Sapakoff: Pigskin Picks offer split predictions on Clemson-Georgia game
Welcome to the 2014 edition of Pigskin Picks, where college football experts might occasionally make mistakes that allow the wisest football fans to win gas cards, bumper stickers and braggin' rights.
This isn't as easy as cornhole or remembering to pick up the potato salad.
For instance, exactly how much will Clemson suffer Saturday night at Georgia with an undermanned offensive line? This Tigers' unit, suspect to begin with, must play without senior guard David Beasley (suspended for one game) and junior tackle Shaq Anthony (decided to transfer last week).
Kalon Davis thinks the adversity paid off as players were forced to get versatile. Davis, a senior, will start at right guard and is the backup at right tackle.
"It's more of a mindset thing," Davis said. "We've been tighter as a group more than we've been the last couple of years. A lot of us are seniors and juniors. A couple of years ago we had a lot of seniors but it was their first year in the system (run by offensive coordinator Chad Morris)."
The question is, will all that bonding help the Clemson offense keep the football away from Georgia running back Todd Gurley? Or help later?
I disagree with Pigskin Picks partner Warren Peper right away, the ideal way to start another season.
Clemson at Georgia
The home-field edge made a big difference a year ago when Clemson won, 38-35, at Death Valley.
Gene Sapakoff pick: Georgia 28, Clemson 24
Warren Peper pick: Clemson 24, Georgia 20
Coastal at The Citadel
Tough debut for new Bulldogs head coach Mike Houston, but it gets a lot harder next week at Florida State. The Chanticleers lost to Charleston Southern last time they were in town.
Sapakoff pick: Coastal Carolina 35, The Citadel 14
Peper pick: Coastal Carolina 31, The Citadel 21
S.C. State at Benedict
Benedict has players from 15 different states but that's not enough to handle visiting S.C. State in the Palmetto Capital City Classic.
Sapakoff pick: S.C. State 28, Benedict 14
Peper pick: S.C. State 35, Benedict 17
FSU vs. Okla. State
The defending national champs open at the Jerry Jones Dome in Arlington. Oklahoma State is rebuilding and lacks All-Big 12 caliber talent.
Sapakoff pick: Florida St. 42, Oklahoma St. 20
Peper pick: Florida St. 28, Oklahoma St. 26
LSU vs. Wisconsin
Former South Carolina quarterback Tanner McEvoy played safety for Wisconsin in a Capital One Bowl loss to the Gamecocks last January. He's back at quarterback against LSU in Houston.
Sapakoff pick: LSU 27, Wisconsin 21
Peper pick: LSU 31, Wisconsin 29
Alabama vs. W. Virginia
Alabama will probably alternate between Blake Sims and Jacob Coker at quarterback. West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is on the hot seat.
Sapakoff pick: Alabama 31, West Virginia 15
Peper pick: Alabama 27, West Virginia 21
Penn State vs. UCF
A rematch of Central Florida's 34-31 come-from-behind win last year. This time it's in Ireland, and no Blake Bortles.
Sapakoff pick: Central Florida 21, Penn State 20
Peper pick: Penn State 31, Central Florida 28
Arkansas at Auburn
Razorback fans really wish the school had hired former Arkansas high school strategy star Gus Malzahn as head coach.
Sapakoff pick: Auburn 35, Arkansas 17
Peper pick: Auburn 34, Arkansas 19
Wofford at Georgia Tech
Option vs. option. Wofford sophomore Evan Jacks bounced from six starts at quarterback last year to fourth on the depth chart in spring practice to starter again.
Sapakoff pick: Georgia Tech 42, Wofford 21
Peper pick: Georgia Tech 35, Wofford 27
Ga. Southern at N.C. State
Georgia Southern moves to the Sun Belt Conference. N.C. State lost its last eight games in 2013 to finish 3-9.
Sapakoff pick: N.C. State 28, Georgia Southern 24
Peper pick: N.C. State 35, Georgia Southern 24
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff