For the last two seasons, I've hovered around a 76% clip on my regular season predictions (71% if you include bowl games). That's pretty good, I guess, but I go for perfection. It all starts this week.
If you don't know the rules, I count all games straight up (no against the spread stuff), and I only include the "upset special" picks if I get it right, because it's my blog and I can do that if I want to. I do not include Auburn games (I predict the score in Friday's game preview, but only for fun), nor do I include your picks from Twitter at the bottom. Auburn games are too sacred to jinx with commoners' guesses. Feel free to post your predictions in the comments below.
Last Year: 103-42 (71.0%)
This Week: 13-0
South Carolina at Vanderbilt - Sorry. I'm just not buying this new Vandy thing. Sure, James Franklin is bringing in a new level of excitement unlike the nerds of Nashville have ever seen, but it's still Vanderbilt. A better Vandy is still Vandy. Even with the world busting at the seams to get the season started, Vanderbilt's stadium will still only be half-full. I hear there's a really nice debate going on in the Student Activities Center.
I don't think South Carolina will be as good as the top-10 preseason ranking that they've been given, but I think they will ended up drumming the 'Dores.
South Carolina 31, Vanderbilt 13
South Carolina 17, Vanderbilt 13 - SUCCESS!
Tennessee vs. North Carolina State (Georgia Dome) - The ultimate question asks if a bottom to mid-tier SEC team can beat a mid-level ACC team, and the answer is yes. I've seen Derek Dooley ruin many an outcome of a football game, but you have to believe - even with Da'Rick Rogers gone - that SEC-level talent will beat out a mediocre ACC team, right? I say yes.
Tennessee 28, North Carolina State 17
Tennessee 35, North Carolina State 21 - SUCCESS!
Buffalo at Georgia - The Bulldogs' quest to play the easiest schedule in the history of college football begins with a home tilt against a team that most casual fans didn't know existed. Methinks it's a ploy to trick passersby into thinking they are actually playing the Buffalo Bills from the NFL. I mean, they are the Buffalo Bulls, so it's entirely possible.
Georgia 45, Buffalo 7
Georgia 45, Buffalo 23 - SUCCESS!
Bowling Green at Florida - The Gators, ranked around 23rd by most preseason publications, have no idea who their quarterback is going to be. In fact, they are holding a tryout in the first half of this game. Seriously. One guy is playing the 1st quarter, one guy is playing the 2nd quarter, and they will decide at halftime who will continue from there. Sounds like one of the top 25 teams in the nation to me.
Florida 27, Bowling Green 14
Florida 27, Bowling Green 14 - SUCCESS! **PERFECT PICK!!!**
Southeastern Louisiana at Missouri - Well it looks like Missouri has already picked up on how we do it in the SEC. Non-conference cupcakes taste so good. You'll see soon enough, Tigers. You'll see.
Missouri 56, Southeastern Louisiana 0
Missouri 62, Southeastern Louisiana 10 - SUCCESS!
Jackson State at Mississippi State - The Fightin' Dan Mullens take on intra-state rival Jackson State in the battle for supremacy in the state. I mean, Ole Miss isn't taking any part in that. I wonder how many Memphis-area recruits will be in attendance. (Yes, I know Jovon Robinson came from Memphis, too.)
The Mullens get a big win leading up to the annual slugfest with Auburn.
Mississippi State 31, Jackson State 14
Mississippi State 56, Jackson State 9 - SUCCESS!
Central Arkansas at Ole Miss - Is it just me or does Ole Miss have lots of ties with the state of Arkansas? Their last coach came from Arkansas. Their current coach came from Arkansas State. Tuberville was from Arkansas. Now, they've gone and made up some college in Arkansas called "Central Arkansas" to get them an easy win to start the season. Seriously, week one is cupcake city for most of the SEC this year, isn't it?
Ole Miss 35, Central Arkansas 17
Ole Miss 49, Central Arkansas 27 - SUCCESS!
North Texas at LSU - Being a drummer, I know that North Texas has one of the best departments of percussion in the nation. LSU has one of the best schools of music in the nation. That's about all that will matter in this game. There should be some good halftime shows.
LSU 45, North Texas 3
LSU 41, North Texas 14 - SUCCESS!
Jacksonville State at Arkansas - Jacksonville State upset Ole Miss in the opening week of 2010. Could they upset Arkansas? Well, given that current JSU coach, Jack Crowe, was basically run out of Fayetteville as coach of Arkansas for losing to the Citadel, I say he's got enough revenge factor to make it happen. But it won't.
Arkansas 38, Jacksonville State 10
Arkansas 49, Jacksonville State 24 - SUCCESS!
Michigan vs. Alabama (Cowboys Stadium) - Homerism aside, I just don't think Alabama is going to come out and pummel the Wolverines like everybody thinks. Alabama is not that type of team. They have a slightly banged up and new starter at running back, no overly-proven wide receivers, and a game-manager at quarterback. Denard Robinson can give anybody fits, and with Alabama losing most of their defense to the NFL draft, it's not like these new guys can just step in and be as good as the unit was at the end of last season.
I still think the SEC wins, but it's going to be closer than most think.
Alabama 23, Michigan 17
Alabama 41, Michigan 14 - SUCCESS!
Kentucky at Louisville - There's a reason this game is always at the start of the season. It's so they can get it out of the way and start worrying about basketball. Louisville will kill the Wildcats, and Joker Phillips might not make it the rest of the season.
Louisville 35, Kentucky 9
Louisville 32, Kentucky 14 - SUCCESS!
Other Games of Note
Boise State at Michigan State (8/31) - Michigan State wins, but Boise wins out keeping them in the headlines for the rest of the season. It never ends. It will never end.
Michigan State 34, Boise State 27
Michigan State 17, Boise State 13 - SUCCESS!
Arkansas State at Oregon (9/1) - This is only a "game of note" because it's Gus Malzahn versus Chip Kelly. We saw how that worked out the first time, but if you added up all the talent on the Red Wolves' roster, you still wouldn't have a Cam Newton. Sorry, Gus. It will be close for a quarter, but the Ducks will win big.
Oregon 42, Arkansas State 17
Oregon 57, Arkansas State 34 - SUCCESS!
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech (9/3) - Not too many opportunities for upsets in the first week, but the Hokies are ranked and Georgia Tech is not. I have no idea how good the Yellow Jackets are supposed to be this year, but you know Virginia Tech is always good for an opening week loss.
Georgia Tech 24, Virginia Tech 21
Virginia Tech 20, Georgia Tech 17 - FAILURE
Clemson vs. Auburn (Georgia Dome, 9/1) - Over 160 people submitted their predictions over the Twitter (follow me and you can too). That's the most ever by a lot. It's going to be a busy season.
Of those 160, only two picked Clemson. There were the usual jokesters that picked Auburn to win 99 to -6, and the guy who gave Clemson the win 1-0 if we were scoring on meth-head mascots, but for the most part the predictions were sane and very similar. A 10-point Auburn win was the consensus and showed in the average of the scores.
Auburn 27, Clemson 17
Clemson 26, Auburn 19 - FAILURE