Rankman & Son got off to a solid Lawrence Welk start, going 3-2-1 as a first-weekend tag team. Rankman was bitterly let down by bible-thumbing Liberty’s inability to score a single point against Syracuse, which really puts you in a tough-spot in any “over” pick scenario. Liberty had me halfway sold on its quest to become the evangelical football equals to Catholic Notre Dame and Mormon BYU. But the zealots handed me a big zero as coach Hugh Freeze hummed “How Great We Weren’t’” from his hospital bed. As the good book says: forgive and forget, turn the other cheek, but we’re done with Liberty as an apparatus for pigskin prognostication.
Father Knows Bets
Nebraska (-3.5) at COLORADO.
Wait a mile-high minute. Colorado won at Nebraska last year with a squad that closed with seven straight losses. Rankman is impressed with new CU coach Mel Tucker, formerly of Georgia, and thinks Colorado can surprise a few people starting with Nebraska.
The Pick: Colorado
Arkansas State (+1.5) at Nevada Las Vegas
Rankman ventures deep into the weeds for this golden nugget but thinks UNLV at home will avenge (and cover) last year’s heartbreaking loss at Ark State.
The Pick: UNLV
North Texas at SOUTHERN METHODIST (73)
Rankman looks at this high-velocity game and sees the best Little Score-House in Texas. North Texas is 1-24 all-time against SMU in Dallas but who cares so long as the Mean Green puts up 40?
The Pick: Over
Army (+22) at MICHIGAN.
Son thinks Uncle Sam’s ability to shorten games with time-sustaining drives can keep this a relatively low-scoring game. Need proof? Army’s two touchdowns against Rice last week consumed 34 plays, 191 yards and nearly 19 minutes of game clock.
The pick: Army
LSU (-7) at TEXAS
Son says, yeah, he saw squirrel-derby LSU score 55 last week against Georgia Southern with that new “spread” offense all the kids are playing today. Son also saw Texas clobber top-drawer SEC (Georgia) in a bowl game last year.
The pick: Texas
Nevada at OREGON (61.5)
Son says Oregon will be loaded for Wolfpack after blowing last week’s opener against Oregon, while Nevada was good enough on offense to beat Purdue.
The pick: Over
Season record: 3-2-1
Last week: Rankman (1-1-1), Son (2-1)