There’s always one matchup on the college football slate that can save a weekend. This week, that’s Ohio State-Penn State.
Sure, Florida State-Duke is also on the slate, but the spread there is quite a bit larger. Plus, Riley Leonard’s potential limitations push that game out of the must-watch category for non-FSU fans (though most of you are so watch you heart out. I’ll be right there with you).
But the rest of the CFB world will zero in on Columbus.
Ryan Day was plenty happy to crown his team as the hardest working in the country and wage war against whatever’s left of Lou Holtz at this point after his team survived against ten Notre Dame players a few weeks back. But for those not staring through whatever lens has you shouting “It’s always been Ohio vs. the world” into microphones on national TV, this team appears to be Marvin Harrison Jr. and a bunch of guys.
And Penn State is equipped as well as anyone to take away that weapon. But to do so, they’ve got to overcome their own coaching staff’s limitations.
More on that coming up because we first must revisit last week.
Of course, my LSU Tigers trounced my wife’s Auburn Tigers with us there to watch. But as I attempted to polish off every whiskey bottle the state of Louisiana allowed into Tiger Stadium, my picks were rolling. A 7-3 performance puts me back in striking distance of .500 once again as my overall record jumps to (37-40).
But I was still two games away from our winner this week as csfuu went an incredibly impressive 9-1. The only loss? Auburn +11.5. How dare you doubt my team.
Regardless, I forgive you and welcome you to the Comment Section Hall of Fame for the first time this season. Congratulations! That’s one hell of a week that’ll be really hard to top!
Comment Section Hall of Fame
- Week Zero: MexiNole and Topnole (5-2)
- Week One: Yapo.SD and Topnole (7-3)
- Week Two: Kylefsu02 (7-3)
- Week Three: Kylefsu02 and Ukedadnole (7-3)
- Week Four: trojan24man and Brian (7-3)
- Week Five: NoleInAggieland (7-3)
- Week Six: medav (8-2)
- Week Seven: csfuu (9-1)
Could you be the next Comment Section Champion of the season? Leave your picks to the 10 games below in the comment section at the bottom of the page. You have to pick the 10 games I provided to be eligible for the Hall as those are the only ones I grab. Most correct is our winner.
On the DFS side, my co-host on the Sharpen the Point podcast — Chris Tyndall — and I were not at our best last week. We were riding a heater to open the year though so we were due for a miss. Learn from it and be better with our picks this week.
Want to get more details on those picks? Listen to the Sharpen the Point podcast, where we talk in-depth on game picks as well as the Daily Fantasy Sports contests on DraftKings each weekend. New to DFS? We can help you through the thought process of building a team.
Reminder that we are just two guys with keyboards and microphones, not gambling professionals, so follow at your own risk and play responsibly.
Brian’s College Football Week 2 Picks
No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions (+4.5) at No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (Noon ET, FOX)
I love picking the Penn State game any chance I get because there’s an easy question that will solve it all for me — can James Franklin win the big one? Anecdotally, it’s been the question I ask one of my friends who is a Penn State alum every time they’ve got a tough game on the schedule. But it’s not just an anecdotal question. Franklin has struggled in his career against top ranked teams. According to the Reading Eagle, his record against top 10 opponents is 3-12 since 2016 and all three wins are at home. That to me says Ohio State, but I have been no stranger to my doubt on Ohio State this season. Plus, Penn State fought Ohio State like hell last year and it’s largely the same team with a better quarterback. It feels counterintuitive, but I’ll take Penn State and points.
Brian’s Pick: Penn State +4.5
UCF Knights (+19.5) at No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (Noon ET, ABC)
UCF’s introduction to the power-five has been... less than stellar. The first three quarters of their first Big 12 conference home game was dynamite, but Baylor ripped off a 26-0 fourth quarter to ruin that fun. To this point, UCF has yet to beat another power-five opponent. And to break that streak they’ve got a road trip to Norman to take on an Oklahoma team that took the week off after beating Texas in the Red River Shootout. As much as I like OU, I’m determined to see something weird in this noon slate. UCF keeps it close with John Rhys Plumlee returning after missing the last month with an injury.
Brian’s Pick: UCF +19.5
No. 22 Air Force Falcons (-11.5) at Navy Midshipmen (Noon ET, CBS)
Anybody talking about Air Force yet this year? The Falcons head into this first leg of the Commander-in-Chief trophy rivalry 6-0 and soaring high. Sure, none of the early season opponents will wow you, but Air Force also had a fairly convincing bowl win over Baylor last year as well. They’re no pushover. Meanwhile, Navy is 3-3 with a blowout loss to Notre Dame in Ireland and a couple closer losses to Memphis and USF. Logic says Air Force, but I’ve clearly demonstrated so far that I’m not Logic.
Brian’s Pick: Navy +11.5
No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers (+9.5) at No. 11 Alabama Crimson Tide (3:30pm ET, CBS)
Tennessee got a huge win last week against Texas A&M that I absolutely doubted they could pull off even at home. In my defense, I doubted because I don’t trust this offense, but they won it largely thanks to their defense. This week, they’ll likely need another big defensive performance because this Alabama defense is going to limit them even more than the Aggies did. It’s a fairly large spread for two similarly ranked teams, but I think Bama is clearly better.
Brian’s Pick: Alabama -9.5
No. 13 Ole Miss Rebels (-6.5) at Auburn Tigers (7:00pm ET, ESPN)
LSU wiped the floor with Auburn last week (huge weekend for me, personally. Thank you). So why am I even putting this on the slate? Simply put, this spread is suspicious. Auburn is not good. Their offense is atrocious. The defense on the otherhand is really solid. LSU’s offense made them look pedestrian last week, but that’s to be expected with that group. Auburn at home made Georgia look pedestrian and Jaxson Dart can certainly fit that bill when playing on the road. Ole Miss’ two road games so were a very close contest in New Orleans against Tulane (the final score was a 17 point spread, but it was two very late Ole Miss scores to widen that margin) and a dreadful Dart performance at Alabama. I’ve got a feeling on Auburn this week and it appears oddsmakers do too.
Brian’s Pick: Auburn +6.5
No. 16 Duke Blue Devils (+14.5) at No. 4 Florida State Seminoles (7:30pm ET, ABC)
Brian’s Pick: Florida State -14.5
No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (-24.5) at Michigan State Spartans (7:30pm ET, NBC)
Michigan is the best team in the Big Ten, right? Like, I don’t think it’s particularly close. They’ve rolled so far (with a light schedule) and I don’t expect to be much different from their other light schedule. Even a rivalry game on the road isn’t phasing me.
I wrote the above before the alleged sign stealing scandal news reports. Excited to find out if they’re actually the best team or just knew what was coming every play.
Brian’s Pick: Michigan -24.5
Clemson Tigers (-4.5) at Miami Hurricanes (8:00pm ET, ACCN)
Losers of two consecutive ACC games, Mario Cristobal’s team returns to the scene of the crime — Hard Rock Stadium — where he stole their chance to do anything meaningful this season with his stubborn refusal to simply kneel out a victory. No, I’m not letting it go and neither should any of you. After that debacle, the Canes ran into a buzzsaw of UNC second half to sink them in the ACCCG race and essentially put their season in damage control mode. First stop in that is a matchup with another team unexpectedly running in damage control mode, the Clemson Tigers. Fresh off a bye week, I like Dabo’s team to come out refreshed a refocused to start their charge toward the end of the season. They’ve looked better than I anticipated of late and I’m not sure Miami is going to be ready to shake that mess of a few weeks ago. I know the empty seats in Miami Gardens aren’t.
Brian’s Pick: Clemson -4.5
No. 14 Utah Utes (+7.5) at No. 18 USC Trojans (8:00pm ET, FOX)
So it’s starting to feel like Cam Rising might not be back this season for Utah and that’s a real shame. This Utah defense is so damn good, but the offense just doesn’t have the firepower to give them enough support. Almost the opposite of USC, but their ignorance of the defensive ball appears deliberate by Lincoln Riley at this point. As much as USC feels like the easy winner at home, something certainly feels off there the last few weeks. I’ll go Utes.
Brian’s Pick: Utah +7.5
Arizona State Sun Devils (+26.5) at No. 5 Washington Huskies (10:30pm ET, FS1)
We’ve gotta have 10 games so let’s use the last spot to highlight both #Pac12AfterDark and the Heisman Trophy frontrunner. The Huskies took a firm handle on the Pac12 last week with their win over Oregon. Michael Penix, Jr. has his invitation to NYC for the Heisman ceremony already stamped and addressed. I’m sure those invitations aren’t physical mail, but you get the point. That offense is humming and I doubt they slow down this week. I did kinda like the Sun Devils in the letdown spot, but Washington at home is too good to say no to even with this large spread.
Brian’s Pick: Washington -26.5
Chris’ College Football Daily Fantasy (DFS) Plays
Saturday DK Early Main Slate
- Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma ($9,300) — The revenge game narrative is in full effect as Gabriel takes on his former UCF team. Players do care about playing their former team, but that is not what is driving this pick as much as I believe Gabriel has a legit shot to win the heisman and he will need to put up numbers to do so. When teams have a guy in contention, they tend to give him more opportunities to score and inflate their numbers. With a 42 point team total playing his former team at home without a stable running game as a Heisman candidate, what is there not to like. Gabriel has amassed impressive numbers all year with 25+ fantasy points in every game, 35+ in half of his games, 300+ passing in four of six, and sneaky rushing upside which he showed going for 113 yards against Texas last time out what else needs to be said.
- Kurtis Rourke, Ohio ($5,700) — When given the chance, I love being able to pay down for a QB value and Rourke presents that opportunity this week. Rourke was one of my favorite QB’s to watch and play from the G5 last season, but an ACL tear ended his season early. He made it back to play in Week 0 but left with an injury and was slow to return to full strength but had 500 yards passing with 6 TD’s and 60 yards rushing across two games prior to the dud last week. The Bobcats are projected to score 33.5 points this week and their opponent Western Michigan has given up four touchdowns to QB’s each of the past four weeks making Rourke the best point per dollar play on the board.
- Jonathon Brooks, Texas ($7,400) — Texas should be able to score any way they want to in this one as Houston has looked abysmal on defense ever since that UTSA game to open the season. That clearly has been the outlier as every opponent has scored 36 or more points since. Meanwhile, Brooks has established a firm grip on the RB1 role the Bijan Robinson excelled in last season with over 100 yards rushing in each of his last four games on 20 carries per game and 5 TD’s in that span. A 42-point team total and a bell cow role provides us with both a solid floor and massive upside.
- Jermaine Brown Jr., UAB ($5,300) — Brown split work last year with NCAA leading rusher DeWayne McBride and with him leaving for the NFL the hope was we would get to see the Brown show this season. That turned out to not be true as the new coaching staff led by Trent Dilfer established a committee right out the gate, but their hand was forced when his backfield mate tore his ACL two weeks ago. Brown has responded with his best two games of the year accounting for 75 fantasy points on 5 TD’s and 300 yards of offense. This UAB/ Memphis game has a chance to shoot out and is a prime candidate for a game stack, more on that below.
- Roc Taylor, Memphis ($5,800) — Going right back to this game with the WR1 for Memphis to pair with the UAB RB. Memphis may be without their star RB Blake Watson which would only serve to increase my belief in the pass catchers. Taylor leads the WR core for the Tigers and has been producing particularly well over his past three games with over 20 fantasy points and 100 yards in each. UAB has been prone to giving up points with FBS opponents scoring over 40 points in 5 of 6 games. Demeer Blankumsee ($4700) is operating as the Robin to Taylor’s Batman and should be played in game stacks that include Taylor, Brown, and QB Seth Henigan ($8300).
- Kyle Williams, Washington State ($5,700) — Simply put, Cam Ward has been dreadful the past two weeks. It is shocking how bad he has played and the matchup isn’t great facing an Oregon team playing at home that is coming off of a loss. I just can’t imagine him playing that poorly three weeks in a row. Onto the good news here, for how bad Ward has been Williams has 17 catches and 146 yards over those two games. The former UNLV WR started the year with lower volume but scored in each of the first four games culminating in a 7/174/1 performance against a good Oregon St team. Oregon will score a lot of points and Washington St likes to chuck it anyway so the opportunities will be there again.
- Rashod Owens, Oklahoma State ($4,800) — On paper, the matchup is good and his price is too low for his production the past two weeks, but strange things happen in Morgantown. I have a feeling that WVU can control the clock running the football, limiting possessions and opportunities for Owens to find success. I will have exposure but not as much as I would have had that game been played in Stillwater.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.