Two pieces of wedding etiquette for South Carolinians during the 2017 football season:
There are few good reasons for a public ceremony on any Saturday but Oct. 21, the bye week for both South Carolina and Clemson.
Don’t bet the farm when the reception gets nutty.
You know there is something in the Gatorade this year when Clemson, a 21-point favorite (more in some places), falls at Syracuse in by far the biggest point-spread upset loss in Dabo Swinney’s head coaching career. And the Sept. 13 stunner isn’t close to the top three upsets of 2017.
Three of the top seven college football upsets since 2005 have happened this season, which is just halfway over.
The list, according to BetLabSports.com:
1. Howard 43, UNLV 40 (2017): UNLV favored by 45.
2. Stanford 24, Southern Cal 23 (2007). Southern Cal favored by 39.
3. Syracuse 38, Louisville 35 (2007). Louisville favored by 38½.
4. Texas State 30, Houston 13 (2012). Houston favored by 36½.
5. Liberty 48, Baylor 45 (2017). Baylor favored by 33.
6. Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32 (2007). No official line but Michigan unofficially favored by 31-33.
7. Iowa State 38, Oklahoma 31 (2017). Oklahoma favored by 31 (ties two 2015 upsets, New Mexico over Boise State and Portland State over Washington State).
Yes, Nick Saban almost makes this list. Just not lately. His Alabama Crimson Tide was a 24½-point favorite during a 7-6 season when it lost to Louisiana-Monroe, 24-17.
Convinced (and attempting to gain Pigskin Picks ground on Warren Peper), I am picking Wake Forest and Ole Miss to pull upsets in Week 8:
The Citadel at Chattanooga
A Bulldogs defense led by linebacker Myles Pierce and defensive end Ja’Lon Williams held up well in a 20-16 loss to Wofford. Dodging the program’s first four-game losing streak since 2010 will take improvement from the Southern Conference’s sixth-best scoring offense.
Gene Sapakoff pick: Chattanooga, 21-17
Warren Peper pick: The Citadel, 24-10
Savannah State at CSU
Talk about hungry for a win … Courageous Charleston Southern players won at Presbyterian last week after removing the stickers from their helmets to protest food shortage issues at the school cafeteria. Hopefully, CSU provides a decent postgame spread after a Saturday night victory over winless Savannah State.
Sapakoff pick: Charleston Southern, 31-7
Peper pick: Charleston Southern, 31-8
Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State
The last-place Chanticleers meet the Sun Belt Conference favorite and a stout defense at The Rock.
Sapakoff pick: Appalachian State, 38-13
Peper pick: Appalachian State, 27-17
S.C. State at Delaware State
S.C. State’s Trey Samuel ran well last week (14 carries, 57 yards and a touchdown) in a 12-9 loss at Bethune-Cookman. Delaware State is 0-6.
Sapakoff pick: S.C. State, 21-7
Peper pick: Delaware State, 28-14
Auburn at Arkansas
Two hurting teams — Auburn for blowing a 20-0 lead last week in a loss at LSU, Bret Bielema is 10-25 in the SEC including 0-3 this year.
Sapakoff pick: Auburn, 34-21
Peper pick: Auburn, 30-20
Wake Forest at Georgia Tech
The Deacons have had two weeks to prepare. Yellow Jackets running back KirVonte Benson (516 yards) is banged up.
Sapakoff pick: Wake Forest, 28-24
Peper pick: Georgia Tech, 34-20
Louisville at Florida State
Two teams that opened the season with big dreams are now on a Belk Bowl pace. FSU QB James Blackman is gradually improving and might be somewhat good by Nov. 11 at Clemson.
Sapakoff pick: Florida State, 24-21
Peper pick: Florida State, 34-24
LSU at Ole Miss
The Coach O Bowl: Ed Orgeron was 3-21 in SEC games at Ole Miss from 2005-2007, but has back-to-back wins over Florida and Auburn at LSU. Rebels coming off a 57-35 rout of Vanderbilt.
Sapakoff pick: Ole Miss, 31-30
Peper pick: LSU, 24-17
Michigan at Penn State
The gauntlet begins for the Nittany Lions: Michigan, at Ohio State, at Michigan State, those James Franklin-to-Texas A&M rumors. “Let’s start talking,” Franklin said this week, “about Michigan. Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan.”
Sapakoff pick: Penn State, 28-14
Peper pick: Penn State, 26-17
Southern Cal at Notre Dame
A win here and the Fighting Irish become a serious playoff contender, perhaps stealing Clemson’s ACC spot. That 20-19 home loss to Georgia looks better and better.
Sapakoff pick: Notre Dame, 28-27
Peper pick: Notre Dame, 30-21
Gene Sapakoff 7-3, Warren Peper 6-4
Gene Sapakoff 53-16, Warren Peper 49-20
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff