Diner Football Picks, Week 7

3-7.
3-6-1.
3-7.
3-6-1.
5-5.
6-4.

Maybe we’re on a turnaround. Granted, it was a slow start. But maybe we stopped the bleeding two weeks ago…and turned the corner last week. We’ll see, but here we go with an upbeat belief that we’re now on the road to recovery.

Kentucky (+13) at Auburn: Auburn got exposed last week. They didn’t match up well defensively against a team that throws well, and when they ran into adversity, they fell apart. They did indeed rally and made a 34-3 deficit shring to 11 in the 3rd quarter. Rebuilding goes in stages for any program, and Auburn’s stage was learning how to handle success. A little humility might be just what the Tigers needed to refocus. A nighttime home game might be just what the doctor ordered for Auburn this week…especially with UK’s starting quarterback on the shelf and a young qb at Auburn for his first start doesn’t bode well for a Wildcat team that’s struggled anyway. Diner Prediction: Auburn 38, Kentucky 23.

Texas vs. Oklahoma (+3) at Dallas: This game has all the benchmarks of a classic. It seems like the tables have turned on Big Game Bob and now Mack has the upper hand. But then the Longhorns couldn’t run against Colorado last week, and that makes this one interesting, because Muschamp’s defense can expose even the best of offenses. Bradford wasn’t sharp in his return last week, either. In close games, defense usually wins out…and I think this one will come down to the question of can Muschamp stop Bradford on the last drive. I think they will. Diner Prediction: Texas 21, Oklahoma 17.

Texas Tech (+10.5) at Nebraska: The line on this one opened 5.5 and has nearly doubled since Tuesday. My guess is that has to do with Tech’s quarterback Potts and whether or not he’ll start. Leach ain’t sayin.’ But Nebraska is at home, and playing like the 15th ranked team in the country, while Tech has fallen far after being last year’s media darlings. The Huskers have an offense this year, and if Zac Lee can do what he’s done all season, they’ll cover the spread at home. I don’t think he’ll do what he’s done all season, and they’ll win, but the half point matters. Diner Prediction: Nebraska 31, Texas Tech 23.

South Carolina (+17) at Alabama: The voters moved Alabama up to #2 this week over the Longhorns, although that may shift back this week if Texas wins. As I’ve said for three weeks, the Tide is playing as well as anybody in the country, too. Granted, Spurrier is unbeaten in Tuscaloosa, but that’s when his teams were from Florida. The Gamecocks on the road won’t be able to stop Alabama’s punishing running game, and Bama’s defense can easily stop an offense that Ole Miss stopped. Diner Prediction: Alabama 34, South Carolina 14.

Southern Cal at Notre Dame (+10.5): U.S.C. has been wildly inconsistent, and Notre Dame has spent much of the season finding ways to win close games. So many people think that this will be the year that the Irish can get over the Trojan road block. They won’t, but it’ll be harder than U.S.C. fans think. Diner Prediction: Southern Cal 27, Notre Dame 17.

California at U.C.L.A. (+3.5): Each and every year I get sucked into believing Cal is going to finally win the Pac-10. I thought so until their thrashing by the Oregon Ducks. But I still think they have enough firepower to cover that point spread even on the road against a very unpredictable Bruin team. Diner Prediction: California 24, U.C.L.A. 19.

Missouri (+7) at Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State started the season as the media darlings and then fell from grace after Houston beat them. Then Mizzou got off to a strong start only to lose to Nebraska in an awful rain storm. Well, the weather in supposed to be nice, and Zac Etheredge is good…I’d like this line if Bryant was playing, but without him and his story has been the story. That has to be a distraction. Diner Prediction: Oklahoma State 28, Missouri 24.

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (+3): Virginia Tech has been VERY strong…and going to Grant Field isn’t as scary as it used to be. I honestly felt like this line had to be a mistake when I saw it, and I’m going to go with that gut feeling. Diner Prediction: Virginia Tech 28, Georgia Tech 17.

Arkansas (+25) at Florida: Florida didn’t look all that impressive against L.S.U. last week, but they won against a good team on the road. Tebow looked tentative and they didn’t throw it much. Meanwhile, Arkansas was able to figure out how to tackle and cover and play defense. I think the Gators will win big, and Arkansas won’t be able to do to the Gators stout defense what they did to the Auburn thin one. Diner Prediction: Florida 41, Arkansas 17.

Washington (+6.5) at Arizona State: I’ve become a believer in the Huskies resurgence. The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense, but those numbers were padded by playing Wazzu and Oregon State. So, while Arizona State is at home, I think that the Huskies will win this one outright as they’ve played tougher competition and done well. Diner Prediction: Washington 27, Arizona State 24.

There you have it…here’s hoping the Diner has turned the corner on predictions. What are your thoughts?

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