NCAA Football Predictions: Week 10 Opening Line Report and Picks
Last week, there were rumors floating around that some wealthy Florida State boosters were potentially interested in helping buy out the money remaining on Willie Taggart's contract and going after Urban Meyer.
This writer doesn't believe Taggart is getting a fair shake in Tallahassee - sadly, I think race has something to do with it in some corners - and that he's a fine head coach. However, he does seem to be a bad fit. It would be a no-brainer to try and get Meyer, but FSU athletic director David Coburn addressed the rumors thusly: "If [Taggart] were hit by a bus tomorrow, we would not target Coach Meyer, period. I say that with all due respect to Coach Meyer, but we would not target Steve Spurrier, either."
That's a great quote, and it's probably true. Of course, Meyer and Spurrier were legends at FSU's bitter rival Florida. Would Michigan ever go after Meyer? Would Ohio State chase Jim Harbaugh? There are just some lines you don't cross.
The Seminoles host Miami this weekend in a rivalry that used to be one of the country's best and most important but is now basically irrelevant with both programs in the dumper. First-year Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz has already said that 2019 is a rebuild, but he's a strong recruiter and should get things turned around in south Florida. It's just that UM will never be the annual powerhouse it used to be because the Alabamas and Ohio States and Clemsons and Floridas of the world are poaching a lot of kids from that mega-rich talent area.
This might be a de facto bowl game because it will be tough for the loser to reach the required six wins to get bowl eligible. FSU opened at -5.5 at Mybookie and I would back the Noles. Here are a few other Week 10 opening lines that caught my eye. Games Saturday unless noted. Week 10 college football picks are ATS.
West Virginia at No. 12 Baylor, Thursday (-17.5): Oklahoma's stunning loss at Kansas State might leave the Big 12's College Football Playoff hopes solely on unbeaten Baylor - the only school in the conference without a loss. The Bears will host OU on Nov. 16. Both these schools come off a bye week. Baylor was throttled in Morgantown last year 58-14, but that WVU team was miles better than this one and this Bears team is much better. The Mountaineers outscored Baylor 31-0 in the second quarter. Pick: Baylor.
No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 6 Florida (+3.5): The annual Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, and if you can ever go to this game or at least tailgate outside it definitely do so. Such a fun environment even you don't care about either school. Both off their bye week, which is nice that one doesn't get an advantage over the other. That's usually the case ahead of this game. The winner probably will claim the SEC East Division and face either Alabama or LSU in the SEC title game. The winner also definitely remains in the College Football Playoff conversation as long as it wins out including the SEC Championship Game. The loser is toast. Florida expects three key players back from injury in receiver Kadarius Toney and top pass-rushers Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga. Toney, a big-play guy, has missed the past six with a left shoulder injury and the latter two missed the Week 8 win over South Carolina. The Dawgs were 36-17 winners last year when both were also in the Top 10. Jake Fromm threw three touchdown passes and UF turned it over three dimes. The Dawgs have taken five of the past eight in the series. Pick: Georgia.
No. 15 SMU at No. 24 Memphis (-3.5): Big one in the AAC's West Division with the victor probably going on to win the West. The Mustangs are the only team in the conference without an overall loss with the Tigers a game back. SMU is off a 34-31 win at Houston last Thursday. Texas transfer QB Shane Buechele threw for 203 yards and two scores and is a top candidate for AAC Player of the Year. SMU is 8-0 for the first time since starting 10-0 in 1982, and 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 1986. Memphis won 42-41 at Tulsa on Saturday as the Golden Hurricane's kicker missed a 29-yard field goal as time expired. Memphis beat SMU 28-18 last year behind 111 yards rushing and two scores from Patrick Taylor Jr. The Tigers have won five straight in the series. Pick: Memphis.
No. 7 Oregon at Southern Cal (+5): Could be a Pac-12 title game preview, especially if USC wins here. That Oklahoma loss probably benefited Oregon more than any other school as now the Ducks appear to have a route to the playoff if they win out. They edged Washington State on Saturday 37-35 on a 26-yard field goal as time expired. CJ Verdell ran for a career-high 257 yards and three touchdowns for the Ducks. USC was a 35-31 winner at Colorado last Friday. Freshman QB Kedon Slovis threw for 406 yards and four scores, including the winner with 2:15 left as the Trojans rallied from down 31-21 in the fourth. Being in different divisions, these two don't play every year. They last did in 2016 when Oregon had an awful season and was blown out 45-20 at USC. Justin Herbert, now a top NFL prospect, was hugely outplayed by Sam Darnold. Pick: Oregon.
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