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One of the only reasons why we asked the men of Grandex (People of Grandex? Whatever, HR, send us to a meeting. We don’t give a shit.) if we could start writing columns for this site revolved around picking top college football games for all of the TFM readers. Now here we are. This college football season came faster and a lot more unexpected than I could have imagined (we’ve all been there) but damn does it feel good.
Let’s jump into it. We decided to pick a heavy amount of games for week one, which will inevitably fuck up our winning percentage at the end of the year, because week one blows. Pay serious attention to the title of this column before reading on. Don’t bet on week one. DON’T BET ON WEEK ONE. Just don’t do it. The only information we are going off of comes from last year’s results and how well each team filled in its missing pieces. If you follow your team’s beat writers on Rivals, 247Sports, or any other basement dwelling dweeb’s website, the writing is so biased it sounds like every team has a shot at winning the Natty. That’s just not true. Our rule is to play out week one as if we did bet on a few games and just watch how the games play out. This is only a suggestion. Can’t say we didn’t warn you. But from week two on, we’re infallible geniuses who are a gift from God to your wallets.
Thursday, August 28
Texas A&M at South Carolina
Spread: SCAR -10.5
Point Total: 59 o/u or 60 o/u
TSG Pick: SCAR -10.5 and over
Summary: Sumlin is a quarterback guru. I’m sure he will develop Kenny Hill into a late draft pick in the upcoming years, but Columbia, S.C., isn’t an easy place to start off a career. Texas A&M’s defense was horrendous last year and I don’t think this offseason was enough to fix their ailing problems. We haven’t bought into the hype of South Carolina, but we do think South Carolina will close this one out easily. We’ll give the Cocks two touchdowns and say they win this one 38-24.
Tulane at Tulsa
Spread: Tulsa -6.5
Point Total: 47 o/u
TSG Pick: Tulsa -6.5 under 47
Summary: I honestly don’t know enough about either team to make an educated pick on this. Sometimes, it’s okay to let a game go. I’m sure this game probably won’t be much besides a filler for the evening games anyway, but I wanted to include this game because of my many fond memories down in New Orleans on the Tulane campus. I wouldn’t pick this game if you’re in the business of making money. Tulane is 1-8 against the spread in its last nine meetings with Tulsa, and Tulsa has the home crowd(?) on its side.
Mississippi at Boise State
Spread: MISS -10
Point Total: 54 o/u
TSG Pick: MISS -10 under 54
Summary: For the love of God, Mississippi, please do not embarrass the SEC while playing any team north of the Mason-Dixon. If Mississippi is even considering being looked at as a serious contender in the SEC, that team will go up there and beat Boise by 17 to 21 points and be done with this tune-up game.
Temple at Vanderbilt
Spread: VAN -14
Point Total: 52 o/u or 51 o/u
TSG Pick: VAN -14 under 52
Summary: I considered copying and pasting the exact same summary for the Boise State/Ole Miss game for this. This is a tune-up game where Vandy should handle its business by at least a few touchdowns while keeping Temple in the teens.
Friday, August 29
BYU at Connecticut
Spread: BYU -16/5
Point Total: 51 o/u
TSG Pick: BYU over 51
Summary: BYU wins by four touchdowns. The game is in Connecticut, but it shouldn’t be a problem for the Morms.
Colorado State at Colorado
Spread: COL -3.5 or -3 or -2.5
Point Total: 60 o/u
TSG Pick: Colorado State +3.5 or push or Colorado -3 under 60
Summary: This rivalry game is slated to be close. Played in the Mile High City, I have a feeling the thin air will come into play in this close game and the team with the ball last will probably win. Colorado will hit a last-second field goal to win this one by 3.
UNLV at Arizona
Spread: Arizona -24 or -23.5
Point Total: 60 o/u
TSG Pick: Arizona -24 under 60
Summary: Arizona is supposed to hang in the Pac-12 with UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, and USC. UNLV is probably a great school to go to if you’re an aspiring swimming pool DJ, but its football team isn’t anything to write home about. Arizona will give its fans an opening night show and should win this one big.
Saturday, August 30
Penn State at Central Florida (in Ireland at, like, 6 a.m.)
Spread: Central Florida -1.5 or -1
Point Total: 48 o/u
TSG Pick: Penn State +1.5 or +1 under 48
Summary: Penn State has a lot more to prove than Central Florida, and I see the school pulling this one off. I’m picking the under because I believe Penn State’s main focus will be a strong defense rather than actually trying to put points on the board. I am curious, though–can anyone tell me why these kids are playing in Ireland? But hey, at least Central Florida should feel right at home, not having fans and all. Also, if I could bet on it, I’d put good money on Penn State tailgaters being able to outdrink the Irish. Penn State kids, send us your best videos of idiots bonging Guinness.
Ohio State at Navy
Spread: Ohio State -15.5 or -15
Point Total: 55.5
TSG Pick: Navy +15.5 under 55.5
Summary: With Miller out, I think this game, as well as all of Ohio State’s others, will be a lot tougher than they should be. Navy’s offense will give any team fits, and not to mention, Navy chews up a lot of clock. Ohio State will pull this one out, but I doubt it will be by two touchdowns.
UCLA at Virginia
Spread: UCLA -21.5 or -21
Point Total: 57.5
TSG Pick: Virginia +21.5 over 57.5
Summary: No one is mistaking Virginia as a competitor for anything worthwhile this year, and UCLA has plenty of high level talent. However, we’re taking Virginia and the points all day here. UCLA on the road, traveling to the East Coast for an early kickoff spells trouble for the Bruins. Virginia will keep it close all game until UCLA pulls away by 10 in the fourth quarter.
Appalachian State at Michigan
Spread: -35 or -34.5
Point total: 54
TSG Pick: Appalachian State +35 or +34.5 over 54
Summary: App State was horrible last year, and it won’t win this game, so don’t expect a repeat of 2007. Thirty-five points is a lot to cover for any team, though, and I’m sure App State will at least play with enough heart to not lose by five touchdowns. I would honestly stay away from this game, though, because App State is a terrible football team and this has “trap” written all over it.
Rice at Notre Dame
Spread: ND -21
Point Total: 51
TSG Pick: Notre Dame -21 under 51
Summary: Notre Dame will roll in this one. I’m not high on the Irish, but I don’t foresee the team giving more than 14 points to Rice. 35-10 sounds like a solid win for Notre Dame.
Alabama at West Virginia
Spread: Alabama -27
Point Total: 56 or 55.5
TSG Pick: West Virginia +27 under 55.5
Summary: Alabama will dominate this game from start to finish, but Saban has always struggled with hurry up teams and will just look to run out the clock for much of the second half. I expect West Virginia to backdoor this one with a late cover.
Arkansas at Auburn
Spread: Auburn -20
Point Total: 58 or 57.5
TSG Pick: Auburn -20 over 58
Summary: Auburn is about to fuck Arkansas backward, forward, and sideways. Arky is going to squeal like Ned Beatty, and that’s really all you need to know. Auburn will cover this 20-point spread. Sorry Arkansas, but thanks for Walmart.
Clemson at Georgia
Spread: Georgia -7.5
Point Total: 56 or 55
TSG Pick: Clemson +7.5 over 56
Summary: I’m not a fan of picking against the SEC, but UGA hasn’t earned my trust in terms of +TD spread. It’s likely Georgia will win this game, but giving the Bulldogs more than a full touchdown seems a bit optimistic for a team that is so obviously crutched to its run game.
Lousiana Tech at Oklahoma
Spread: Oklahoma -38
Point Total: 52
TSG Pick: Oklahoma -38 over 52
Summary: Oklahoma is going to win this game by 42 points. I’m honestly surprised they even put a line for this game. This one is a take if you’re looking to bet week one of college football. Bob Stoops won’t sleep unless his team completely embarrasses any opponent that shouldn’t be on the same field as the Sooners.
Idaho at Florida
Spread: Florida -36.5 or -36
Point Total: 51
TSG Pick: Florida -36.5 over 51
Summary: Can Florida even score 37 points? Against Idaho, I’m sure it can. I’m picking the over because I think Muschamp will try to score 100 against Idaho to placate the fans who are still having nightmares about last year (which is all of them). Florida won’t settle with a 38-10 victory in this one.
Fresno State at USC
Spread: USC -22
Point Total: 58.5 or 58
TSG Pick: Fresno State +22
Summary: USC is on the rise with Sarkisian at the helm, and they will pull this game out. That said, it’s hard to see USC winning by a 3+ TD margin even if it is clicking on offense. My only worry with this pick is Fresno State’s inability to score.
Florida State at Oklahoma State
Spread: FSU -19 or -18
Point Total: 63
TSG Pick: Florida State -19 over 63
Summary: Florida State is still very good, and three touchdowns won’t be a problem against Oklahoma State. This game might climb up there, but Jimbo proved that he doesn’t mind hanging 40 to 50+ points on an opponent to keep the recruits coming.
North Texas at Texas
Spread: Texas -25 or -24.5
Point Total: 52
TSG Pick: Texas -25 over 52
Summary: I’m curious to see how Coach Strong treats these cupcake games. He is a big proponent in “doing the right thing,” so I’m not sure if he is going to try to shelf 50 on North Texas. Then again, even if the Longhorns run the ball the whole second half, will North Texas even be able to stop that?
LSU at Wisconsin
Spread: LSU -5 or -4.5
Point Total: 50
TSG Pick: LSU -5 under 50
Summary: Wisconsin will be harder to score against than LSU expects. LSU should cover by at least a touchdown but this won’t be a walk in the park for the Tigers. A 28-17 game for LSU would be a good win for Les.
Utah State at Tennessee
Spread: -6.5 or -6
Point Total: 52 or 51.5
TSG Pick: Tenn -6.5 under 51.5
Summary: Tennessee impressed me last year. It had a couple hard fought games that really showed some character for this season. The Vols should beat Utah State by a few touchdowns to start the season off right.
SMU at Baylor
Spread: Baylor -33
Point Total: 73.5 or 73
TSG Pick: Baylor -33 over 73.5
Summary: The Bears may score 74 by themselves. The team will cover this spread by at least a touchdown and will push up the total. The over is all dependent on SMU. Sometimes I think the Baylor defense’s only job is to give the offense enough time to catch their breath. Baylor isn’t too concerned with stopping other teams from scoring, but the team will still continue to win.
Miami at Louisville
Spread: Louisville -3.5
Point Total: 53.5
TSG Pick: Miami +3.5 under 53.5
Summary: Miami is going to win this game and begin the season strong before inevitably tanking once the calendar hits November.
Let us know if there are any games you would like some advice on and we can give you our two cents in the comments. Follow @TokenSportsGuys for live feeds, weekly picks, and locks that we see. We will tweet out some lock parleys as well. Like I said before, though, you’re better off just not betting on week one of college football. It’s all a crapshoot, and no one really gets an idea of what a team is made of until we get to see them on the field against an opponent that isn’t basically the same skill level as its scout team.