It’s That Time Of Year Again!

Friday college football picks from The Diner…and I have to say that I was pretty pleased with last year’s bowl record: 18-14 against the point spread.

And, as usual, at the start of the season, there are a lot of question marks about almost every team so the lines are often off a bit, and here’s the initial picks for week #1’s “notable” games! I’m very excited about all this!

Tennessee (+6) at California: Every year we go over this and over this. Some Pac-10 overrated team plays an SEC opponent and all the observers get all gaga about the Pac-10…which is why USC gets all the press (they’d be 8-3 if they played the SEC schedules). It happened last year when Cal was all hyped and the lost by 17 to the Vols. Well, the press is hyping the revenge factor and all that and touting the game being in Berkeley. Whatever. Diner prediction: Tennessee 27, Cal Bears 21.

Oklahoma State (+6) at Georgia: The Cowboys are up and coming in the Big 12, but Georgia is always tough at home and Mark Richt hs won 25 consecutive non-conference games. It’ll be close at halftime, though. I like OSU’s scrappy underdog thing they have going. Diner prediction: Dawgs 24, Cowboys 14.

Georgia Tech (+2) at Notre Dame: Hmmmm. Georgia Tech without Calvin Johnson and they struggled at home against them last year WITH Calvin Johnson? Tough call, but I bet Tech will find a running game that’s enough to scrape out a very close win. Diner prediction: Georgia Tech 17, Notre Dame 13.

Florida State at Clemson (+3.5): Florida State has a hot new offensive coordinator and the Seminoles are always loaded with talent. Clemson’s always tough at home, but for some reason finds ways to lose close games with Tommy Bowden at the helm. If I were betting, it’d be enticing to get Clemson and points in Death Valley, but…Diner prediction: Seminoles 27, Clemson 17.

Troy (+24) at Arkansas: Darren McFadden is incredible, but manalive is 24 a lot of points to give a scrappy Troy team with a chip on their shoulder who had this game circled the day it was scheduled against a Razorback team with a lot of question marks and a negative vibe surrounding head coach Houston Nutt. Diner prediction: Arkansas 35, Troy 17.

Washington State (+14) at Wisconsin: Did somebody forget that Wisconsin just might win the Big 10 this year? If there’s a mistake on the betting line board, I think this one’s it. Diner prediction: Wisconsin 38, Wazzu 13. (and no, Shane, the Cougs do NOT always cover…re: Auburn last year)

Missouri at Illinois (+4.5): Another mistake on the board. Yeah, yeah. Ron Zook’s getting his foundation in place, blah blah blah. Missouri is good. Really good as long as Chase Daniel stays healthy. Missouri 42, Illinois 17.

Kansas State (+13.5) at Auburn: Kansas State pulled off a few upsets last year (notably of Texas) and highlighted by a freshman quarterback who makes things happen. Unfortunately for the Wildcats it’s high-risk/high-reward stuff and that inconsistency (6 flashy TD’s but 15 horrible interceptions last year) will hurt K-State. That said, K-State will be better than last year, but it won’t be good enough even with Auburn’s running back by committe, unproven kicking game and offensive line questions. Diner prediction: Auburn 28, Kansas State 14.

Woo Hoo! College football is back, baby!

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