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The Picker: Maybe no one is any good in college football?

The Picker: Maybe no one is any good in college football?

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APTOPIX Mississippi St LSU Football

Members of the LSU marching band, wearing masks, sit socially distanced from one another due to COVID-19 restrictions before Saturday’s game against Mississippi State in Baton Rouge, La.

Three thoughts from The Picker before serving up this week’s games:

1. It’s possible that no one is any good in college football.

Defending national champ LSU coughed up a hairball, giving up 44 points and 623 passing yards to Mississippi State. Talk radio in the bayou must be just this side of amazing.

2. If your favorite team lost and you need someone to blame, you could do worse than studio analysts who wear colorful “skinny” pants. You know who you are.

3. The NBA Finals spilling over into football season seems bizarre.

Speaking of the NBA, Thunder fans may have turned an important page in finally realizing that life goes on after players leave. Initially, it was sort of an embarrassing relationship between fans and star players, like a person desperate to keep a first love. Please don’t leave! We’ll put you in the state hall of fame! If you’re a superstar, play however you want and we’ll give you unconditional love!

More enjoyable and more satisfying: Play team ball and let’s see how far you can go.

The Picks

OU at Iowa State: If the OU program has fallen a notch, maybe the positive will be that coffee shop and social media complainers will decide they need to devote their full attention to “fixing” the Sooners and they will have less time to obsess about a newer passion, politics. Fuss about the playoff committee all you want, but has any team that regularly lays regular season eggs gotten more benefit of the doubt from the committee than OU? Sooners by 5.

TU at UCF: Some may see the “Central” in Central Florida and assume UCF is a little directional school. Wrong. UCF’s enrollment was circa-69,000 during the 2019-2020 academic year. Tulsa’s undergraduate enrollment is 3,000-plus. If college football worked like high school, UCF-TU would be a manpower mismatch along the lines of Broken Arrow versus an eight-man squad. Fortunately for TU, college ball isn't quite like that and the Hurricane should have a puncher’s chance if a flag habit can be wizard-ed away. Knights by 11.

OSU at Kansas: KU opened with a loss to Coastal Carolina, which was one of the first signs that the Big 12 has opted out of the season. Subsequent signs: OU gacking up a 21-point lead against Kansas State and Texas giving up half a hundred to Texas Tech. Cowboys by 24.

Arkansas at Mississippi State: On Saturday, Barry Switzer Twittered this: “SEC, Mike Leach has come to your league. Good luck.” Could Leach's infiltration of the SEC be the end of defense as we know it? Is all of college football destined to become a slightly more manly version of the Lingerie Bowl? Leach is a little like Mr. Roper from "Three's Company" in that he's a little too aware of his own jokes. Bulldogs by 23.

Auburn at Georgia: Usually, games like this would be played with a full house. Athletic departments are taking a big financial hit. When normalcy returns, how about we stop wasting money? For instance: No more paying a search firm $30,000 for a list of coaching candidates. Here are your candidates: Coordinators at elite programs. Overachiever coaches at non-power five schools. There’s your list. Send The Picker a check. Auburn by 4.

Texas A&M at Alabama: A&M pretending to be among the SEC’s best is like revving the motor, sputtering up to a car show in a Pinto. Bama by 17.

The Pros


Broncos at Jets: Biggest TV tragedy since the debate? Jets by 1.


Browns at Cowboys: The cumulative record of NFC East squads is 2-11-1. (It would be 1-12-1 if the Falcons knew how to hop atop an onside kick.) Often, it’s the Patriots who cruise to a high playoff seed by playing in a wretched division. The wretched division du jour is the NFC East. Ball’s in your court, Cowboys. The Picker senses local viewers/listeners are getting Browns fatigue. Dallas by 3.

Patriots at Chiefs: The Patriots owner escaped legal repercussions over his massage parlor trip. Lesson learned: If you’ve got the dough, you can lawyer out of almost anything, even a date with Destiny (intentional use of upper case). Chiefs by 4.


Falcons at Packers: Falcons blow leads as if they are every opponent in the old Harlem Globetrotters Saturday morning cartoon show. Trotters down 100-4 at halftime? No worries. Geese Ausbie just pulled up in the parking lot. Packers by 10.

Gallery: The scene in Norman on game day during a pandemic

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