Gators to chomp on the Seminoles

It’s rivalry week.  Although highly anticipated every year, the fact remains that a lot of these matchups have become one-sided affairs in recent years.  Still, just the promise of an upset makes these games intriguing.  Here’s how we see this week going down…

THE COLLEGES

 •Florida State (+18) at Florida

In the NFL, Bill Parcells once said, “You Are What Your Record Says You Are.”  The record says Odell Haggins is 4-0…but those four wins have come against a sub .500 Boston College, FCS opponents Alabama State and Louisiana-Monroe, and a bowl win against Conference USA’s Southern Miss – not exactly going against Murder’s Row.  As much as it pains me to say this:  Florida 45, Florida State 17

•Georgia (-20) at Georgia Tech

Although officially a ‘road” game, I’m guessing there will be more “Red” than “Gold” at Bobby Dodd Stadium this weekend.  Three touchdowns are a lot to give, will take the Dawgs to both win and cover.  Georgia 29, Georgia Tech 7

 South Florida (+25) at UCF

Yep, you are reading this prediction for a game already played, but you will have to trust me when I tell you this column was due at the editor’s desk on Wednesday.  Also need to remind you that I am a stellar 0-4 this year in Friday night games where you didn’t get to read my rock solid prediction until after the game was played.  Both these teams have been bad at covering the spread this year so nothing changes this week.  UCF to win but not cover:  Knights 45, USF 28

•Ohio State (-10) at Michigan

Since 2001, Michigan has won just twice in this historic rivalry.  No team has stayed within 10 points of Ohio State all season, including No. 9 Penn State;  who lost by 11 last week. No reason to think the Buckeyes, one of the best teams in the nation in covering the spread, won’t make it 18 of the last 20 against Michigan.  Ohio State 28, Michigan 17

 Miami (-6.5) at Duke

If the Canes have any pride at all, they are not going to want the last memory of the 2019 season to be back-to-back losses to FIU and Duke.  And while a win doesn’t mean the “Canes are Back” it will make getting ready for the bowl season a little easier.  Miami 24, Duke 14

•Alabama (-3.5) at Auburn

The Tide must win to keep any playoff hopes alive and unlike a few years back, a Tiger win doesn’t do anything for Auburn other than helping get the fans off Gus Malzahn’s back.  Sorry Gus.  Alabama 27, Auburn 18

 Oklahoma (-13) at Oklahoma State

State is a better team at home and Oklahoma will give up some points.  In a high-scoring affair I’ll take the Sooners to win but not cover.  Oklahoma 49, Oklahoma State 42

THE PROFESSIONALS

 •Philadelphia (-7.5) at Miami

The Fish returned to earth last week after playing pretty good football for the last month. Philadelphia is banged up but is in a “must-win” situation. They get the “W” this week.  Philadelphia 28, Miami 14

•Tampa Bay (+3.5) at Jacksonville

After last week, I’m not really sure why the Jags are favored unless it’s because Jameis Winston is so careless with the ball.  Even though he was the youngest player in NFL history to toss 100 interceptions, he is still throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns every week. In an upset special, Tampa Bay 30, Jacksonville 24

•New England (-4) at Houston

Despite an offense that has been practically non-existent the past two months, the Patriots continue to win ugly.  Coming off an emotional win against Dallas, they are traveling this week. Given the Texans have won five of their last seven, going for the Texas to not only cover, but win outright.  Houston 20, New England 17.

Season Scoreboard:  If I was just picking winners, I’d be having a great season – another 8-2 week straight up, but a dismal 3-7 against the spread. 89-37 (.706) straight up; but fall deeper in the hole against the spread, 56-68-2 – which is why I am glad this column is for amusement purposes only!