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I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

College Football Picks - 2017 Week Five

It's not going well.  Don't ask.
We might just have to start calling our Blog "Listen to what Bulldog Babe says because she's usually right."  Another unbelievable week for our sage from Charlotte while I (that's JR Ewing) can't even pick winners.  Sigh.  We try another week.

So now our weekly take on last week and this week, in five bullets:

1) Florida State has to be the most disappointing team so far.  From Top 3 to out of the Top 25.  The Alabama game was tough, particularly the injury to their starting QB.  Followed by Hurricane Irma disrupting what would have been a couple of weeks to get healthy and get some wins under their belt.  Don't be surprised to see them in the ACC title hunt even after the loss to North Carolina State
2) Still waiting for some impactful Big 10 games.  No, Penn State vs. Iowa doesn't count.  To me, the conference has too many soft matchups compared to the others. Not saying the top isn't just as good as other big conferences.
3) Alabama is still the best team in the SEC and the country.
4) Is this it for Tennessee's Butch Jones if he doesn't win?
5) Texas (1-2) faces almost a must win on the road in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday.  Their next five feature three top 15 teams, plus 2016 Bowl Game winners Kansas State and Baylor as the Big 12 gauntlet is brutal.

Just another 4-1 week, ho hum.
This blog will typically pick the Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs by default.  Texas plays on Thursday, but after a bye and Georgia plays a huge rivalry game.  So for this week's five games, we give you final scores, so you can do your own ATS and S/U comparison. We go three games before Saturday, and all road favorites.

Our two analysts are J.R. Ewing, Texas Longhorns fan and general loud mouth.  And we feature big time Georgia Bulldog fan Bulldog Babe (BDB) (@bulldogbabexo) as a guest expert.

Last week
JR: 2-3 S/U, 2-3 ATS
BDB: 4-1 S/U, 4-1 ATS

Season to date:
JR: 9-10 S/U, 9-10 ATS
BDB: 12-7 S/U, 14-5 ATS

Both JR and BDB missed North Carolina State's upset (although JR had the cover).  BDB nailed the TCU upset.  Both got the Georgia win and cover, while BDB had Washington and Notre Dame winning and covering, JR only had Washington winning.  She's dominating.  14-5 ATS, are you kidding me????

Spreads are from a great pick site, Capped Sports

Game 1: Texas (-6.5) at Iowa State (Thursday 8:00 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
It's a make or break week for the Longhorns.  With a tough gauntlet of games coming up, the Horns need a win here.  And it will be tough.  They were shut out on their last trip to Ames.  Coming off a competitive loss to Top 5 Southern Cal, they'll need a repeat performance.  Iowa State played Iowa close and has two other easy wins.  Both teams are bowl caliber, but the loser may not be able to scramble for enough wins in the deep Big 12.  All that being said, I think the Longhorns answer the bell and win a tough one going away.  Tight at halftime, easy at the end.
Texas 31, Iowa State 14

Bulldog Babe: 
Texas and Iowa State will be interesting. Texas is a six and a half point favorite over Iowa State, but after their performance over the last three weeks, I’m just not convinced they have their qualities together as a football team. I think Iowa State wins it.
Iowa State 27, Texas 20

Game 2: Miami (-6.5) at Duke (Friday 7:00 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
I used to make a living off picking Duke.  Nobody thinks they are good, but here they are at 4-0.  They welcome the rival Miami Hurricanes, same matchup in Durham that produced a ridiculous (yet not really legal) kick return TD to decide the game two years ago.  I expect Duke to keep it close against the Canes under the lights.  But Miami will be too much in a close one.
Miami 38, Duke 34

Bulldog Babe:
Miami and Duke is personally one of my favorite matchups, two talented teams with a lot of charisma and poise. Duke may be the favorite, but I think Miami is an up and coming team and they will win this time around. 
Miami 20, Duke 14

Game 3: Southern California (-3.5) at Washington State (Friday 10:30 p.m. EDT) 

JR Ewing:
Southern Cal has really only been impressive in their win against Stanford.  The other wins were slogs.  They travel to a bizarre land in eastern Washington.  Where Mike Leach loves to pick off big name teams.  Washington State has earned a Top 20 rank and they blow out a weary Trojan squad at home.
Washington State 42, Southern California 21

Bulldog Babe:
USC and Washington State is another game that has both teams ranked on the AP poll. In my opinion, ranked teams playing each other is always bound for some excitement. I think USC has been a dream team so far, I have them winning.
Southern California 30, Washington State 20

Game 4: Georgia (-7) at Tennessee (3:30 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
I can't wait to see what this Georgia team does next.  Impressive so far this year with wins against ranked Notre Dame and Mississippi State teams.  Tennessee has oodles of talent but keeps underachieving.  They're at home and really really need this game.  Last year they won this game on a hail mary.  After losing a couple of weeks ago on a hail mary.  No hail mary this time.  Georgia is built to win on the road with their running game and QB with nerves of steel.  I do think it will be closer than experts think.
Georgia 31, Tennessee 21

Bulldog Babe:
Georgia & Tennessee, over the last four years, has been a chest bumping match for sure. One bitter rivalry that does not go unnoticed. I honestly think that after seeing how Tennessee has played over the first four weeks, they don’t have what it takes to keep up with Georgia and their improving team. Georgia just has the better weapons, better running game, and better defensive qualities. I think Georgia runs away with the win! 
Georgia 27, Tennessee 14

Game 5: Clemson (-7.5) at Virginia Tech (7:00 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
Virginia Tech under Frank Beamer was renown for being unbeatable at home at night.  Can they recapture that glory under Justin Fuente?  Maybe.  Meanwhile Clemson has that look of a champion.  A tough schedule so far and they haven't flinched.  I think they lose one in the ACC, but not this one.  Virginia Tech gives Clemson all they can handle, but the Tigers, who are used to winning close games, take this one.  Again, under the number.. 
Clemson 24, Virginia Tech 20

Bulldog Babe:
Clemson and Virginia Tech is an AP top 15 matchup, so it’s bound for some excitement. Clemson is undefeated and they have also had a couple of close calls this season, but come out on top each time. Virginia Tech is also undefeated with another strong team for the 2017 season. This will be a back and forth game, I feel like. I have Clemson winning this one, but it will be close. 
Clemson 27, Virginia Tech 24

Enjoy your football Saturday, America!

- JR and BDB

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