Welcome back for season four 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, AAC 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.
Cincinnati at UCLA
Remember Chip Kelly’s first game at Oregon? His heralded Ducks team went into Boise State and got completely shut down. The game is most infamous for Oregon running back LaGarrette Blount sucker punching a Boise State defender who taunted him after the game. Blount proceeded to get into it with several fans on his way to the locker room. I expect Chip Kelly’s offense to take hold at UCLA but I expect it to take a while. Our upstart Bearcats are playing them at just the right time. Just like Boise did back in 2009.
Final Score: Cincinnati 19 UCLA 8
The Rest of the AAC
Houston at Rice
As Rice was fighting it out last weekend, trying to overcome the Prairie View A&M onslaught, I assume that a few Owls thought to themselves “it’s going to be a bit rougher next week when we play the Cougars.”
Final Score: Houston 56 Rice 0
Villanova at Temple
Write this down. Temple quarterback Frank Nutile will be the AAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Final Score: Temple 41 Villanova 3
North Carolina A&T at East Carolina
East Carolina has some of the best fans in college athletics. No matter how well the Pirates are doing, the fine people of Greenville, North Carolina and its environs support this team. There is no town in America in which I am more qualified to live than Greenville, North Carolina. Unless they are playing the Bearcats, I find it hard not to root for ECU.
Final Score: East Carolina 38 NC A&T 17
Elon at South Florida
All that nice stuff I said about East Carolina, I feel the exact opposite way about the USF Bulls.
Final Score: USF 45 Elon 10
Mercer at Memphis
Final Score: Memphis 48 Mercer 6
Central Arkansas at Tulsa
There are 12 Wendy’s in Tulsa proper. There are only three in Conway, Arkansas.
Final Score: Tulsa 12 Central Arkansas 3
SMU at North Texas
This one will be a battle. North Texas is on the rise and SMU is in transition. I fully expect Ben Hicks and company to have enough offensive firepower to outlast the Mean Green.
Final Score: SMU 45 North Texas 38
Navy at Hawaii
Hawaii had a cute win last week against Colorado State. This week, they’re playing a football team.
Final Score: Navy 38 Hawaii 17
The Rest of the Country
Florida Atlantic at No. 7 Oklahoma
The only thing more ludicrous than the University of Central Florida’s 2017 national title claim is the claim that this Florida Atlantic team is ready for prime time. I can’t wait to see Oklahoma give Florida Atlantic an RKO.
Final Score: Oklahoma 55 Florida Atlantic 10
No. 6 Washington vs. No. 9 Auburn
Final Score: Auburn 38 Washington 14
No. 14 Michigan at No. 12 Notre Dame
Brian Kelly used to act like Harbaugh on the sideline but he grew up. Harbaugh seems to have reverted into perpetual childhood. He is indulged by a sports media that thrives on his antics. None of this is good for Michigan football.
Final Score: Notre Dame 24 Michigan 10
No. 1 Alabama vs. Louisville
Louisville is a day late and a dollar short for a showdown with the Crimson Tide.
Final Score: Alabama 42 Louisville 7
Nicholls at Kansas
Win No. 1 on the Jayhawks’ quest for a bowl game.
Final Score: Kansas 45 Nicholls 0
Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech
“Don’t be messing around picking games based on whose got more Cracker Barrels or who’s coach is more handsome. You are hired to do a serious job.”- email I received from an Ole Miss fan last season. I am going to take their advice to heart. I will pick the team with the less handsome head coach to win this game.
Final Score: Texas Tech 35 Ole Miss 34
Jackson State at Southern Miss
Southern Miss is the team you never want to play. That’s as true in 2018 as it was 20 years ago. To paraphrase RichRod a few years back, this squad is always streetfight tough in an increasingly 7-on-7 football culture. They will cruise past Jackson State this weekend but be sure to catch one of their games this season. They play football the way it was meant to be played.
Final Score: Southern Miss 43 Jackson State 14
UMass at Boston College
UMass looked great last week against Duquense, putting up more points than it had in about the nine seasons combined. Boston College presents a different level of challenge. The Eagles will not even break a sweat in this sparing session with these woodland creatures from Western Massachusetts.
Final Score: Boston College- 42 UMass- Will stay overnight so they can get a good spot in line at the Aquarium on Sunday morning
Northern Illinois at Iowa
Iowa’s balanced and bruising attack will be too much for the Huskies. Northern Illinois is a veteran team but its serious losses at linebacker will lead to a pummeling by the Hawkeyes’ ground-and-pound based attack.
Final Score: Iowa 28 Northern Illinois 10
Stephen F. Austin at No. 18 Mississippi State
Final Score: Mississippi State: Whatever They Feel Like Stephen F. Austin- 0
No. 20 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Florida State
Final Score: Florida State 21 Virginia Tech 20
Missouri State at Oklahoma State
Is there a more underrated coach in college football than Mike Gundy? This guy finds a way to win 10 games every year in one of the country’s toughest conferences.
Final Score: Oklahoma State 63 Missouri State 6
Northern Arizona at UTEP
Get on the Kai Locksley train right now. There will be no more exciting dual-threat quarterback than the signal caller in El Paso. I expect this Texas transfer to put up at least 500 yards of total offense against the Lumberjacks.
Final Score: UTEP 51 Northern Arizona 10
Central Michigan at Kentucky
This Central Michigan team will be a contender for the MAC title but it won’t be able to hang in there with the SEC’s fastest rising team. A few sledgehammer blows from Kentucky running back Benny Snell and the Wildcats’ soon-to-be heralded offensive line will TKO the Chippewas.
Final Score: Kentucky 45 Central Michigan 13
This is a work of parody and not intended to be taken seriously.
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