Danny Ford has some strong college football opinions, 10 of which he is kind enough to put forth as official Pigskin Picks Guest VIP Picker this week (to win bragging rights and potentially prizes you must outpick both me and Danny).
The head coach of Clemson’s 1981 national championship team also thinks Dabo Swinney will add to his two national titles.
“As long as they keep recruiting the way they have been? They will be in contention every year,” Ford, 71, said from his farm near Clemson.
Winning it all is harder now than when Ford coached, he said, because two or three postseason victories are required with conference championship games and the College Football Playoff system.
“But winning the conference championship was harder when we were coaching,” Ford said. “Right now — and I hope Clemson fans don’t take this the wrong way because I love what Clemson is doing — 90 percent of the (ACC) teams just don’t think they can beat Clemson. I blame that on those head (ACC) coaches. That’s not negative, that’s just telling the truth.”
Danny and I disagree on four games, which makes for a wild Week 2:
Texas A&M at Clemson
Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher came to Clemson to play baseball but stayed only briefly before transferring to Salem College in his native West Virginia. At Salem and at Samford, he played quarterback for head coach Terry Bowden, now on Dabo Swinney’s staff as an analyst.
Danny Ford pick: Clemson
Gene Sapakoff pick: Clemson
CSU at South Carolina
No matter who takes snaps against Charleston Southern — freshman Ryan Hilinski or redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner (Fort Dorchester High School) — the Gamecocks’ offensive line must make progress after last week’s outing against North Carolina.
Danny Ford pick: South Carolina
Gene Sapakoff pick: South Carolina
The Citadel at Elon
Another hurricane, another weeklong road trip to the Lookup Lodge in Travelers Rest for The Citadel to prepare for a football game.
Danny Ford pick: Elon
Gene Sapakoff pick: Elon
Lane at S.C. State
Tremendously impressive 28-13 victory for the Bulldogs last week over Southern Conference title favorite Wofford. Quarterback Tyrece Nick had 201 yards passing, 40 yards rushing. “Solid, cohesive football,” said head coach Buddy Pough.
Danny Ford pick: S.C. State
Gene Sapakoff pick: S.C. State
Coastal Carolina at Kansas
Sweet upset spot for head coach Jamie Chadwell and the Chanticleers. CCU opened with a 30-23 loss to Eastern Michigan. Les Miles’ debut in Lawrence was a 24-17 win over FBS Indiana State in which the Jayhawks were outgained.
Danny Ford pick: Kansas
Gene Sapakoff pick: Coastal Carolina
LSU at Texas
“A tough one to call,” Ford said. Very precious College Football Playoff currency for the winner. New LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady is evidently making a difference.
Danny Ford pick: Texas
Gene Sapakoff pick: LSU
BYU at Tennessee
The Cougars are coming off a 30-12 home loss to Utah. The Utes are a playoff contender; Georgia State isn’t.
Danny Ford pick: Tennessee
Gene Sapakoff pick: BYU
Miami at North Carolina
If ol' Mack Brown is dancing again this week, UNC is a Coastal Division title contender.
Danny Ford pick: Miami
Gene Sapakoff pick: Miami
Syracuse at Maryland
Tough trip for the Orange, which can’t be looking ahead to next week’s homecoming opponent: Clemson.
Danny Ford pick: Maryland
Gene Sapakoff pick: Syracuse
Army at Michigan
The Black Knights of the Hudson have to play keep-away from Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson, poised for a monster season.
Danny Ford pick: Michigan
Gene Sapakoff pick: Michigan
Last week’s record: 4-6
Last week’s Guest VIP Picker Bobby Cremins: 5-5
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff