College football predictions: The new phone books are here!
College football is here! College football is here! And the mini-set of games on this August Saturday actually trumps the product that had Steve Martin so excited to see the new phone book arrivals in “The Jerk.” Martin was fired up because his name was in it. We can be fired up because we’ve got Florida-Miami.
In recent years, college football’s Zero Week was fun, but not because of great matchups. Any game that wasn’t an exhibition was glory to our eyes, but last season, the set of games were Duquesne-UMass, Prairie View-Rice, Hawaii-Colorado State and Wyoming-New Mexico State.
This year, we’ve got the Hurricane and the Gators, in Orlando, plus Arizona at Hawaii. Everybody up. Let’s get to the predictions:
Florida vs. Miami in Orlando: Gators 30-13. An underrated casualty in the scheduling makeover. We’ve lost Texas A&M-Texas. Oklahoma-Nebraska. Michigan-Notre Dame (revived this season). Missouri-Kansas. Texas A&M-Baylor. West Virginia-Pitt. But call Florida-Miami wounded, not killed. The Hurricane and Gators played every year from 1938 through 1987, with the exception of 1943 (courtesy World War II). Then the series went dormant as Miami was dominant and Florida was trying to build. By 2001, Steve Spurrier had the Gators riding high, and the programs played four straight years. But since 2004, Florida and Miami have played just twice – a 26-3 Florida home win 2008, a 21-16 Miami home win in 2013. Saturday night in Orlando, the in-state rivals meet for the second time in 11 years, the third time in 15 years and just the seventh time in 32 years. Miami is rebuilding under new coach Manny Diaz and will start redshirt freshman quarterback Jarren Williams. Florida is rebuilding under second-year coach Dan Mullen – but Mullen’s Gators went 10-3 last season.
Arizona at Hawaii: Wildcats 37-30. Big game for UofA coach Kevin Sumlin, who went 5-7 in his first Tucson season. The Wildcats’ schedule is backloaded. If ‘Zona doesn’t get off to a good start, the heat rises on Sumlin.