Since my picks are off to an uncharacteristically slow start -- remember I was 19 games over .500 last season -- I thought I would distract you by rolling out some actual releases I received promoting new uniforms at Maryland, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Let's just say these folks could make a case for Charles Manson as Man of the Year.
From Maryland: "This is more than just a uniform. It's ARMOUR built with years of Maryland PRIDE and football heritage woven into its design and innovation to make the TERPS faster, lighter and ready for battle."
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From Michigan State: "Like the ferocious Spartan warriors of ancient Greece, the Michigan State University football team views every game as a battle, requiring the right equipment and attitude for victory. Echoing the cry of King Leonidas, the back of the collar is inscribed with the words 'Molon Labe,' the Spartans' defiant challenge to the competition to 'come and get them!' Gloves complete the traditional Spartan headdress look. Armed with intensity and determination, MSU will fight on the battlefield until the last team is standing."
From Ohio State: "This uniform acknowledges the dominance of the 1961 team and will deliver an undeniable motivation for the current Buckeyes when they face off against Wisconsin on Oct. 29. While also honoring past Buckeye triumphs, the new Nike Pro Combat system of dress pairs unmatched technology and distinguished design. The integrated uniform system provides enhanced durability and innovation to withstand the hard hits of today's game. With Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding incorporated into the hip and knee areas and Flywire technology in the collar, the OSU uniform's stay-put impact protection will keep players' focus squarely on the next play."
Speaking of the next play, here are this week's plays. If you're just joining us: I have been staked an imaginary bankroll totaling 5,000 Brett Bucks (similar to dollars, but for entertainment purposes only). Each pick is for 50 Brett Bucks, except for the best bets, worth 100 Brett Bucks. Point spreads from Wednesday's USA Today.
LSU at Mississippi State (Thursday): LSU announced it will debut its Nike Pro Combat uniforms next month. The best news about the new uniforms is that QB Jordan Jefferson gets another pair of shoes, giving him 50. Mississippi State +3½
Akron at Cincinnati: Ohio State is located between Akron, about 120 miles to the northeast, and Cincinnati, about 100 miles to the southwest. Both schools say if the wind kicks up just right, you can see the $100 bills from OSU boosters blowing down I-71 like tumbleweed. Cincinnati -34½
Arizona State at Illinois Illinois coach Ron Zook revealed this week while he was an assistant at Tennessee he would carry packets of sugar around in his pocket. That's all I got: Come up with your own one-liner. Illinois -1½
Auburn at Clemson: Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton threw for 422 yards Sunday against Arizona. It was the most yards passing in Newton's professional career since he threw for 335 yards against South Carolina in last year's SEC title game. Clemson -3
Colorado vs. Colorado State in Denver: With slow early ticket sales, officials fear this could be the lowest attended CU-CSU game ever held in Denver. To bolster attendance, officials will allow Denver fans to get a Tim Tebow autograph or throw a pie at Kyle Orton. Colorado State +7½
Kansas at Georgia Tech: Former Georgia Tech linebacker Steve Mooney also just happens to be the attorney of Kansas coach Turner Gill and admitted he will have mixed emotions during the game. "I think I'll just have a stiff drink and sit back and watch," Mooney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Actually, that's the same strategy Jayhawks fans have used on game day since Gill was hired last season. Georgia Tech -15
Kent State at Kansas State: On the front of Kansas State's football website it says: "Since the start of the 1993 season, few programs can match Kansas State's win total or its winning percentage of nearly 75 percent." It also goes on to list several other impressive facts. Translation: "John Marinatto: Please invite us to the Big East!" Kansas State -17½
Marshall at Ohio: This is the annual game for the Battle for the Bell between the Thundering Herd and Bobcats. While the winner gets the traveling bell trophy, as added incentive, this year's loser gets saddled with the Iowa-Iowa State trophy. Ohio -3
Miami (Ohio) at Minnesota: With coach Jerry Kill's availability unknown following last week's seizure, Minnesota's assistants have already prepared their pregame speech. "Sometime, when the team is up against it -- and the breaks are beating the boys -- tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gopher." Minnesota -5
Navy at South Carolina: In Wednesday's South Carolina student newspaper, The Daily Gamecock, it listed some Gamecock tailgating tips. Among them: Stay hydrated; if consuming alcohol, count your drinks and know your limits; and have a designated driver if you or your friends decide to drink. In Columbia, they refer to these rules as the "G.A. Mangus Carta." Navy +17
Oklahoma at Florida State: A record 450 media credentials have been issued for this game. And that doesn't even count the contingent on hand from the Pac-12 to watch Oklahoma. Florida State +3
Ohio State at Miami: Football fans can rejoice: it's the long-awaited "IneligiBowl" or the "Limited Immunity Bowl." Since the revelations about Nevin Shapiro rocked Miami, the Hurricanes have drastically changed their sideline policies: No more checks for the players, cash only. Miami -3 is my best bet
Syracuse at USC: USC coach Lane Kiffin was furious after last week's win against Utah. Oh, he was thrilled the Trojans scored on the last play of the game. He was just upset the officials wouldn't let USC attempt the two-point conversion. USC -16½
UTEP at New Mexico State: The Miners and Aggies meet for the 89th time with the winner receiving the Silver Spade trophy, a replica prospector's shovel. The original shovel was found in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, N.M., unearthed in an abandoned mine. Next to it was Mike Price's post-Alabama coaching career. New Mexico State -3
Utah at BYU: This is the home opener for BYU. The Cougars' remaining home games are against UCF, Utah State, San Jose State, Idaho State, Idaho and New Mexico State. What? The Washington Generals weren't available? BYU -4½
Washington State at San Diego State: Since 1995, San Diego State remarkably is 0-19 against teams from the Pac-12 Conference. Funny, so is Washington State. Washington State +5½
West Virginia at Maryland: Wonder who Bill Stewart and Ralph Friedgen will be pulling for? West Virginia +1
Trifecta of Terror: Each week "Cover Me" will also provide his top three picks of the week. This week, "Cover Me" likes Texas Tech -21 at New Mexico; Arizona +9½ vs. Stanford, and Western Michigan -8 vs. Central Michigan is his best bet.
Lock of the Week: Dwos 4 Pin Tumbler Padlock Keyed Alike Brass (470-4140KA)
McMurphy's picks: 5-9
"Cover Me's" picks: 2-1
Bankroll: Down 350 for season; 4,650 balance
McMurphy: 11-16; -250; (1-1 best bets)
"Cover Me": 3-3; -100 (0-2 best bets)