LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It started as one of those ideas that pops into my noggin while I'm walking my 73-pound moose.
Then, like every idea these days, it became a Tweet.
And a Facebook post.
Lachlan McLean suggested that I raise the ante to a Twitter poll.
Following the suggestion of @LachTalk:More likely to deliver the upset Saturday:— rickbozich (@rickbozich) October 17, 2019
Finally, I took it up a notch and got to this place -- a column:
Which local college football team is more likely to deliver an upset this weekend:
Kentucky, as a 25-point underdog at Georgia?
Or Louisville, as a 24-point home underdog against Clemson?
Sorry but "neither" is not an acceptable answer. As much as you'd like to do it, I cannot let you say "both," either.
Wildcats? Or Cardinals?
Visitor? Or home team?
Red? Or blue?
Stoops? Or Satterfield?
Conley & Cunningham? Bowden & Smith?
When I put the question on Twitter, it turned into (among) other things a political debate about the Kentucky governor's race and impeachment proceedings. Imagine.
Well, I did say red or blue, right?
This is what he wrote:
"I'd say Louisville.
"In fact, Louisville is one of my picks this week (at +24, not on the money line, which means Edwards is picking the Cardinals to cover the point spread, not win the game outright).
"I would think that quarterback Jake Fromm and Georgia bounce back with a nice effort.
"Scott Satterfield has done a helluva job to have this team and 4-2 both straight up and against the spread. Noon kick probably helps the Cardinals with Clemson perhaps more likely to come out flat."
That is the view of the professional handicapper. Here are my five primary thoughts:
*Kentucky is playing a more desperate team. Not only does Georgia have to win this game, the Bulldogs have to win this game with gusto or the narrative around Kirby Smart's team will turn to, 'What's wrong with Georgia?'
The Bulldogs have already slipped to 10th in Jeff Sagarin's computer predictor rankings, 11th in the Massey Computer formula and 13th in the Massey composite ratings. That's firmly outside the playoff discussion.
There's still a path for Georgia to make the college football playoffs. But not if the Bulldogs lose to Kentucky.
It's risky picking against desperate teams.
*Clemson is always good for a clunker every season. I know what you're going to say:
The North Carolina game was their clunker, a 21-20 win in Chapel Hill.
Maybe. But that was only a semi-clunker.
In 2017, the Tigers stumbled against a Syracuse team that finished 4-8.
In 2016, the Tigers burped against a Pittsburgh team that finished 8-5.
Those were legitimate, 5-star clunkers.
*In five-plus ACC seasons, Clemson is the only Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division program that Louisville has failed to defeat.
The first three games were close. But Clemson won the last two by 26 and 61.
Kentucky's performance against Georgia has been equally bleak. The Wildcats have failed to cover the point spread against the Bulldogs the last five seasons. The average margin of defeat the last two seasons has been 23 points.
*Georgia lost back-to-back home games in 2016, Kirby Smart's first season back in Athens. It can happen. In fact, the Bulldogs stumbled against Tennessee and Vanderbilt that year, sandwiched around a road win against South Carolina.
Clemson, for the record, has won 21 straight games overall and 23 consecutive regular season games (not counting the playoffs or conference championship games).
*Clemson and Georgia both rank in the Top 20 nationally in scoring and total offense as well as scoring and total defense.
If there is one category where Clemson has a significant edge, it's this one: Penalties.
The Bulldogs rank last in the Southeastern Conference and 105th in the nation in penalty yards. They have been flagged for more than 67 yards per game.
Clemson ranks 29th nationally and fifth in the ACC in the same category at less than 47 yards per game.
So if you ask me to throw a flag, I'd say Kentucky has a better chance to pull the shocker this weekend.
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