It’s week 2 of the college football season and we’re finally ready to start gambling! Not that we endorse that sort of thing. These picks are for novelty purposes only. Unless we get on a hot streak. Then you should call your bookie or go online to one of those sites that never pays out. If you’re wondering why we gamble on college football instead of the NFL it’s because, well, the NFL is tough to pick and we’re too lazy to do that kind of research. Apropos of nothing, here’s a picture of IU stud receiver James Hardy. On to this week’s picks!
Miami (FL) (1-0) at Oklahoma (1-0) (OU -10.5)
Despite 668 yards and 79 points against North Texas last week, OU has little chance of running up the score again this week. The only reason Oklahoma is favored is because no one knows what to expect from Miami these days. That and quarterbacks Kirby Freeman and Kyle Wright flat out suck. Phillips takes joy in Kyle Wright’s suffering at The U because of some slight on USC that happened years ago. Miami will keep this one close for a while before Oklahoma pulls away. It’s doubtful that Sam Bradford and company will look as good as they did last week but this smells like a cover for the Sooners.
Pick: Sooners cover
(16) Nebraska (1-0) at Wake Forest (0-1) (Nebraska -8)
Will the Huskers be looking past Wake Forest because USC is coming to the crib next week? Last year’s Wake team thrived in games in which teams overlooked them. This year, they’ve lost a lot of key players and the vibe just isn’t the same. Being the defending conference champions just isn’t the same as being an underdog. Nebraska is going to rely heavily on Marlon Lucky to move the offense. Bill Callahan has always loved beating teams into submission rather than throwing over them. That said, he may be forced to rely on Sam Keller a little more because the Demon Deacons will be looking to stop the running game first. This could turn into a really ugly game really quickly if the Nebraska offense can’t operate at its full potential.
Prediction: Nebraska covers
Oregon (1-0) at Michigan (0-1) (Michigan -7)
It must be nice to be a touchdown favorite after being on the wrong end of arguably the greatest upset ever. Appalachian State or no Appalachian State, Michigan still has Chad Henne and Mike Hart. I think they have a defense, but it’s hard to say for sure. The Michigan D is pretty inexperienced because of all the seniors they lost from last year’s team, but it’s not like last year’s defense was having a whole lot of success stopping teams at the end of last season anyway. Michigan simply doesn’t have any speed on that side of the ball. Enter the Oregon Ducks, who run a finesse offense based almost entirely on speed and deception. They also have a running quarterback in erstwhile minor leaguer Dennis Dixon. Sound familiar to App State at all? Doesn’t matter. We have nothing but disdain for Mike Bellotti and his switch to the trendy shotgun spread option offense. Even if the Ducks score some points on Michigan, their defense can’t contain the Henne/Manningham/Hart combination the entire game and Oregon won’t be able to run the ball well enough to eat clock and win old-school either. This is also the kickoff of our Free Jonathan Stewart 2007 campaign. Stewart may be the best running back in the conference, but he only got 14 carries last week and Oregon runs those really stupid draw plays when Dixon doesn’t keep it himself. It’s a huge waste of a real talent and it sucks a lot. Like Oregon.
Prediction: Michigan covers
(22) Boise State (1-0) at Washington (1-0) (Boise State -3)
We constantly rip the big time teams for scheduling cupcake games so they can have a 70-7 win on their resume at the end of the season. In the spirit of fairness, we have to call Boise State out for playing Weber State last week. That’s really weak, guys.
Anyway, depending on what Washington fan you talk to, freshman quarterback Jake Locker is either the white Donovan McNabb or the real-life incarnation of West Canaan quarterback Jonathan “Mox” Moxon. Husky fan is convinced Locker is the answer in both the passing and running games and are totally comfortable ignoring the fact that this is a classic Tyrone Willingham no-star team. Even his successful Notre Dame teams had not one amazing player on them. The Huskies are completely unremarkable this year and Boise needs to get used to being the road favorite in games they play, even out of conference. They actually should win this game and everyone should expect them to.
Prediction: Boise covers, but just barely. This one could be a shootout.
South Carolina (1-0) at (11) Georgia (1-0) (Georgia -5.5)
Apparently, these teams play every year as their conference opener. Georgia won in another SEC thriller last year, 18-0 and this one feels like a Spurrier-cover, but one can’t just go with their gut when it comes to SEC football. Blake Mitchell is making his first start of the season and his counterpart Matt Stafford looked good against non-cupcake Oklahoma State. Georgia also has history on its side, having gone 11-4 in the last fifteen openers against the non-California USC. Georgia did lose Kregg Lumpkin to injury, but it’s not like he was that vital to begin with.
Prediction: Chalk. Georgia covers.
Notre Dame (0-1) at (14) Penn State (1-0) (Penn State -16)
Okay, I’ll say it, Notre Dame looked worse than Michigan last week. Not just because the offensive line couldn’t block a drain, but because Charlie Weis gave up on his starter after two series. What, no time for the kid making his first-ever start to settle in? It’s not like his two replacements played a whole lot better. This is a rebuilding year for Notre Dame, but Weis isn’t helping so far.
The reason Penn State wins this game is because Notre Dame’s defense is pretty bad. They just switched to the 3-4 and have a 270 pound nose tackle. That’s fine against Navy, but this is a Big Ten team. If the Irish defense doesn’t get completely pushed around, it’s on PSU’s line. Also, Notre Dame can’t run the ball for sh*t. Maybe Georgia Tech’s defense is just that good, but the Irish had the same problem last year too. Hey, how is Darius Walker doing in the NFL anyway? Sorry, couldn’t resist rubbing it in. Seriously though, how can a back be that soft and expect to be drafted? Maybe he got tired of being taken out on third and short.
Prediction: Chalk again. Nittany Lions cover. Sorry Jimmy Clausen.
(19) TCU (1-0) at (7) Texas (1-0) (Texas -9)
Luckily for us compulsive gamblers, we don’t have to worry about who’ll win and lose, just cover or not. This game is practically screaming as an upset special, but it’s hard to see exactly where TCU has an advantage over Texas. The Horned Frogs are going to run the ball and play defense, a noble stratagem, but do they have enough to score on Texas AND stop their offense? Probably not, but it’ll be closer than nine points.
Prediction: TCU beats the spread, but Texas wins.
(9) Virginia Tech (1-0) at (2) LSU (1-0) (LSU – 12.5)
Your marquee game for week 2 of the college football season. Virginia Tech didn’t look all that great offensively against East Carolina last week, but when do the Hokies ever blow anyone away offensively? Twelve and a half points is a ludicrous spread given Virginia Tech’s defense and LSU breaking in a new quarterback, system, and insanely using Jacob Hester instead of Keiland Williams. This definitely looks to be one of those big games that turns into a snoozer because of lack of offense.
Prediction: Virginia Tech beats the spread.
Season Record: 0-0