College Football Pick ‘Em Week 2

I’m aware that I missed Week 1. I was busy working for the man and barely had time to put into what mattered most. Fortunately, I am going to have some more free time going forward and that certainly starts right now.

After a curious first week of college football that really didn’t tell us all that much, making picks for most games isn’t all that easy. But luckily, the sample size I have for picking is based off of ESPN (which obvi makes everything easier). Here’s what we have to work with:

Kansas State at Iowa State. Though this is a conference game, don’t expect those extra emotions to help out too much. Sure, the Cyclones were dumb enough to schedule North Dakota State as the opening game of season (NDSU has won 5 consecutive games versus FBS competition), but they didn’t just lose they got trampled 35-14. Kansas State is in a state of revival since Bill Snyder came out of retirement and various Halls of Fame to lead his alma mater back to relevancy. The Cats are too good to lose this game regardless of where it’s being played. Or perhaps the Cyclones are just that bad. Kansas State 49, Iowa State 13

Widely regarded as one of the best wideouts in college football, Stefon Diggs will need CJ Brown to have an accurate game if he wants his numbers to improve in Week 2.
Widely regarded as one of the best wideouts in college football, Stefon Diggs will need CJ Brown to have an accurate game if he wants his numbers to improve in Week 2.

Maryland at South Florida. The Terrapins can’t catch a break. Shortly before the opening game Maryland found out that leading returning receiver and starter, Levern Jacobs, was suspended for the year for a rules violation. On one of the first plays of the game, younger brother Taivon blew out his knee and was declared out for the season a few days later. Hopefully for the Terps, this isn’t a sign of things to come. After 2 consecutive years with tons (and I mean a ridiculous amount) of substantial injuries Maryland will hope for a breakthrough year in a new conference. They certainly for the depth and the experience to make a B1G impression. Oh yeah, they play the Bulls this week. If Maryland was playing this game at home it wouldn’t be in doubt. Still, I don’t see USF staying in this one too long. Maryland 34, South Florida 14

Missouri at Toledo. At first glance this might not look like that great of a game, but Toledo has some talent. Still, Missouri has great quarterback play and veteran coach in Gary Pinkel. The score might be closer than most would think, but the end result will always be the same. Missouri 35, Toledo 24

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt. It’s been no secret in the recruiting world for the past couple years that Ole Miss would eventually be more than just a team playing the elite of the SEC close from week to week. This is the year that the Rebels become a regular in the Top 15 or better. On the other side of the ball, James Franklin is gone and so is the talent. Vanderbilt got off to a rocky start last week and playing this one at home won’t help much. Ole Miss 27, Vanderbilt 7

Brigham Young at Texas. With both teams coming off good first weeks you’d expect to see a potential barn-burner of a game. And if Texas doesn’t show up on defense that might be possible. But there’s just too much ability in the running back ranks for the Longhorns to struggle in this one. BYU needs this kind of game for any sort of chance to make it into a quality bowl game. Maybe bowl committees will take quality losses into consideration. Texas 38, BYU 21

JT Barrett has a lot to live up to after the season-ending injury to Braxton Miller.
JT Barrett has a lot to live up to after the season-ending injury to Braxton Miller.

Virginia Tech at Ohio State. For as alarming as last week’s game against Navy was for Ohio State, they still managed to run away with the game in the end. But what will a good team do if they play like they did last week to start a game going forward? Well, hopefully for Buckeye fans, OSU won’t give anyone a chance to see. JT Barrett will take a bit of time to figure it all out but they will be okay. The real issue might not even be on the field, Ohio State brings in some of the best recruits each and every year (albeit a particular kind of recruit). Still, this is the first team in a while that I haven’t seen that prototypical Buckeye talent on either side of the ball. Virginia Tech is better than you think. But not so good that going into the Shoe and winning is a big possibility. Ohio State 17, Virginia Tech 13

Expect to see Marcus Mariota on the run early and often against the Soartans.
Expect to see Marcus Mariota on the run early and often against the Soartans.

Michigan State at Oregon. I might catch a lot of flack for this one. The Big Ten historically hasn’t done great against the other power conferences in recent years and Wisconsin’s self-destruction against LSU didn’t help much, but a great defense is usually what neutralizes a home crowd. And Michigan State has a great defense. Oregon still has the fast, electric players of the Chip Kelly-era, but they don’t have Chip Kelly. Marcus Mariota will be the difference if the Ducks win this one, but my better judgment is that the Spartans have enough on offense to put up big points on the Oregon defense while the same can’t be said for the Ducks. Michigan State 31, Oregon 21

Michigan at Notre Dame. Once an iconic game between two iconic programs has literally become a joke over the past 5 or 6 years. Now that both programs appear to be in decent positions, we will see how good of a game this truly could be. With the influx of talent that Michigan is bringing in, the Wolverines will be back in the upper-echelon of the Big Ten and the nation. But until then they will have to take a back seat to teams like Notre Dame that get ranked off of their returning nucleus. Brian Kelly’s squad is good but not great. If they can find a decent passing game then this game might not be close. For some reason I still have faith in Devin Gardner and Devin Funchess. Now if only Michigan could find a decent run game. Notre Dame 24, Michigan 21

Even with Marquis Lee catching passes last year, Nelson Agholor was seen as the best talent on the Trojans.
Even with Marquis Lee catching passes last year, Nelson Agholor was seen as the best talent on the Trojans.

USC at Stanford. With the Pac-12 beginning to look like it has a legitimate chance of being the best conference in America, two perennial powers get together early on to make the standings difficult before anything really gets started. After Cody Kessler’s showing last week it’s clear that the Trojans have finally found some stability for the first time in a couple years. Look for an explosive, athletic USC offense to put points on the board while the methodical Cardinal are left to wonder what just happened. USC 41, Stanford 17

Central Michigan at Purdue. In a game of two teams that aren’t very good, it may be tough to do much with the matchup. Central Michigan has been historically a pretty decent program. Purdue hasn’t been good since Joe Tiller left town, but the Boilermakers coach (Darrel Hazel? I think) shares an alma mater with me so I will extend the courtesy of picking his team to show up and win a couple games before completely shitting the bed in conference play. Purdue 27, Central Michigan 21

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