VETTEL'S PICKS: Larry Likes Florida, Tennesse

Winners never quit and quitters never win. It is with that philosophy that I have decided I will see this season through no matter the humiliation. No matter the failure. No matter the incompetence. I shall be delivered from my miserable slump. I gotta keep telling myself that.

Actually despite my worst ever week (3-9!) I am right at .500 for the season picking with the spread. That apparently miserable number leaves me ahead of a number of national pundits who are sub-.500 even though they only pick five or six of their first choice games each week. Meanwhile I try to take the 12 most important/significant games in college football relative to the SEC and the State of Florida.

With that pile of rationalization fertilizing the rest of this column here is my latest attempt at figuring out what football Saturday will have for us.

Wisconsin (minus 20-½) over Illinoize: The Illini had two weeks to prepare for Penn State and trailed 56-to-3 at the half. This one will be closer. But that ain't saying much. Wisconsin 42-10

Utah State (plus 34-½) over Alabama: This game should not be taking place. But here's a guess the struggling 'Bama offense does not put too many on the board. Alabama 35-6

North Texas State (plus 43-½) over LSU: LSU will score more but probably get bored on defense eventually. LSU 52-11

Northwestern (plus 3-½) over Michigan: Wolverines seem to play a pretty good team every week. Northwestern's offense looks like Urban Meyer would like Florida's to. Wildcats at home trying to go 6-2 and I like their chances. Northwestern 35-34

Ohio State (minus 3-½) at Minnesota: Similar game to the Michigan matchup with Northwestern. So I'll try the other approach and go with the traditional team with the better defense. Ohio State 20-10

Georgia Tech (minus 3-½) over Clemson: Two of the most unpredictable teams in the country go head to head and the losing coach is going to have some issues to contend with. I'm going with Tech because Chan Gailey is an ex-Gator and Tommy Bowden is a current Bowden. Georgia Tech 28-24

Miami (minus 20-½) over North Carolina: Tar Heels defense played great in beating Virginia 7-5, but Miami is another level altogether. I wish the Canes and Virginia Tech could play right away. Miami 24-0

Mississippi State (minus 1-½) over Kentucky: If college football were produce, this game would be steamed brussel sprouts. If college football were a sitcom, this would be "Joanie Loves Chachi." If college football were a vacation this game would be a trip to "The World's Largest Ball of Yarn." If college football were a movie, this game would be "Soylent Green. If this game was a 70's group it would be "The Starland Vocal Band." For those who watch the latest installment of the Rich Brooks farewell tour it certainly won't be afternoon delight. Mississippi State 6-2

Ole Miss (plus 21-½) over Auburn: Auburn had a tough loss last week, missing five field goals along the way. Gotta think they'll be somewhat less than their best, and Ole Miss has a decent defense. Auburn 27-13

Florida State (minus 17-½) over Maryland: This is a big game for Ralph Friedgen while FSU edges closer to wrapping up a spot in the ACC Title game. FSU 30-10

South Carolina (plus 14-½) over Tennessee: The Head Ball Coach has his hands full trying to go forward without Syvelle Newton. Fortunately, he has a great freshman receiver in Sidney Rice who has almost caught as many touchdown passes (9) as the University of Florida (10). Plus, Tennessee has a lot of trouble scoring points (16.3/g). Tennessee 20-14

Georgia (plus 4-½) over Florida: I would have picked Georgia, and possibly big with a healthy D.J. Shockley. But the Dawgs are without their main guy and Joe Tereshinski III can't do most of the things Shockley can. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think this week's offense will be a dramatic improvement on what we've seen to this point and that gives Florida the edge it needs. Florida 20-17

Keep those emails coming!

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

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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