After a thrilling opening weekend to the college football season, we were treated to a bit of a lesser slate for week two, at least on the surface. But once the games kicked off they brought plenty of fun.
The Oregon Ducks picked up where Minnesota left off and made the Ohio State Buckeyes’ defense look pedestrian. The Texas Longhorns got a rude but now customary hello from its soon-to-be SEC conference foe. The Miami Hurricanes got a scare at home from Appalachian State. Stanford beat up on USC bad enough that it pushed head coach Clay Helton out the door. And BYU stormed the field after claiming the Holy War against Utah for the first time in 10 years.
Some of those I was right on the money. Others, not so much. That’s how you get a 5-5 week. Overall, I’m 14-11 with these picks.
Checking the comments from last week, it looks like none of us made it over .500 so let’s hope we can turn that around. I’m planning to get this slate going a little early with a Friday night contest.
Reminder all lines come from my picks on Tallysight.com.
- UCF (-6.5) at Louisville (7:30pm Friday, ESPN)
This has the makings of an incredibly fun Friday night game. Both teams looked less than great in week one, though UCF did figure it out and get the win against a pretty good Boise State team. Louisville on the other hand got stepped on all night by Ole Miss. I really don’t want to take too much from those games, but neither team played an opponent of substance last weekend so it’s really all I have to go on. Malik Cunningham looks anything but consistent and that’s one thing I believe I can count on in a Gus Malzahn offense.
Prediction: UCF -6.5
- Nebraska (+22.5) at No. 3 Oklahoma (Noon ET Saturday, FOX)
Hey, it’s our guy Scott Frost again! A favorite of this here program, Frost was a big part of the 5-0 week zero performance thanks to that miserable performance at Illinois. This week, he’s back thanks to the renewal of a great college football rivalry. The Sooners had a disappointing first game of their own against Tulane, but I think the Green Wave are extremely underrated so I don’t hold it against them.
Prediction: Oklahoma -22.5
- No. 15 Virginia Tech (+2.5) at West Virginia (Noon ET Saturday, FS1)
Virginia Tech finds itself all the way up at No. 15 thanks to its opening victory against North Carolina. The Hokies took advantage of the reloading Tar Heels and kept Sam Howell under wraps all night. This game though is in Morgantown and the Mountaineers are plenty capable of beating them thanks to their star running back Leddie Brown. He led the offense to a close loss against Maryland on the road and now at home, I think they get it done.
Prediction: West Virginia -2.5
- Michigan State (+6) at No. 24 Miami (Noon ET Saturday, ABC)
What a roller coaster for the Hurricanes this season. They followed the thumping from Alabama with a nail biter against Appalachian State. Meanwhile, Michigan State has an impressive win against Northwestern on their résumé already and they did it by running right through the Wildcats all night long. Somehow the Spartans are the underdog here despite how Miami has looked so far and, oddly enough, I’m with the oddsmakers on this one.
Prediction: Miami -6
- Purdue (+7.5) at No. 12 Notre Dame (2:30pm ET Saturday, NBC)
Is Notre Dame any good? Two weeks in. Two close victories. But wins are wins especially when their name brand will carry them to the College Football Playoff if they can get through the schedule with just one loss. Purdue has a pair of victories themselves against Oregon State and UCONN, looking especially dominant against the Huskies. Though, it seems like everybody will look that way this season. I believe the talent is in the Irish’s favor, but they really can’t seem to put together so I’ll wait until I see it before believing it.
Prediction: Purdue +7.5
- No. 1 Alabama (-14.5) at No. 11 Florida (3:30pm ET Saturday, CBS)
As an SEC guy myself, I’m excited to see the SEC on CBS make its return Saturday and this is one of the matchups that make this conference head and shoulders above the rest. The top team in the land heading to The Swamp for a showdown with the Gators. Dan Mullen seems like one of the coaches who could give Nick Saban a hard time in his career, but he’s actually 0-10 against Saban’s Alabama teams. The Crimson Tide are the elite of the elite and I don’t believe this Florida team is worthy of its ranking. They could play this game in an actual swamp and Alabama would still roll.
Prediction: Alabama -14.5
- No. 22 Auburn (+5.5) at No. 10 Penn State (7:30pm ET Saturday, ABC)
Oddly enough this is a game that my family has had circled on the calendar for about 5 years now. My wife is an Auburn alum and one of our former roommates is a Penn State grad. The three of us are planning to get together to watch this weekend so I’m hoping its a great game. Auburn’s new head coach Bryan Harsin has Bo Nix looking like the quarterback he was expected to be when he was recruited to the plains. Penn State is going with the White Out at Happy Valley so the homefield advantage will be strong, but I’ve got a marriage to look out for here.
Prediction: Auburn +5.5
- Virginia (+8.5) at No. 21 North Carolina (7:30pm ET Saturday, ACC Network)
I already gave my two cents on North Carolina above. The opening loss was the first game for a new group of skill players and it came on the road in a tough environment. I think UNC will continue to get better as the season goes along. The Tar Heels need this one to compete in the Coastal so I’ll stick with them. The only concerning part is the line being more than a touchdown, but it’s not enough to push me off Carolina.
Prediction: North Carolina -8.5
- No. 19 Arizona State (-3.5) at No. 23 BYU (10:15pm ET Saturday, ESPN)
BYU is currently riding one of the most fun runs in college football. The Cougars opened the year with a win against Arizona and stormed the field after last week’s win against Utah in the Holy War. Honestly, they might be the best team in the Pac-12 — they aren’t we’ll get to that in a second, but they are 2-0 in the conference already despite not being a member. They’ve got a shot at 3-0 this weekend against Arizona State and I’m riding the wave.
Prediction: BYU +3.5
- Fresno State at No. 13 UCLA (10:45pm ET Saturday, Pac-12 Network)
I said I’d get here in a second and, depending on your read rate, it honestly may have only taken you a second to get here. UCLA is the best team in the Pac-12. They throttled my alma mater LSU in what was their second game of the year. It looked exactly like what they did to Hawaii. This week, they’re coming off a bye so they had extra time to prepare for a pretty good Fresno State team. If not for the bye to prepare, I might put the Bruins on upset alert, but I expect the extra time to be plenty enough time for Chip Kelly to have this team focused.
Prediction: UCLA -10.5