It will be enjoyable if “The U” was actually again. It will be a boon to the game, dominated by a handful of packages, if any ACC staff posed a risk to Clemson profitable its sixth straight league crown.
Sadly, a prime-time TV slot can’t will such intrigue into existence. Not past kickoff, anyway.
As a result of Clemson has misplaced solely as soon as in two-plus calendar years, an 18-point win over Virginia raised issues for the nation’s top-ranked staff. Historical past ought to assist erase any doubts.
The Tigers haven’t misplaced an ACC recreation in three years. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t thrown an interception in 11 video games. Travis Etienne is the nation’s most completed working again. Dabo Swinney has two title rings.
In the meantime, No. 7 Miami — which went 6-7 final season — is having fun with prime actual property within the polls due to a comfortable schedule and the non permanent disappearance of the Massive Ten. Twin-threat D’Erik King has resuscitated the Hurricanes offense and may have his moments within the largest recreation of a profession spent exterior the highlight, however an offense reliant on the run would be the newest to get smothered by Brent Venables’ at all times dependable entrance seven.
Solely as soon as with Lawrence has Clemson gained a non-playoff recreation by fewer than two touchdowns. Don’t imagine the hype. Belief historical past. Take the Tigers (-14).
(Residence staff in CAPS.)
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (+6.5) over Florida Gators
Kyle Trask will stay within the Heisman dialog all season. Gators tight finish Kyle Pitts would possibly have the ability to be a part of, too, having already scored six touchdowns in two video games. However Florida — permitting a median of 29.5 factors via two video games — wants stability whether it is to contend for its first nationwide championship since 2008, when Tim Tebow’s teammates surrendered simply 12.9 factors per recreation.
Oklahoma Sooners (-2.5) over Texas Longhorns
at Cotton Bowl, Dallas
This would be the second Purple River Shootout in 20 years wherein neither staff is ranked inside the highest 20. “Does it lose any luster? No,” Texas coach Tom Herman stated this week. “In my view, that is the most effective rivalry in school soccer.” It’s a rivalry which Oklahoma has owned just lately, profitable 4 of the previous 5 conferences. Although the Sooners simply misplaced consecutive video games for the primary time since 1999, the Longhorns — coming off a loss to TCU — have misplaced back-to-back video games in every of Herman’s first three seasons in Austin.
Virginia Tech Cavaliers (+5) over NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS
Although the Tar Heels have failed to indicate they’re worthy of the No. 8 rating, the Hokies have excelled regardless of being severely shorthanded by the coronavirus. Along with a protection, which registered seven sacks in final week’s win over Duke, Kansas switch Khalil Herbert is main the nation with 156 speeding yards per recreation and 12 yards per carry.
Missouri Tigers (+20.5) over LSU TIGERS
Tiger Stadium has determined to cease wellness checks for the 25,000-plus followers allowed to attend video games and start promoting alcohol once more. I’m certain all the pieces will likely be wonderful. I preserve listening to somebody say the virus is simply going to vanish.
GEORGIA BULLDOGS (-12) over Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols’ eight-game win streak is the most effective within the nation, however no victories have come towards ranked groups. Now that former walk-on Stetson Bennett has improbably confirmed to be a robust match underneath middle for No. 3 Georgia, the Bulldogs’ protection — permitting the second-fewest yards per play within the nation (3.8) — can dominate with out the season resting solely on its shoulders.
Texas Tech Purple Raiders (+12.5) over IOWA STATE CYCLONES
The Cyclones are coming off of their first dwelling win over Oklahoma in 60 years. I’m pondering the staff that appeared previous its season opener towards Louisiana-Lafayette will deal with its excessive in addition to a university freshman.
AUBURN TIGERS (-14) over Arkansas Razorbacks
After three years and 20 losses, the Hogs have lastly gained a convention recreation. Up subsequent? An opponent which has gained the earlier 4 conferences by a complete rating of 193-36.
BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES (+5) over Pittsburgh Panther
Although Pitt’s go rush stays among the many nation’s greatest, its secondary hasn’t helped a lot, permitting 336 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in a loss to N.C. State. Notre Dame switch Phil Jurkovec ought to shine right here, having accomplished higher than 68 p.c of his passes this 12 months whereas throwing for a minimum of 300 yards in each of BC’s ACC video games.
Kansas State Wildcats (+9) over TCU HORNED FROGS
“It actually bothers me that we’ve based mostly all the pieces that whether or not our league is sweet or dangerous or not on whether or not Oklahoma and Texas are good,” TCU coach Gary Patterson stated this week. “To be trustworthy with you, we’ve a variety of good soccer groups and we at all times have had a variety of good soccer groups.” Properly, then Kansas State is getting manner too many factors.
OLE MISS REBELS (+24) over Alabama Crimson Tide
Nick Saban is 20-0 towards his former assistants. Few of his working relationships ended as poorly as that with new Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, who has spent the previous few years mocking his former boss on-line. However Saban might not have the ability to run up the rating towards his former assistant, whose high-scoring offense will escape each trick up Kiffin’s sleeve. Enjoyable reality: Of their solely head-to-head matchup, Kiffin’s 7-6 Tennessee staff was a blocked subject purpose wanting taking down eventual undefeated nationwide champion Alabama on the highway.
Florida State Seminoles (+20.5) over NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH
To be a contrarian is to be OK with doubtlessly trying actually silly typically. Like, this time. Certain, the Seminoles might lose by 40, however new quarterback Jordan Travis could also be simply what the previous juggernaut wants to remodel from abysmal to below-average.
KENTUCKY WILDCATS (-1.5) over Mississippi State Bulldogs
On to extra vital issues: Someway, I’d forgotten Mike Leach made a cameo on Season 4 of “Friday Night time Lights.” Someway, the clip of him taking part in a deranged fan telling Coach Taylor to seek out his “inner-pirate” has simply 64,042 views on YouTube. You’re welcome.
Finest bets: Oklahoma, Georgia, Boston Faculty
This season (greatest bets): 34-23 (6-6)
2014-19 file: 772-756-13