Record after week 2: 19-7 (10-15-1 ATS)
Read my week three picks here.
Something to watch until football starts in four hours (courtesy of Deadspin commenter Hustler of Culture):
Friday Night Action: Nevada 52 Cal 31 – You’re my boy, Blue! Colin Kaepernick and Nevada finally have a marquee win. This is the third year I’ve been honking the guy, and they’ve disappointed every time until now. What a huge win. Plus they kind of kicked Cal’s ass too.
Phillips is probably happier about that part than I am, but this win means the, dare I say it, that the WAC might have three teams (Boise, Fresno, Nevada) that are legit. The Broncos will at least have a hell of a lot more competition than people are saying now that Virginia Tech f_cked the dog. Now, if only we can ensure Cal won’t lose to a 1-AA school…or Washington State.
Games I’m watching now: Arkansas/Georgia and UConn/Temple during commercials. God I love Saturdays. Got UNC/Georgia Tech on the computer too. Tell me this isn’t the greatest country in the world.
1:39 pm ET – Hope Michigan is tired of sucking really badly against UMass.
3:30 pm ET – They didn’t.
UConn (1-1) at Temple (2-0) (+6.5)
Pick: UConn wins but doesn’t cover.
Final: Temple 30 UConn 16
Is it possible that the stink of a Charlie Weis reject can mess up a whole other program? Zach Frazer isn’t exactly inspiring confidence for UConn. Then again, what quarterback would? Their system is so quarterback-unfriendly they might as well have a golden retriever running it.
Record: 19-8 (11-15-1 ATS)
(12) Arkansas (2-0) at Georgia (1-1) (-2.5)
Final: Arkansas 31 Georgia 24
The Ryan Mallett was good. Not great, though his stat line will make him a fantasy god. The Razorbacks kind of took the fourth quarter off until the last winning drive. And, as Phillips pointed out, no other quarterback in college football can make the throw Mallett made on the game-winning pass. Just hope his head is on straight. And so does whoever gets the first overall pick.
Georgia is 0-2 in the SEC for the first time ever under Mark Richt. And boy do they look it. Sure they had a good second half, but that team is so talent-free it’s impossible to tell whether they came back because they played well or Arkansas took the half off. Unless they essentially win out, Richt is on his way out of Athens. The scary part for Georgia is that no one big is going to want that job. Gonna have to take a coordinator who’s a first time coach or Les Miles.
Record: 20-8 (12-15-1 ATS)
Georgia Tech (1-1) at North Carolina (0-1) (-2)
Pick: Georgia Tech
Final: Georgia Tech 30 UNC 24
Speaking of coaches who are on the way out.
The option triumphs again over Team Suspension. Yet once again the Yellow Jackets’ defense was underwhelming. UNC didn’t do anything impressive, but Tech errors made them look pretty darn good. This game shouldn’t have been that competitive.
Redemption starts here, Georgia Tech.
Record: 21-8 (13-15-1 ATS)
Maryland (2-0) at (21) West Virginia (2-0) (-10)
Pick: West Virginia wins but doesn’t cover
Final: West Virginia 31 Maryland 17
Anything I might say would be less interesting than this game. And that’s saying something.
Record: 22-8 (13-16-1 ATS)
3:30 pm ET
(18) Southern California (2-0) at Minnesota (1-1) (+11.5)
Final: USC 32 Minnesota 21
That garbage Minnesota TD with less than a minute left cost a hell of a lot of people money. Stupid second-string USC defense. Haven’t any of you LEARNED anything standing on the sideline watching the good players? Hell, there aren’t even that many of you this year because your coach and former players couldn’t keep it in their pants. Whoever invented the point spread is the devil.
SC didn’t look too bad, I guess. It’s still weird having such low expectations for them. Phillips, the biggest homer ever, thought the game would be close since it’s an early-season road game. At Minnesota? Who just lost to South Dakota? Actually, that game was close too. Maybe Phillips is on to something. Hmmmmm.
Record: 23-8 (13-17-1 ATS)
Air Force (2-0) at (7) Oklahoma (2-0) (-17)
Final: OU 27 Air Force 24
I chickened out and had OU covering when I KNEW that Air Force would come into Norman and do something impressive. Oklahoma isn’t as good as they played last week. Florida State just secretly sucks. Actually, that’s kind of what OU does. Stick them in a game with some one who is equal athletically and they’re in trouble.
Also, is Landry Jones rocking the mustache completely un-ironically now? Does he actually think that’s a good look? Maybe it is in Oklahoma. And these people get the same amount of senators as everyone else. Just saying.
Record: 24-8 (13-18-1 ATS)
(8) Nebraska (2-0) at Washington (1-1) (+3)
Final: Nebraska 56 Washington 21
Wow. Washington is way worse than I thought. The thing is that they’ll pull at least two upsets in conference play. Games like this just highlight that even Jake Locker can’t do everything for his team. Or his own job today, for that matter.
I kinda don’t want Nebraska in the Big 10 anymore if they’re going to do this on a weekly basis.
Record: 25-8 (14-18-1 ATS)
(10) Florida (2-0) at Tennessee (1-1) (+14)
Pick: Florida wins but doesn’t cover.
Final: Florida 31 Tennessee 17
Thanks to Florida for another garbage TD that cost people money. Game effort by Tennessee. How is this better than keeping Fulmer again?
Record: 26-8 (14-18-2 ATS)
4:30 pm ET
Baylor (2-0) at (4) Texas Christian (2-0) (-21)
Pick: TCU wins but doesn’t cover.
Final: TCU 45 Baylor 10
Er, so maybe I got that wrong. This is what I get for giving Baylor any credit for attempting to move beyond doormat status in Texas football. TCU looks really fucking good heading into BCS season. REALLY good.
Record: 27-8 (14-19-2 ATS)
5 pm ET
Indiana (1-0) at Western Kentucky (0-2) (+12)
Final: Indiana 38 WKU 21
So this is what it’s like to win games your team is supposed to win!
IU was rusty as hell for the first quarter and a half, but essentially dominated the rest of the game. WKU got two meaningless TD’s in the fourth after the defense stopped playing, but hey whatever. That actually should tell you a lot about the dropoff between when Indiana’s defense is trying and when they’re not. And it ain’t pretty when they’re not trying. Let’s never do that again.
Bring on Akron! If that’s who we’re playing next week!
Record: 28-8 (15-19-2 ATS)
7 pm ET
San Diego State (2-0) at Missouri (2-0) (-14)
Pick: Mizzou wins but doesn’t cover.
Final: Missouri 27 SDSU 24
Called that shit, but I didn’t know Mizzou would try really, really hard to lose before they got a long touchdown with less than a minute left due to some crap tackling by SDSU. The Aztecs are coming back up, people! Now it’ll only be New Mexico’s fault that the Mountain West sucks.
Record: 29-8 (16-19-2 ATS)
Clemson (2-0) at (16) Auburn (2-0) (-7)
Final: Auburn 27 Clemson 24 (OT)
An illegal snap is what lost Clemson this game. An illegal freaking snap.
You have to love how Clemson always comes through in the big games. I really can’t think of a loyal fan base with less to be happy about than Clemson fan. There’s just nothing to live for. They know they have talented football teams, but they also know the team never, ever plays up to expectations. Ever. It might be the most predictable thing in college football.
Record: 30-8 (16-20-2 ATS)
Mississippi State (1-1) at (15) Louisiana State (2-0) (-7.5)
Final: LSU 29 MSU 7
The great news for LSU last night was that Mississippi State’s quarterbacks threw five interceptions, assuring an LSU victory. The good news was that LSU’s defense is very good again, or at least they’re able to stop teams they’re supposed to stop. The bad news, or maybe it’s just news at this point, is that Jordan Jefferson was a lox. Again.
When a game plan takes the ball out of the quarterback’s hands, it has to actually put them somewhere, but LSU seems to be trying to have successful offense with no one actually contributing. While Jefferson ran for a score, he only ran for 40 yards and only threw for 97 and no TD’s.
One would think this would mean some one else on the LSU offense had a big game, but no, their leading rusher had 19 carries for 78 yards and a TD and their leading receiver caught four passes. That’s it. LSU won and no one did anything special on the entire offensive unit.
Maybe that’s the way Les Miles and Gary Crowton want it. Maybe they’re happy with a star-less offense since Jordan Jefferson clearly can’t lead that unit himself. I don’t fucking know. LSU fan has that same creeping feeling they’ve had the last two years. They know they’ll have a shot at the big boys, but they also know every single one of those problems they’ve had all along (QB sucks, no stud RB, no playmakers, good but not great D) are going to rear their heads again and again, with no relief in sight as long as Miles is the coach.
Record: 31-8 (17-20-2 ATS)
8 pm ET
Notre Dame (1-1) at Michigan State (2-0) (-3.5)
Pick: Notre Dame
Final: Michigan State 34 Notre Dame 31 (OT)
Mark Dantonio wins the Ballsy Coach of the Week Award for faking a field goal in overtime that would have tied the game. Instead, the fake got MSU the win and gave Notre Dame more pain. Man does that sound nice.
It seems Notre Dame’s offense is adapting really nicely to Brian Kelly’s system. The Irish racked up all kinds of yards on defensive-minded Michigan State, and 31 points would have been enough to win had the defense not broken down and let MSU tie the game.
The Notre Dame defense is definitely still a work in progress, especially against the run. They got torched by Michigan last week and gave up a ton of rushing yards to Michigan State this week. That said, the defense at least tried hard, which is an improvement over last year.
1-2 can’t feel good, but it’s safe to say this year’s Irish are already much, much better than last year’s incarnation. You can see the difference when they play.
Record: 31-9 (18-20-2 ATS)
Fresno State (1-0) at Utah State (1-1) (+5.5)
Pick: Fresno State
This was actually a close game before FSU scored 17 unanswered and ran away and hid with the victory. I was all set to make a “sure it was a shootout, with Utah State getting shot AT” joke, but they played respectably until the fourth quarter. Oh well.
Look out Boise State. Nevada and Fresno State are absolutely legit. I also just named the three teams that are bailing out for the Mountain West in a year or two.
Record: 32-9 (19-20-2 ATS)
(6) Texas (2-0) at Texas Tech (2-0) (+3)
Final: Texas 24 Texas Tech 14
I’m not used to seeing Texas Tech quarterbacks pass for 159 yards in a full game. It’s just weird. Things had to change when Tommy Tuberville came to town, though.
And Texas. Wow. I’m definitely not used to seeing them win all their games ugly with mediocre offense and a good defense. It’s just weird. I can say for sure now that I have no idea whom to take when Landry Jones and OU play Texas and Garrett Gilbert in a week or two. It’ll be the apocalypse of quarterback mediocrity.
Record: 33-9 (20-20-2 ATS)
(3) Boise State (1-0) at Wyoming (1-1) (+23)
Pick: Boise State
Final: Boise State 51 Wyoming 6
The only reason there aren’t 117 athletic directors trying to hire Chris Petersen is because Alabama’s is scared shitless of Saban and Mack Brown is a legacy at this point. Everyone else? I don’t know what their excuse is. This is the best coach in the country.
Then again, it’s not like Petersen would take a step back and go to, like, Tennessee just because it’s an SEC school. His Boise program is ranked third in the fucking nation and is actually IN the national title talk. The biggest problem for Boise is that their Virginia Tech win doesn’t look so hot anymore. Tennessee’s problems are a bit bigger.
Record: 34-9 (21-20-2 ATS)
10:30 pm ET
(9) Iowa (2-0) at (24) Arizona (1-1) (+1.5)
Final: Arizona 34 Iowa 27
Arizona tried hard to blow their lead (heh – ed.), but they couldn’t because Iowa was too busy making a ton of mistakes, wait for it, on defense at the end. The defense screwed up one final time late in the fourth after a mistake-filled game on both sides of the ball. Ricky Stanzi made some Stanzi-plays, but he spent much of his game at his throwing-into-triple-coverage worst. Iowa must have nearly intercepted about fifteen errant Stanzi passes over the course of the game.
Iowa fan had to know this was going to happen sooner or later. They spent all of 2009 living on the edge and EVERY SINGLE break went their way last season. Maybe not so much in 2010
Record: 35-9 (22-20-2 ATS)
(23) Houston (2-0) at UC,LA (0-2) (+3)
Final: UC,LA 31 Houston 13
So that’s what Houston looks like without Case Keenum. Not pretty. Seems like there’s a pretty good chance he shouldn’t have played at all after getting a concussion last week.
I don’t want to alarm anyone, but UC,LA managed to run the ball on some one! Granted, it was on Houston, who hails from Conference USA, but still, they ran the ball! A lot!
This sucks a lot more for Houston than it rules for the Bruins. Houston had BCS aims and had the weapons to do it, but now they’re in limbo with their star injured. UC,LA still sucks in most of the phases of the game and still doesn’t have a quarterback. Kevin Prince didn’t have to do much last night, but not every game is going to be totally out of his hands like that.
Record: 35-10 (22-21-2 ATS)
11:15 pm ET
Wake Forest (2-0) at (19) Stanford (2-0) (-17)
Pick: Stanford wins but doesn’t cover.
Final: Stanford 68 Wake Forest 24
Wow, I’d say Stanford decided to make an example of some one Saturday night. Holy crap.
Record after week three: 36-10 (22-22-2 ATS)