The Greatest Comeback in Sports History, and the Weekly College Picks

Scotty FranchiseCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2008

I’ve done some thinking about this since LAST college football season and I think I’ve finally come to a decision.


I have now seen THE greatest comeback in sports history.


I don’t mean the ’86 Mets in the World Series, or the Frank Reich-led Buffalo Bills in ’93. Not the 2004 Red Sox, and certainly not the Nov. 26, 1994, Florida at Florida State game (barf). I’m not even talking SMU vs. BYU.


As a matter of fact, this comeback has taken place without a ball being picked up, or a player lacing up his cleats. It has been led by a former Florida QB who has risen above adversity and an all-time disgraceful performance to be at the top of his field.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m talking about Jesse Palmer.


Think for a minute. When he was a backup with the New York Giants and he appeared on ABC’s The Bachelor and was shakier and twitchier in that than he was in the NFL, I thought the young man was done for! In the first episode, he even got one of the women’s names wrong and picked her to make the cut by mistake.


Now he is a respected ESPN College football analyst and does a little play by play as well. Kirk Herbstreit is the reigning prince of College football, but Jesse is waiting in the wings and holding his own. To come back and succeed after his stint on the Bachelor, ESPECIALLY in this field is remarkable.


The fact that he’s at all taken seriously and that Chris Fowler is the only one who gets away with teasing him on air about his “rose ceremony” is a testament to his hard work. Unless McCain or Obama selects OJ Simpson as the Speaker of the House, this may be the best comeback in sports history.


I tell you that to tell you that I’m on the verge of cracking the top 5 comebacks in fantasy/pick ‘em history. I started off Week 1 with a discouraging 5-10 record, followed by getting my picks in late for Weeks 2 and 3 (damn these Thursday games!!). In Week 4, I bounced back in Jesse Palmer-like fashion with a 10-5 record and am ready to take the world by storm.


NOTE: These picks that I’m mentioning are all unpublished, so you’ll just to take my word for it. After all, this is the B/R… who would I really be fooling!


Jesse has inspired me to “put myself out there” and let the world see what I’ve got. Thanks, Jesse! On to the for entertainment purposes only picks:




#1 USC at Oregon State (+24)

Southern Cal really should be challenging Seattle and Arizona for the NFC West this year, but since we can’t orchestrate that, they’ll play out their Pac-10 schedule. They play a solid Oregon team the following week and this is Oregon State’s chance to make their mark. USC sleepwalks to a 20-point win at Corvallis, but the Beavers cover.




North Carolina at Miami (-7.5)

I would pick UNC to win this one outright before they lost their starting QB Yates to a broken ankle. UNC is really brewing something in Chapel Hill, and for Butch Davis this is a rivalry game. I’m not sure if the rest of his team really cares more than it being an ACC game. Not sure if Miami is capable of more than a 7-point win over a quality opponent, but I’ll give them the nod since they’re at home (cause of the heat… NOT the crowd!)




Minnesota at #14 Ohio State (-17.5)

Ohio State has #9 Wisconsin the following week and normally I would pick an in conference team to cover such a large spread with that type of game looming, but I think Beanie Wells’ return, as well as the youthful exuberance of Terrelle Pryor trying to make his mark should carry them. Couple that with the near disaster they had against Ohio a few weeks ago and they should win by four TDs or so. Marion Barber and Laurence Maroney are out of eligibility, right?




Purdue (+1.5) at Notre Dame

Remember the late 90’s, when Purdue’s offense was called, “Basketball on grass” and Joe Tiller was considered a coaching genius?? Seems like a long time ago. Either way, Purdue almost knocked off Oregon and while the Domers beat Michigan, Mich State exposed them a bit. It may be that this year, Michigan IS that bad.




Tennessee at #15 Auburn (-6.5)

I wasn’t sure if 6.5 was the spread, or the over/under ::giggle:: Both teams are coming off of a loss last week. One angry. The other, embarrassed. Ideally, I think Tennessee would have liked to had a Kentucky or either of the Mississippi schools this week to “get well” against. Instead, they get angry hungry Tigers. This one could be ugly with long ranging effects for the Big Orange.




Colorado (+6) at Florida State

Game being played at Jacksonville. Can we call this one, “The World’s largest outdoor mocktail party”? Honestly, I don’t know what to make of this one. Colorado pulled a rabbit out of it’s hat last week against West Virginia and will probably be pretty jacked up for this one.


If they win, they go to Austin at 4-0 for a showdown with the Longhorns. FSU is preparing for the annual “Remember when this game used to be so good” festival against Miami. I just don’t think the Noles can beat any quality team by a full TD just yet.




Arkansas (+27) at Texas

What is happening to Arkansas this year should be criminal. Their four consecutive games, starting last week are: #8 Alabama, at #7 Texas (due to hurricane reschedule), #4 Florida, and at #15 Auburn. They got it put on them pretty bad last week, but I think they’ll take care of the ball a little bit better and for goodness sakes, they should be able to cover a 4 TD spread.




Mississippi State (+24) at #5 LSU


LSU is coming off an emotional and hard fought win at Auburn. They are in the comfort of home. Everyone is telling them how good they are again and they have a BYE week next week, then they're at Florida. Miss. State won’t win this one outright, but I think they’ll keep it within a couple TDs.




Ole Miss (+23) at #4 Florida


If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a million times. Florida gets past Tennessee then takes it’s foot off of the gas until the “important game” vs. LSU. Gator fans don’t need a reminder that Eli Manning beat us twice in these games. This game and the Arkansas game next week are very dangerous for Florida. It’s a 12:30 start in front of a sober, semi-interested crowd and Ole Miss QB and Texas transfer; Jevan Snead is not a bad player. This is an upset alert game, but I think Ole Miss will certainly cover… I think they actually keep it in the single digits.


#8 Alabama (+6.5) at #3 Georgia (Seriously SEC… seriously… c’mon… #3, 4, 5, & 8??)

The game of the week! I’m not sure who created this point spread, but if this is the #8 team visiting the #3 team in the country and the home team is favored by 6.5, are they saying that Georgia is 6.5 points better than Alabama in the same way they are saying Auburn is 6.5 points better than Tennessee?? Is playing in Athens THAT much more difficult than playing at Jordan-Hare? I don’t get it. I’m picking UGA to kick a field goal late to stretch the lead to 6, but nothing further than that. Georgia wins a good game close and keeps the SEC West interesting.


That’s all for this week. Let the comeback begin!!

Enjoy the football everyone!!


Scott Francis is 15-15-0 on the season.


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