It's a light slate of games later this weekend. One of the most intriguing matchups of the weekend is the Oregon-Boise State game, which is going on as I type this.
Your 230 Central time slot has some appealing games...
- Baylor at Wake Forest (-2.5): Don't you think it's odd there's a betting line on a game between Baptist schools? Reverend Rob leads the Bears into Winston Salem to avenge last year's loss to WFU, which was the first time the Bears fell to the Deacons. The Bears should improve on last year's showing, which included Kirby Freeman's 4-13 with two picks debut, and ended with three additional turnovers. The Deacons lost Riley Skinner, an excellent college QB. I expect the Bears to take care of the ball better and beat the Deacons upright.
- Georgia at Boone State (-4.5): This line has fallen over the past two days, as people thought about this and said, "self, can Boone State really beat an SEC team by a touchdown? I'll take my chances with Joe Cox and the Dawg defense." Plus, the Pokes made a couple of field trips to Payne County Courthouse with Perrish Cox and the Pokes TE, who left school after earning a TRO.
- Missouri at Illinois (-6.5) - The talented Illini squad should overwhelm the inexperienced Tigers. Saturday will mark the debut of Blaine Gabbert as the Tiger QB. Gabbert as described as bigger with a stronger arm, which only reminds me of Hayden Fry commenting on Chuck Long's successor at Iowa, "He must have a stronger arm, he keeps overthrowing the receivers." I'm going to pick the Illini to cover in this one.
- Nevada at Notre Dame (-14.5); Saturday marks the first time ever a team from the WAC has travelled to Notre Dame Stadium. The Wolfpack aren't completely unfortunate looking, having gone 7-6 last year, with their last four losses being decided by a TD or less. Conversely, their last two victories over BCS qualifiers have been Northwestern and Washington, who haven't been juggernauts lately. Come Labor Day, we can all analyze how many spots ND jumps for beating a team handily that they should beat handily.
The next game of interest, if you're not dropping $40 to watch UT-ULL, is at 7 on ABC.
- Alabama (-6) vs Virginia Tech: If I weren't going to be at the Sooner game, I'd be watching this one. Last year, Saban's squad destroyed a Clemson team that was discovered to be overrated. I'm still trying to figure out how Virginia Tech became a top 10 team over the summer, so I'm going to go with the Tide to cover the six point spread.
Sunday afternoon, when you should be spending time with your family...
- Ole Miss at Memphis (-17): I had absolutely no interest in covering this game, but anytime a school comes up with a t-shirt that says Bust a Nutt, it deserves mention here. The school has now pulled the t-shirt, which is just sad. let's face it, your Memphis. No one's referring to the school as the Harvard of the Mississippi River anyway. Back to the game...Jevan Snead and the Rebels will get on top of the Tigers early, and Memphis will wilt under the pressure. Later, Coach Tommy West will say to the Tigers, "it's okay, it happens to everyone sometime along the way."
And finally, a way to end your Labor Day weekend...
- Florida St (-6.5) hosts Miami - in the middle part of this decade, this was a premier matchup and a slobberknocker of a game between two great defensive units. The game has lost a little bit of it's luster with some depressed times for the Canes and Noles, but still warrants some mention. Randy Shannon just hopes his one scholarship QB doesn't get hurt. I'm expecting the Seminoles to win this one, but not cover the spread.