LEO’S LOSERS : WEEK 1

By Leo Haggerty

Are you ready for some football?  I know I am so it’s time for the first edition of  Leo’s Losers.  Yeah, I know, you have had this day circled since you put the 2016 calendar on the fridge.  Well, it’s September 3rd and lets get to it.   

So, just for laughs as usual, let’s throw in a monetary figure alongside my picks. Strictly for entertainment purposes only, mind you.

Every week I’ll wager $150 on LEO’S LOCK. Put a $100 each on the five LEO’S LOSERS and $50 on all of LEO’S OTHERS.  We’re only dealing with the money line, and that’s just picking the winner with no point spread, which pays less if team is a favorite and more if it’s an underdog. So, if the favorite wins in the $150 range, you make $100 and, if the underdog prevails, you get $200.  And you lose the contrasting amount if you make a wrong prediction.  If the favorite loses you drop $200 and if the underdog goes down you lose $100 and so on down the list.

Let’s put some parameters on my picks because anyone can pick Hawaii to lose to Michigan. To make it easier for you to follow, the point spread is in parenthesis and the home team is capitalized. Here are the rules :

1-Must pick all NCAA and NFL games involving a Florida team unless there is no line which means, for all intents and purposes, that they’re playing the Good Sisters of the Poor.

2-Any other game the point spread, which is the + number if they’re getting points or the – number if they’re giving points, must be under 10 for the favorite.  Spread  can be any amount of points if choosing the underdog.

LEO’S LOCK

AUBURN (+8) loses to Clemson

There is one simple rule for this one in the “Battle of the Tigers” at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  If Clemson QB Deshaun Watson takes the first snap and the last snap, the Tigers from the foothils of South Carolina take the first step toward returning to the National Championship game in Tampa.  HC Gus Malzahn, who is on the hot seat at Auburn, will have his Tigers from the plains of Alabama ready but the won’t be able to match Clemson point-for-point.  Tigers 48-31 in a shoot-out. 

LEO’S LOSERS

BOSTON COLLEGE (+3) loses to Georgia Tech

My question is why a conference game in the opener?  I sure as heck wouldn’t want that but I guess BU and Tech were OK with it.  Like they had a choice, right?  Look for the Ramblin’ Wreck to go to Chestnut Hill and carve out a close win over the Eagles.  Yellowjackets 24-20.

Missouri (+9 1/2) loses to WEST VIRGINIA

Missouri has a new HC in Barry Odom.  They are coming off a seaon filled with injuries and off-the-field controvery.  The Tigers have to travel to Morgantown to play the Mountaineers.  Three strikes and Mizzou is out.  West Virginia 42-20 in a romp. 

Notre Dame (-3 1/2) loses to TEXAS

Longhorns HC Charlie Strong is on the hottest seat in NCAA Division 1 football.  Just understand this.  He had to do some major housecleaning when he arrived in Austin and the losing seasons did not sit well with UT faithful.  In fact, he may have been out the door last year if not for the victory over arch-rival Oklahoma.  Texas must win big this season and, you would think, Notre Dame is not the season-opener you want.  But, HC Brian Kelly has spent more time as judge as well as jury than as a football coach this fall and the Irish are ripe for an upset.  ‘Horns come through 27-24 with a late field goal.

FLORIDA STATE (-4 1/2) loses to Mississippi

It’s SEC versus ACC in Orlando.  The big difference in this game will be at signal-caller.  Ole Miss starting a proven quantity in Chad Kelly and FSU going with redhirt freshman Deondre Francois.  The Rebel defense will welcome the kid to big-time college football and it won’t be a pretty indoctrination.  Seminole RB Dalvin Cook should have a big day but it’s won’t be enough to offset inexperienced QB play.  Mississippi 30-27.

GEORGIA (-3) loses to North Carolina 

UNC loaded for bear on offense.  Georgia has a new HC in Kirby Smart.  Bulldog fans and media ran HC Mark Richt out of town because he could only win 10 games.  UGA has RB Nick Chubb and he’ll keep it close.  UGA, get ready for a looooong season and it starts this weekend.  North Carolina comes to Athens and dops the hammer on the ‘Dogs.  Tar Heels 49-42 in a track meet 

 LEO’S OTHER

New Mexico State (+9) loses to UNIVERITY OF TEXAS-EL PASO

KENTUCKY (-6 1/2) loses to Southern Mississippi

Massachusetts (+37) loses to FLORIDA

San Jose State (+5) loses to TULSA

Lousiana State (-11) loses to WISCONSIN

Northern Illinios (+9) loses to WYOMING

Brigham Young (+2 1/2) loses to ARIZONA

ALABAMA (-12) loses to Southern California 

Western Michigan (+4 1/2) loses to NORTHWESTERN

NORTH TEXAS (+9 1/2) loses to Southern Methodist