By Chris Carlson
The College Football season kicked off with a major bang featuring several razor-tight contests and one unbelievable comeback from UCLA. Per usual the Week 1 schedule seemed just mediocre beyond a few ranked vs. ranked games but really paid off. Buckle up and enjoy the College Football regular season rollercoaster because Week 2 is full of marquee matchups. The winners of a few key games across the country will benefit greatly long term when the real rankings are released.
#2 Ohio State vs. #5 Oklahoma: Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is a Heisman hopeful as is his counterpart on Saturday Buckeye QB J.T. Barrett. Mayfield comes in on a nation leading streak of 15 straight games with at least 3 touchdowns. The problem is the skill players around Baker are inexperienced due to a mass migration to the NFL. It won’t be the stomping the Buckeyes put on the Sooners last year but Ohio State does enough to get this important non-conference victory. Also, whichever team wins their quarterback will leap frog the other in the Heisman race.
The Pick: Ohio State 31 Oklahoma 27
#3 Clemson vs. #13 Auburn: Last year the Clemson Tigers found a way to sneak by Auburn and went on to win a National Title. This year Clemson is replacing a legendary QB plus a few weapons were drafted in the first round. The Tigers of Auburn haven’t been the same offensively in recent years but hold high hopes that Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham will be the answer. This one will be a defensive struggle similar to last year’s meeting. I’m calling for Gus Malzahn to get Auburn a much needed early season win to set the pace for the SEC regular season.
The Pick: Auburn 23 Clemson 20
Under The Radar
#15 Georgia vs. #24 Norte Dame: This game is the definition of a see what we got game and here’s why. The Bulldogs are anxious to find out who will be their QB. While Irish try to improve on defense and replace a quarterback coming off a disappointing 4-8 season. In what is basically a 50-50 tossup, I will side with the more mobile quarterback in Brandon Wimbush. This one will be a slugfest between to hardnosed coaches as they attempt to get their season started on the right footing.
The Pick: Notre Dame 31 Georgia 23
Saturday Upset Special
#6 USC vs. #14 Stanford: The Cardinals have manhandled the USC Trojans in recent years devouring them on the ground rushing for at least 250 yards three years in a row. USC sitting as a 7-points favorite definitely falls under my ‘Against the Spread’ category as well. The Trogans gave up a ton of rushing yards last week in a competitive victory over a solid program in Western Michigan. Stanford has been a thorn in USC side and will continue that recent trend.
Hardcore Barn Burner
#23 TCU at Arkansas will be a helluva battle between the SEC and Big 12 with the winner setting a course back to greatness. Okay, maybe that’s a bit overstated but both of these teams and coaches are desperate for a 10-win season.
(Honorable Mention: Northwestern vs. Duke is likely to come down to the wire)
Against The Spread
Boise State may lose to #20 Washington State but not by the 10 points Las Vegas claims.
(Honorable Mention: Pittsburgh could find a way to keep it under 22-points as an underdog against #4 Penn State. It’s worth noting that Penn State is on a covering the spread streak so buyer-beware.)
Quick Hits Recap
-UCLA was down 44-10 late in the third quarter only to score 35 unanswered points to pull off a comeback for the ages shocking Texas A&M 45-44.
-UCLA QB Josh Rosen and his Bruins exploded in the second half creating the 2nd biggest comeback ever in FBS history. Rosen tore up the Aggies for 491 overall passing yards and 4TD’s.
-Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins set a Buckeyes record for a true freshman making a debut rushing for 178 yards. Maurice Clarett held the record previously dating back to 2002.
-Virginia Tech got a big win over West Virginia last Sunday riding the back of QB Josh Jackson’s productive night totaling 336 overall yards and two touchdowns.
-Georgia Tech became just the 5th team in history to rush for over 500 yards in a losing effort. The Yellow Jackets had 535 rushing yards on 83 carries and 6 touchdowns but still loss in double overtime to Tennessee.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio or under the Rope A Dope Radio Podcast @Apple Podcasts Itunes, Player.FM, Tunein, Stitcher, Sound Cloud, & More! Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio