VETTEL'S PICKS: Larry Likes LSU, Vols, Gators

For my entire career in the media I have downplayed the importance of predictions. My favorite line is, "Predictions are like belly buttons. Everyone has one and nobody knows what to do with it." I prefer analysis, studying matchups and coming up with the keys to the game. So what possessed me to volunteer for a picks column on I'm guessing a combination of boredom and too much to drink … but that's just a guess, I really don't remember how it happened.

The bottom line is, I suck at this! After an impressive 17-7 start, last week I added my first losing mark, 5-7 to the even-money results of the week before.

To be fair I deserved better. I lost the Florida/Kentucky game even though I picked the Gators by 36 and they led by 42 at HALFTIME! I think I should get credit for that one. I also need to spend less time with the ACC, which has cost me several outcomes. I thought about giving up, just quitting. But then I remembered winners never quit, quitters never win. But more importantly, Ray's gonna pay me for it no matter how bad I do!

Twelve To Grow On

Miami (minus 21-½) over South Florida: The Bulls' win over Louisville might well be the shocker of the year, but they haven't had time to come back down. Miami has been alerted. Miami 37-10

Florida State (minus 21-½) over Syracuse: The Orangemen are not all that good, but neither is FSU's offense. It doesn't have to be against his bunch. FSU 34-7

Iowa (minus 18-½) over Illinoize: The Illini were destroyed last week in a game that could completely destroy their confidence. Iowa needs to make a statement. The Illini get destroyed again. Iowa 38-13

Virginia Tech (minus 10-½) over West Virginia: Many pegged the Hokies at the start of the season, and it could be that the Hokies are as good or better than anyone else is. Va. Tech 33-14

Notre Dame (plus 3-½) over Purdue: After seeing the Charlie Weis story about the dying kid how could anyone pick against them? N.D. 27-24

Minnesota (minus 2-½) over Penn State: The Golden Gophers are a high scoring outfit. The unbeaten Lions have not played anyone yet. Joe Pa, meet Laurence Maroney. Minnesota 31-20

Arizona State (plus 16-½) over Southern Cal: The Sun Devils will be home for their biggest game in years … and QB Sam Keller is the real deal … sooner or later I'll get USC figured out. USC 42-31

Vanderbilt (minus 15-½) over Middle Tennessee State: The Commodores need to enjoy it while it lasts … the next four games are LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. Vandy 34-10

Ole Miss (plus 21-½) over Tennessee: The Vols are a lot better than the Rebels are, but it's been a tough week. They played Monday night, traveled afterwards and celebrated awhile after that. Ole Miss played pretty well in battling a darn good Wyoming team. Tennessee 27-16

LSU (minus 14-½) over Mississippi State: Georgia coulda and shoulda scored a lot more against these Dogs. Wounded LSU will be in a lousy mood. LSU 35-17

Auburn (minus 14-½) over South Carolina: The HBC needs players in the worst way. He won't get them this week. Auburn 30-11

Florida (minus 4-½) over Alabama: I can't forget watching the tape and seeing the way Arkansas pushed 'Bama's defensive line around. Gators can't miss tackles against Kenneth Darby. Florida 27-17

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Last Week: 5 right, 7 Brooks, .417

Year to Date: 28 right, 20 Zookers, .583

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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Does the state of Florida have too many college football teams? UCF, FIU, FAU are a combined 1-9.

Then again, Florida, FSU, MIAMI and USF are a combined 12-2.

Keep those emails coming!

Don't forget to email me your questions and comments, but please do not include attachments! My email address is: .

I look forward to you joining me on the radio, Sunday nights from 6:00-to-8:00 on Gainesville's WSKY-FM 97.3 (877/975-9825 toll free)

Have a great week.

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