Welcome back to another year of BC Interruption's Pick 5. At the start of our seventh season picking college football games against the spread, Jeff holds a 5-game lead over me, 223-207 to 218-212.
Last year was not a banner year for me, personally finishing three games under for the year (36-39). Jeff finished four games better with a record of 40-35.
For those of you that are new around these parts or just need a refresher, here are the ground rules:
-- Both Jeff and I pick five games each week against the spread. The previous week's winner has choice of games for the week.
-- For winning last year's contest, Jeff has first pick of games in week 1.
-- Neither of us can take the same line on a single game. If one is willing to roll the dice, the opposite line on the same game can be taken. The end result is that the previous week's winner usually takes BC to cover. And loses.
-- ATL chimes in with his "Lock of the week"
-- You tell us how wrong we are in the comments section.
Yay! College football!
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+1.5) at ULM Warhawks - UL-Monroe gets excited to play SEC teams but Wake will be able to get the better of them in a game of evenly matched talent that UL-Monroe will not get too excited about.
Alabama Crimson Tide (-26) at West Virginia Mountaineers - New year and Alabama lost a lot to the NFL as usual but that is no problem for the Tide to roll the Mountaineers as long as Nick Saban shows up. Look for the Alabama scares and let downs later in the season, not opening week.
Appalachian St. Mountaineers at Michigan Wolverines (-34) - Not going to be a scare this time. Michigan rolls.
Fresno State Bulldogs (+21.5) at USC Trojans - Who is quarterbacking Fresno State this year? A former Blue Devil, Brandon Connette has not won the starting job yet but will get playing time. USC's offense will not be enough to cover more than 3 TDs.
Miami Hurricanes (+3.5) at Louisville Cardinals - Welcome to the ACC, Louisville. The battle features two teams that both dominated Big East football at different time but Miami will be too much for Louisville who cannot easily replace Teddy Bridgewater.
Ohio State Buckeyes (-16.5) at Navy Midshipmen - Even with the Buckeyes losing QB Braxton Miller to a season-ending shoulder injury, I still like the Buckeyes to cover the spread here. That's not to suggest that Navy is a pushover. Hardly. The Middies return eight offensive starters from a unit that ranked second nationally in rushing offense (behind only Auburn). Navy QB Keenan Reynolds hasn't been the starter for two full seasons but many are already throwing around the H-word and the "best in program history" label. Still, I expect Ohio State to adjust to a more ground-oriented attack and for the Buckeyes OL to dominate in the trenches. And while defending against the triple-option offense can give even the best Power 5 programs fits, facing an option team in the opener is the best time to do so.
Washington Huskies (-17) at Hawaii Warriors - Hawaii is coming off a disastrous 1-11 campaign a season ago, while Washington breaks in new head coach Chris Petersen, who is possibly an upgrade over Sarkisian. I appreciate that the Huskies have questions at QB and this is a road game a ways away from Seattle, but this appears to be a pretty low spread for a ranked team playing a program that has gone 4-20 over the last two seasons and doesn't show much signs of improvement in 2014.
Colorado State Rams (+3) vs. Colorado Buffaloes - Rising senior QB Garrett Grayson is the real deal. He'll benefit from having his top five WR targets return this season, as well as rising senior TE Kivon Cartright. The Rams have to replace a highly productive back in Kapri Bibbs (NFL Draft), but CSU still shouldn't have trouble moving the ball and scoring points against one of last season's worst defensive units in the nation.
Boston College Eagles (-17) at Massachusetts Minutemen - Like Bill, I'm not particularly worried about this game. The baby Eagles may very well struggle this season, but not in the opener, and not against this UMass team. One of Addazio's three stated goals this year includes winning the opener, and with UMass' yawn-inducing Doug Flutie statue desecration antics, BC will not want for motivation in this one. There's a chance of a backdoor cover, but I'll take my chances. Call it 38-13 with BC's O-Line blowing the UMass defense off the line and more than one true freshman RB finding the end zone.
Florida State Seminoles (-17.5) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys - One of the more interesting developments this college football season will be to see if style points matter. Florida State made plenty of teams look silly last year and the Seminoles, eager to impress the CFP selection committee early, pick up where they left off with a blowout victory in the opener. Despite winning 10 games last season, the Cowboys don't return much talent and are probably in for a rebuilding year.