College Four-play: Week 1 picks

The other day my heart stopped for a brief second when I was asked a nightmarish question most men hope they never have to hear.

“Honey, when are you going to start foreplay again?” said the college football editor’s wife.

Gulp.

“Uh, pardon?”

“You know, your football column. When do you start it again?”

Right. Four-play. My football column.

The blessed answer is now. Right now. The college season is finally upon us and that means it’s time to get back to my weekly picks column that will annoy, torture and hopefully entertain readers for the fourth straight season. For those of you who are new to my world of madness, here is how it works.

I make four against-the-spread picks on four of the bigger games in college football every week and give you my analysis for each one that may or may not make sense – I can’t promise anything. Some weeks I make more than four picks if I haven’t taken my medication and get a little too excited. Rivalry week is almost certain to be one of those occasions.

Just a heads up, I am coming off my worst season yet with a 26-32-1 record. So follow at your own peril. On the slightly brighter side, I am now 86-87-2 over the past three seasons and am determined to get my career record above .500 with a big season.

What preparations did I make over the summer to achieve my goal?

I gallivanted across Europe in search of life experiences, attended weddings, covered the Tim Donaghy scandal, studied a little college here and there, and all the while tried to keep up with corporate demands. But I am not afraid. Last year I spent so much time poring over college football preview magazines I was reciting offensive schemes in my sleep and look where it got me. After a little self-refresher course, it’s all coming back to me and I’m ready for a new season.

I welcome your comments each week and I think I’ve just decided I’ll post the best comment I get each week in my next column. My email is listed below, so don’t be shy and drop me a line.

Good luck to you and me. 

Florida State vs. Clemson (+3 ½, 45 ½)

The Bowden Bowl just isn’t the same Bowden Bowl without Jeff Bowden. 

Ha ha ha! Just kidding. It’s still the Bowden Bowl only now the ‘Noles have the possibility of generating some offense. Last year they managed just 204 yards against Clemmy, which pretty much highlights the story of their offense for the past few years. Jeff's replacement, new offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, won’t get a honeymoon period with this game carrying so many implications on and off the field. Even the Bowdens aren’t making any family-related jokes this year.

Both teams need a win here and I’m going to go against my better judgment of taking the home dog.

Pick: Florida State

Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame (-2, 45)

Holy Touchdown Jesus. I was surprised to see this line when it came out. 

No Brady. No Samardzija. No Darius Walker. The Golden Domers have their work cut out for them and I’m not sure they should be favored here.

Then again the Bumble Bees are breaking in a new QB themselves and have said goodbye to the best receiver in college football last year, Calvin Johnson.

What it all adds up to is this game is likely going to make us puke again. Last year this matchup was one of the sloppiest, most boring games of the season in which the Irish were lucky to scrape out a 14-10 victory as 7-point favorites.

Pick: Georgia Tech

Tennessee vs. California (-6, 54 ½)

One of the weirder stories of the preseason comes out of Berkeley where a group of "Tree People" have occupied a tree near Memorial Stadium since December in protest of a planned performance athletic center that will go there.

Perhaps even weirder is that Cal is favored by six points in this matchup. They are jacked to avenge last season’s embarrassing opening loss in Knoxville, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to waltz to victory.

Tennessee may have lost a few on defense but the Vols will still be nasty. And as long as Erik Ainge’s banged up pinky doesn’t affect him too much, they should be able to put up some points. A more experienced and potentially explosive Cal team won’t get rolled over like last year, but a victory by a touchdown is asking a lot.

Pick: Tennessee

Colorado State vs. Colorado (-2 ½, 45 ½)

I’ve been peeing my pants waiting for this one since February. Know why?

“It’s Division 1 football! It’s the Big 12!” 

And if you don’t like it, you can go watch intramurals, brother … go watch intramurals.

Greatest press conference ever, Dan Hawkins. For that reason alone I’m taking your Buffs this weekend.

Pick: Colorado 

Jon Campbell is the senior editor for Covers.com and he watches and wagers on enough college football to make any degenerate proud. You can reach him at jon@covers.com.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

            share   SHARE   rss   RSS FEED   email   EMAIL   print   PRINT
Hide All Responses
avatar

Posted by teabag69
7 years ago

OK, the long and winding road that is the forst week is closing. Solid day - yest I would love Auburn to get off their a-- at some point toinight. Nonetheless, some good winners, the Stoli's is flowing, my Tide won, and my Wolverines are toast without having to lose to Ohio State again... AM: (L) Tampa Bay (W) Mets (L) Colorado St. (W) Wyoming (W) UConn (W) BC (W) Nebraska (W) Wisconsin (W) WVU (W) GA Tech (W) UCLA PM: (L) Phillies (f'ing assholes. where are all those Philly boys. cant close otu Florida? please....) (W) Akron Auburn ??? My big plays were Wisc. WVU, Neb, Ga Tech (what a great line!) and UCLA. Why I even f'cked with the Phils is beyonfd me. Anyway - hope everyone is cashing and as always let's keep sharing the input. Anyone need a shot?? The bartender is in...
avatar

Posted by RAIFORD
7 years ago

HEY GUYS SO FAR 5-2 STRAIGHT. 3 GAMES PENDING TCU -21 (GAME OF THE WEEK!! WON) AS DID 4 OF 5 'MAIN PLAYS' 1 3 TEAM TEASER WON 2 4 TEAM TEASERS WON 1 4 TEAM PARLAY WON 2 TEASERS STILL 'PENDING' 3 SIDES 'PENDING' GUYS THIS IS WEEK ONE (VERY TOUGH WEEK) BY WEEK 3 WE WILL BE HAMMERING THE 'BOOKS' !!! WITH A PICK FORMAT LIKE MY FIRST, (I WOULD NEVER GIVE OUT SO MANY GAMES IN MY PACKAGE!! THE GUYS WHO ARE PAID KNOW HOW MY SYSTEM WORKS) I HOPE I HELPED A FEW OF YOU OUT ON THIS SITE.... AS I SAID I POST ON COVERS BUT AT http://www.covers.com/articles/articles.aspx?theArt=146432 WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A FANTAISC YEAR!! CHECK OUT THE LINK TO THE OTHER SITE TO SEE MY PICKS SINCE THE START OF THE NFL PRESEASON.. AGAIN PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME ANYTIME. I HAVE A SOURCE FOR NCAA TTHAT IS UNREAL, I GET GREAT INFO AND PLAY THE SAME PICKS I GIVE.... GL TO ALL!!
avatar

Posted by spliquid
7 years ago

I'd take that killer.
avatar

Posted by killer27
7 years ago

usc over 44 ...good?
avatar

Posted by killer27
7 years ago

new
avatar

Posted by RAIFORD
7 years ago

HI GUYS MY MAIN POSTS ARE ALWAYS AT: http://www.covers.com/articles/articles.aspx?theArt=146432 YOU CAN LOOK AT MY WHOLE RECORD FOR NFLX AND THE FIRST WEEK IN NCAAF! YOU CAN CONTACT ME FOR REGULAR SEASON PACKAGES. I GIVE 100% PERSONILIZED SERVICE! ALL INFO AT THAT LINK! OR RAYSRIPPERS@HOTMAIL.COM LAST OF SATURDAY PICKS: Kansas State+13 (WE WILL TRY TO WIN BOTH WAYS , WITH THE AUB. TEASER!) Toledo +6 New MEX. -3(Play Against - Home underdogs (UTEP) - terrible rushing team from from last season - averaged 100 or less rushing yards/game. (32-8 over the last 10 seasons.) (80%, +23.2 units.). The straight up record of the team this system pertains to is : (37-4 over the last 10 seasons.). The average line posted in these games was: Team favored by 12.8. The average score in these games was: Team 35.4, Opponent 13.3 (Average point differential = +22.2). The number of games in which this system covered the spread by 7 or more points was 23) Tennessee +7 (Cal is good but Tennessee is good enough to keep this very close. ) Kan st,@ Aub. UNDER 45 TOP 4 TEAMS PLAY STRAIGHT. TEASE A 12 PT. 4 TEAMER WITH TOLEDO NEW MEX TENN KAN. ST @ AUB. UNDER GOOD LUCK GUYS!! FEEL FREE TO GET IN CONTACT ANYTIME!!
avatar

Posted by RAIFORD
7 years ago

SATURDAYS 'FREE!' NCAA PICKS: THIS IS MY LAST FREE POST OF A MAJOR DAY OF FOOTBALL! I AM GIVING YOU GUYS THIS 1ST FULL DAY OF NCAA 'PICKS FREE!! (ALSO LAST CHANCE TO GET EARLY BIRD PRICE ON PACKAGES!! BECAUSE OF THE HOLIDAY I WILL EXTENED THE 'EARLY BIRD' PRICES TO TUESDAY!! JUMP ON IT NOW.... EMAIL ME OR GO TO MY WEBSITE www.raysportspix.com FOR PHONE NUMBER TO CALL ME!) SO FAR 4-2 IN NCAA 'FREE PICKS' SATURDAYS NCAA PLAYS: THESE FIRST 4 PLAYS ARE THE STRONGEST OF THE DAY!! OREGON -16.5 ( Kolb for the Houston Cougers is gone to the NFL.. this leaves two inexperinced QB'S for Houston, ALSO THEY ARE PLAYING AT A VERY INTIMADATING stadium. A fired up Altzun stadium in Oregon, (not a good place for two inexperienced QB'S to start their season!) This is a BIG MISMATCH!! as the Ducks also return 7 starters on defense!! plus playing at home with A very loud home crowd!! Ducks ' D' much improved and a big edge at QB LAY THE POINTS FOR A EASY COVER!!) TCU -20.5 (GAME OF WEEK!) Baylor has yet to name a starting QB! very good TCU defense. Baylor gave up over 400 YPG last season. They do return experience but their offense will struggle. TCU is going to control the clock and the Baylor defense will not be able to keep pace. TCU does have to answer some offensive questions but with plenty of 3 and outs for Baylor they will get opportunities and field position to work with. With Texas on deck for TCU they can't afford a let down in week one and will ride their defense to a dominant performance in this contest. AGAIN LAY THE POINTS!! GAME OF THE WEEK!!) PLAY THESE 2 STRAIGHT AND A 2 TEAM PARLAY!! NEXT WE MOVE ON TO UTAH AND B.Y.U. ARIZONA+4.5 (With Beck not playing for B.Y.U anymore as he is now in the NFL. This impact will be huge to B.Y.U. especially vs a very good defense like Arizona that beat BYU SU last season. The Arizona offense was very bad last year but I look for them to take a big step up here in Stoops 4th season as HC. Look for the Arizona defense to be the difference in this match-up ) GA. TECH +1 ( No more Brady Quinn for THE iRSH! also ga. tech returns 8 starters of a very good Defensive that hel Quinn to only 14 pts. last year!! also Coach Weiss has not even named a starter at QB as of this post!! Norte Dame is not going to be very good this year, amd they will open with a big 'L' on Saturday! the wrong team is favored , as 'Tech ' wins this staright up!) PLAY THESE 2 STRAIGHT, AS YOU WOULD THE FIRST 2 TEAMS , I RECCOMEND A 2 TEAM PARLAY HERE ALSO.. FEEL FREE TO MIX ANY OF THE TOP 4 TEAMS HERE FOR A 'SMALL' TEASER OR PARLAY OF YOUR CHOICE!! THESE NEXT TEAMS ARE 3 STRONG 'DOG' PLAYS, BUT I WANT YOU TO PLAY THEM ALL STRAIGHT FOR ABOUT HALF THE AMOUNT YOU WILL BET ON THE TOP 4! ! AND A 4 TEAM 12 PT. TEASER!! OAK ST +6 ( OSU HAS 8 starters returning, including their QB. if they do not win this SU. it will be a close affair with in a Felid Goal) WYOMING +3.5 ( Wyoming has ALOT TO PROVE THEM SELFS in this game! not only did they lose to Virginia by 1 pt. last year but felt they deserved a Bowl bid!! Virginia still has a good 'D' but ranks 111 in NCAA Offense. The Cowboys have a huge motivational edge here!!) WAKE FOREST +6 (Wake not getting much respect and return most of their offense. They will face a good BC defense but I will grab the points in what I expect to be a close lower scoring game.) WAKE FOR. @ BOSTON COL. UNDER 44 (The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Wake Forest's last 6 games ) (USE THIS TOTAL IN THE 4 TEAM 12 PT TEASER ONLY!) I WILL HAVE A FEW MORE PLAYS THAT I WILL POST AS I GET THE INFO. CHECK BACK A FEW TIMES THROUGH OUT SATURDAY!! MAY BE 1 MORE 'VERY STRONG PLAY' ALSO!! AS ALWAYS GOOD LUCK!! RAIFORD HI GUYS I HAVE 1 MORE VERY STRONG PLAY AND 2 DIFFRENT TEASERS! IOWA -12.5 (Northern Illinois offense has become depleted this year, and without a star running back such as Garrett Wolfe, The QB may find it much harder to get the ball into his receivers hands. Northern Illinois used their great rushing attack to open up the passing game, and they have no stars in the backfield this year to speak of. Their QB Nicholson is suspect, as he has only started 5 games, and none of them were that impressing. The offensive line only has 1 senior on it this year, and must replace replace Doug Free, a three time ALL-MAC pick. In a nutshell the offense looks pretty weak this year for N.Illinois. The defense on the other hand may be their upside, HOWEVER, this matchup with Iowa intrigues me because the defense line lacks any proven run stoppers, and with Iowa having two powerful running backs in Albert Young and Damian Sims they could wear out this N.Illinois defense line by the 2nd quarter. Christensen the QB for Iowa is an average quarterback with soft arm, but he knows the offense and the passing game will open with the solid RB's they have. Iowa's defense is returning alot of players, but it is hard to say if that is a good thing or not. Iowa's defense was dissappointing against big opponents, but today they should have the experience and toughness to beat a week offensive team such as N.Illionis. Normally I believe this like would be at the very least 2 touchdowns, but because of Iowa's dissappointing last couple of years when they were supposedly going to be a powerhouse, the books know bettors have started fading Iowa in the past. I think in this matchup there is a clear edge with Iowa, and I am sure they have something to prove after dissappointing their fans, and themselves with mediocre previous 3 seasons.) PLAY IA STRAIGHT. 3 TEAM 10 PT TEASER: TENN UCLA NEW MEX. 4 TEAM 12 PT TEASER: IOWA TCU MIZ AUB 4 TEAM 12 PT TEASER UCONN WAKE UNDER TCU UNDER OAK. ST THAT DOES IT FOR TODAY!! IN A PAID SITUAITON YOU WOULD GET GET SOMETHING CLOSE TO MY FIRST POST, I GO FOR QUALITY NOT QUANITY!! BUT THESE TEASERS WILL MAKE $$ GOOD LUCK !! PACKAGES AVAILABLE ALL SEASON LONG!! CONTACT ME ANYTIME WWW.RAYSPORTSPIX.COM OR RAYSRIPPERS@HOTMAIL.COM THANKS GUYS IT HAS BEEN FUN!!
avatar

Posted by spliquid
7 years ago

As of now I have Akron and Oklahoma. I'm still thinking about the Auburn game. I heard there's a lot of rain in that area and in the OKLA ST/GA game. I'm going to wait on those. I think I like Cal, revenge is on their mind. They will want to make a statement after being down 35-0 at the half last year. I'm going to look in a little bit to see if there is anything else I like. You see anything else?
avatar

Posted by teabag69
7 years ago

It looks like the Badgers are waking up a little bit Liquid. GA Tech and Wyoming were such solid plays today. UCLA and nebraska need to keep it up. I guess we're on opp sides of WV/WMU. Tonight I took Akron and Auburn. Laid off Cal / Tenn. What you do?
avatar

Posted by PlatinumParlay
7 years ago

Halftime Update: Mizzou 23, Illini 6 Maybe next time y'all will believe me. PS: Illini's only points came off a blocked punt returned for a TD
avatar

Posted by spliquid
7 years ago

The Badgers have screwed up their special teams twice on punts. Yeah I saw the end of the Colorado game, you should of had it.
avatar

Posted by teabag69
7 years ago

yeah I should have put mor eon the pokes, colorado state ended up losing by 3, colorado got a big 2-point conversion. Need nebraska and the badgers to get going...
avatar

Posted by spliquid
7 years ago

Good start for Wyoming Tea
avatar

Posted by spliquid
7 years ago

There was too much emotion with that game so I stayed away.
avatar

Posted by teabag69
7 years ago

good call mstudio. i liked ecu but not enough to pull the trigger...
avatar

Posted by mstudio
7 years ago

Took ECU to cover and are they ever. VT offense has horrible lineman that just cannot stop ECU rush, LOL.
avatar

Posted by spliquid
7 years ago

Alright my card, as insane as its gotten now is: Earlier (posted in MLB): Miami Nebraska Wyoming Wisconsin Western Michigan Akron Oklahoma UCLA Iowa
avatar

Posted by PlatinumParlay
7 years ago

Here is my card: West Virginia -11.5 Auburn -1 Min -1 Cal +6 __________ West Virginia -11.5 Wash St +27.5 GTech +13 Mizzou +7 ____________ Mizzou Over 31 ____________ Mizzou -230 ____________ Mizzou -6 __________ Wyoming +3
avatar

Posted by mstudio
7 years ago

They SUCK!!!!!!!!!!
avatar

Posted by mstudio
7 years ago

I don't know who the so-called EXPERTS are to place Virginia Tech rankung as 9th. Thier Offense is HORRENDOUS
avatar

Posted by teabag69
7 years ago

Nebraska UCLA WVU Ga Tech Wisconsin And I added BC. Earlier I played Colorado St., Wyoming, and UConn. Tonight I like Akron and Auburn. I always do a lot of games week 1. Good luck all. Good start for you so far Tristans...
avatar

Posted by TRISTANS
7 years ago

I don't usually brag about myself but I am very good a picking college ball. Last year, I won over 10G's. This year I am up 4G with wins on Rutgers, LSU, Tulsa and Navy under 53. Todays best plays are Georgia Tech (returning 17 starters from last season) moneyline if available Wake forest (returning 12 starters from last season) +6 (I'd tease this also by adding 6 points!!) West Virginia H- 12 Texas over 53 Good Luck to all
avatar

Posted by RAIFORD
7 years ago

HI GUYS GO TO: http://www.covers.com/articles/articles.aspx?theArt=146432 I HAVE BEEN POSTING MY FREE NFLX PICKS THERE ALL PRESEASON. EVERYONE IS UP $$ I AN GIVING THE 1ST WEEK IN NCAA BALL TOTALLY FREE!! CHECK IT OUT FOR FREE PRO CAPPER PICKS!! REAL PACKAGE INFO IS AVALIABLE ON THE SITE!! ALL PREMIUM PLAYS POSTED TODAY, CHECK IT OUT IF YOUR HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU SEE CONTACT ME AT: RAYSRIPPERS@HOTMAIL.COM GOOD LUCK TODAY!! THIS WILL BE MY LAST MAJOR FREE POST!!!
avatar

Posted by Domony
7 years ago

Look closer to the post on GT /ND.The under is the play in that game neither team has QBs Techs big reciever is gone.And ND brings back 5 ot 6 seniors on Defense.$5 way to high for week 1
avatar

Posted by OneEyedTiger
7 years ago

Last year I had a 10 team parlay that would had paid over 300,000 (not kidding). Went 9-1 with the only loss WEST VIRGINIA. A last minute field goal by (if I remember correctly) Syracuse stopped the only chance I had last year of hitting a 10 teamer for the first time. Since then, W.V. is the only team I will not touch. GL to all.......
         1   2    next page    last page
You are currently not logged in.
Login | Signup | Help
You must be logged in to post a comment.

Top Response

Posted by nc1capper
7 years ago

"I like the home pup here,,lets let the nole lovers drink the kool aid,,move the number to 3.5 or 4 and then jump on the tigers- looks like the heavy chalk is the way to roll so far"