Thursday, September 4

College Football: Week 2 Preview (updated)

Week 2: Um, Yeah... Weekend!

It's week 2, which we all know is the week that comes between week 1 and week 3. And there are some games this week! Woohoo!

Georgia Tech @ Boston College
Don't laugh now, but ACC title position could be at stake here. OK, go ahead and laugh.
Analysis: I don't even want to think about what this atrocity is going to look like.
Pick: not the fans. Maybe BC?

BYU @ Washington
I originally had this slated as an upset in the Huskies' favor. Then BYU looked a lot better than I thought on opening week while Washington got killed by Oregon. I'm going to stick with my guns here, but without a lot of confidence.
Pick: Washington

Oregon State @ Penn State
Meh. Ehhhhh. This is one of those games where, if they played it ten times, one of them would be good. Are you feeling lucky, punk? I'm not.
Oregon State's last trip to the Midwest didn't go so great.. and that was Cincinnati. (when does a trip to Cincy ever get described as "great" though? by going there, you've already lost something) The Beavers' offense looked great against Stanford, but they were also gashed on the ground by a team much less physical than Penn State. PSU is a superior defensive team and without Morelli they won't throw enough picks to lose this one.
Pick: Penn State

Sandy Eggo State @ Notre Dame
It never gets old writing San Diego like that. You know what else never gets old? Watching Jimmy Claussen take shot after shot when this line can't hold long enough to take a three-step drop. I don't know if Notre Dame is bad enough to lose to SDSU, but... maybe.
Realistically, neither team's offense is going to look great, but Charlie Weiss will have just enough of a "decided schematic advantage" drawn up for the Domers to win by two TDs.
Pick: Notre Dame, dammit

Mississippi @ Wake Forest
This one got promoted to key game status when we realized exactly how awful the ACC really is this season. Wake looked strong against Baylor, while Ole Miss handled Memphis.
2-3 years ago, most of the shit-talk I personally heard about the Big East was coming from ACC fans. Was it a regional thing... or was it conveniently deflecting criticism of this awful conference? Bottom line is, karma is catching up with the ACC. Wake's (probably?) the better team, but this is the year shit hits the fan out east.
Pick: Mississippi

Cincinnati @ Oklahoma
This game appears relevent because Cincinnati beat Oregon State, Rutgers, USF, and UConn last season in addition to winning 10 games. In reality, it's not. The Bearcats pull off a couple conference upsets each season, but on the road at Oklahoma they're going to get massacred.
It'll go something like this: Oklahoma scores on every drive, Cincy gets a lucky TD in the third quarter.
Pick: Oklahoma

West Virginia @ East Carolina
Not what I thought would be a key game a few weeks ago. East Carolina pulled off an upset-in-name-only last week at Virginia Tech. They'll need a stronger performance against WVU to win, but fortunately this is a home game and the Mounties just gave up 400 yards to Villanova. It's tough to beat WVU in a shootout, but with White's new pass-oriented offense maybe the Pirates can get some turnovers to swing things.
I'm not feeling this, though. I think it'll be a great game, but ECU isn't sneaking up on anybody thing week. Stopping VT's offense and stopping WVU's offense are two entirely different stories.
Pick: West Virginia

Northwestern @ Duke
Last season, Northwestern made history by giving Duke their only win in two seasons. Along with Clemson, the Wildcats are one of just two division FBS teams Duke has beaten in the last four years. In week 1, Duke stomped James Madison while Northwestern struggled for a half against Syracuse before putting the game away in the third quarter.
Don't watch this, but have the jokes ready to send to Big 10 fans should the Devils beat the same opponent in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1998-99 (Wake Forest). Can Cutcliffe make the difference at Duke? Who cares - I'm picking the result based on how comic it would be. Pick: Duke

Miami @ Florida
We think the Hurricanes finally found an offense, though playing Charleston Southern has a lot to do with that. We don't expect Miami to have much chance of winning, but seeing how they fare against an elite SEC team could give insight as to how this team will fare in a weakened ACC. Frankly, if they do have an offense, they have a shot at winning the conference.
Pick: Florida

Projected ESPN/USA Top Ten
1. USC
2. Georgia
3. Ohio State
4. Oklahoma
5. Florida
6. LSU
7. Missouri
8. Texas (+1)
9. West Virginia (-1)
10. Auburn