A few years ago, the NCAA realized that the opening weekend of college football was trash. Virtually everyone played cupcakes. While there was excitement about football being back, all the games were bad and predictable. Their solution was to start encouraging teams to schedule good opening weekend match-ups. This was a solution that most fans have enjoyed. While the majority of opening weekend games are still bad, there’s more than enough good games out there to really enjoy the weekend.
However, they merely traded week one with week two. Week two games are a hellscape of 1-AA matchups and huge spread games. It feels almost like a tease after the fun of opening weekend. I don’t see why we can’t have good match-ups both weeks, but oh well.
There’s a few (one, really) games other than ours that may be worth watching, and even they are mostly two score games. Many slots this week won’t have a backup pick. Go outside. Or get drunk realizing we got to play Notre Dame in South Bend next week.
#18 Mississippi State (-9.5) @ Kansas State 1200 ET (1100 CT), ESPN
Here’s your backup game should the VU game get out of hand. MSU should win this, but it’s the most interesting matchup for the time slot. MSU took care of business against 1-AA SFA Lumberjacks (63-6). That’s what a top 25 playing should look like in that matchup, don’t buy into the “they looked scary” narrative. Nonetheless, they are only going to get better with QB Nick Fitzgerald coming off suspension. On the other side of the ball, KSU barely beat their FCS team (South Dakota) 27-24, needing two touchdowns in the fourth to win. With these two factors, you’d think this game is a done deal. You’re probably right. Still, KSU can surprise so I’m putting this as the best bet.
Backup Masochism Pick: If you really want, the Duke (+3) @ Northwestern 1200 ET, ESPN game should be good in a Vanderbilt-Northwestern kind of way. So if you turn off the Vanderbilt game saying, “I want to watch more of that”, turn this game on.
#3 Georgia (-10) @ #24 South Carolina 1530 ET (1430 CT), CBS
The CBS SEC game of the week is the obvious call. Both teams cruised in their nothing games last week. With the game at Williams-Brice, it at the very minimum puts the spread into question. If this game were in Athens, I’d say a two score win is a no-brainer for UGA. I don’t blame people who say it is anyway, given the last three years of this matchup. Nonetheless this is a hard spread to pick on. By now you get the gist of where I’m going — UGA has this game, it’s just a question of scale. If nothing else, this is a game that has consequences for our season so it’s worth watching.
Another two score spread game, and again the best you’re gonna get for the time slot. Aggie looked good with Jimbo at the helm, but not so good to make anyone feel confident that they have a chance against Clemson. You can look forward to hearing the talking heads bring up the stomping Dabo got at Aggie 14 years ago. You know, because that has any bearing on where the teams are now. Jimbo will have Aggie as a strong team at the end of the year, but they’re not going to be there this weekend. My prediction is that Clemson will cover, but it’s worth watching this game if only for the upset potential.
Backup Pick: UK (+14) @ UF 1930 ET (1830 CT) SECN, I guess?? Another game to watch if you like watching games where a team tries to cover.
#17 Southern Cal (+5) @ #10 Stanford 2030 ET (1930 CT), FOX
The only game worth watching the whole day. I usually save the Pac-12 degenerate game of the week for the late-late game, but as it’s the only game worth watching, it gets the honor. USC let a lot of yards up to UNLV on the ground (308!!!) so look for Stanford to run Bryce Love hard and often. USC fans are boldly predicting that they’re going to hold him to sub-100 yards again. Stanford showed themselves to be more than capable of adapting to such an event last week with QB KJ Costello throwing for 332 yards (21/31) for 4 TDs and 1 INT. Three of those throws came to loooong passes to JJ Arcega-Whiteside. While this performance was against SDSU, it nonetheless shows that Stanford is hardly one dimensional going into this game. It’s hard not to see why Stanford is the favorite here.
#15 Michigan State (-6) @ Arizona State 2245 ET (2145 CT), ESPN
Your late-late game. I’m only picking this because the Spartans struggled last week to defeat Utah State. There’s only two outcomes of that kind of scare. They either pull together, or they crumble as soon as things don’t go well in this game. Arizona State has spoiled the dreams of highly ranked teams at home in the recent past, most recently toppling ND in 2014. However, this is a all new ASU and it’s hard for me to endorse any team led by Herm Edwards (;_;). Still has all the ingredients for a fun upset game.