Week Two Predictions
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags: college football
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Another great group of games await us this Saturday. Here are my picks for week two...
Arizona (1-0, 0-0) at #9 Oklahoma State (1-0, 0-0) - 8:00 Thursday - ESPN - A pair of ranked Big 12 schools tangle with a pair of unranked Pac 12 schools from Arizona to kick off the weekend. In Thursday's opener, the Wildcats will travel from the desert to the heartland to take on the Cowboys. I don't think this will be a route until the second half, but I think in the third quarter OSU opens this one up and wins going away. Oklahoma State, 42-17.
#21 Missouri (1-0, 0-0) at Arizona State (1-0, 0-0) - 10:30 Friday - ESPN - Round two of the Big 12 - Pac 12 mini challenge goes down Friday night as Mizzou travels from the heartland out to the desert to take on the Sun Devils. I've never been big on Friday night football as this should be saved for the high school games. But that aside, it will be nice to kick back and watch a game for the second Friday night in a row. I will take the home team with what I don't see as an upset. A late field goal in dramatic fashion wins it. Arizona State, 35-33.
Iowa (1-0, 0-0) at Iowa State (1-0, 0-0) - Noon Saturday - If recent history is any indication, Iowa should have no problem in putting away their in-state rival. The Hawkeyes are annually one of the nation's top 25 programs, while ISU hasn't made the top 25 in my recollection. I know none of that means squat for the 2011 game, but I still think Iowa is the team to pick in this game. Iowa, 37-24.
Oregon State (0-1, 0-0) at #8 Wisconsin (1-0, 0-0) - Noon Saturday - ESPN - I scanned up and down this list of games to find an easy one to start with. With the Beavers losing to a 1-AA team, or whatever it is called, and being on the road, and Wisconsin being one of the best programs in the country, and a home crowd egging them on, I think I will pick the Badgers. And I think I will pick them big. Quarterback Russell Wilson showed off his talents against UNLV, and we will see more of the same in week two. Wisconsin, 50-17.
#16 Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0) at Auburn (1-0, 0-0) - 12:21 Saturday - ESPN3.com, SEC Network - Talk about standing in the tunnel ready to come out with a chip on your shoulder! Emotion goes a long way in college football, and Auburn will be playing with a ton of emotion Saturday. The AP poll snubbed the defending national champions, and Auburn - on a 16 game winning streak - will take their home-field against a very solid MSU team. This will be one heck of a game, I promise! The Bulldogs are well-coached and have good athletes all over the place. But Auburn finds odd ways to win, especially in Jordan-Hare, and I think they do it again...Do I write this hoping my team, the following week, is the team that gets to knock off Auburn? Of course I am. But I also do not want to pick against Auburn at home when they are focused. Auburn, 34-27.
Rutgers (1-0, 0-0) at North Carolina (1-0, 0-0) - 12:30 - ESPN3.com - The Heels are a train wreck at the moment, but still must play ball. The rocky offseason sees UNC with a new head coach, Everett Withers, who replaces controversial former head man, Butch Davis. The Tar Heels won the first of this home-and-home series in a 17-13 win in New Jersey a year ago. I think they can do it again, and so I will go with UNC. North Carolina, 30-22.
California (1-0, 0-0) at Colorado (1-0, 0-0) - 3:30 - This is Colorado's first Pac 12 game and first Pac 12 home game - the scene in Boulder should be a good one! The Buffaloes also welcome in a new coach: former CU player, Jon Embree. But despite the fun atmosphere and history making day, I think Colorado has a long ways to go to be a good football team. Not that Cal is all that, but I think the Bears have more than enough to come into the Rocky Mountains and get a win. California, 28-20.
#11 Virginia Tech (1-0, 0-0) at East Carolina (0-1, 0-0) - 3:30 Saturday - Coach Frank Beamer's squad got past Appalachian State in the opener. Now they travel to ECU for a tricky game with the Pirates. Though the better team, VT must focus so as not to repeat the horrors of early season losses of years past. I see a change in this year's team, led by Logan Thomas at QB. VT rolls again, though it will be scary in the beginning. Virginia Tech, 38-24.
NC State (1-0, 0-0) at Wake Forest (0-1, 0-0) - 3:30 Saturday - ESPN3.com - If NC State is going to start gaining some national recognition, they will have to start winning games like this as a given. While Wake Forest will never get the national love, they are still a tricky team to play. The Wolfpack cannot afford to lose this game and still hope to win the Atlantic Division - simply too many other tough games. I think they foucus and get it done. NC State, 36-28.
#3 Alabama (1-0, 0-0) at #23 Penn State (1-0, 0-0) - 3:30 Saturday - ABC - A year ago, Alabama appeared to be the more physical team, as the running game yardage tilted strongly in Bama's favor. And while Mark Ingram is gone, Trent Richardson and friends carry the ball proudly for the Crimson Tide. Penn State will counter with sophomore Silas Redd, who is 5'-10", 210 pounds and had 104 yards and two scores in the opener. The Nittany Lions will give this game every bit of heart and soul you can imagine. They will want revenge, they will want to defend home turf, they will want to represent the Big Ten against the SEC, and they will want to win a huge home game for an aging Paterno. But I think after four quarters are in the books, Alabama will have slightly more points on the board. Alabama, 32-24.
#12 South Carolina (1-0, 0-0) at Georgia (0-1, 0-0) - 4:30 Saturday - ESPN - How in the world am I supposed to pick this game?! Annually a war, this year's version has too many storylines to count. Can the Gamecocks go top ten with a win and take the driver's seat in the SEC East? Or will Georgia get up off of the ground and come back and defend Sanford Stadium? The Gamecocks - on paper - should go into Athens and win the game. They have the more experienced quarterback, the proven ground game, and are hungry. Georgia will counter this with an emotional effort early. UGA has players, but I agree with StuDawg, who said in our forum that the play-calling of OC Mike Bobo is a real problem...I think this is a battle again, and a pick either way could be argued until you were blue in the face. But after it all settles, I think South Carolina is better and I will pick them this time. South Carolina, 30-26.
Fresno State (0-1, 0-0) at #10 Nebraska (1-0, 0-0) - 7:00 Saturday - This was the second game I decided as the easiest to pick. Nebraska should steam-roll a Fresno State team that will still roll into town escorted by Pat Hill's awesome mustache, but not with the same Bulldog punch as normal. They are down in 2011, and the Huskers will take them out behind the ole woodshed. I know better than to ramble on about a gimme game, so I won't, but all disasters avoided, Taylor Martinez and company win big. Nebraska, 44-10.
BYU (1-0) at #24 Texas (1-0, 0-0) - 7:00 Saturday - ESPN2 - I have Texas ranked high in my personal top 25, so here is a chance for them to make me look good. The C?ougars come in off of a road win at Ole Miss, while UT comes into the game following a ho-hum 25-point win over Rice. I see UT really getting back into the national scene with a statement game here and a huge blowout win, going up early and staying up for good. Texas, 51-20.
Utah (1-0, 0-0) at USC (1-0, 0-0) - 7:30 Saturday - Versus - This is Utah's opening game as a member of the Pac 12, so congrats to Utah fans who have to be super excited! And what a great place to start off - the Los Angeles Coliseum, which is steeped in history. As for the actual game, this is a tough pick. I am not a fan of Trojan Coach Lane Kiffin, but I think he has a decent squad. Utah will enjoy success in their new league, but I think they start off with a loss. USC, 30-26.
Notre Dame (0-1) at Michigan (1-0, 0-0) - 8:00 Saturday - ESPN - With new life under Coach Brady Hoke, and coming off of a win, Michigan Stadium will be on fire for this game. And with ND coming off of a home loss and people already on Brian Kelly's case in South Bend, the Irish limp into this game. So this should be an easy pick, right? Wrong. I have been staring at this matchup for 20 minutes. In games like this, the law of averages says take the home team, so I will. Plus I think UM is a bit better. But this game is a tough pick every year. Michigan, 27-21.
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