After perfect week, Guru mulls giving up picking games
Well, I did it!
Last week, I went 12-0 in my predictions. That’s a 100 percent mark for predicting games. I wrote in a column a few years ago that if I ever was lucky enough to be perfect for a weekend I would quit making predictions. But, I just can’t stop.
I couldn’t even guess how many games I have made predictions for since 1998, but last week was the first time I nailed them all.
You can try to pick five games, 15 or 25 and it is just so difficult to get them all correct. So, since I am not going to stick with my previous statement of hanging up my predictions, I still have another goal to reach which I wrote about last week in finishing a season with at least 80 percent correct predictions.
Through two weeks this season, I am 23-3 (or, 88 percent correct.) It will not be easy the rest of the way, but after a perfect weekend (I am framing that edition of the Leader-Call), I am on Cloud 9.
So, here we go with this week’s projections, in order of kickoff time for T.V. (Well, for the most part.)
Kansas State travels to StarkVegas to tangle with a group of Dawgs that made a statement last week with a thrashing of Southern Miss. K’State makes the trip to the Magnolia State with whippings of Nicholls State and Bowling Green. But the going won’t be so easy with all of those cowbells ringing in the ears of the Wildcats as State moves to 3-0.
Arkansas State has an uphill battle as the Red Wolves travel to Athens to battle Georgia. Laurel High product Omar Bayless had a huge Saturday last week as he hauled in six receptions for 149 yards and a score in a win at UNLV. Bayless and Co. will have a stiffer task “Between the Hedges” as UGa. stays unblemished.
Alabama travels to South Carolina in the 2:30 p.m. game on CBS and don’t look for an upset here. Bama rolls.
An intriguing matchup takes place as Stanford makes the trek east to face Central Florida in Orlando. I’m not spending much time on a school that raises flags for a “fake” national championship season. Give me the Cardinal.
Also, give me USC over BYU, Ole Miss over SE Louisiana, Colorado State over Arkansas and Iowa State over rival Iowa.
I will also take Clemson over Syracuse on the road, but the last three picks need some extra attention.
Southern Miss travels to Troy, Ala. for a battle with the Trojans and this one is pretty close to a toss-up.
While USM was tested last week in a trip to Mississippi State, Troy hasn’t played since its opening-week win over Campbell on Aug. 31. Despite the rout by Troy over the Camels, I look for the Eagles to be too much for the homestanding team.
That brings us to another SEC tilt as Florida travels to Lexington, Ky., to face the blue-and-white-clad Wildcats.
The difference in this one will be defense. In games against Toledo and Eastern Michigan (despite a pair of wins) Kentucky is yielding 377 yards per game. In wins over Miami and Tennessee-Martin, the Gators are giving up just 247 yards a game. The offenses are pretty even, but the Gators’ defense will be the deciding factor in this road win.
The nightcap takes us out to the desert as Arizona hosts Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders boast wins over UTEP and Montana State by a combined 83-13, while Zona dropped a 45-38 decision at Hawaii to open the season before bouncing back with a 65-41 win over Northern Arizona.
I would like to take the home team, but the ’Cats are yielding 519 yards per game and that is not good news against a Texas Tech team that comes in averaging 558 yards per game on offense. Give me the road team.
There is another 12-pack of picks from the Guru.
Maybe I will be as lucky as last week and hit on another 12-for-12, but since I have done this for so many years, I will likely be lucky to get seven or eight wins.
However, if I can maintain my pace for 80 percent for the season, then I will be more than happy.
Guru Nichols is former sports editor of the Leader-Call.