kansas State (+9) at TCU – Saturday 3:00pm

The line makes no sense at all. These are two even football teams and I don’t think TCU has it in their arsenal to blow out someone. Give me Kansas State and the points… also another moneyline sprinkle.

Arkansas (+13.5) at #13 Auburn (UNDER 48) – Saturday 6:30pm

You have Bo Nix vs. Feleipe Franks and an O/U of 48?? Arkansas’s defense held Mississippi State to 21 points and I expect the same against Auburn. Under. Under. Under. Auburn wins 21-13.

#2 Alabama (-23.5) at Ole Miss (UNDER 74.5)- Saturday 6:30pm

Hope you got the point total early as it opened at 79.5… there is a hurricane coming through Oxford and it is going to be rainy. 74.5 points is way too high as Alabama’s defense is much better than given credit for. Also did I mention the hurricane? Alabama wins big 45-17.

Mississippi State at Kentucky (-2) – Saturday 6:30pm

Kentucky started the year with a good Auburn team and an emerging Ole Miss team. The SEC took two weeks to figure out Mike Leach’s offense (HEY LSU YOU DON’T PLAY PRESS COVERAGE AGAINST AIR RAID). Kentucky gets their first win against an overrated Mississippi State team.

TGIS Top Ten- Week 5

1. Clemson Tigers

The distance between Clemson and Alabama is shrinking after last Saturday. Clemson is a very, very good team, but they haven’t shown the dominance like last year. A big win in this week’s game against Miami can help solidify them at the number one spot for at least another week.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama logo

Absolutely dominant. The offense has not lost much of a step under Mac Jones and the defense is much improved from last year. Alabama has the strength of schedule advantage for the entire season so if Bama finishes undefeated… they will be #1.

3. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Logo

Georgia has been a force since their first half, first game struggle against Arkansas. Sure the offense isn’t explosive, but that defense will make a lot of teams look ineffective, inefficient, discombobulated, and all the other adjectives for “terrible offense”.

4. Florida Gators

The Gators may have one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, but is the defense able to keep up? Regardless, the Gators have solidified a spot in the top four with their play so far.

5. Miami Hurricanes

Are they pretenders or contenders in the ACC? We will find out this Saturday following their game against Clemson. Before D’Eriq King, Miami’s offense was known for their three and outs and inability to make it past midfield. King has turned them into a top 10 offense in the nation. The defense is also solid (just think if first round pick Greggory Rousseau wouldn’t have opted out). Miami right now is a top five team.

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Sloppy against Duke and dominant against South Florida, the Fighting Irish are unknown. Unfortunately Notre Dame doesn’t face a legitimate threat until November 7th against Clemson. I guess we will just sit and wait?

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Not enough respect is being given to the Pokes. The Oklahoma State defense has obviously improved from last season and the offense has done decently without their starting QB Spencer Sanders. The struggle win against Tulsa looks way better after Tulsa’s upset win against UCF. This team has playoff potential (Yes, I said it) especially in the pedestrian Big 12.

8. Tennessee Volunteers

When is the national media going to treat the Vols like a legitimate team? The defense is stout. Expect a defensive battle on Saturday when they face off with Georgia.

EARN YOUR LOGOS (#9-#10)

9. BYU Cougars

This is the part of the rankings I just throw up my hands. Do I legitimately think BYU is the 9th best team in the country? No. But the combination of BYU blowing everyone out and almost everyone in the middle of the Big 12, SEC, and ACC having a loss with no premier wins leads to this ranking. We will see if BYU is able to keep it going, but I doubt it.

10. Cincinnati Bearcats

Like BYU, Cincinnati has not played anyone. But their wins have been convincing. Unlike BYU, the Bearcats next three games are legitimate opponents: Tulsa, SMU, and Memphis. As you can probably tell, the 9 and 10 spots of this top ten are a wait-and-see.  

Week 4 College Football Preview

2020 SEASON RECORD: 11-11-0 (50%)

After a tough start to the season we are back to 50%!!! HERE ARE THIS WEEKS PICKS:

Week 4 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

#8 Auburn (+7) at #4 Georgia – Saturday 11:00am

Game Preview: The Georgia offense looked rough in their first week against Arkansas. They do get a bump with new transfer QB JT Daniels now medically cleared to play… but he hasn’t played a football game in over a year. Expect a close low scoring game.

Pick: Georgia 21-16

Top Picks of the Week

TCU (+12.5) at #9 Texas – Saturday 11:00am

TCU has won five out of the last six games against Texas. Texas went to OT with an average Texas Tech team last week. In summary, Texas has not earned a double digit line. TCU covers.

Missouri (+12.5) at #21 Tennessee– Saturday 11:00am

Tennesse QB Jarrett Guarantano as a double digit favorite against a solid Mizzou team? No thank you… give me the points.

#13 Texas A&M at #2 Alabama (-17) – Saturday 2:30pm

Nick Saban was disappointed in Alabama not keeping the intensity the entire team against Mizzou. Expect no back door covers here… Alabama will play joyless murderball and win by at least three touchdowns.

#17 Oklahoma State (-22) at Kansas– Saturday 2:30pm

Kansas has lost by 15 to Coastal Carolina and by 33 to Baylor… 22 points is nowhere near enough. Oklahoma State will also get QB Spencer Sanders back. Pokes win by at least 30.

Ole Miss (+6.5) at Kentucky – Saturday 3:00pm

I don’t think Kentucky can keep up with the scoring of Lane Kiffin’s offense. Ole Miss does struggle on defense, but this is a much easier matchup than Florida last week. The Rebels cover.

Navy at Air Force (UNDER 48)- Saturday 5:00pm

Unders in the last 45 Service Academy games are 35-9-1. Always play the under with these slow paced option offenses.

#18 Oklahoma at Iowa State (OVER 62.5) – Saturday 6:30pm

Last year’s matchup was a 42-41 game. We’ve seen Oklahoma’s defense hasn’t improved and their offense can still put up points. Hammer the over.

Arkansas (+18) at Mississippi State (Under 69) – Saturday 6:30pm

Expect a letdown game for Mississippi State after a huge emotional win at LSU last weekend. I also don’t trust Feleipe Franks to score enough points for the over to hit. This will be closer and lower scoring than people are expecting.

HEY PAWLLL- SEC Fans React WEEK 1

Alabama

“Hey Pawllllll, long time listener first time emailer. Well we might as well just skip the season and put the Crimson Tide in the Playoffs. Mac “Joker” Jones is the next AJ McCarron! Just guiding the weapons like Najee Harris, Jaylen Waddle, and Devante Smith down the field.

Most importantly Pawl… Bama’s defense is back. The players must’ve been spending too much time at the Waffle House last season because this defense has a different look. Dylan Moses going to lead us back to the promise land Pawl! Roll Tide, I’ll hang up and listen.”

-Bear Ryan Jones (Huntsville, AL)

Arkansas

“Hey Pawllll, well the first half against the Dawgs wasn’t bad! Coach Pittman had these boys ready to play. Sure Feleipe Franks isn’t the most “accurate quarterback” but it is better than what we’ve had… Please lord baby Jesus just let us win at least one SEC game this year.”

-Craig McDaniels (Little Rock, AR)

Auburn

“Hey Pawlllll, run the ball and play defense. That is what the AUBURN FAMILY DOES. Who cares Bo Nix can’t throw it a country mile. Just throw it up to Seth Williams and good things happen.

By the way Pawll, don’t know if you noticed but our linebackers KJ Britt and Owen Papoe are some studs. We are going to beat those Georgia Bulldogs this weekend, just you wait! I don’t care JT Daniels is eligible to play for the Dawgs. They could have Daniel Jones playing and Auburn is still going to win this football game! War Eagle!”

-Randy Fields (Mobile, AL)

Florida

“Pawllll, if you even think about saying Georgia is the favorite in the East you need to be drug tested! Kyle Trask is the best quarterback in the SEC and our receiving core is legit. Sure the defense let some late points to Lane Train’s Ole Miss. But no need to worry. The Gators have plenty of defensive talent. Easy win coming against South Carolina”

-Cory Murphy (Gainesville, FL)

Georgia

“Pawllll, I don’t know what the big deal is Pawl. Sure the Dawgs started slow, but we still won 37-10 (and covered the spread). Stetson Bennett came in and played great… also JT Daniels is eligible this week. Bo Nix won’t be able to pass on the Dawgs this weekend! Georgia will take care of business against Auburn”

-Hank Lewis (Marietta, GA)

Kentucky

“Pawlll, this is classic big time SEC programs paying off the refs. Kentucky scored at the end of the half, but the refs CHEATED THE CATS out of leading at the half. Other than that, we played great defense and can actually pass the ball this year. Those will be key against those Ole Miss Bears/Rebels/Landsharks.”

-Red Bickel (Georgetown, KY)

LSU

“Pawlll, I was told Myles Brennan was Joe Burrow with a stronger arm. I was told there’d be no drop off. I was told LSU’s past great recruiting classes would take care of business. But instead I’m looking at a LSU Tiger team I can’t trust Pawl. I don’t know what Myles Brennan or the defense was doing on Saturday, but that isn’t my Tigers. We will figure it out against Vanderbilt (I hope). Geaux Tigers”

-Lonnie Bordeaux (Lafayette, LA)

Missouri

“Pawlll, how did we get stuck with Bama? Why couldn’t we play Central Arkansas? Anyways Shawn Robinson wasn’t bad! He looked competent at quarterback. Also Nick Bolton: absolute stud on defense. I think we can go to Tennessee and pull the upset this weekend!”

-Chris Taylor (Kansas City, MO)

Mississippi State

“PAWWLLLLLL, HOW BOUT STATE THIS WEEKEND! Mike Leach and the Air Raid are ready to take over the SEC. Hopefully defenses press just like Bo Pelini and LSU all year. The Pirate is going to catch teams by surprise that do not respect them. MISSISSIPPI STATE IS A TOP TEN TEAM THIS YEAR! COSTELLO FOR HEISMAN!”

-Billy Walker (Starkville, MS)

 Ole Miss

“PAWLLLL, LANE TRAIN! EXCITING OFFENSE! Sure we didn’t win, but it is the step in the right direction. Matt Corrall is a top five quarterback in the SEC and will show it against Kentucky. ARE YOU READY???”

-Dale Wallace (Jackson, MS)

South Carolina

“Pawlll, your classic average Cocks losing close games. Offense? Not exciting. Defense? Just alright. I’m ready for Colin Hill to have his Stephen Garcia game against Florida this weekend!”

-Dewey Cox (Columbia, SC)

Tennessee

“Pawlll, we should’ve dominated that game against South Carolina! We have a great defense, but classic Guarantano… still don’t trust him at quarterback! This team should be competing for the East, but instead are held back by this quarterback. Hoping for an improvement and a blowout win against Missouri this weekend!”          

-Chase Travis (Kingsport, TN)

Texas A&M

“Pawlll… Kellen Mond is still Kellen Mond. Not a lot to say after that terrible start against Vanderbilt. Oh well, gig’em, a win is a win. Let’s keep the Bama game within two touchdowns.”

-Parker Woods (Bryan, TX)

Vanderbilt

“Mr. Paul Finebaum. I must be honest with you that I was not expecting much excellence from my Vanderbilt Commodores. But we showed resilience competing with the Texas A&M Aggies especially with a true freshman quarterback Ken Seales. Hopefully we will continue to demonstrate the same competitive football spirit against the LSU Tigers this upcoming Saturday. Looking forward to the football match”

-Dr. Christian Covington IV (Brentwood, TN)

Week 3 college football preview

2020 SEASON RECORD: 4-7-0 (36%)

Alright we went 3-3 last week. But we’ve knocked off the offseason dust and now we are ready for the start of conference play in the Big 12 and SEC… HERE ARE THE PICKS:

Week 3 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

#23 Kentucky (+7.5) at #8 Auburn (UNDER 49.5) – Saturday 11:00am

Game Preview: Get ready… the game of the day comes early. Kentucky runs the ball efficiently behind a great offensive line and has a bundle of returning talent on defense. Auburn… also plays good defense, but lost many of the key starters off last year’s team. This will be a low scoring game where I like Kentucky with the upset. I STILL DO NOT TRUST BO NIX.

Pick: Kentucky 24-20

Top Picks of the Week

Kansas State at #3 Oklahoma (OVER 59.5) – Saturday 11:00am

Kansas State gave up 35 points to Arkansas State who didn’t have 12 of their starters. Oklahoma might score 60 on their own. Over hits with ease.

#23 Iowa State (-2.5) at TCU (UNDER 47)– Saturday 1:30pm

TCU is without their starting quarterback and will start Matthew Downing (first career start). Iowa State struggled mightily on offense in their first game against Louisiana-Lafayette. This game screams the under and an Iowa State close win.

#22 Army (+14) at #13 Cincinnati – Saturday 2:30pm

Army has outscored their opponents 79-7 in their first two games. Trust the slow pace Army offense to keep it within two scores against a good Cincinnati team.

#9 Texas at Texas Tech (UNDER 70.5)– Saturday 2:30pm

Unders have been killing it early in the year. Texas does not have a bad defense either so look for this game to be under 70.5. 38-21 Texas wins.

Duke at Virginia (-4.5) – Saturday 3:00pm

Duke has some major injuries on defense including to cornerback Mark Gilbert. 4.5 points is not nearly enough for a solid team like Virginia (I mean they were in the Orange Bowl last year). Look for the Cavs to win by a touchdown or more.

#2 Alabama (-27) at Missouri- Saturday 6:00pm

Always take Nick Saban in season openers. Especially when the opposing team has 12 players out due to COVID and shaky quarterback play. Alabama by a million.

#16 Tennessee (-3.5) at South Carolina – Saturday 6:30pm

Something must be going on here. Tennessee is at least a touchdown better than the Gamecocks who have an average defense and zero playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. I’m taking the bait by picking the better team to win by more than 3.5.

Florida State at #12 Miami (-11.5) – Saturday 6:30pm

Florida State has zero offense. Miami is now explosive with D’Eriq King at quarterback and plays solid defense. Miami wins big in this Saturday night game.

Week 2 College Football Preview

2020 SEASON RECORD: 1-4-0 (20%)

Not exactly the start we hoped for… BUT WE ARE BACK. After a few upsets in Week 1, here is your Week 2 slate:

Week 2 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

#17 Miami (+2.5) at #18 Louisville – Saturday 6:30pm

Game Preview: Miami is coming off a 31-14 win against UAB where they ran for over 300 rushing yards. You know who is not good stopping the run? Louisville. This is a matchup nightmare for Louisville and not only do I think Miami covers, but they win the ball game behind D”Eriq King. I’ve been hurt before by Miami… I’m ready to be hurt again.

Pick: Miami 37-31

Top Picks of the Week

Houston at Baylor (-4) – Saturday 11:00am (CANCELLED)

While I know Baylor lost a ton of talent from last year’s team, they still have Charlie Brewer and straight up are the better football team than Houston. This is a Houston team that finished 4-8 last season including finishing the year 1-4. Baylor wins and covers.

Tulsa at #10 Oklahoma State (-23.5) (UNDER 66.5) – Saturday 11:00am

I’m a huge believer in Oklahoma State this year. Defensively they’ll be improved and offensively they’ll continue to score points. However, 66.5 points is too many points for a game where it is both teams first time on the field. Cowboys win 41-17.

#14 UCF at Georgia Tech (+7.5)– Saturday 2:30pm

Georgia Tech looked pretty good last week and now face a UCF team that has not played a football game yet. This is a moneyline sprinkle opportunity as Georgia Tech has the team to pull the upset behind true freshman quarterback Jeff Sims.

Louisiana Tech (+5.5) at Southern Miss- Saturday 6:30pm

This line honestly doesn’t make sense to me. Louisiana Tech is coming off a 10-3 season. Southern Miss looked horrible against South Alabama… Don’t overthink this, Louisiana Tech is the easy pick.

Wake Forest (+2.5) at NC State – Saturday 7:00pm

Quarterback Sam Hartman played well in Week 1 as Wake Forest battled with Clemson. On the other side, I do not trust NC State’s starting QB Devin Leary. Wake Forest is ultimately the better football team and should beat NC State. Give me the 2.5 points too for comfort!

Week 1 College Football Preview

2020 SEASON RECORD: 0-0-0 (0%)

WE ARE BACK BABY!!! With the first week of Power 5 College Football we are tipping our toe in the water this week with a few game previews and bets. I went 56% last year… going 60% this year. LET’S GOO!

Week 1 Game of the Week (All Times CST)

Louisiana-Lafayette (+12) at #23 Iowa State – Saturday 11:00am

Game Preview: You may laugh at this game at first glance. But the projected Sun Belt Champions taking on an Iowa State team that is known to struggle with early season opponents? Yes please. Louisiana-Lafayette returned most of their offensive talent from last year and will keep it close.

Pick: Iowa State 31-21

Top Picks of the Week

Arkansas State at Kansas State (UNDER 54.5)

Arkansas State only scored 24 points on a bad Memphis defense. They will not put up many points against a Kansas State football team that likes to control time of possession. Kansas State/Arkansas State under.

Duke at #10 Notre Dame (-20) – Saturday 1:30pm

Love the favorites this week and with COVID and limited fans… bet on the talent. I project Duke to be one of the worst Power 5 teams in College Football which makes Notre Dame by 20 points an easy bet.

#1 Clemson (-32.5) at Wake Forest– Saturday 6:30pm

Clemson is absolutely loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Even their backups will go out and dominate to make an early statement. Additionally, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson was quoted saying they haven’t been practicing tackling as much… the Navy coach said the same thing and was blown out 55-3 against BYU. Clemson is the easy pick.

Coastal Carolina at Kansas (-6.5) – Saturday 9:00pm

The night cap of everyone’s Saturday, Les Miles is looking for revenge after losing to Coastal Carolina last year. While I don’t think Kansas is a very good Power 5 team, they should take care of business as they are slightly improved from last year.

2020 SEC Football Preview

SEC Championship: Alabama over Georgia

SEC East

1. Georgia Bulldogs

Projected Record: 9-2

Wins: Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt

Losses: Florida, Alabama (SEC Championship)

Georgia Logo

People are doubting Georgia since Jamie Newman opted out of the season… it is a mistake. JT Daniels may have beat out Newman and is a better fit for new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Outside of the quarterback position, Georgia has talent with RB Zamir White, RB James Cook, WR George Pickens, and Florida State graduate transfer TE Tre McKitty. Where I am concerned with the offense is replacing four starters including both tackles. Another major concern is will someone other than George Pickens step up at wide receiver?

The Bulldogs strength continues to be their defense as they are absolutely loaded and will most likely be a top three defense in the nation. Georgia returns almost all of their linebackers from last season including Monty Rice and Nakobe Dean. Additionally, they have a talented edge rushing tandem of Azeez Ojulari and Nolan Smith and a great defensive line that includes senior DE Malik Herring. The secondary is also filled with studs including Safety Richard LeCounte, CB Eric Stokes, and CB Tyson Campbell.

Final Outlook: Georgia might have the top defense in the nation, but the question remains can they improve offensively. The addition of JT Daniels helps, but JT Daniels missed last year with an injury. Anyways, Georgia is the top contender in the SEC East and has a realistic shot at the playoffs with only three major conferences playing.

2. Florida Gators

Projected Record: 8-2

Wins: Ole Miss, South Carolina, LSU, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas Vanderbilt, Kentucky

Losses: Texas A&M, Tennessee

Kyle Trask is the best starting quarterback the Gators have had since Tim Tebow (Will Grier is debatable). While Florida finally found a competent quarterback, the skill positions took a hit from losing three starting wide receivers and starting RB. The main questions about this group is can new starting RB Dameon Pierce handle taking over the full load? Will new talented WRs Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney be able to step in Van Jefferson and Freddie Swain’s shoes? What isn’t a question is their best receiving target is back in TE Kyle Pitts. The offensive line is also experienced returning four starters from last year. The offense should be above average again, but don’t expect them to be Steve Spurrier’s Gator offenses from the 1990s.

Just like the year prior, this team will be lead by their defense. Defensive Ends Zachary Carter and Georgia transfer Brenton Cox are tasked to replace last year’s dangerous NFL duo of Jabari Zuniga/Jonathan Greenard. In the secondary, corners Marco Wilson and Kaiir Elam make for a strong duo. Although Florida lost their leading tackler from last season, Ventrell Miller has shown to be capable of taking over. Even with the losses of some key pieces to the 2019 Gator defense, this unit is still talented.

Final Outlook: Florida is Georgia’s biggest competition in the East as they are good on both sides of the ball, but you have to give the edge to Georgia right now.

3. Tennessee Volunteers

Projected Record: 6-4

Wins: South Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Florida

Losses: Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn

Tennessee Vol logo

The main question is who will start at quarterback after both Jarrett Guarantano and Brian Maurer received playing time last year. Freshman Harrison Bailey was a wildcard to start, but with no spring practice it looks like he will have to wait his turn. The offensive unit is led by its experienced offensive line. With incoming Georgia transfer Cade Mays (if his waiver appeal is granted) and dominant guard Trey Smith, this unit is one of the best in the country. The Vols have to find a receiver to step up after losing Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway to graduation.

Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt has this defense heading in the right direction. LB Henry Too-To’o is one of the best in the conference and the defensive line is stout also with Darel Middleton, Aubrey Solomon, and Emmit Gooden. Add in a secondary who finished 16th in the nation in passing yards allowed led by CB Bryce Thompson and this defense should be looked at as a legitimate unit.

Final Outlook: A veteran defense and great offensive line makes the Vols a wildcard contender in the SEC East. However, it will probably be another year until we talk about them as true contenders in the SEC East.

4. Kentucky Wildcats

Projected Record: 5-5

Wins: Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, Vanderbilt

Losses: Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina

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QB Terry Wilson is back after his season ending injury which forced Kentucky to use a receiver at quarterback last year. Kentucky has a stable of running backs returning led by Asim Rose and returns one of the best offensive lines in the conference. Nobody knows how good this receiving unit is because… well… they never threw the ball last year.

The defense returns most of their starters after finishing 21st in the nation last year. The unit is led by OLB Jamar Watson who returns after a 6.5 sack season.

Final Outlook: People will overlook Kentucky, but this is a legitimate team in the East. It may not be sexy, but they’ll win a lot of games by running the ball and playing good defense.

5. Missouri Tigers

Projected Record: 3-7

Wins: Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Arkansas

Losses: Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi State

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It will be a major test for new Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz. The offense has a new starting quarterback with Shawn Robinson, transfer at TCU. While Robinson displayed a talented arm during his time at TCU, he was often inconsistent with his accuracy. Add in an inconsistent offensive line and this offense might struggle. At the skill positions Missouri has only a few legitimate options including RB Larry Roundtree and Virginia Tech graduate transfer Damon Hazelton (All-ACC recognition the past two years).

Missouri’s defense was actually good last year ranking in the top 20. Drinkwitz was impressed enough to keep the entire defensive coaching staff. The defense returns most of its starters including LB Nick Bolton, a potential first round pick and SEC leader in tackles. Safeties Tyree Gillespie and Joshuah Bledsoe are a strong safety combination and 310-pounder DT Kobie Whiteside (6.5 sacks) is a disrupter.

Final Outlook: This is where the bottom of the SEC East starts. While Missouri should have a solid defense, their offense is filled with questions. The questions are amplified as Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz didn’t have the opportunity to install his offense during spring practice. Don’t expect anything special from Missouri.

6. South Carolina Gamecocks

Projected Record: 2-8

Wins: Vanderbilt, Kentucky

Losses: Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Missouri, Georgia

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The offense is filled with more questions than answers. It starts at quarterback where sophomore Ryan Hillinski must make an improvement after only completing 58.1% last year. There are rumors floating out of Columbia it will actually be Colorado State QB Collin Hill taking the starting snaps. Either way the quarterback will have to find help as the receivers are unproven and the offensive line is average. The lone bright spot was freshman MarShawn Lloyd, who was a top fifty recruit… but he was lost for the season. This offense is the definition of shaky.

A defense that was average last year loses a few key starters including first round pick Javon Kinlaw, DJ Wonnum, and TJ Brunson. The loss of these key Gamecocks leaves the defense with holes they may not be able to fill. However, South Carolina returns its sack leader from last year DE Aaron Sterling (6 sacks), the leading tackler Ernest Jones (97 tackles), and a talented cornerback duo of Jaycee Horn (son of Joe Horn) and Israel Mukuamu. There is also five-star true freshman DE Jordan Burch who should receive action right away.

Final Outlook: South Carolina will finish in the bottom half of the SEC East. With an offense full of questions, a defense who lost several key starters from last year, and an all-SEC schedule…getting over 3 wins will be a struggle.

7. Vanderbilt Commodores

Projected Record: 0-10

Wins: None

Losses: Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina, Missouri, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia

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Vanderbilt doesn’t have a legitimate quarterback option as the competition is between freshman Ken Seals and JUCO transfer Jeremy Moussa. Vanderbilt also replaces a trio of key players on offense with RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, WR Kalija Lipscomb, and TE Jared Pinkney. Not to mention the offensive line is also bad. All signs point to this being a historically terrible offense

Vanderbilt returns basically their entire defense… well before a few players opted out. The defense also finished 101st in the nation last year. Defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo is a legitimate player, but there aren’t many other bright spots on defense.

Final Outlook: Not only do I not think Vanderbilt will not win a SEC game, I don’t see them being competitive. The Vanderbilt offense could be historically bad and the defense is nothing to rely on with all the opt outs. Vanderbilt is in for another rough season where I don’t think they even hit 100 points on offense.

SEC West

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Projected Record: 10-1

Wins: Missouri, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, Kentucky, Mississippi St., Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia (SEC Championship)

Losses: Georgia

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Although Alabama does not have Tua returning, the offense should continue to be explosive. Wide receivers Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and John Metchie will be one of the most dangerous trios in the nation, Alabama returns the best offensive line in the nation and RB Najee Harris is a top five running back. The major question will be if Mac Jones holds onto the starting job over the top recruit in the country Bryce Young.

Last year Alabama’s defense was different… as in they weren’t dominant. However, expect a major improvement especially with LB Dylan Moses returning after missing last season with a torn ACL. The defensive line is deep and talented after the Crimson Tide was forced to play young players last year due to injuries. A key for the Tide is finding who will step up as the edge pass rushers following Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings heading to the NFL. Reports out of camp say true freshman Will Anderson is a “grown man and beast”. Learn the name now. In the secondary, safety Jordan Battle is a breakout candidate after a tremendous freshman season and CB Patrick Surtain Jr. is one of the best in the country.

Final Outlook: Alabama has the roster to be National Champions, but without an elite quarterback and a tough SEC schedule makes it a tough road. However, this team has the most talented roster in the country. Expect Alabama to be out on a 2020 revenge tour.

2. LSU Tigers

Projected Record: 7-3

Wins: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss

Losses: Florida, Auburn, Alabama

Coming off a dream season, the 2019 LSU Tigers were one of the best of all-time. But now they must replace an elite quarterback (Joe Burrow) with Myles Brennan. Not only the quarterback, but 16 players from that team went to the NFL Combine. On offense alone they must replace four starters on the offensive line, two starting tight ends, their starting running back and two wide receivers. Despite all these losses, LSU does return a few solid receivers and a capable running back in Chris Curry. Losing Jamarr Chase due to opting out will hurt.

The defense was also hit hard by departures to the linebacking group which saw Patrick Queen and Jacob Phillips leave for the NFL Draft and Marcel Brooks hit the transfer portal. The replacements will include Damone Clark and North Dakota State transfer Jabril Cox (FCS All-American). The defensive line should be fine as they return Tyler Shelvin (UPDATE: Shelvin Opting out), Siaka Ika, and Glen Logan. Even with the loss of Kristian Fulton, Grant Delpit, and Kary Vincent Jr (opt out)… safety JaCoby Stevens and CB Derek Stingley are key pieces to the defense back to lead the secondary.

Final Outlook: LSU is still a talented team, but losing that many talented players to the NFL and opt outs will not be easy to overcome. Add in a quarterback who hasn’t seen much action and it is practical to expect LSU to take a step back.

3. Texas A&M Aggies

Projected Record: 7-3

Wins: Vanderbilt, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Auburn

Losses: Alabama, Mississippi State, LSU

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The Aggies return a ton of starters to an 8-5 team that beat everyone they were supposed to beat and lost to everyone they were supposed to lose to. Kellen Mond is back for his senior year and so is their leading rusher Isaiah Spiller, leading receiver Jhamon Ausbon (just kidding… he opted out), talented tight ends Jalen Wydermyer/Baylor Cupp, and a veteran offensive line. Depth at running back and wide receiver are a concern, but the Aggies offense will go as far as Kellen Mond takes them.

The Aggies return 8 starters to a pretty good defense from 2019. The defensive line is talented up front with Demarvin Leal and Bobby Brown III. The Aggies also return their top two tacklers LBs Anthony Hines (just kidding… he opted out too) and Buddy Johnson. The secondary was suspect at times last year, but returns most of the starters and has depth with 5-star cornerback Jaylon Jones and top JUCO cornerback Brian George.

Final Outlook: The question remains, is Kellen Mond ready to take a step forward? This should be the season A&M finally takes the step forward with their talent on defense, but consistency will be key with an all SEC schedule.

4. Auburn Tigers

Projected Record: 6-4

Wins: Arkansas, South Carolina, Ole Miss, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee

Losses: Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M

Can you trust Bo Nix? He had his moments, but completed just 57.5% of his passes as Auburn mostly won with the ground game. Now Auburn must replace the entire offensive line and has no clear starter at running back. The receiver room is the one experienced unit with Seth Williams, Anthony Schwartz, and Eli Stove all returning. However, unless Bo Nix takes a step forward, this offense might be in trouble.

The defense also is replacing a lot from last year including four of five secondary starters, and two key defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson. DE Big Kat Bryant, DT Tyrone Truesdell, LB KJ Britt and OLB Owen Pappoe are solid returning starters, but there isn’t much else. Auburn has work to do on this end of the ball.

Final Outlook: A questionable offense with major replacements needed on defense… Auburn will most likely not be competing for a SEC West title in 2020.

5. Ole Miss Rebels

Projected Record: 3-7

Wins: Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State

Losses: Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU

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What new Head Coach Lane Kiffin does with this offense will be interesting. Ole Miss finished as a top three SEC offense and top ten national rushing offense. Ole Miss returns both QBs John Rhys Plumlee and Matt Corral along with thalented sophomore rusher Jerrion Ealy. WR Elijah Moore is also solid finishing with 850 yards last season, but they will need another receiving option to step up. The offensive line should also be a decent unit for the Rebels.

On defense, Ole Miss was absolutely burned through the air finishing 120th nationally. The secondary and interior defensive line are the areas of concern. However, Ole Miss has a talented linebacker unit with Lakia Henry, Jacquez Jones, and MoMo Sanogo. The sack leader DE Sam Williams also returns. With the added experience, Ole Miss should make an improvement.

Final Outlook: Ole Miss is an extremely intriguing team going into 2020. Ole Miss is talented enough to surprise a few teams with their offense under Lane Kiffin.

6. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Projected Record: 3-7

Wins: Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Missouri

Losses: LSU, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss

Mike Leach had his biggest victory getting KJ Costello as a grad transfer quarterback from Stanford. Costello and returning RB Kylin Hill should be the best at their respective positions in the SEC. The questions remain how Mike Leach can install his air raid offense with Mississippi State’s lack of top end receivers and an adequate offensive line. Alabama grad transfer WR Tyrell Shavers should play right away alongside Osirus Mitchell.

The defense took a step back last year from a unit in 2018 that was one of the nations best. Mississippi State may make another regression after losing some key starters. The defensive line will be the strength with Nathan Pickering and Kobe Jones leading. LB Erroll Thompson is also extremely talented and the leader of the defense.

Final Outlook: Mississippi State has a talented quarterback and running back, but installing Leach’s offense in year one with no spring practice may be difficult. Add in an average defense and only a few wins seems likely.

7. Arkansas Razorbacks

Projected Record: 2-8

Wins: Ole Miss, Mississippi State

Losses: Georgia, Auburn, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Missouri, Alabama

The offense and defense were abysmal in their 2-10 season last year. However, this 2020 Arkansas team could surprise some people with a great staff put together by head coach Sam Pittman which includes offensive coordinator Kendall Briles and defensive coordinator Barry Odom. The offense returns eight starters and adds Florida grad transfer QB Feleipe Franks. This is a decent enough offense, especially with 1100 yard rusher Rakeem Boyd, to take a step forward from last season.

The defense landed quite a few graduate transfers including Clemson DE Xavier Kelly, Oklahoma LB Levi Draper, and Arkansas State CB Jerry Jacobs. The group should help the six returning starters to the defensive unit. The defense is led by second leading tackler from last season LB Bumper Pool. The Razorbacks will improve from their 110th ranked defense last year.

Final Outlook: This team’s outlook looks much better than last year as there is some decent talent sprinkled throughout the roster. Arkansas is facing one of the hardest schedules as they play all top 7 teams in the SEC. Still, look for Arkansas to win their first SEC game since 2017.