Who better to have as the Pigskin Picks celebrity guest picker for Alabama-South Carolina Week than the fun-loving quarterback who played an almost flawless game in the Gamecocks’ 35-21 upset of No. 1 Alabama in 2010?
We all know that Stephen Garcia was great that afternoon against the Tide (17-of-20 passing for 201 yards, three touchdowns and one interception).
But what did the great Nick Saban say to Garcia on the way off the field?
“Not a lot,” Garcia said on his way up I-95 from his Florida home to Columbia for Saturday’s game. “He just said, ‘Hell of a game; you whipped our butts.’”
And how was that Saturday night celebration?
“Biggest party our house in Columbia had ever seen,” Garcia said. “One of the greatest, longest parties I’ve ever been to.”
Garcia and I disagree this week on only two games, and both involve schools that have hired Saban as head coach (Alabama and Michigan State).
Partying on to Week 3:
Alabama at South Carolina
No hesitation from Garcia: “I’m going with the Gamecocks,” he said. I will wait until next week against Missouri to consider going with the Gamecocks, though an early touchdown against the Tide would certainly create some extra Williams-Brice loudness.
Gene Sapakoff pick: Alabama
Stephen Garcia pick: South Carolina
Clemson at Syracuse
The bumbling Orange gave up 354 yards rushing to Maryland in a 63-20 loss last week while averaging 2.4 yards on the ground. Expect something similar or worse.
Gene Sapakoff pick: Clemson
Stephen Garcia pick: Clemson
The Citadel at Georgia Tech
The best thing about the Yellow Jackets’ 1-1 start (52-14 loss at Clemson and a 14-10 win over South Florida) is five forced turnovers.
Gene Sapakoff pick: Georgia Tech
Stephen Garcia pick: Georgia Tech
N.C. A&T at CSU
Buc Walk, Food Trucks, lots of excitement for Charleston Southern’s home opener at Buccaneer Field. But the Aggies are one of the top FCS programs, ranked No. 17 in the FCS Coaches Poll.
Gene Sapakoff pick: North Carolina A&T
Stephen Garcia pick: North Carolina A&T
Oklahoma at UCLA
It’s not just Jalen Hurts. The Sooners’ have as many skill-position weapons as any college team except Clemson.
Gene Sapakoff pick: Oklahoma
Stephen Garcia pick: Oklahoma
N.C. State at West Virginia
Looking way ahead, N.C. State (2-0) likely will be favored in all of its games leading to a Nov. 9 home date with Clemson. That might make for a fun Textile Bowl.
Gene Sapakoff pick: N.C. State
Stephen Garcia pick: N.C. State
Florida State at Virginia
This is the first time the Cavaliers have been a football favorite against FSU (favored by 7½).
Gene Sapakoff pick: Virginia
Stephen Garcia pick: Virginia
Florida at Kentucky
Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks goes against a much less experienced Kentucky secondary than the group that enjoyed a 27-6 victory over Florida last season.
Gene Sapakoff pick: Florida
Stephen Garcia pick: Florida
Stanford at Central Florida
Freshman Dillion Gabriel has the Knights’ starting quarterback job despite the presence of Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush.
Gene Sapakoff pick: UCF
Stephen Garcia pick: UCF
Arizona State at Michigan State
The Sun Devils are 2-0 and a surprising 9-6 under head coach Herm Edwards, but Michigan State (2-0) counters with a nice 1-2 running back punch featuring Elijah Collins and Connor Heyward.
Gene Sapakoff pick: Michigan State
Stephen Garcia pick: Arizona State
Gene Sapakoff last week: 8-2
VIP Guest Picker Danny Ford: 6-4
Gene Sapakoff season record: 12-8
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff