College Football: Kern picks Notre Dame vs USC, Virginia vs Miami, Wake Forest vs Louisville, Texas vs Oklahoma, Army vs W. Kentucky, more
After back to back winning weeks, Kern goes all in on a lot of games.
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Last week we had our second straight good week in the colleges, going 3-1. Imagine that. Too bad Army let me down at home, but yes, it’s been known to happen. As long as it doesn’t happen too often. So let’s try to keep up the mostly good work. The biggest trouble this week is I think I like too many games, and in the past that’s turned out to be about forgetting my limitations. But we’ll forge ahead nonetheless and hope for the best, right? Because what else is there?
Arizona (+6.5) over Washington
I have to admit I don’t know all that much about Arizona, except it has a better record coming in. And who would have thunk that not so long ago? I also know that Washington has been a disappointment. But it doesn’t lose back-to-back games very often, especially for this coach. And they’re coming off a bad loss at Stanford. And the Huskies have had trouble winning at either of the Arizona schools. I’m not sure if the Wildcats can win outright, but I do think it will at least be close. So I’ll take the points.
Arizona State (-1) over Washington State
Washington State is a team I haven’t been able to get a proper handle on yet. I seem to give Mike Leach maybe too much credit. And the Cougars too have come up a bit short thus far. I like what Herm Edwards is doing in Tempe, and he’s even had an extra week off to get ready for this one. Might be a bigger game for him and his program right now. So give me the Sun Devils.
Texas (+10.5) over Oklahoma
Texas won last year’s regular-season meeting, 48-45, before OU took the rematch in the Big 12 title game, 39-27. And yes, the over-under for this is 75.5. The last five regular-season matchups have all been decided by a touchdown or less. I don’t know if UT can win, but I think it will be a game. And maybe the first of two once again.
Wisconsin (-10.5) over Michigan State
I try not to get too carried away with unbeatens at this time of year, because almost all of them are going to lose at some point, often when you least expect it. But I don’t think all that much of Michigan State, even though they sort of hung tough last week at Ohio State. And I do think Wisky is a lot better than many thought. So I’ll take a chance that the Badgers can win at least semi-comfortably, since that’s what they’ve pretty much been doing.
Notre Dame (-10.5) over Southern Cal
Again, I know this is a rivalry, which is why I wouldn’t get overly excited about it. But the Irish are home, they’ve been dominating this series recently and I’m not sure how much the Trojans are going to have with their third-string quarterback. I think the ND QB is a little underrated, and I see the home side putting up some points here. Or at least enough to cover. Maybe not by much, but as long as it’s enough.
Virginia (+2.5) over Miami
I know the Hurricanes almost came from way back to beat a not-so-good Virginia Tech team at home a week ago, but it was 28-zip going into the last play of the first half. The Cavs hung fairly well at Notre Dame two weeks back, then had a bye. I think the wrong team might be favored.
Army (-4.5) over Western Kentucky
I’m going to give the Cadets another shot, after they got beat pretty good at home by Tulane. But the Green Wave had an extra week to get ready, never a minor consideration when going up against the option. Western Kentucky isn’t bad, and it is at home, but I think they won’t be as prepared to face something so different, and I’m hoping the Cadets want to make up for what just happened to them.
Houston (+7.5) over Cincinnati
Cincy is good, and the Bearcats have been good to me. But they’re coming off a huge home win over Central Florida, and are going on the road to play an opponent that’s had its issues but still might have something left to prove. I’m not calling for an upset, but I think a touchdown and a hook could be worth the investment. Just a small one, however.
Wake Forest (-6.5) over Louisville
I’m a big fan of WF coach Dave Clawson, going back to his days as the Offensive Coordinator for Villanova in the late 1990s. The unbeaten Demon Deacons had a week off, and I’m not really sold on Louisville. I think WF is a TD better. And I might even take them next week when they host Florida State.
There are a few others I could be enticed by, such as Missouri giving a dozen to Mississippi or Clemson laying nearly four TDs to Florida State, but I’ve probably given out too many already. Just cautioning.
Locally, I’m not enamored with either side of either the Penn State-Iowa game or Memphis-Temple. But if I was leaning, I would go with Iowa plus the 3.5 at night at Kinnick Stadium, which isn’t a good place to try and remain unbeaten even if I do think the Nits have the better team. From my experience that doesn’t necessarily mean you win. We’ll see. As for the Owls, this is the best team they’ve played. And they still have to face Central Florida and Cincy. And even SMU and Tulane. It’s the Memphis offense vs. the Temple D, which has been stingy, particularly in South Philly. If you put a gun to my head I’d take the Owl getting the 5.5.
OK, just checking to see if I left any games out? I should have stopped while I was ahead.
Or, as the old MTV commercial used to say, maybe too much is never enough. Guess we're about to find out, for better or whatever.