Dunning picks the first week of college games

By From page B2 | August 30, 2013

This is the season when I will finally go undefeated. I can feel it in my bones. So far, my record is perfect.

And at the end of the season, when Oregon beats Ohio State for the national championship, you can say you read it here first.

This week’s picks are as follows:

CAL over NORTHWESTERN … call me crazy, but this Sonny Dykes fella knows how to move the football and he’s not afraid to start a freshman at quarterback. A new era begins in Berkeley.

UCLA over NEVADA … the Pack gets roughed up in the Rose Bowl as it looks ahead to next Saturday’s showdown against UC Davis.

NOTRE DAME over TEMPLE … the Irish have been itching to get back onto the field ever since that whipping they took at the hands of Alabama last January.

TEXAS A&M over RICE … Johnny Manziel promises to sign 4,000 autographs for every touchdown he scores in this one. All for free, of course, and all in the second half.

PENN STATE over SYRACUSE … let’s see, Joe Paterno is dead, Jerry Sandusky is in prison until he’s at least 150, Penn State just reached financial settlements with a number of Sandusky’s victims, and all the innocent members of the Nittany Lion football team will be penalized for three more years. No wonder the NCAA lacks credibility.

GEORGIA over CLEMSON … this is the week when the nation’s major college football powers fatten their records with body-bag games against unknown opponents. Georgia and Clemson apparently didn’t get the memo. Congratulations to both schools for putting an exclamation point on the start of the season.

ARIZONA over NORTHERN ARIZONA … see “body-bag game” above.

AUBURN over WASHINGTON STATE … the Tigers are back in business with a new, no-nonsense coach. Folks in the Palouse, meanwhile, are still waiting to see if Mike Leach has any magic left in his playbook.

OREGON STATE over EASTERN WASHINGTON … after losing to Sacramento State two years ago, the Beavers aren’t taking anyone lightly.

ALABAMA over VIRGINIA TECH … can anyone hold back the Tide?

UPSET OF THE WEEK: Boise State over Washington … Husky Stadium has undergone a dramatic retooling, but it’s the same old product on the field. Chris Petersen pulls another rabbit out of the hat.

ROUT OF THE WEEK (or WHO SCHEDULED THIS GAME?): Oregon over Nicholls State … let’s see, last year Oregon State routed the hapless Colonels, 77-3, despite doing its best to keep the score down. It’ll be even worse against Oregon, which will have to start taking a knee in the first quarter to avoid popping the lights on the Autzen Stadium scoreboard.

DON’T BET ON IT, BUT: Kansas State over North Dakota State … it’s never wise to bet against the Mighty Bison, but in this case, the boys from Fargo are in over their heads.

FIVE EASY PICKS: Bet the rent on these. This week’s sure-fire winners are Wisconsin (over Massachusetts), Michigan (over Central Michigan), Ohio State (over Buffalo), Texas (over New Mexico State) and Nebraska (over Wyoming).

AGGIES over SOUTH DAKOTA … Coyote head coach Joe Glenn knows how to win (39-6, including a I-AA national championship at Montana). He also knows how to lose (last year’s 1-10 record in his first year at South Dakota.) The Coyotes will be better this fall, but not that much better. Take the Ags by 14.

OTHER GAMES: Michigan State over Western Michigan, Miami (Fla.) over Florida Atlantic, Texas Tech over SMU, North Carolina State over Louisiana Tech, LSU over TCU, North Texas over Idaho, Arkansas over Louisiana-Lafayette, Maryland over Florida International, Oklahoma State over Mississippi State, Oklahoma over Louisiana-Monroe, Louisville over Ohio U., Florida State over Pittsburgh, Army over Morgan State, Georgia Tech over Elon, Boston College over Villanova, West Virginia over William & Mary, Florida over Toledo, Air Force over Colgate, Duke over North Carolina Central, Tennessee over Austin Peay, South Florida over McNeese State, Kentucky over Western Kentucky, Missouri over Murray State, East Carolina over Old Dominion, Houston over Southern, Baylor over Wofford, Arkansas State over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, San Diego State over Eastern Illinois, Iowa State over Northern Iowa, and New Mexico over Texas-San Antonio.

 — Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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