You did it. You made it through the entire college football offseason. As your reward, games will begin on Thursday night, and you’ll have five straight days featuring at least one college football game.
Pat yourself on the back, my friend, you’ve earned them.
Of course, what would a weekend of college football games be if we didn’t pick games against the spread for our own entertainment purposes? So, with the return of the college football season, we also have the return of Pick Six.
Not to toot my own horn too loudly, but I did pretty well in Pick Six last season. I had an overall record of 49-35, and if don’t include our record on the Hail Mary Parlays — which, as the name suggests, aren’t exactly easy to hit — I went 46-25.
This year, I hope to do more of the same, though with a minor change: You can compete against me. Each week, I will post two polls on Twitter for our Pick Six Games of the Week. You can vote in the poll, and the team that gets the most votes will be our Twitter Pick.
Anyway, while it’s great to talk to you again, let’s get to what you came here for: the picks.
Games of the Week
No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners (-10) vs. No. 15 Houston Cougars (NRG Stadium in Houston): Houston is coming off an excellent season, and the last time we saw the Cougars, they were beating Florida State Seminoles 38-24 in the Peach Bowl. As a result, plenty of people have high expectations for Houston again this year. I do as well, but my expectations only go so far — winning the American Athletic Conference and being in the conversation for a New Year’s Six Bowl. All the possible College Football Playoff talk I’ve heard is a bit further than I’m willing to go.
What worries me about Houston in this game is what it has to replace. Yes, Greg Ward Jr. is back, but DeMarcus Ayers — his favorite target — is gone, as are three-fifths of the offensive line. Oklahoma, meanwhile, is coming off a CFP berth and Baker Mayfield returning as well as the running back tandem of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon . The Sooners have to replace some key guys on defense, so I don’t believe this is anything close to a sure thing, but I’m a lot more confident in the Sooners heading into this one than the Cougs. Oklahoma 35, Houston 21
Twitter Pick: Houston +10 (56 percent)
No. 4 Florida State (-4.5) vs. No. 11 Ole Miss Rebels (Citrus Bowl in Orlando): We all know about what Ole Miss lost, and it remains to be seen how the Rebels will go about replacing such key contributors. What really worries me about them in this game, however, are the departures on the lines. Ole Miss lost three starters on the offensive line, including star left tackle Laremy Tunsil . On defense, they lost both their tackles.
Then there’s Florida State, which returns its entire offensive line and loses only one member of the defensive line. Oh, and both lines are incredibly talented. So when I look at this game, I see a contest in which Florida State should have a decided advantage in the trenches, and boring as it may be, that’s where a lot of games are won and lost. And it’s where I believe Florida State is going to win this contest. Florida State 38, Ole Miss 20
Twitter Pick: Florida State -4.5 (65 percent)
Lock of the Week
Boston College Eagles (+3) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (in Dublin, Ireland): You’re going to have to get up extremely early on Saturday morning to see this one kick off in Ireland, as the contest begins at 7:30 a.m. ET. If you do tune in, expect to see a Boston College team that probably isn’t getting the respect it deserves, even though I totally get why. The Eagles are coming off a 3-9 season, but they had one of the best defenses in the country last year — and most of it returns. Take that plus all the time in the world to prepare for Georgia Tech’s option attack, mix in the fact that the Yellow Jackets were also 3-9 last year and lose even more starters, and I think the Eagles get off to a 1-0 start to the season. Boston College 20, Georgia Tech 17
Underdog of the Week
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+26.5) at Washington Huskies : If you’ve paid attention to things I’ve written in recent months, you may think that this pick is a reaction to the fact I believe a lot of people are expecting way too much from Washington this year. That’s certainly part of the reason I’m making this pick, but it’s definitely the reason behind this point spread. This is the kind of spread you see when Power Five teams play the MAC or an FCS team in Week 1, not another Power Five squad. I don’t expect Rutgers to turn a lot of heads this season, but it’s an experienced team and 26.5 points? Come on. Pick: Washington 34, Rutgers 17
Over/Under of the Week
Oregon State Beavers at Minnesota Golden Gophers (Under 55.5): A team that scored 22.5 points per game last season against a team that scored 19 points per game last year. That’s two teams that don’t exactly run up-tempo offenses and are quite happy to punt and play the field position game rather than go for it on fourth and short at midfield. This one seems easy. Almost too easy, but it’s Week 1, so I don’t want to out-dumb myself just yet. Minnesota 20, Oregon State 13
Hail Mary Parlay of the Week
If you aren’t familiar with the HMP, a quick refresher. It’s essentially a three-game parlay, but you only bet one game at a time. If the first game wins, you use the winnings on the next game, and so on. It’s a play that won’t come through most of the time (though it did work three times last year), but when it does, it pays off nicely.
Thursday: Tulane Green Wave (+17) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Friday: Toledo Rockets at Arkansas State Red Wolves (Over 64)
Saturday: Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-5.5) vs. San Jose State Spartans
Every week, you can count on me being here to make six picks for the upcoming weekend’s college football games. I promise that these picks will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.
Source: CBS Sports / Pick Six: Don’t underestimate Oklahoma and Florida State in Week 1