Week Two Predictions
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Last week I went 14-1 in our Pick'em Contest. In order to keep that kind of record going this week I will have to think hard and dig deep. In my opinion, this week's games are much trickier and harder to pick than those of the opening weekend. Some folks are calling this the biggest weekend of college football in years, with as many as six big-time, nationally important high-profile games set to go down. Yes, if you love college football, week two of the 2010 season is what it's all about! Here are my predictions for this week's games.
(all times Eastern, all rankings AP)
#21 Auburn at Mississippi State - 7:30 - ESPN - Dan Mullen led his Bulldogs to a beat-down of Memphis last weekend, 48-7, and he appears to be a coach with a bright future. MSU totally dominated that game in every phase. Auburn also scored a ton of points last week - 52 to be exact - but also gave up a bunch of points (26) to Arkansas State. I see MSU coming out fired up and taking an early lead. But by the time the game settles in and gets towards the end, Auburn will win close. QB Cam Newton is a run-pass threat and will get it done for War Eagle. Auburn, 31-27.
#22 Georgia at #24 South Carolina - 12:00 - ESPN2 - In a series that has been as close as this one has been the last ten years or so, this kind of game is nearly impossible to predict. This is the tale of two wide-receivers: UGA's AJ Green and USC's Alshon Jeffery. Green - one of the best in the nation - will be out, while the Gamecocks' Jeffery will be ready to show the nation his stuff. This is always a war, and one that UGA wins most of the time. But this year I am picking the Cocks in an instant classic. South Carolina, 26-22.
#15 Georgia Tech at Kansas - 12:00 - no TV - OK, so if there is no TV, why is this game at 11:00 am local time in Kansas? Weird. Kansas is hurting bad. They only scored three points last week in a loss to North Dakota State (yes, North Dakota State). GT should easily win this game, but stranger things have happened in the world of college football over the years. Georgia Tech, 30-13.
South Florida at #8 Florida - 12:21 - ESPN3.com - The Gators are going to win this game big. USF has had some sucess in football in recent years, but are no match for one of the best programs in America. UF quarterback John Brantley and crew are ready to show us that Florida is still a major national force to be reckoned with. It may be close early, but in the end, the Gators chomp. Florida, 41-20.
Colorado at California - 3:30 - no TV - Well, I have to admit, I don't know as much about these two teams as I probably should. Cal (52 points scored last week) is without the high preseason ranking they nearly always get, but maybe that is a blessing for them. Colorado and the Hawkins' parade (coach and son) just totally rub me the wrong way. This is kind of a shot in the dark, but I'm going to go with the Bears and home-field. California, 30-20.
#17 Florida State at #10 Oklahoma - 3:30 - ABC regional - As an ACC fan, I would love to see the 'Noles travel to Norman and bring home a big OOC win. They seem to have new life under Coach Jimbo Fisher. But I think it would be a mistake on my part to pick against Oklahoma at home as OU has a 31-game home winning streak. That said, I get a strange feeling FSU will come out ready to shake things up. This will be one of the better games of the day, with the Sooners winning in dramatic fashion. Oklahoma, 37-32.
#12 Miami at #2 Ohio State - 3:40 - ESPN - This is another game where I want badly to pick the ACC team, but just cannot quite do it thanks to the respect I have for the opposition. Many feel the "U" is "back," but I am just not sure. If they could win a game such as this one, then yeah, they're back. But I just see the Buckeyes as too strong at this point - and at home. Ohio State, 33-21.
Iowa State at #9 Iowa - 3:30 - ABC regional - On paper, this is a no-brainer. But in college football, the no-brainers can get you into big trouble if you treat them that way. Iowa is a far, far superior team, and should win this game easliy as long as they take it seriously - which they should as it is a rivalry game. Iowa, 35-14.
Michigan at Notre Dame - 3:30 - NBC - Here we go - a tale of two coaches. I like Brian Kelly a lot as Irish head man. ND is going to be real, real good under him. But it will take a few games to get there, and the coach on the opposite sideline has more pressure on him than a sub at the bottom of the sea. Notre Dame Stadium will be off the charts with craziness, but I'm picking the Wolverines to win a huge game for RichRod. Michigan, 28-24.
#19 LSU at Vanderbilt - 7:00 - ESPNU - I was tempted to take this as my upset special of the week, but I just couldn't do it. Yes, LSU has some issues to work out, and yes Vanderbilt will be laying it all on the line at home, but the Bayou Bengals are still just far superior. Look for the Tigers to get some kinks worked out this week, and for the Commodores to assume their roll in the SEC East basement. LSU, 35-17.
Wyoming at #5 Texas - 7:00 - no TV - My buddy Spiffyguitarman suggested this might (emphasize "might") be the uspet special of the week. I'm not sure if he actually took the Cowboys in his Pick'em picks, but I'm not! I see the 'Horns coming out and beating Wyoming real, real, real bad. The talent on the Longhorn sideline is absurd, and UT is just waiting to make a big run at number 1. Texas, 40-10.
#18 Penn State at #1 Alabama - 7:00 - ESPN - Rankings aside, they just don't get any bigger than this! The top program in the South (historically) against what may be the top program of the North (Michigan and Ohio State fans chill out). The key for both in this game is to forget the media hoopla, and play ball. Nick Saban - being Nick Saban - will have the Tide focused. And with a team that good, focus will bring a win. It will be fun for a couple of quarters, but in the end, Roll Tide! Alabama, 28-21.
#7 Oregon at Tennessee - 7:00 - ESPN2 - As I've mentioned a couple of hundred times on here, my fanny will be occupying one of the 108,000 seats at Neyland Stadium for this contest. Knoxville will be on fire for this game with a new coach and a 1-0 record. But Oregon's fire power will be just too much at the end. The Ducks won't get anywhere near the 72 points they put up last week, but will score just enough for a close W. Oregon, 30-22.
#25 Stanford at UCLA - 10:30 - ESPN - Besides the fact that it is a road game for Stanford, I'm all about picking them in this contest. Andrew Luck is one of the better quarterbacks in the game, and I really like Jim Harbaugh's game plans. UCLA has been a let-down under Rick Neuheisel. I hope this doen't cost me in my Pick'em, but I am going to go with Stanford to win on the road. Stanford, 38-33.
Virginia at #16 USC - 10:30 - no TV - The Trojans gave up a bunch of points to Hawaii, so if you are UVA, you have a bit of hope heading out West. But even though USC isn't the same dominant squad they have been in the past, they are still damn good and should win this game. UVA puts up a valiant effort early, but Southern Cal wins going away. USC, 36-25.
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