2016 – Week 2 Picks

We told you.  Go against what we say and you will make money.  3-7 against the spread last week.  Already we are in midseason form!  Three top 10 teams went down and we didn't pick any of them.  The one top 10 team we did pick to lose ended up staging a huge comeback.  So, yeah...

Have you seen the promos ESPN hyping up week 2 as the worst week 2 ever?  I guess it's inevitable to have such a letdown after the Best Opening Week Ever.  Last week we said it doesn't matter that Brandon Harris can't make a throw because he has the best running back.  That didn't work out so well.  LSU looked terrible.  Maybe they are the overreaction from week 1, but it sure doesn't feel like it.  Florida State looked atrocious in the first half against Ole Miss, and then they looked like what we were expecting in the second half.  I don't know if Ole Miss took down the license plate of the semi that ran them over.  Speaking of 18-wheelers, Texas pulled off a big win in a super entertaining game against Notre Dame.  Tyrone Swoopes ran over the Irish to the tune of 3 rushing TDs.  They couldn't stop him even when they knew he had no intent on throwing.  Now Texas is ranked #11.  That seems to be a bit of an overreaction.  All that and the Houston upset of Oklahoma just gets lost in the shuffle.  They dominated the Sooners.  That wasn't a fluke upset.  Just because they beat Oklahoma doesn't mean they are going to run the table in the AAC.  You never know what can happen, but they have put themselves in prime position to try to be the first Group of 5 team to make the Playoff.

There were so many other fun games out there in the opening week as well.  The main takeaway is that college football is back and now we get to enjoy it from now through January.

It was a struggle to find some "decent" match ups to make wrong predictions about this week.  But our best guesses are below.

Teams on bye:  Michigan St., Kansas St., Oregon St., Stanford, Memphis, Buffalo, Texas St.

  Penn State

vs

  Pittsburgh (-5)

One of the nastier rivalries in the history of college football picks back up after a 16 year break.  It won't feel like a rivalry game just because no one on these teams was around when this was going on.  It will probably mean more to the fans than the players in the rivalry sense.  They need to keep this matchup going for a few years to make it feel like the old days again.  Both teams are coming off wins against overmatched foes.  Nothing too remarkable from either in the win.  James Conner made a triumphant return to the field after beating cancer in the offseason.  He didn't rush for a lot of yards, but he did score 2 TDs.  Penn State will look to throw it a little more, and Pitt will look to run the ball and control the clock.  This game feels like a toss up.  I went to the random coin flip generator on Google and am going with Pitt.  PICK: Pittsburgh 27, Penn State 20

  Kentucky

vs

  Florida (-17)

Well, Florida is coming off a win against UMass where they led 10-7 heading into the 4th quarter.  And Kentucky is coming off a loss to Southern Miss where they were outscored 27-0 in the second half.  Florida's defense was very good, like it always is.  And its offense wasn't very good, like it always is.  No matter what coaches say in the offseason about how things will be different, teams always seem to have the same identity year after year.  Now, it falls under the "don't overreact to Week 1" for Florida, but struggling to put away a UMass team is not encouraging.  Kentucky can never seem to take that next step no matter their talent and potential.  Maybe it's a coaching problem not developing players.  Regardless, 17 points seems like a huge number for Florida when we don't even have the confidence they can break into the 20s for scoring.  Take the points, but Florida still beats Kentucky.   PICK: Florida 23, Kentucky 14

  Ohio

vs

  Kansas (-2.5)

Kansas is coming off a win!  Go ahead and storm the field, KU fans, after beating FCS bottom-feeder, Rhode Island.  You haven't experienced what a win feels like in almost 2 years.  In a bigger surprise, KU is actually the 11th highest scoring team in the Jacknife leagues right now.  Just missed the cut to have their logo sliding across the home page.  And now they are favored against an actual FBS foe.  Heady times for the Jayhawks.  This program is trying to dig out of one of the biggest holes in recent memory for a football program.  If you have read any articles about what Charlie Weis did during his tenure, you will be astounded at the disaster he left behind.  Teams have climbed out of situations like this before, and Kansas has had success in the not too distant past.  A win against a MAC foe would be big.  It's all about expectations for a program.  Ohio is coming off a triple overtime loss to Texas State.  Ohio is usually a very solid program as they have been winning between 6 and 9 games since 2009.  Ohio could be a little deflated after that loss, and Kansas is riding high.  But it's baby steps for a program in the current state that KU is in.  Maybe next year they will pick up a win against an FBS foe. PICK: Ohio 26, Kansas 19

  Arkansas

vs

  #15 TCU (-7.5)

Throw this game into the growing category of teams that had a week 1 game that didn't go exactly as planned.  Arkansas beat LA Tech by 1 point thanks to a 4th quarter touchdown.  And TCU's defense got shredded by South Dakota State. That is not the Dakota school that has won 5 straight FCS championships.  Luckily TCU's offense finally was able to pull away in the 4th quarter.  Kenny Hill had over 400 yards passing and looks like he will fit in fine with the offense.  The narrative coming into the season for TCU's defense was that they were ravaged by injuries last year, and this year would be better just by the basis everyone would be healthy.  It obviously didn't look that way in week 1.  Maybe they were a little out of sync and will be back to being a hardnosed defense going forward.  Arkansas always starts seasons off slowly.  Not sure why it is, but they always have to string together wins at the back end of their schedule to get bowl eligible.  Then that momentum propels them to be a team to "watch out for" the following season.  Arkansas doesn't have the firepower to keep up with TCU's offense, even going against that leaky defense. PICK: TCU 38, Arkansas 24

  Iowa St.

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  #16 Iowa (-15)

Oh, boy.  Iowa State is coming off a loss to Northern Iowa.  Never a good start for a new coach losing to an FCS team.  It might take a few years for Matt Campbell to turn the program around to bowl eligibility.  But for this year, it doesn't look like they will be too competitive.  Now they get to go against rival Iowa, who is a favorite to return to the Big 10 title game.  Iowa did its thing in dispatching Miami (OH) in week 1.  But this is a rivalry game, and wacky things can sometimes happen in those games.  Usually Iowa State pulls off an unexpected upset playing at home, but this game is being played in Iowa City.  This year it looks like Iowa is just too much for their rival from Ames.  Iowa wins in a blowout.  PICK: Iowa 42, Iowa State 17

  BYU

vs

  Utah (-3)

BYU won last week's game 18-16 over a highly questionable Arizona team.  Utah vs BYU game has the look of another 18-16 finish.  BYU will have QB Taysom Hill for the 18th year (I rounded up) in a row, unless he gets hurt again.  Taysom is a one man show, but the guy can only do so much on his own against a solid Utah defense.  Here's the deal, Utah needs the run game to work for them to get that ball moving and last week BYU held Arizona's run game in check for the most part.  It seems like BYUs run defense will be a tough one this year and that means Utah will have to rely on the pass a little bit more than they are used to doing.  We all the know the offense is going to be at a premium in this game.  I'm going to give the nod to Utah here, mostly because their defense is ridiculous and will be able to overcome any shortcomings that Utah's offense might suffer.  The BYU offensive line isn't all that great this year, so watch Utah's defense go crazy on the O-line and force Taysom to run for his life/CFB career.  I got Utah in a weird one.   PICK: Utah 17, BYU 12

  Texas Tech

vs

  Arizona St. (-2.5)

Hmmm....this will be a very intriguing game watch.  Both of these teams aren't considered to be a major competitor in their respective leagues, but the winner of this game will be taken more seriously in the next few weeks and could emerge as a legit contender after all.  Whoever does win this thing will start the season 4-0 before the meat of their schedule kicks in.  Arizona St. will try to control the clock and you can bet that they'll have more TOP, since Tech likes to score as quick as possible and let the D look like total crap from start to finish.  ASU is all about the run game this year, which is different from previous pass happy years.  Tech is still a crazy pass happy team led by QB Mahomes, who is a freaking stud!!  As long as Mahomes stays healthy Tech will be a tough team to beat.  It seems like ASU is going to have a bit of an off year.  It's not a total rebuild - maybe a slight patch job until next year.  Tech will be flying all over the field on offense and it doesn't look like ASU has the arm to keep up.  Tech will win a by a TD thanks to a ridiculous night by my boy Mahomes.  PICK: Texas Tech 55, Arizona St 48

  #17 Tennessee

vs

  Virginia Tech (+11.5)

Shirts are optional and NASCAR hats are mandatory!!  What a kick ass venue.  Whoever thought of this idea needs a promotion.  Tennessee and VA Tech are playing at Bristol Speedway.  Bristol seats 160,000 people for a helluva crowd.  You better believe that the police will be making some arrests before, during, and after the game.  Fans are gonna be wasted and wondering where the race cars are at!!  Back to the football.  Tennessee looked like crap against App St. and should have lost that game multiple times, but somehow came out with a win in OT.  Tennessee better figure it out quickly before the losses start piling up.  VA Tech in their opening game did not impress a lot either.  They played Liberty and were down for the most part of the 1st half - c'mon Hokies!  Once VA Tech took the lead it was pretty much over.  So in summary, we have 2 teams that didn't look so hot in the opener but got away with it.  The good teams still win when they don't play their best.  I still believe that Tennessee is a really good team.  It just takes them some time to get moving.  Last year they looked awful to start the season, and then the last half of the season they were unstoppable.  The Vols need to figure out how to come out of the gate with more tempo and determination, then they can make that run for the SEC title/Alabama.  Tenn QB Dobbs was atrocious in Wk 1.   I think he'll have a bit of a bounce back this game since VA Tech's D doesn't look as scary as they once were in the past.  VA Tech will need to lean on QB Evans heavily since the run game seems to be pedestrian at best.  Look for Tenn to pick up on that and bring the pass rush on the corners to chase Evans out of the pocket.  Evans can scramble so Tenn should have a LB Spy on him for the most part and should see a couple of INTs because of the pass rush.  Since Evans is a JUCO transfer in a new offense and Tenn is supposed to be bringing back all this talent, I think Tenn will pull off another ugly win.  If Evans has an incredible game, then Tenn will be staring down a loss.  I don't see it happening just yet.  The Vols win by a TD in an uninspiring W.  PICK: Tennessee 27, VA Tech 20

  Virginia

vs

  #24 Oregon (-24.5)

Virginia.....what are we going to do with you? You lose to Richmond (FCS) team at home to start the season and now you have to go to Oregon?  This is not going to be good.  I understand that Virginia has a new coach that will eventually turn things around, but that running game against Richmond was atrocious.  Lucky for the Cavaliers they're gonna need to throw the ball 60 times and run maybe twice to keep up on the scoreboard.  Oregon comes off of a pretty easy win against UC-Davis 53-28.  The Ducks debuted another transfer QB, Prukop.  Not everyone was convinced that Prukop could do the job, but he certainly looked the part in his first game.  We'll have to wait until next week against Nebraska to see if he's for real.  Prukop just needs to be serviceable this year with the slew of talented RBs and WRs on the Ducks roster....it's freaking loaded.  The defense will once again be a gigantic question mark.  The D should cost this team 3 or 4 losses by the end of the year.  Clearly Week 2 is going to be full of blowouts, and here's another for you.  PICK: Oregon 48, Virginia 24

  Washington St.

vs

  Boise St. (-12.5)

One of the few competitive games for Week 2.  It just so happens to be our Upset Pick of the Week!!  Boise is supposed to run the table and get a shot at the Playoff.  How awesome would it be to have Houston and Boise run the table?  I would love to see the chaos.  The media would crap themselves just thinking about all the arguments on the table.  I just don't think it's going to happen for Boise this year.  Don't get me wrong, Boise is a damn good team this year.  Maybe next year with QB Rypien being a JR.  Anywho, Washington St. did their normal disappointing start last week by losing to E. Washington (FCS).  They did the same thing last year before winning 9 games.  We don't quite know how good Washington St. is this year.  I think they're going to surprise a lot of people this week and keep Boise out of the top 25 with a close win.  Either way I think that the spread of 12.5 is way too much, but what do I know?  Not much, just look at our record. PICK: Washington St  37, Boise St 35

Season Record - Straight Up: 5-5

Season Record - Versus Spread: 3-7

Upset of the Week: 0-1

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