For the Wildcat Country podcast I co-host with my buddy Shane Dale, I spoke to (former ESPN) college football analyst Mark May this week, who said no matter what happens, the Pac-12 has no chance at making this year’s final four in the College Football Playoff. His rationale is that an Oregon or USC at 7-0 doesn’t stack up to a 9-1 SEC team, Notre Dame, Miami, or Texas for example.
With all due respect to Mr. May…he’s right.
And Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott knows this, so he proposed an 8-team playoff to his fellow commissioners. In all reality, this is probably one of the best things Scott has done for the conference during his miserable tenure. Yet he was shot down…for some inexplicable reason.
College football might be the one sport which turned down potentially a bigger payday in 2020. Embarrassing if you ask me…and I’m far from an expansionist.
For teams who have already played and lost, such as Oklahoma and LSU, both in SHOCKING fashion last week, it would give them something more to play for. Now those perennial contenders are fighting at best for a spot in the Sugar Bowl…if it’s even to be played during this abbreviated season. (By the way, the Mike Leach magic is real…I know LSU lost A TON of talent but Leach’s offense in the SEC is pure gold!)
So now conferences that are starting late – most notably the Pac-12, Mountain West, and to an extent, the Big 10 (outside of Ohio State), are being punished for not playing enough games.
In my opinion, the eye test will tell us plenty this season…no matter how many games a team may play.
On to the picks where the other three ‘experts’ are rolling along while I’m uncharacteristically struggling both SU & ATS this season. The headliner this week is Auburn-Georgia…which is arguably the most fun matchup of this young season to date.
EC: Georgia-Auburn lives up to the hype and is a defensive struggle until a late Bulldogs touchdown, in the final minute gives them the victory. Considering how poor Kirby Smart’s team looked in the first half against a woeful Arkansas team last week, I was seriously tempted to pick the Tigers…
AL: Though he’s arguably recruited better than any other team (not named Alabama) in the country over the last few years, with an abundance of 4 and 5-star talent, Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs’ title hopes come to an end after an embarrassing home loss to Auburn. Kirby’s vanilla 1980’s offense gets exposed (again) by Gus Malzahn. Dare I say the seat gets a bit hotter down in Athens?
JB: The Lane Train gets Ole Miss on the winning track, putting up an offensive clinic in Lexington; Kyle Trask distances himself as the current Heisman frontrunner with another 6 TD passes as Florida rolls the Gamecocks; Georgia’s QB woes leads to an early season loss; and Tennessee continues its march back from the dead with a resounding thumping of Missouri.
SM: Things go from bad to worse for defending champions LSU. The Tigers struggle against lowly Vanderbilt for nearly the entire game with an extremely poor offensive effort. During the final drive LSU ends up taking the lead to win the game but things look very bad for LSU and Coach O now that Joe Burrow is gone.
Like my CFB picks above, a terrible 1-4 week in the Pick 5. I feel like I’m due for a 5-0 week at some point this year, right??
Week 4 Pick 5 Selections:
Last Week: 1-4
Bengals -3.5 vs. Jaguars
Cardinals -3.5 at Panthers
Falcons +7.5 at Packers
Baylor -3 at West Virginia
Central Florida -22 vs. Tulsa