First dead-bolt  lock of the year:

THE GAME: TENNESSEE giving 20 vs. Appalachian State

THE PICK: Tennessee, 20-13 (OT)

THE COMMENT:  You can email Jersey Guy at and he will confirm I told him early this week I wished our first Pick 3 Friday games could have included Thursday night’s game in Knoxville. Because Rankman would have picked App State, not to win, but to easily cover.

Jersey Guy pushed back on my wild-haired notion because he had spoken with Tony Barnhart, Mr. College Football, who assured him highly-ranked Tennessee was ready to play. After the game Tony B. amended that prediction to “I was wrong.”

I told Jersey Guy that Appalachian State, which shocked Michigan on Sept. 1 in 2007, was a good team that was predicted by many to win the Sun Belt.

Oh well, I can only hope my instincts hold up on my weekend choices (the ones that count), to be revealed below.

My three games this week are Clemson-Auburn, UCLA-Texas A&M and Florida State-Mississippi, I’ll also have a bonus pick with an over-under line I think is WAY too low. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.