College picks: Gators not likely to play nice

Normally, the most anticipated game of the season isn't one that most expect to be over by the start of the second quarter. And yet Tennessee-Florida might be the game of the week.

Frankly, I think a lot of this has been overrated. I mean, all Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin did was guarantee in his introductory news conference that they would beat Florida, and later accuse coach Urban Meyer of cheating.

OK, now that I wrote that, it does actually sound pretty bad.

Smartly, Kiffin is trying to stave off a beat-down this week by praising Florida as hard as he can.

"I would think they're the most talented defense ever to play," he said. "And (they have) probably the best quarterback (Tim Tebow) to ever play college football."

Kiffin later referred to Meyer as "more handsome than George Clooney" and Gainesville as "the original site for the Garden of Eden."

Maybe Tennessee shows up and shocks the world by losing by single digits. Not likely. Honestly, the only way this is close is if Meyer either decides to be the bigger man - which he didn't do last year against Georgia - or is looking down the road at having to play Tennessee when it has more talent.

Given that Meyer might be looking at Notre Dame or the NFL, don't count on it.

The line started at 25, and by Thursday was up to 29.5. Unless it gets up to 40, we'll take the Gators.

Florida Atlantic at South Carolina (-21): Remember how last week I told everyone to bet their life savings on the under on the USC-Georgia game? Well, um, sorry As for this week, USC's defense is softer up the middle than Homer Simpson, and blowouts have been few and far between for the Gamecocks the past few years. But hey, why start now with the common sense thing? Pick: USC covers.

Boston College at Clemson (-6.5): BC's past three coaches have been named O'Brien, Jagodzinski and Spaziani. That leaves two more New York City boroughs to hire from. Pick: Clemson covers.

Georgia at Arkansas (-1): An Arkansas paper this week said that Georgia QB Joe Cox "will not beat Arkansas with his physical skills." What, does he think Cox plans to use Jedi mind tricks? Pick: Georgia wins.

Louisville at Kentucky (-13.5): Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe said he "wakes up every night" thinking about his 0-2 record against Kentucky. Meanwhile, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks wakes up every night because, well, he's 68 years old. Pick: Kentucky covers.

The rest:

Mississippi State covers, but Vanderbilt (-9) wins . . . Virginia Tech (-4.5) covers against Nebraska. . . . Auburn (-7) covers against West Virginia. . . . BYU (-7) covers against Florida. State. . . . North Carolina (-10) covers against East Carolina. . . . Kansas covers against Duke (-22). . . . Virginia covers, but Southern Miss (-16) wins. . . . North Texas covers, but Alabama (-38) wins. . . . Maryland covers against Middle Tennessee (-6.5) . . . Louisiana-Lafayette (-26) covers, but LSU wins.

Last week: 9-6 vs. spread, 13-2 overall. Season: 16-14 vs. spread, 26-4 overall.