I am a Miami Dolphins fan so the way Nick Saban left the Dolphins to take over at the Alabama Crimson Tide never really sat well with me.
Plus I love LSU.
So the Week 10 game between those two teams will likely decide the SEC West and will also be a barnstormer of a game.
Small story- a friend and I actually met Marcell Dareus, Kelvin Sheppard and Stevie Johnson while they were all members of the Buffalo Bills. This was during the time when the Tigers were the defending Champions but Alabama were unbeaten to that point.
I remember asking Dareus if he thought Alabama would win it all and got the usual 'yeah definitely' response... When I mentioned the fact they still had to go to LSU and I liked the Tigers winning that game, Sheppard jumped into the conversation, being an LSU alum, and was backing my play!
It was a cool day and next week is going to be one amazing game, of that I am convinced.
After an almost perfect Week 7, Week 8 produced a small losing record, although that comes down to the fact that the Indiana Hoosiers gave up three Touchdowns in the last three minutes to turn a very close game into a blow out at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans.
If the Hoosiers had kept it close until the end, it would have been a slight winning run for the week, but no matter as the season totals are well protected.
My Final Four Play Off Ranking:
1) Ohio State Buckeyes- unbeaten and beginning to fire on both sides of the ball, beware the defending Champions.
2) Baylor Bears- the Big 12 Champion will be decided in the next few weeks and an unbeaten Champion is guaranteed a place in the Play Offs.
3) LSU Tigers- still unbeaten but they go into the bye week with all hands on deck preparing for the Alabama Crimson Tide in a HUGE SEC West Divisional Game.
4) Clemson Tigers- so one unbeaten ACC team falls, but the Clemson Tigers remain unbeaten
Looking In- Alabama Crimson Tide, TCU Horned Frogs, Michigan State Spartans, Stanford Cardinal, Memphis Tigers, Houston Cougars.
East Carolina Pirates @ Connecticut Huskies Pick: I am not a fan of the midweek games because of the 'crazy' plays that tend to follow them, but the only one I liked this week was this game.
I like the East Carolina Pirates to try and become Bowl eligible before their bye eek and that means beating the Connecticut Huskies on the road and then the USF Bulls at home next week. It looks a big ask of the Huskies to do the same and Connecticut have been dropped to 1-6 agains the spread as the home underdog under Bob Diaco.
Granted, the Pirates have hardly been a team that you would like to back as the road favourite in recent games, but they have covered in that spot this season. I am expecting East Carolina to get more out of their Offense than what Connecticut will be able to consistently and that can see them pull away for a win by over a Touchdown.
East Carolina are 0-5 against the spread in their recent games on a Friday night, but they can buck that here in a low-scoring game that sees them come through by ten.
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Purdue Boilermakers Pick: Mike Riley could not have envisioned this being his first year as Head Coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers who have now dropped five games by a combined thirteen points. It leaves them out of the Big Ten West Division hunt, but more worryingly is their chance to play in a Bowl Game this off-season.
The Cornhuskers need to win three of their last four games to become Bowl eligible, but they have to face two unbeaten Conference opponents in those games in Michigan State and Iowa. The two more winnable games are on the road where Nebraska won their last game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers and I surprisingly like them to cover a big number.
That is mainly down to the fact that the Purdue Boilermakers are not up to their level and have been dropped to 3-8 against the spread as the home underdog during Darell Hazell's Head Coaching run here. The Cornhuskers look to have the balance on the Offensive side of the ball to score plenty of points and I do think their Defensive unit can make enough plays to stall drives.
Nebraska have blown out Purdue the last two seasons and the home team could look past this game to a Homecoming game against Illinois next week.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Wisconsin Badgers Pick: The Rutgers Scarlet Knights had a murderer's row run of teams in the middle of last season and suffered three straight blow outs. They have a similar run of games this season too in the Big Ten and will be hoping that the heavy loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes isn't the start of another embarrassing run of losses.
This week they visit the Wisconsin Badgers who are still trying to reach their third Big Ten Championship Game in four seasons, although they Iowa to drop a couple of games and then run the table to do that. The last four games are all winnable for the Badgers, but they have struggled to cover some big spreads as the home favourite and this is a big spread.
Defensively the Badgers have been such a solid unit that it is hard to see Rutgers causing a big surprise, but they were blown out and shut out last season and that has to be motivation to play this one much closer. They can still get to a Bowl Game with one or two upsets in their last five games so the Scarlet Knights can't give up on the year.
The way they were blown out last season in three consecutive games is a concern though and the better teams in the Conference all handled them fairly easily. However, getting almost three Touchdowns in front looks a lot for a Wisconsin team to cover as they begin to look ahead to their bye week.
Mississippi Rebels @ Auburn Tigers Pick: The Ole Miss Rebels might have suffered a couple of really bad blows this season, but they remain in contention in the SEC West having held the tie-breaker over the Alabama Crimson Tide. That means they are still in with a shout of playing for the National Championship so the Mississippi Rebels will be heading to Auburn with plenty of motivation.
They have been a poor road favourite to back and are 2-6 against the spread in that spot over the last three seasons, but getting to the National Championship won't be the only thing on their minds. Last season their year essentially collapsed when losing to the Auburn Tigers, a loss that was only made possible by Laquon Treadwell being pulled back and breaking a leg just before he crossed the plane for a game winning Touchdown.
Treadwell has played well this season since recovering and I know the Rebels will be highly motivated with that play in their minds. It wasn't a dirty play as such, but it ended their season and I think the Rebels play with that in their minds.
Auburn are off a four overtime loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks but they are still likely to be Bowl eligible at the end of the season. That four overtime defeat has to have taken a physical toll, but the Tigers are 2-0 against the spread as the home underdog under Gus Malzahn. Still, the revenge factor that Mississippi have in play sways me and I like them to cover a big number on the road.
Florida Gators v Georgia Bulldogs Pick: This game is played in Jacksonville and the rivalry is likely to have a huge implication as to which team is playing in the SEC Championship Game. A Florida Gators win would essentially wrap up the Division you would feel, but both the Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs are so banged up that winning the Conference would be a huge task.
The underdog has covered in the last three games between these teams, winning outright twice, but I think the Florida Gators Defensive unit is as good as it gets and that is going to give them the edge. Georgia's Quarter Back has struggled in the bigger games and Nick Chubb has been lost at Running Back for the season.
The bye week would have given Jim McElwain a chance to make Treon Harris feel much more comfortable as the starting Quarter Back and I expect him to make enough plays for the Gators to come through.
Georgia had won three in a row in the series until last season, but I will look for Florida to win this one and cover for the third season in a row.
Time constraints, and a nasty headache, means I have added the other picks from the Week 9 College Football games in the MY PICKS section below.
MY PICKS: East Carolina Pirates - 7 Points @ 1.93 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
Nebraska Cornhuskers - 7.5 Points @ 2.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights + 20.5 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Mississippi Rebels - 7 Points @ 1.95 Coral (1 Unit)
Florida Gators - 2 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Oklahoma State Cowboys - 2.5 Points @ 1.85 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Michigan Wolverines - 13 Points @ 1.91 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 10.5 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Stanford Cardinal - 8.5 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Week 7: 11-3, + 7.10 Units (14 Units Staked, + 50.71% Yield
Week 6: 8-5, + 2.49 Units (13 Units Staked, + 19.15% Yield)
Week 5: 6-7, - 1.50 Units (13 Units Staked, - 11.54% Yield)
Week 4: 8-4-1, + 3.26 Units (13 Units Staked, + 25.08% Yield)
Week 3: 6-4, + 1.57 Units (10 Units Staked, + 15.70% Yield)
Week 2: 5-4-1, + 0.68 Units (10 Units Staked, + 6.80% Yield)
Week 1: 7-6, + 0.48 Units (13 Units Staked, + 3.69% Yield
Season 2015: 56-39-2, + 12.75 Units (97 Units Staked, + 13.142015% Yield)
Season 2014: 75-82-2, - 13.39 Units (172 Units Staked, - 7.78% Yield)