Welcome back for season three of my prognostication column, “Clayton Picks All The Games Correctly.”
I, the Miss Cleo of College Football, am the nation’s foremost Saturday clairvoyant.
In this column, I select the straight up winners of all the big games every weekend, American Athletic Conference or otherwise. The spread, the over-under and all of that other jazz is way too confusing to sort out from the stars above. If you want the skinny on all of that, I recommend Carl’s “Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week” video prognostication service.
My Thursday columns will cover all of the weekend’s AAC games as well as a smattering of other major contests from around the country.
Be on the lookout this season for my special Friday and Saturday editions, which will include all exclusive daily prognostications.
Now let’s get down to brass tacks.
Austin Peay at Cincinnati: A couple of weeks ago, Bearcats quarterback Hayden Moore posted a before and after physique photo spread on Twitter. He must have spent the summer on the set of Full Metal Jacket. Moore has gone from looking like Tom Brady’s combine day photograph to the dancing guy on American Ninja Warrior in a matter of months. Moore could win this game single-handedly. Laying the smackdown on Austin Peay will be a great way for Luke Fickell to kick off his tenure as the Bearcats’ coach.
Final Score: Cincinnati 61 Austin Peay 5
The Rest of the AAC
Stony Brook at No. 19 USF (1-0): USF had a slow start last Saturday against San Jose State. I anticipate a repeat this weekend. There are just too many distractions in the greater Tampa-St. Pete area. The Florida Aquarium’s Wild Dolphin Cruise includes naturalists who guide you on a 75-minute cruise aboard a 72-foot catamaran around Tampa Bay, pointing out the wildlife that calls the land, air and waters of the bay home. You can check out the minarets on the University of Tampa campus or the burgers at Goody Goody’s. When you’re in the mood for a Broadway show, you can head to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. In the last year, the Straz has featured revivals of Oklahoma, Hello Dolly and South Pacific. The Bulls will pull away in the second half, but they can’t help but be distracted by all the great musicals featured at the Straz.
Final Score: USF 45 Stony Brook 24
Temple at Notre Dame: Temple running back Ryquell Armstead has movie star soft eyes, a body chiseled from granite and the warmest smile east of the Mississippi. Armstead would have been an outstanding supporting actor in a Howard Hawks film. His cordial visage, though, will not be enough to stop Notre Dame this Saturday. The Fighting Irish have one of America’s most robust offensive lines and Temple’s defense, particularly its front seven, was decimated by graduation.
Final Score: Notre Dame 35 Temple 21
Florida International at UCF:
Having saved Ambassador Tsuda from a Ninjatron, Scott Frost arrives in Belgium to learn that he has been summoned to overthrow Antwerp’s caretaker computer, Grandmother. He is fighting rogue Freewills day and night. He tests his stamina by giving off a distinct vibration that makes it possible to conduct a preemptive strike against every Robot Fighter east of the Danube.
Final Score: UCF 13 FIU 10
Tulsa at No. 10 Oklahoma State:
6 a.m. Saturday. Edmond, Oklahoma. The Denny’s on Canaan Creek Road.
Philip Montgomery (PM): The arctic variety of the timber wolf lives in northern tundra regions.
Mike Gundy: I seen ‘em. In Alaska and in Canada. And in my freezer.
PM: The Moufflon is a small wild sheep with majestic horns on the males.
MG: I seen ‘em. In Sardinia and Corsica. There were about 300 of them back in 1960, when I stopped by on the way home from the Rome Olympics. I rode one of them hard and I hung him up wet.
PM: The broad nosed caiman lives in the tropical swamps and rivers of South America.
MG: Guys like me are mad for turtle meat. I’m not one for the broad nosed caiman though. I don’t even eat the broad nosed caiman paninis they got for sale in the dressing room at the Under Armour outlet store down the road from here.
PM: Phoenicoparus jamesi, pterocnemia pennata, odobenus rosmarus.
MG: Fed all of them to my cousin’s ocelot.
Final Score: Oklahoma State 56 Tulsa 20
Holy Cross at Connecticut: The Holy Cross Crusaders’ all-time 3 on 3 basketball team of Tommy Heinsohn, Bob Cousy and Togo Palazzi would wipe the floor with UConn’s all-time 3 on 3 team of Ray Allen, Emeka Okafor and Richard Hamilton.
Final Score: Holy Cross 24 UConn 20
Louisiana-Monroe at Memphis: Monroe, Louisiana is aggressive when it comes to recruiting and hosting marquee events, conferences, conventions and meetings. In 2017, the city has hosted the annual Ouachita Parish Scrabble Tournament, four pancake breakfasts at the Elks Lodge Local 2496, ZumbaFest XII at the Comfort Suites and several bowling tournaments. Thankfully for Memphis, this will be a home game, enabling them to avoid all of the distractions that northern Louisiana has to offer.
Final Score: Memphis 47 ULM 10
Navy at Florida Atlantic: When Lane Kiffin gets the urge to load his Oldsmobile up with consumer products, he heads to the Big Apple Shopping Bazaar in Delray Beach. He tells everyone who is anyone that this is South Florida’s premier flea market. You can browse from more than 1,100 bargain filled booths with new and used merchandise, clothes, electronics, fresh produce, antiques and much more. There is often live entertainment there. Often it is provided by Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction. There have holiday specials for the kiddos and several food vendors. It’s open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Even Wednesdays.
Final Score: Florida Atlantic 45 Navy 31
James Madison at East Carolina: James Madison football coach Mike Houston is auditioning to become the new lead singer of Say Anything. He likes their emotional lyrics, their shimmering, harmony-drenched vocals, and the way that they combine moderate headbanging with theatre and innovation. The guys in Say Anything admire his strong ties to Henderson, Tennessee and the way that his tempo offense employs propulsive, three part harmony and transcendent melodies.
Final Score: East Carolina 45 James Madison 24
Houston at UT-San Antonio: The Cougars’ All-American Defensive Lineman Ed Oliver could win this game by himself. Major Applewhite must be a big fan of mine. I predict that he takes this column to heart and that it pays some serious dividends.
Final Score: Ed Oliver 48 UT-San Antonio 0 (Note: I realize that this game has been postponed. My prediction stands for whenever this game is played)
Stephen F. Austin at Southern Methodist: I’ve got SMU at No. 10 in my Underdog Dynasty poll. They are going to go up the charts faster than a Bon Jovi single this season. Chad Morris has the Mustangs bursting at the seams with offensive talent. Finally, they can play some defense as well. Mark my words: SMU will win nine games this year.
Final Score: SMU 77 Stephen F. Austin 8
Grambling at Tulane: Tulane returns one of the country’s most experienced rosters. Watch Willie Fritz build this team into a winner in 2017. They will take their first step against Grambling this weekend.
Final Score: Tulane 35 Grambling 17
The Rest of the Country
No. 2 Ohio State at Indiana: The only opinion I hold that is less popular than my pick of Indiana in this game is my preference of Ohio native Eric Carmen to Eric Clapton. Carmen was the lead singer of The Raspberries, whose “Go All the Way” is the gold standard of 70’s power pop. The Raspberries are also historically significant for their innovative use of leisure suits on the cover of their 1972 album, Fresh Raspberries. As a solo artist, Eric Carmen became a master of the torch song. There is more good singing on “All By Myself” or “Hungry Eyes” than in the entirety of Eric Clapton’s five decade long catalog of dismally puled songs.
Final Score: Indiana 31 Ohio State 24
No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 17 Florida (at Jerry World): Jim Harbaugh finished second to Mark Wahlberg in the auditions for Boogie Nights. Jim McElwain was asked to audition for the role of “untrustworthy shoe-salesman who says they have every size of the Nikes your kid wants but comes out of the backroom with two pairs of shoes, one of which is a size too big and one of which is a size too small” in Problem Child 2. McElwain decided against taking the role for fear of being typecast.
Final Score: Michigan 21 Florida 20
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta): “Jimbo Fisher lives on a houseboat and never wears sunscreen”- Me, anytime Jimbo Fisher appears on television.
Final Score: Alabama 35 Florida State 14
As always, this is a work of parody and not intended to be taken seriously. For more of the same, follow me on Twitter: @ClaytonTrutor