This week doesn’t feel as meaty as Week 1, with only two ranked matchups. That being said, I can’t wait to see how teams fare after all of the overreaction from last week. Let’s get into the games.
Week 1 Spread record: 11-8-1. After a tough Thursday, I went 10-5 last Saturday. Let’s keep it going.
#1 Alabama (-56.5) vs. Mercer: The Tide are #1 in pretty much every poll and for good reason. They thoroughly dominated Miami last week. This week is usually the type of week that Nick Saban likes to use to get his team ready for the rest of the season. I’m not going against Bama in this one, but I do think they take the foot off the gas and cruise to an easy victory. No play.
#2 Georgia (-24.5) vs. UAB: UGA won a dogfight with Clemson last week, but proved on a national stage that they may be ready to get back into the national title conversation. The defense was tremendous and will anchor this team as they make a run. Offensively, JT Daniels was just pretty bad (22-30, 135 yds, 1int), but that could have been because Clemson’s defense turns out to be pretty good. UAB is a really solid team and won’t be pushed around. After a slugfest, another physical team like UAB is not what UGA wants. I think UGA wins, but it will take a full team effort against Bill Clark’s Blazers. Take UAB and the points in a low scoring affair.
Final Score: UGA 27 UAB 10
#3 Ohio State (-14.5) vs. #12 Oregon: This is one of the two premier games of the week. Oregon is coming off an uninspired effort against an underrated Fresno State team last week and Ohio State is coming off a solid road win against Big 10 foe Minnesota.
Ohio State QB CJ Stroud was quiet in the first half against the Golden Gophers, but turned it on in the second half en route to 294 passing yds and 4 td’s. Oregon’s defense will be a tougher test, but will need standout DE Kayvon Thibodeaux. He is currently nursing an injury and is doubtful to play. I’m not sure I’m buying Oregon’s offense just yet and Columbus is a very tough place to play. I think the Buckeyes solidly win this one.
Final Score: Ohio State 38, Oregon 17
#4 Oklahoma (-50.5) vs. Western Carolina: Oklahoma shocked everyone last week by not playing well, especially on defense. Tulane narrowly defeated the Sooners, but I think they are a little better than people think. Oklahoma will score at will and I think Rattler has 5 or 6 first half td’s before sitting out most of the second half. I think the OU defense pitches a shutout after being embarrassed last week.
Final Score: Oklahoma 56, Western Carolina 0
#5 Texas A&M (-17) vs. Colorado: The Aggies are coming off a nice 31 point win against Kent State last week and look to assert their dominance on Colorado. I don’t think I have a great feel for either team so I’m going to take a pass on this one and let it play out.
#6 Clemson (-49) vs. South Carolina State: Get right game for the Tigers after looking anemic on offense last week vs Georgia. This week they let it rip.
Final Score: Clemson 63, SC State 6
#7 Cincinnati (-35.5) vs. Murray State: Cincy is clearly the better team, but I don’t know enough about Murray State to make a pick.
#8 Notre Dame (-17) vs. Toledo: Toledo is one of (if not, the best) team in the MAC. Notre Dame is coming off of an overtime win against Florida State on Sunday after they let the Seminoles come all the way back. Which Irish team will show up, the one that was dominating FSU early, or the team that took their foot off he gas?
Toledo can keep this one close and if ND doesn’t cover it’ll be because of a late pick 6 or fluke play. I like Toledo to cover.
Final Score: Notre Dame 28, Toledo 13
#9 Iowa State (-4.5) vs. #10 Iowa: Ah, the great overreaction game from Week 1. In last week’s post, I mentioned that ISU would likely struggle with Northern Iowa, with this upcoming game against the Hawkeyes in their minds. Iowa, is coming off of an impressive win against Indiana, in which they dismantled the Hoosiers. Obvious pick right? Wrong. Despite Matt Campbell’s poor record against Kirk Ferentz, I think the Cyclones rally and win here solidly.
Final Score: Iowa State 20, Iowa 10
#11 Penn State (-22.5) vs. Ball State: Penn State is coming off of a big road win in Madison against Wisconsin last week. This week, they are in a sandwich spot between last week’s game and next week’s home showdown against Auburn. Tough spot, but this is normally the game where Penn State crushes. Ball State is a really solid team with a lot of starters back from last year and won’t be intimidated in Happy Valley. PSU was fortunate Wisconsin made so many mistakes last week. Give me Ball State and the points.
Final Score: Penn State 38, Ball State 20
#13 Florida (-28.5) @ South Florida: USF sucks. Pick Florida.
Final Score: Florida 38, USF 7
#14 USC (-17) vs. Stanford: USC was relatively average in their first game last week against San Jose State. Stanford was barely competitive against Kansas State, but usually plays the Trojans tough. The line seems a bit inflated, but give me USC minus the points.
Final Score: USC 31, Stanford 13
#15 Texas (-7) @ Arkansas: Texas came out hot last week and beat what I still think is a very good Louisiana team. This week they travel to Fayetteville against an Arkansas team that will be fired up for this one. This seems like a bit of a trap spot for Texas, so give me Arkansas to win straight up.
Final Score: Arkansas 29, Texas 28
#18 Wisconsin (-26) vs. Eastern Michigan: This one shouldn’t be close and I assume Wisconsin will run all over EMU, likely to the tune of over 300 yds rushing. I think Wisconsin will win and I think by a lot.
Final Score: Wisconsin: 42, EMU 7
#19 Virginia Tech (-20) vs. Middle Tennessee State: Virginia Tech is coming off of a massive win vs former top-10 team North Carolina. Might there be a letdown? I think so. I don’t have the balls to pick MTSU to win, but I think this one will be a lot closer than the experts think due to VT coming out flat.
Final Score: VT 34, MTSU 23
#20 Ole Miss (-34.5) vs. Austin Peay: Ole Miss trounced an overrated Louisville squad last week. I’m still not sure I know how good Ole Miss is and I wouldn’t want to lay 5 td’s with them until I am. No play.
#21 Utah (-7) @ BYU: The Holy war is always a battle and this year should be no exception. Both teams are coming off relatively flat week 1’s although BYU is the only one that played a team with a pulse. I don’t have a play here because I don’t have a good grasp on either team, but I’m excited to watch this one play out.
#22 Miami (-8) vs. Appalachian State: Miami was embarrassed on national TV against Alabama last week, and teams that play Bama usually don’t fare well against the spread the week after. App State is a very solid team and more than a td spread means I’ll be taking ASU to cover.
Final Score: Miami 28, App State 23
#23 Arizona State (-34) vs. UNLV: ASU should dominate this game but no play.
#24 North Carolina (-26) vs. Georgia State: UNC was horrible at VT last Thursday night. With 10 days to prepare, I think we will see a different Tar Heel team today. VT also will be a lot better than people think and losing on the road to the Hokies won’t be looked at in a negative light later in the season.
Final Score: North Carolina 52, Georgia State 15
#25Auburn (-49) vs. Alabama State: This one will come down to how long Auburn keeps their starters in. With a date at Penn State looming, I’m not confident they will be in long. No play.
Other Games of Interest:
Pittsburgh (-4) @ Tennessee: Tennessee had their shot to show out last week, and they weren’t overly impressive. Give me Pitt on the road minus the points.
Final Score: Pitt 30, Tennessee 24
Buffalo (+14) @ Nebraska: I just don’t think Nebraska is very good. Take Buffalo with the points and sprinkle a bit on the moneyline. Buffalo is a live dog here.
Final Score: Nebraska 31, Buffalo 27
NC State (-1) @ Mississippi State: MSU as a home dog? I’ll take it as an overreaction line to last week’s close win vs. Louisiana Tech.
Final Score: Miss State: 31 NC State: 28
Washington (+6.5) @ Michigan: Another overreaction line by 3 pts or so. Give me the Huskies to win in Ann Arbor.
Final Score: Washington 23, Michigan 20