Last week was a terrible week for a lot of handicappers.
OK, it was a terrible week for me. Is that you wanted to hear? Sorry, I’m upset and I’m lashing out.
Many weeks you can point to a few unlucky losses and wonder whether a play or two could have turned them around.
But that’s a hard sell when you go 4-13.
In truth, LSU fooled around and should have covered for me, and Boise State-Ole Miss definitely would have been over without all the dumb turnovers.
But my other 11 losses? None of them ever had a chance.
I have been known as a slow starter, including last year when I was 39-49 after 8 weeks. But I finished 20 games over .500 for the season.
I offer no excuses and make no apologies. Time to go back to work and get better.
FRIDAY. SEPT. 5
Pittsburgh (minus-4 1/2) at Boston College, 7 p.m., ESPN
Pitt really put a knot on Delaware’s head last week with a 62-0 shellacking. And if that doesn’t convince you that the Panthers are for real, I don’t know what will.
Osborne’s pick: Panthers cover on the road.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 6
Kansas State (minus-12) at Iowa State, noon, Fox Sports 1
The Cyclones got hammered at home last week by North Dakota State out of the FCS, albeit the three-time defending champs down there. Still, this program has been adrift for a while, and Kansas State is ready to pounce.
Osborne’s pick: Wildcats roll by multiple touchdowns.
Southern Methodist (plus-2 1/2) at North Texas, noon, MASN2
Last year, North Texas was one of the top spread-covering teams in the country and I rode the Mean Green a lot. It’s time to get back on the bandwagon for 2014. Last week against noted defensive powerhouse Baylor was only the second time a June Jones-coached team had ever been shut out in 20 years.
Osborne’s pick: North Texas cruises at home.
Navy (minus-3) at Temple, 1 p.m., ESPN3.com
OK, Temple beat an SEC team by 30 points last week. Let that soak in for a minute. OK, moving on. Vanderbilt may have turned back into Vanderbilt, and Temple’s win was a mirage blurred by seven turnovers and ugly uniforms. Navy won’t be intimidated by the Owls.
Osborne’s pick: Anchors aweigh, and then some.
Akron (plus-14 1/2) at Penn State, noon, ABC/ESPN2
Speaking of James Franklin being the coach of the year already, how the heck did he get Vandy to bowl games? Christian Hackenburg is the man here. He’ll do too much damage for Terry Bowden’s Zips to stop.
Osborne’s pick: Roar, Lions, roar.
Georgia Tech (minus-10) at Tulane, 4 p.m., ESPNEWS
The Green Wave were solid at home last season, covering 5 of 7 spreads at the Superdome. With Tech, you either figure out their offense, or you don’t. I don’t think Tulane will shut them down, but I am not sure the Jackets can pull away.
Osborne’s pick: Tulane keeps it close, covers 10.