Joe Burrow

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. (Wikipedia)

State, LSU will walk away with double-digit wins

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If you read my column last week, then you know it was filled with predictions for the first full weekend of the college football season. And I didn’t do too bad.

In that column I predicted the outcome of 14 games and I nailed 11 of them. If Oregon would have been able to play pass defense late in its loss to Auburn, I would have been 12-of-14.

However, predicting 11 of 14 games correctly puts me at predicting 79 percent of games correctly this season.

But, we have a long way to go.

So, I have predicted the winner of 14 games and, over the next 12 weeks, I will predict the outcome of 12 games each week, just like I have done in this edition. I will also offer up my picks for Championship Weekend, which falls on the first Saturday of December. I will make my pick for the annual Army-Navy game and then I will give my predictions for the 41 postseason games that are on the slate this year. 

In all, that is 211 predictions, and to get to the coveted 80 percent correct rate, I must finish with 168 correct picks. That seems like a big number, and it is, but I want to rub it in Murph’s face so badly by finishing with an 80 percent pick rate this season.

I started predicting outcomes of college football games in 1998. And over the past 20-plus years there was only a six-year hiatus from predicting winners and that’s while I was doing my service to our country on active duty in the U.S. Navy.

When I came to the Leader-Call full-time in 2012, I resurrected my career in making predictions on the winners in college football games.

Somebody would have to do the research, but I think I was pretty successful in 2012, but since Murph appeared on the scene in 2013, I haven’t been quite as fortunate.

Well, as I bring back my prognostications this season I will be doing so from my home in Laurel and Murph is down somewhere in the swamp. Hopefully, he won’t cast a jinx on me like he has over the past several years.

Each Saturday, from here on out, I will be giving my predictions for 12 games every Saturday.

I will always pick the games for the Big 3 in our state and the majority of SEC games (I’m going  to try not to pick many “cupcake” games for our SEC boys) and I will include intriguing matchups from around the country, especially when a pair of Top 25 teams are going head-to-head.

Let’s get started.

This week, the Game of the Week, features the only Top 10 matchup (there is only one other game featuring a pair of Top 25 opponents playing one another, but we will get there in a minute).

No. 6 LSU travels to Austin to square off with No. 9 Texas in a battle of two proud programs that are making a resurgence.

The Tigers blasted Georgia Southern 55-3 in Tiger Stadium, while the Horns stomped on Louisiana Tech, 45-14, at home.

This should have a lot of fireworks, but the team with the better defense (LSU) will prevail by at least 10 points.

No. 12 Texas A&M travels to the “other” Death Valley to face No. 1 Clemson.

Last year, playing at home, the Aggies gave the Tigers fits before Clemson escaped with a 28-26 win. It won’t be that close this year as the Tigers win by double digits.

Miss. State hosts in-state rival USM and the Dawgs should move to 2-0 with at least a 17-point win.

Ole Miss will host Arkansas (a team that beat Portland State 20-13 last week), the Rebels have too many weapons for the Hogs to slow down and will eclipse 30 points, while “R-Kansas” struggles to get past the 20-point mark.

Mizzou (after a disappointing 37-31 loss at Wyoming) will play its home opener against a West Virginia team that squeaked by James Madison, 20-13, in its opener. Bank on the Tigers getting a W.

Vanderbilt, after getting smashed solidly by Georgia, 30-6, makes the trek north to West Lafayette, Ind., to battle Purdue. The Boilermakers are at home after suffering a three-point loss at Nevada to start the season. Could be back-and-forth, but the Boilers prevail.

BYU got hammered at home by rival Utah, 30-12, and now travels cross-country to face a Tennessee team that was embarrassed in its season opener in a 38-30 loss to Georgia State. Give me the road team once again.

Auburn rallied to knock off Oregon in a great game to open the season. The Tigers could be up-and-down in the first half this week against Tulane, but it will end up being all War Eagle.

Look for Michigan to topple Army in Ann Arbor, while USC pulls off a slight upset in the Coliseum against overrated Stanford.

While Maryland scored more than 70 points last week, Syracuse is coming to College Park and that can be challenging. The Terps won’t be denied.

Finally, an old-school Big 12 battle takes place when Nebraska visits Colorado. The Buffs knocked off rival Colorado State, 52-31, while the Huskers beat South Alabama, 35-21, in Lincoln.

Advantage goes to the home team against a bunch of corn-eaters who are overrated while checking in at No. 25 in this week’s poll.

That’s my 12-pack of picks this week. Let’s see if I can eclipse a double-digit winning weekend for a second week in a row.

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