And no, I'm not going to make a Tony Montana joke here, although I was in Fort Lauderdale yesterday for work and couldn't help but hum the Scarface soundtrack for the entire day. I have few talents in this world and it turns out that simulating a synthesizer isn't one of them. Who knew? Anyway, thanks to I'm a Realist, we have lines for the weekend. Often, the first weekend of the year is the best time to make money since knowledge of the teams is so imperfect and a fan who has been paying attention in the off-season can take advantage of the unwashed masses and their over-reliance on how a team ended last season. Here are the lines that jump out at me:
Bowling Green (+2.5) at Wisconsin - the Badgers are not going to be very good this year and Bowling Green seems like the kind of team against which Wisconsin will have a hard time keeping up, scoring-wise. Forget the fact that they ended last year so cold; Wiscy is replacing almost everything on their offensive and defensive lines. Maybe I'm getting too caught up in the Omar Jacobs hype, but this line screams to me: "We think Bowling Green is going to win, but we don't want to insult Wisconsin by making them an underdog on their home field against a MAC team."
Notre Dame (+3) at Pitt - Notre Dame was about as good as Pitt last year and received a better coaching upgrade than the Panthers did. Assuming that Wannstedt has his usual constipatory effects on the offense and Weis has the Notre Dame offense humming, the Irish should take care of business and make the Michigan-Notre Dame game a little more enticing. Also, homefield is overrated in this game because the crowd will be about 40% Notre Dame fans.
Georgia (-7) vs. Boise State - This will distress HeismanPundit greatly, but there are a host of reasons to take the Dawgs in this game:
1. Mark Richt has lost one home game in the past three years. Only five teams have stayed within one score of the Dawgs over that time period.
2. Since cross-country travel apparently turns finely-tuned athletes into stumbling drunken idiots (hence HP's argument that even if SEC teams play good out-of-conference opponents, they don't travel far enough to do so,) Boise State will not be able to snap the ball without incident, let alone play against vastly superior athletes. On a serious note, it's going to be pretty hot and humid in Athens on Saturday.
3. September 1, 2001 - South Carolina 32 Boise State 13 (and USC famously played poorly in openers under Lou Holtz because he liked to sandbag future opponents.)
4. September 7, 2002 - Arkansas 41 Boise State 14.
5. Phil Steele says that Georgia is going to roll.