Week 2 of the NCAA Football season doesn’t have a marquee game like Michigan-Alabama. In fact, there’s not many good matchups this weekend in my opinion as no top-25 teams tangle and only Georgia in the top 10 on the road. #2 USC is officially away, but it’s a neutral field game against Syracuse in New Jersey. There’s sure to be plenty of watchable games, but this weekend lacks the grandeur of week 1. ESPN still was able to come up with 10 solid matchups for Pick’Em though and I see a couple upsets coming in these Pick’Em games.
For those unfamiliar with the rules it’s a confidence-based system where you rank your picks 1-10. In the first week, I got six of my ten picks correct and earned 43 points. The average entry was 39 points, and my 43 was good enough for first in our 11 person group. I’m in the top 10.2% and hopefully I can move up the rankings with another solid week this week.
Here’s who I’m taking and the confidence points I’m putting on them week 2:
1 point-Texas A&M over Florida: The Aggies join the SEC by hosting the Gators who continue to struggle to figure out their QB situation. The Gators have played a game while A&M will be seeing its first action of the season, but I can’t pick against the Aggies at home in one of the biggest games in the history of the program. The place will be going nuts for the 3:30 kickoff at Kyle Field in College Station.
2 points-Mississippi State over Auburn: As of the time of this writing 73% of people on Pick’em are going with Auburn, but Mississippi State is actually a favorite at home against the 0-1 Tigers. State rolled 56-9 over Jackson State in week one and will host Auburn at noon on Saturday as Auburn tries to rebound after losing their opener to Clemson 26-19. This should be a good game as the Bulldogs look to win their first SEC opener since 1999. I think they’ll get it done behind Jr. QB Tyler Russell and a balanced attack.
3 points-Iowa over Iowa State: Iowa is 6-7 against Iowa State during Kirk Ferentz time as head coach but is at home this year and will be hungry to avenge last year’s loss to the Cyclones. The Hawkeyes have this one in think in one of the more interesting matchups of the week as the Big 12 (with 10 teams) and the Big 10 (with 12 teams) face off an early Iowa caucus.
4 points-Georgia over Missouri: Mizzou also joins the SEC this week but has to host the #7 ranked Georgia Bulldogs as a welcome to the Conference. Georgia travels well and beat Buffalo 45-23 last week in their season opener. Missouri won too 62-10 against the SE Louisiana Lions. This should be a high-scoring game, but I’m going with the ‘dogs to give the Tigers a rude welcome to the toughest Conference in the country.
5 points-Kansas State over Miami: Miami won on the road last week in Boston and now heads to Manhatten (Kansas that is) to take on K-State. the Wildcats are ranked 21 and will be a tough matchup for Al Golden’s ‘Canes. If the game was at Miami I’d go with Miami, but I’ll take the home ranked team and go with the purple in this one.
6 points-Virginia over Penn State: Penn State and Bill O’Brien got off to an emotional start but ended up losing the game to Ohio at home to start their first post-Paterno season. The Cavaliers of Virginia will be the first road matchup for the Nittany Lions and Coach Mike London will have his team ready to go as they look to follow up on last year’s somewhat surprising turnaround by continuing a good start to the season.
7 points-Arizona State over Illinois: The Sun Devils will welcome the Illini to the desert as they look to avenge their loss from last year. Arizona State’s new spread offense looked great week one, but will get a solid test from a still-good Illinois defense that lost serious talent to the NFL but still held Western Michigan to seven points and -6 yards rushing. This is the late ESPN game kicking off at 10:30. Illinois’ uncertainty at QB (Nathan Scheelhasse was injured in week on) and the fact that the game is at ASU make this a fairly safe pick.
8 points-Nebraska over UCLA: The ‘Huskers were impressive week one and head to LA to face a Bruins team that rolled over Rice last week. Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez looked like the real deal last week against Southern Miss who still has a solid D this year. We’ll know more about where these teams stack up in the big picture after they meet up this weekend, but I think Nebraska picks up a nice road win here.
9 points-Wisconsin over Oregon State: For the Oregon State Beavers, this wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. They have to open against visiting Wisconsin who struggled a bit but won last week against a tough Northern Iowa squad. Even with the Badgers on the road, against an improved OSU team in it’s first game it’s hard to see them losing.
10 points-LSU over Washington:My most confident pick of the week is LSU as they host the Huskies from Washington. The Huskies have to go to the Bayou without running back Jesse Callier who’s out for the season after tearing his ACL. While Washington still has QB Keith Price, they struggled to score on San Diego State. LSU’s defense is among the best in college football and I think they’ll take this one fairly easily as they run over Washington in a rout.