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The Picker: Avoid aggravation, embrace that football won't be 'fair' in 2020
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The Picker: Avoid aggravation, embrace that football won't be 'fair' in 2020

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Three thoughts from the Picker before delving into the games:

1. If the Browns QB and the Cardinals QB returned to Norman with eligibility remaining, who gets the start? You know the answer, even though one had to wait for the other to graduate before being handed the keys.

2. If there are cancellations and not everyone plays the same number of games, how do you decide who is most deserving of playing in conference championship games or playoff games? Somebody is going to get hosed. Fans will cry foul, and maybe they’ll have a valid reason, but there’s just no way for this season to be “fair.” Come to grips with that now and save yourself some aggravation down the road.

3. In this age of change, here’s one that should be made: It’s time for ball coaches to get out of the business of saying “this player can be interviewed, but you can’t talk to him, him or him.”

A human doesn’t need permission to speak to another human, period, as long as both parties are willing and you go through the proper channels. Pretty much every player is talking on social media anyway, so the toothpaste has been out of the tube for a while. Free advice: Let go of the things you can’t (or shouldn’t) control. Be safe and make first downs.

The picks

Kansas State at OU: How has decreased attendance affected the folks who charge $20 to park on their lawns on game days? (Of course all that income is reported on tax returns.) We don’t really know anything of substance about OU yet, but we know K-State, in a season opener, allowed four Ark State players to complete passes, which is a neat trick. Sooners by 19.

West Virginia at OSU: Cowboys were fortunate (to win) and unfortunate (starting QB hurt) in opener, but, buckle in, this is going to be a weird season for everyone. WVU is the Big 12’s easternmost school and its starting QB is from the Big 12’s westernmost outpost (Lubbock), which, in a helter skelter 2020, makes perfect sense. Cowboys by 9.

Tulsa at Arkansas State: This game is postponed. Regarding the opener, if Tulsa was any more penalized, it would be married.

Georgia at Arkansas: Arkansas hasn’t opened the season on a later date since beating the giblets out of East Central on Sept. 27, 1941. If you drove to Fayetteville to watch it, congratulations. You survived the roller coaster that was old Highway 33. The former O-State coach on the radio suggests this will be more competitive than people think. Hmmmm. Dawgs by 13.

Kentucky at Auburn: Because the SEC is playing a conference-only schedule, some stick-out-their-chest programs are going to finish 5-5, give or take an outcome. Mathematically, everybody can’t be 8-2, but, for some of you, if your favorite cable news station said it's possible, you would still believe it. The fallout for programs that flirt with 5-5? Somebody’s getting fired. Auburn by 10.

The Pros

Bears at Falcons: There’s no reason to include this game in the picks except to throw lawn darts at the Falcons, who twice have painted the Mona Lisa of come-from-ahead defeats. Dirty birds by 3.

Cowboys at Seahawks: When Dallas was down big to Atlanta, this thought crossed the Picker’s brain: The Cowboys are like a High School Harry team in that parents/fans are convinced their lads are the greatest ever to put on pads and the only thing holding them back is that goofy coach, no matter who it is. Then Dallas rallied and won somehow, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Seahawks by 5.

Packers at Saints: Since Green Bay spent a first-round pick on a QB of the future, the QB of the present is helping the Pack average 42.5 points and he has yet to throw an interception. Coincidence? Too bad we can’t figure out a way to light the same kind of fire under elected officials. Saints by 1.

Monday

Chiefs at Ravens: This is a monstrous game, possibly for homefield advantage in the playoffs. But is there is such a thing as a homefield advantage when zero or dozens of people are in the stands? If thousands of people aren’t cheering and booing in stadiums, how can refs be subconsciously influenced to make calls that benefit the home team? Home cooking ain’t what it used to be. KC by 3.


View from the field: See the best images from Oklahoma’s season opener against Missouri State

Week three

Kansas State at OU

West Virginia at OSU

Tulsa at Arkansas State

Georgia at Arkansas

Kentucky at Auburn

Army at Cincinnati

Alabama at Missouri

The Pros

Bears at Falcons

Cowboys at Seahawks

Packers at Saints

Monday

Chiefs at Ravens

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