Friday Football Picks, Championship Edition

Well, after the rivalry week picks–which are often very difficult and I went 5 & 5– the season record stands at 63-56-1 against the point spread. This guarantees The Diner a winning record as there aren’t very many games of note this week…although, if I were betting in Vegas at the clip of $100 per game, I would’ve only come up $140 ahead given the fee you have to pay for placing losing bets. Hardly “in play” when you consider that’s 3 months worth of involvement. Being Vegas might be the best business plan ever.

Anyway, on to the big games this week:

SEC Championship: Alabama (+9.5) vs. Florida in Atlanta, GA.: Somebody please explain to me what challenge Alabama has had this year that they haven’t met. Can any #1 team garner less respect by everyone? The common wisdom says things like “Bama’s big wins have been against disappointing Clemson & Georgia”…but who has Florida been putting up great numbers against? Disappointing Tennessee and Georgia and LSU. It’s been a down year for SEC traditional powers (nobody has seasoned quarterbacks except, well, Bama & the Gators)…but the two teams are obviously a cut above the rest. What wins in the SEC? Running game, strong defense. Bama is better than the Gators at both. Diner Prediction: Alabama 28, Florida 24.

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma vs. Missouri (+16.5) in Kansas City, MO: You’re kidding, right? The Big 12 North is such a joke. The imbalance of power in this conference is something that truly needs to be looked at, otherwise the BCS poll will be settling ties for at least two more years–only substitute Oklahoma State for Texas Tech. I don’t know how you fix it, but the only question in my mind is when Stoops will rest his starters. Mizzou doesn’t have a chance, but they’ll get a few late scores after the dust has settled. Diner Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Missouri 28

ACC Championship: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College (even) at Tampa, FL: Probably the best even-match of the conference games. This will be an old-school low-scoring defensive brawl as both of these teams have aggressive & hard hitting defenses. What I think will sway the game is special teams play–which Frank Beamer teams are known for–and the better quarterback is Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor. History plays a part, too, as Tech has played in this game and won it as well as been at the top level of ACC play since 2000. BC hasn’t. Plus, playing in a warm weather venue will actually benefit the Hokies even if it’s wet. Diner Prediction: Virginia Tech 17, Boston College 13.

Well, there you have it, folks! Football picks will return for bowl predictions in mid-December!