VETTEL: This Week's Winners ... Well, Sorta

Each week this season we've decided to add a weekly college football prediction column. I lost the coin toss, so I get to write it. We'll pick a dozen games each week and hope to get about eight of them right.

To make it more meaningful, interesting and challenging, each game will be picked based on the point spread. Spreads will be adjusted by a half point if necessary so there are no ties. This week's column also includes two games from Thursday night and one played Friday evening. You'll just have to trust me on my picks. The fact I got one of the outright winners wrong lends credence to my honesty … sorta!

Pick along if you wish…. I trust you to be honest, too!

Florida (minus 22 ½) over Wyoming: The Urban Meyer Era begins with a capable, well-coached team that lacks the foot speed to keep up. The Cowboys should have at least some success moving the ball through the air, but not enough to make it close (Florida 42-13)

Miami (minus 3 ½) over FSU: Bobby Bowden starts off 0-2 at Bobby Bowden field as FSU's offensive shortcomings are exposed. Kyle Wright has marginally better success, but it's enough. (Miami 9-2)

UAB (plus 23 ½) over Tennessee: Quarterback Darrell Hackney has plenty of talent around him for the Blazers to make it interesting. Vols defense will be challenged. (Tennessee 38-24)

Georgia (minus 7 ½) over Boise State: The Broncos have won 21 straight regular season games. Well, it was fun while it lasted. They'll have success on offense, but Georgia's offensive line should plow through Boise's defense. (Georgia 47-28)

Illinois (plus 1 ½) over Rutgers: Ron Zook will be hard-pressed to win five games this year, but he's gotta get this one. Look for freshman receiver Derrick McPherson to be one of the nation's top rookies. (Illinoize 20-16)

Notre Dame (plus 3 ½) over Pittsburgh: Pitt won a shootout last year, so let's go with the Irish this time. Notre Dame returns ten starters form a pretty good offense, which is good. They only return three starters on defense but considering their last three opponents scored 120 points, that's probably good, too. New Panthers Coach Dave Wannstedt, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, once again comes up short. (Notre Dame 35-34)

Bowling Green (plus 2 ½) over Wisconsin: Barry Alvarez begins his final season as the Badgers coach. He'll wish he left before facing Urban Meyer's prize recruit, Omar Jacobs. (Bowling Green 28-24)

Arizona (plus 7 ½) over Utah: Utah has sooooo much to replace while Arizona returns ten offensive starters from a team that won two of its last three games. Remember 2004 fondly, Utes. (Arizona 27 - 24)

Hawaii (plus 36 ½) over Southern Cal: June Jones can score points, Jerry Glanville should help the defense. USC has new coordinators… but this pick is all about the points. (Southern Cal 52-27)

Virginia Tech (minus 3 ½) over NC State: Ultra-talented Hokies avenge disappointing home loss from last year. Marcus Vick begins to wow America. (Virginia Tech 34 - 20)

UCF (plus 21 ½) over South Carolina: Steve Spurrier begins life in Columbia with the realization he just doesn't have enough players. Then again, neither does George O'Leary. (South Carolina 21-10)

Vanderbilt (plus 8 ½) over Wake Forest: Wake lost a bunch of close games last year and Jim Grobe is a solid coach. Bobby Johnson is 6-29 at Vandy, but you can't ignore all those points. (Wake Forest 28-27)


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