The sure pick: Clowney won't win Heisman
If ever I thought a defensive lineman might win the Heisman Trophy, this was the season. South Carolina’s Jadveon Clowney entered 2013 as one of the favorites. The folks at ESPN, who steer Heisman races the way a jockey steers a racehorse, were all over him, spitting out accolades and showing that one x-rated film clip of Clowney de-helmeting someone over and over and over.
So here we are, eight games into the season and guess where Clowney ranks in tackles? Try 11th. Not in the nation. Not in the SEC. Clowney ranks 11th on the South Carolina Gamecocks. He has a grand total of two sacks.
He is big and he is fast. He looks like an All-Pro. He has not played like one. What’s really amazing is that opposing teams are going right at him. Missouri did it last Saturday night.
We were told before the season he was the no-brainer first pick of the 2014 draft. I am not so sure.
I do know this, if he is going to be the first pick of the draft, he has to pick it up. And that would start Saturday when Mississippi State goes to South Carolina.
Too bad he won’t be matched against State guard Gabe Jackson. That would be a treat. The guess here is that Jackson would push him around the way he has everyone else he has faced. State vs. South Carolina is another matter. The Gamecocks, coming off an overtime victory over previously undefeated Missouri, are an 11-point favorite. If the Bulldogs play the way they did in a lackluster victory over Kentucky that’s about right.
My pick: South Carolina 27, State 17.
I was 9-1 last week, missing only South Carolina’s overtime win over Missouri. For the season the record is now 69-24 for 74.2 percent.
Marshall 48, Southern Miss 13 — Oddsmakers have made Marshall a 28-point favorite. Sadly, that’s not enough.
Auburn 27, Arkansas 13 — Is Auburn for real? Depends on your definition, but the Tigers are much better than Arkansas.
Missouri 24, Tennessee 17 — After a date with Alabama’s cold, calculating, killing machine, the Vols will be glad to get back to playing a mere college team. Meanwhile Bama has a week off so that Nick Saban can work the Crimson Tide into a tizzy for LSU.
Georgia 24, Florida 17 — Read somewhere where Will Muschamp is coaching for his job at Florida. Good thing they have a lot of money in Gatorville.
North Carolina 31, North Carolina State 20 — The only guy who needed a victory worse than Southern Miss last week might have been former Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora who was 1-5 and losing fans fast. He got it in a big way, 34-10, over Boston College. He gets two in a row this week.
Florida State 31, Miami 10 — Miami not nearly as good as we were led to believe.
Florida Atlantic 27, Tulane 26 — The Green Wave, 6-2, is bowl eligible and an underdog to lowly Florida Atlantic? I guess the oddsmakers figure Tulane is overdue to lose. They are probably right.
Michigan State 31, Michigan 28 — Here we’ve two one-loss teams who love to hate each other. The home team has won the last five meetings and this one’s at East Lansing.
Saints 31, New York Jets 24 — The 4-4 Jets have gone win-loss-win-loss-win-loss-win-loss, which means, well you know what it means. The Jets are 3-1 this season at the Meadowlands. All signs point to a Jets victory in this Ryan vs. Ryan matchup. So? We’re talking Drew Brees here.