Big Jeff's
Picks

Current
9/12/97

This is my first week picks this year...hopefully, at years end, I'll be 85-0 on all my picks (dream on, dream on). At any rate, this is really the first week that there is more than a couple of decent games anyway. So...
Alabama
vs.
Vandy
DuBose takes the Tide up to the Music City for this Thursday night special (I hate these things. Big time college football is played on Saturday, for Crissakes!). Coach Widenhofer will probably have the ‘Dores defense up for this one, as Vandy seems to play Bama close year after year. This year will be no different. However, the Tide offense with their new open style, will outman the Vandy defense late in the game, and the Vandy offense will not have an answer for it.

Prediction Bama 24 - Vandy 17

NOTE: OK I'm a little late getting these picks out this week. I figured since this game was played last night I'll throw in a little commentary on it. I was half right, the Vandy defense was up for it. Unfortunately for Commodore fans, the offenses stinks. Totally one dimensional. I mean really sucks. Can't throw the ball at all. Bad. The Tide stacked the line to prevent the running game and literally stifled the life out of the Vandy offense. If you liked punting, you liked this one!! BTW: I was close on the Bama score, but totally overestimated the Vandy offense.

Auburn
vs.
Ole Miss
This one should be a sleeper for the Tigers. The Rebels will put up a good fight in the first half, but just don't have the hosses to keep up with the Craig's in this one. Bowden will be trying to find his running game in this one and if he does, it could get even uglier.

Prediction: Auburn 42 - Ole Miss 10

LSU
vs.
Miss St.
Kevin Faulk will be sitting this one out for the Tigers, but I don't think that will make much difference. MSU, still playing in memory of Keffer McGee, will spend most the late night hours chasing LSU running backs and receivers all over the field. This will one game where the outcome will be decided basically on team speed, and the Tigers got it all over the Dawgs.

Prediction: LSU 35 - MSU 17

Ark
vs.
SMU
Yawn! Hogs and Ponies. Will anybody outside of Fayetteville, Little Rock, and the richer suburbs of Dallas be watching this one at all. This one is so bad, neither team even wanted to play at home. So they decided to just load up the bus and meet somewhere in the middle (Shreveport). The good thing about this game is that after its over, you can go have fun in the casino!!!

Prediction: Ark 28 - SMU 21

USC
vs.
Ga
For some reason, the SEC always has this game scheduled early in the season (kind of like Fla-Tenn). Personally, I would love to have this one come around the first of Nov. This week we'll find out how the Cocks can bounce back from losing Hembrick, their emotional leader on defense. After last weeks near debacle against C. Fla, Brad Scott's troops may have something to prove. But UGA is looking to put an early season black eye on the Gamecocks hopes for a bowl game.

Prediction: UGA 38 - USC 35

Miami
vs.
ASU
The Sun Devils travel to South Florida this weekend to find out just how much they did lose after last season. It's a bunch. This years version of the Hurricanes is moving back up to the level they had in the late 80's - early 90's. They're not there yet, but working on it.

Prediction: Miami 28 - ASU 14

WVa.
vs.
BC
This one is the Steven Johnson's little sister game of the week (ugly, real ugly). The ‘Eers, behind Zereoue, have one of the best running games in the Big East, and BC lost to Temple (yes, that's right, lowly Temple) last week by giving up major yards in the ground game. Not only that, but WVa's O-Line averages almost 295 lbs. while BC's D-Line weighs in at around 250. Can you say MISMATCH!

Prediction: WVa 45 - BC 7 (and the game may not be as close as the score indicates)

Neb
vs.
C. Fla
Ordinarily, this one would be another candidate for the ugly game of the week, and it might well be. But I'm really interested in seeing how the Golden Knight offense does against a really good defense. Even though C. Fla is 0-2 going into this game, and even though they are only in their 2nd year of Div-1A football, they've lost 2 really close games. First in overtime at Ole Miss, then late in the 4th quarter at South Carolina. QB Duante Culpepper looks like he could be the real deal, just like all of the preseason reports. Don't worry Husker fans, the game won't be that close. But keep an eye on this kid. You could be seeing him on Sunday's in the near future.

Prediction: Nebraska 66 - C. Fla 21

Col
vs.
Mich
Third game in the series. The last 2 have been decided by Hail Mary passes by Colorado. Two years ago, Michael Westbrook catches the tip in the end zone, and last year the Wolverine defense broke the pass up in the end zone. Look for the same thing this year, but this time it'll be Big Blue chunking it for pay dirt. Can't wait to watch this one!

Prediction: Colorado 21 - Michigan 17

Iowa
vs.
Tulsa
The Golden Hurricane (why are they called the hurricane when they're in Oklahoma??? Shouldn't they be the Silver Tornado or something??) travel to the great state of Iowa (gateway to Nebraska) to take on the team they upset last season. Oh, does Hayden Fry want revenge for that one. And he'll get it too!

Prediction: Iowa 42 - Silver Tornados 18

UNC
vs.
Stanford
Whoa Nellie, gonna be a barnburner on Tobacky Road!! UNC takes their vaunted defense into the tilt with the tree huggers and hopes to saw their way through to victory! Ought to be a great one to watch (if you like good defensive struggles, which I do)

Prediction: UNC 13 - Stanford 10

Texas
vs.
UCLA
For the third week in a row, the University of Can't quite play the whole game Located at the Airport finds themselves square behind the 8-ball. And for the third week in a row, they'll come up short. Yes, Skip Hicks is a good running back. Yes, they should be competitive. But, as we've seen in the last 2 weeks, they'll come up with some way to lose the game (can you say "where's the Defense?")

Prediction: Texas 31 - UCLA 24

Va. Tech
vs.
Syr
Can Syracuse really repeat last year's amazing comeback? After losing their first 2 games (including one at lowly Minnesota -- sounds familiar don't it) they reeled of 8 straight wins to wind up in the Liberty Bowl. Little bit tougher this year. Especially since the other teams in the Big East are generally better than they were last year. The Orange will be in this one ‘til the end, but won't quite pull it out.

Prediction: Va. Tech 38 - Syracuse 35