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The Pigskin Picker; 1st and 10 …

  • Published
  • By Mack Dill
  • Pigskin Picker
Okay football fans, even though we're at week three of college football season and week two of the NFL, I've decided to end my self-imposed lockout. Each week, I'll give you the quick and easy run-down of 11 games. That's 10 games plus my special pick of the week. We'll be mixing it up a little bit each week, so if you want to have your game highlighted, then just check out my Facebook page, 1st and 10 - Football Fans at MacDill, and leave your comments.

So, for the first game of the week, let's start with my pick for the game of the week.

This week, the game to watch is on Saturday, and that's Oklahoma at Florida State. This is what college football is all about. You have two teams in the top five and they've been gunning for each other since last year. During the summer, Bob Swoops put a FSU helmet at the top of the stairs at Owen Field to remind his team of what was coming in the fall. Maybe he got the helmet from his brother Mark, who is the defensive coordinator for the Seminoles. Add to that FSU was pounded last year in Norman 47-17, and all the returning players (and there are a bunch), including their Cam Newton-like quarterback E.J. Manuel, have been dissecting game film - I'd say that everyone is primed for battle. On paper, OU has the edge, and should be able to beat any team in the country on their turf. But this game isn't in Norman, Oklahoma. It's on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell Stadium, and hearing 80,000 fans yell the Seminole War Chant will be the difference. I'm going with my heart on this one and picking the Noles over Boomer Sooner!

And now on to the next ten games. Let's start with college play.

Tennessee at Florida - Staying close to home, we'll be watching to see if Tennessee's Tyler Bray can repeat the 400-plus yard performance he put up against Cincinnati. The last Vol who threw for that many yards in one game was a guy named Manning, and his friends just call him Peyton. But hey, this is The Swamp and Will Muschamp's defense has Shariff Floyd back to show off his top-notch pass rushing talents. Florida will edge out the Vols for the seventh straight time.

Michigan State at Notre Dame - Heading up to South Bend we'll get to see if Brian Kelly can turn a new shade of purple on the sidelines. Actually, the biggest question is if the Notre Dame secondary will come to play. If they do, the Irish can take the game. I'm thinking they won't so I'm going with the Spartans. Wait. The Irish have been embarrassed in their first two games of the season, were victimized by Michigan State's "Little Giants" game-winning, fake field goal attempt last year AND they are in South Bend. Check that, I'm going with the Irish.

West Virginia at Maryland - why on earth would I pick this game? Well, besides the fact that I think it will be a good match-up, I like to use the Maryland uniforms to test the color on my HDTV. West Virginia squeaks out the win.

Texas at UCLA - While it's uncertain who the Bruins will have starting under center, Texas is going with Colt McCoy's little brother, Case. I think the Longhorn's money right now is on their defense and they should be able to hold off UCLA. Longhorns win in LA.

Auburn at Clemson - Did you know that Clemson's football team got its name and its colors from Auburn? It's true. Back in the day when Clemson was creating a football team, they actually used Auburn's old practice jerseys. They were pretty faded so the blue actually looked more like purple, and the orange held up pretty well. So the new colors of Clemson became the orange and regalia (fancy name for purple) that we see today. Okay, back to football. Dabo Swinney is on the hot seat at Clemson. They haven't beaten Auburn in the last 14 meetings, and by his own admission he doesn't think his team is playing physical enough. Auburn's Cardiac Kids keep having close games, but still seem to find a way to win. The easiest way to call this one is to say "Tigers win" and call it a day.

And now on to the NFL...

Oakland won on Monday Night, but the Bills seem to have found a leader in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Oakland is doing well with stopping the run, but the Bills will win in the air.

Dallas at San Francisco should be a pretty entertaining game. The 49ers looked good against Seattle, but let's face it - it was Seattle. Despite Tony Romo's continued issues with dealing with pressure, he should be okay if they allow group hugs in the huddle. The Cowboys Defense will carry the load and Dallas will pull off a win with a few points to spare. Maybe that will get some confidence points for their strong-sensitive QB.

Seattle at Pittsburg - this is the "I feel like watching football, but I don't want any drama" game of the week. Pittsburgh is looking to make a statement after their loss against the Ravens, and Seattle will be a reasonable punching bag for them. Now if you want to make it interesting, take Seattle and the points, otherwise it's a straight-up Pittsburg.

Houston at Miami - This for me will be one of the great match-ups of the week. Miami is fresh off of their Monday Night offensive battle with the Pats and Henne threw for more than 400 yards. Houston just thumped a non-Manning Colt team and they're looking for a real challenge. They'll find it with Miami. In this game, The difference will be defense and I'm giving the edge to Houston.

Philadelphia at Atlanta - This would be the other match-up of the week. Both teams came in with a great deal of hype surrounding their off-season pickups, but it was Philly that came to play in Week one. I pick the Eagles on this one - Atlanta seems to be still figuring things out while Philadelphia is rolling. Eagles win, but only by a field goal.

That's it for this week's picks! Don't forget to leave your comments and smack talk on Facebook!

Enjoy the games and be safe this weekend!