The Predictions: Could the Bucs lose to a bye week?

by Gary Shelton on October 6, 2018 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, Florida State University, general, NFL, University of Florida, USF

Saturday, 3 a.m.

This just in. The Bucs are a three-point underdog to "bye" this week. I'm not sure they can cover.

Here's the thing you fear about an open date. By its very description, the receivers are always open. Heck, think of this as the fifth open date that the cornerbacks have had all season. A "bye" week. It's called that because of what the opposing receivers say as they stream past.

Ha-ha. We laugh because, well, the secondary has played like a joke all season. The running game isn't much better, and the defensive and offensive lines have struggled. The linebackers haven't played up to their reputations, either.

At any rate, the Bucs will spend this week trying not to have flashbacks of the Chicago em-bear-assment. In one afternoon, they carried Mitch Trubisky from being compared to Rex Grossman to him being compared to Dan Marino. You can argue that a quarterback has never improved his q-rating so much in one afternoon.

At any rate, let's hope the Bucs enjoy their week off.

Maybe, they can keep it close.

College football

FSU at Miami: The Seminoles have won two straight, and they're starting to feel good about themselves. But Miami's program is further along than FSU's. FSU struggled last week before coming from behind to upset Louisville (Seminole nation thanks Bobby Petrino).

It should be close for a half, but Miami gets this one.

Prediction: Miami 23, FSU 13.

LSU at Florida: The Gators have won back-to-back SEC games because of the strength of their defense, which already has 14 takeaways. If the Gators keep it up, they have a shot to upset LSU in a close game. After all, it isn't easy for a team to play in the Swamp.

That said, LSU has some game-breakers, too. And the thought here is that they'll break one more than Florida.

Prediction: LSU 17, Florida 16.

USF at UMass: So far, USF is unbeaten, untied and unimpressive. They came from behind to Illinois, Georgia Tech and East Carolina. Now they play a UMass team that coach Charlie Strong says is a good team.

Uh, no, they're not. UMass has given up 55 or more points in three of their last five games, and they're a regular in the bottom 10 rankings. If the Bulls allow UMass to stay close, they should be ashamed of themselves.

Prediction: USF 33, UMass 17.

SMU at UCF: He tried. By golly, he really tried. This week, in trying to prep up an outmatched AAC, UCF coach Josh Heupel tried as hard as he could to talk about the strength of the league.

The thing is, it's hard to let the other AAC teams shine when he keeps turning off their lights. UCF is third in the nation in total offense, and it doesn't figure to have much of a struggle against the Knights.

Prediction: UCF 38, SMU 17.

Old Dominion at FAU: It was only two weeks ago that ODU grabbed the attention of the nation with an upset win over Virginia Tech. Except for that, however, ODU has lost four games (three by a combined 13 points). They don't figure to catch FAU napping, either.

Still, FAU's loss to Middle Tennessee last week shows that the Owls aren't world-beaters either.

Prediction: FAU 3, Old Dominion 2

The NFL

Atlanta at Pittsburgh: The Steelers have troubles. They're trying to trade Le'Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown is the middle of a season-long pout. Still, the Steelers are a good football team. Atlanta will have its hands full, but Matt Ryan should make a play in the fourth quarter for the Falcons to win.

Prediction: Atlanta 20, Pittsburgh 17.

Jacksonville at Kansas City: The entire world is focused on the matchup between the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and an impressive Jacksonville defense. But that might not be the matchup that matters. Blake Bortles isn't great, but he's good enough to take care of a poor Kansas City pass defense.

Prediction: Jacksonville 23, Kansas City 21.

Rams at Seattle: Before they broke up the Legion of Boom, this would have been a nice matchup. But can the Seahawks find a way to slow down Jarad Goff? Maybe not.

Prediction: Los Angelos 24, Seattle 14.

Miami at Cincinnati: The Dolphins are an improved football team. But they aren't good enough to beat the Bengals at home.

Prediction: Cincinnati 28, Miami 24.

Washington at New Orleans: The Saints stubbed their toes against the Bucs, but they've been good since then. Drew Brees is a marvel.

Prediction: New Orleans 30, Washington 21.

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