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By Mike Hlas, The Gazette
It’s been a long time since Hlastradamus was seen in these parts. He spent the off-season taking a twerking class.
But the prophet has returned in time for Week 1 to make some college football prognostication history. That’s the kind of thing you have to do if you ever get the chance. That, and time-traveling.
Hlastradamus says he cannot pick winners against the spread for Northern Iowa-Iowa or North Dakota State-Iowa State because Nevada casinos don’t take action on FCS-FBS games. If it isn’t real to Las Vegas, then it really isn’t real anywhere else. (But the home teams will win.)
Ohio State -15 vs. Navy (in Baltimore). Yeah, Navy has a nice program. Yeah, this is as close to being a home game for the Midshipmen as it can be without the game being played in Annapolis. Yeah, Braxton Miller is a spectator, not a quarterback.
But this is Ohio State. This is Urban Meyer. And this game is being played in the heart of Big Ten Country, Maryland.
Northwestern -10.5 vs. California. Cal’s not good. Cal was 1-11 last year. it lost 55-16 to Oregon, 62-28 to USC, 63-13 to Stanford. It lost 44-30 to Northwestern in Berkeley.
The Golden Bears have lost 16 straight games to FBS teams, and all but two of them by two touchdowns or more. Do you see where this is going?
Wisconsin +4.5 vs. LSU (Houston). It’s a two-game season for the Big Ten. If the Badgers get squashed by LSU and Michigan State falls flat at Oregon next Saturday, the league won’t have anything to hold up for the College Football Playoff Gang of 13 when it comes to strength-of-schedule.
So the Badgers will be playing for an entire conference while LSU is going it alone. Alabama and Auburn and Ole Miss and the rest of them don’t want the Tigers to succeed. The SEC will still be Big Daddy Football if LSU loses.
But picking Wisconsin to cover is a lot different than picking it to win.
Georgia -7.5 vs. Clemson. A good SEC team at home against a good ACC team that isn’t Florida State. That is not a brainteaser.
Temple +13.5 at Vanderbilt. No explanation will be given for this selection. Prophets don’t do Q & As, anyway.