Hurricane Irma may have gotten Florida’s home opener against the star-studded Northern Colorado Bears canceled this weekend, but nothing is ever strong enough to interfere with an alligatorSports weekly picks column.
We’re back and ready for another edition of impeccable analysis and in-depth breakdowns for all things you need to know for this week’s college football slate. With no game action taking place in Gainesville on Saturday, that leaves you plenty of time to watch other contests taking place around the country.
There are four matchups this weekend between top-25 programs that are must watches. No. 2 Ohio State dukes it out with No. 5 Oklahoma; No. 3 Clemson goes head-to-head with No. 13 Auburn; No. 6 USC takes on No. 14 Stanford. And for our official debate of the week……(drum roll please)……. sports writers Ethan Bauer and Ian Cohen will argue over which team will win when No. 15 Georgia plays at No. 24 Notre Dame.
Georgia (+4.5) wins because…
Oh Ian. Poor, naive Ian. Yes, Jacob Eason is out, but his true freshman backup, Jake Fromm, is the “real deal” according to his teammates. How did I know that? To be honest, I didn’t. I literally typed “Jake Fromm real deal” in a Google search and the first article to pop up went into unnecessary detail about just how “real” he is. He’s also a “student of the game,” a “field general” and a “gamer” according to his teammates and coaches. With a guy who’s clearly that talented, trusted and existent (remember, he’s “real”) under center, how could Georgia lose?
- Ethan Bauer
Notre Dame (-4.5) wins because…
Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason will reportedly miss Saturday’s game with a knee injury. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
When a team’s starting quarterback goes down, it’s usually a good idea to bet on the opponent. But it’s an especially good idea in this case.
Eason was really impressive as a freshman last year. Not only did he put up some good numbers — 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions through 13 games — but he also looked the part. The kid has a really strong arm, and he should have a future playing on Sundays.
With Eason out on Saturday, I don’t have confidence in the Bulldogs’ offense to get much accomplished.
- Ian Cohen
Now, onto the picks!
Leading off with a 5-3 record is alligatorSports editor Matt "I think I’m a NASCAR driver" Brannon, whose reckless, maniacal driving earned him a whopping $250 ticket last weekend while driving to Dallas for UF’s season opener. Matt was going 88 in a 70 mph zone, ladies and gents, an absolute no-no when driving right by the po-po. Maybe he’ll learn his lesson next time. But knowing him, I highly doubt it.
Next up with a 5-3 record is alligatorSports assistant editor Dylan "Fix yo face" Dixon, who fell asleep in the passenger’s seat during the 17-hour drive to Dallas and while passed out began to sleep-grope the face of the driver. He says he didn’t mean to. But we all know that’s an excuse for being caught red handed trying to get to second base with an imaginary girlfriend.
Following Dylan with a 5-3 record is the Gainesville Sun’s Graham "Sheesh, this is news to me" Hall, who tweeted that tight end Deandre Goolsby was out indefinitely with an injury. Goolsby responded directly on Twitter indicating he had no idea what Graham was talking about. Don’t worry Graham, we’ll all forget this little snafu. Just like we forgot about when you “confirmed” five-star QB Jacob Eason (of the Georgia Bulldogs) would commit to Florida.
The final competitor to go 5-3 last week is Gator Country’s Nick "Opposite of Peter Pan" de la Torre, who tried to recruit a new Alligator hire to work for his outlet. Contrary to how Peter Pan offers kids a wonderful, youthful life, Nick offers them a tedious yet unrewarding but also uninteresting opportunity to transcribe interviews and get coffee.
Next up in fifth place with a record of 4-4 is the Alligator’s Ethan "Please talk to me, Feleipe" Bauer, who fruitlessly begged for a one-on-one with UF's starting QB. Not that Franks didn't want to talk, he just wants to talk to anybody but Ethan.
In a tie for sixth place at 3-5 is 247Sports’ Thomas "Goldcamp" Goldkamp, who had his name spelled wrong in the print version of the last picks column. Don’t worry, none of his 20,000 Twitter bots noticed.
Also 3-5 is the Orlando Sentinel's Edgar "My only friend is my tripod" Thompson. Edgar's little buddy tipped over at interviews Tuesday, making the same sound Edgar does when he pounds his fists in anger after a s***** performance in the picks column.
And in piss-poor last at 2-6 is alligatorSports’ Ian "Traffic signals are my kryptonite" Cohen, who missed last weekend’s Florida-Michigan game after spending three consecutive days stuck at a stop light when his colorblind eyes failed him.
Writers Matt Brannon, Dylan Dixon, Ethan Bauer, Ian Cohen, Graham Hall, Nick de la Torre, Edgar Thompson and Thomas Goldkamp pick seven games against the spread.