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College Football Picks for Week 2: All eyes on Texas

Are the Longhorns back or will Bama put them in their place?

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

College football never disappoints, does it?

In its first weekend back in our lives after 8 long months away, we had thrilling finishes all across the country, including that game in New Orleans you may have heard about.

Blocked extra points for the win, missed field goals at the gun, game-saving interceptions in the endzone and so much more. What a fun weekend for football and we get to do it all again for the next 3 months.

This week’s slate is less than great as many teams get their cupcake games in, but we’ve still got our 10 to watch.

Last week, I went a meh 5-5 giving me an equally meh 11-10 record on the year. I’m happy to keep my head above .500.

Our comment section champion for the week was OhNoleHeDidnt (obligatory oh nole he did) with a 7-3 record. That’s his first of the year. NoleOhana took Week Zero.

If you’re new to the proceedings (which many of you probably are because I’ve only done this for one season), drop your picks in the comments with the spread provided. The following week, I’ll tally up the wins and losses and give a salute to whoever dominates the weekend. Remember, that I’m just a guy with a keyboard, not a gambling pro, so this isn’t advice. Just giving all of us a viewing guide and rooting interest as we watch the football season.

Reminder that I pull all the lines from because they make it easier for me to track my picks.

Louisville (+5.5) at UCF (Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Well... well... well... Would you look at what we have here. A Florida state school (I think. Forgive me. I’m a Florida transplant you’ll remember) playing a Friday night game against Louisville. Sounds like a big game to watch to me! If you haven’t figured it out, Florida State plays Louisville next Friday night so there’s symmetry between the two games... you know what? Nevermind. Louisville looked AWFUL last week. Like 31-7 loss at Syracuse awful. Remember we talked on a previous episode of the Seminole Wrap podcast we previewed Louisville and felt like they were similar to FSU in needing transfers to hit for them to improve. Looks like they might be the ones who didn’t hit the mark. Gus Malzahn ain’t a coach that I’d want to face if was coming off that type of loss either. This feels like 0-2 Louisville to me, which would be huge for FSU next week, so I’ll happily lay the points and ride with the Knights.

Brian’s Pick: UCF -5.5

No. 1 Alabama (-20.5) at Texas (Noon ET, FOX)

Why does FOX insist on noon kickoffs for big games? It just feels wrong. Give me college football under the lights as (insert your favorite higher power above) intended.

ANYWELL, getting off my soapbox. This should be a really fun game. Texas has reloaded their flaws especially with new QB Quinn Ewers joining stud RB Bijan Robinson in the backfield. Has Steve Sarkisian finally figured out whatever has been missing in Austin over the past 10+ years? Honestly, it doesn’t matter if he has. Because life is simple. Death. Taxes. Tide.

Brian’s Pick: Alabama -20.5

No. 23 Wake Forest (-13.5) at Vanderbilt (Noon ET, SECN)

Hello Sam Hartman. After stepping away from Wake Forest for an undisclosed medical issue, the Deacs star QB is back just in time to get a few tune up games under his belt before facing FSU. Isn’t that just great? The first comes on the road in the SEC against Vanderbilt and dare I ask… Is… is Vandy decent? I can’t give them good, but decent? Maybe! They’re the best team in SEC so far at 2-0. PRINT THE SHIRTS! Oh they beat Hawaii and Elon? Hmm… not great. I’m watching this to see how Hartman performs after the time away and going to probably flip to other games when Wake doesn’t have the ball. I believe them to be better than Vandy despite Vandy’s fun start, though it’s hard to say no to that many points.

Brian’s Pick: Wake -13.5

South Carolina (+8.5) at No. 16 Arkansas (Noon ET, ESPN)

I feel pretty confident in the quarterbacks in this one. South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler is the bigger name brand after entering last season as a Heisman contender. He disappointed, transferred to Columbia and didn’t look all that great in game one. So I give you the QB on the other side as the one to watch, Mr. KJ Jefferson. I brought him up last week and I’m doing it again after a 4-TD performance. He’s a growing star in college football.

Brian’s Pick: Arkansas -8.5

App State (+19.5) at No. 6 Texas A&M (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Well, well, well. App State, the original college football upset darling, gets another crack at putting a P5 win on the resume after nearly defeating UNC in Boone last week. The passing game looked electric as Chase Brice posted 361 yards with 6 TDs and the run game has two great backs leading the way. Winning at Kyle Field won’t be easy, but they can certainly compete if the Aggies are caught looking ahead to next week’s contest with Miami.

Brian’s Pick: App State +19.5

No. 24 Tennessee (-6.5) at No. 17 Pittsburgh (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

The reigning ACC champion Pitt Panthers didn’t look so hot in last week’s Backyard Brawl, but I’m willing to give them a pass for it being both Week 1 and a massive rivalry game. They were able to still get a win and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters. I mean the offense looked good, but that defense ain’t it. Enter Tennessee who lit up the scoreboard at the end of last season and did it again in Week 1 (against a lesser opponent for what its worth). If Pitt can’t stop Tennessee, it’ll be really hard to keep up even with a strong offense.

Brian’s Pick: Tennessee -6.5

No. 25 Houston (+3.5) at Texas Tech (4:00 p.m. ET, FS1)

One of the best games (and possibly the best game) last week was Houston playing against UTSA in the Alamodome. Houston ended up escaping in 3 OTs with an incredible run from Clayton Tune to seal it on a 2-point conversion. But lost in the win is that Houston actually got outgained by nearly 100 yards. That same performance won’t be close to enough in Lubbock. I’m worried about a late cover, but I’ll take TTU to outgun the Cougs.

Brian’s Pick: Texas Tech -3.5

No. 20 Kentucky (+6.5) at No. 12 Florida (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)

I despise Florida, but Anthony Richardson looks legit. He made lots of wow plays all over the field against a top-ten Utah to pull the upset. But the Utes also managed to make enough big mistakes to lose the game more than UF did to win it so I’m not buying the Gators just yet despite them vaulting from unranked up to nearly the top ten. We’re making rankings based on how they fared against a team that we preseason ranked high because they won last year, but not knowing really how good they’d be this year.

Brian’s Pick: Kentucky +6.5

No. 10 USC (-8.5) at Stanford (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

How did we arrive at No. 10 USC already? I understand they got Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams from Oklahoma, but the rest of that roster isn’t ready to compete as the 10th best team in the country. We’ve seen Stanford beat USC plenty of times before and I’m plenty happy to take more than a touchdown in this one.

Brian’s Pick: Stanford +8.5

No. 9 Baylor (+3.5) at No. 21 BYU (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

If you read this article last year, you likely remember that I was a big Baylor guy. They certainly didn’t disappoint me a year ago and they might be even better this season. I don’t know how head coach Dave Aranda made it through the last carousel still in Waco, but I have to think one of the bigger schools (or the NFL) are gonna come calling soon. But playing at BYU isn’t gonna be a Saturday night stroll. Tough team in a tough environment. I mean tough enough that BYU is actually the favorite and certainly can win. But I still like Baylor to get the win and I’ll easily take a field goal of safety on the pick.

Brian’s Pick: Baylor +3.5