By Chris Carlson
Week 1 is in the books it was nothing sensational but delivered with several high-profile programs going down to the wire against nondescript opposition. Maryland was the only unranked team to knock off a Top 25, but Utah State and Appalachian State gave Michigan State and Penn State all they could handle. The PAC-12 as a league may be on the outside looking for a national semifinal slot. But don’t tell that to Stanford and USC as they lock horns in a rivalry matchup this Saturday. Week 2 doesn’t feature as many top notch games on paper but it does have a plethora of quality matchups under the radar.
#17 USC at #10 Stanford: These interstate-rivals split last year with the Trojans winning early and the Cardinals sealing the victory when it counted most for the PAC-12 championship. For the most part of the last decade Stanford has bullied USC. Recruiting wise and overall pro talent potential will usually favor USC. However, Stanford returns the more experienced players at important positions enough to lean the Cardinals way.
The Pick: Stanford 30 USC 23
Under The Radar
#3 Georgia at #24 South Carolina: Williams-Brice Stadium will no doubt be rocking and rolling when the 3rd ranked Georgia Bulldogs come to town. As we all know the Bulldogs were ever so close to winning a national title last year before falling to Alabama. South Carolina is far from the program coached by Steve Spurrier it was several years ago. That being said South Carolina will field a competent squad with a quarterback that’s improved over the last year and half in Jake Bentley. Could the gamecocks slip under the 10-point underdog line in Las Vegas, it’s very possible, but when push comes to shove Georgia finds a way to escape with a SEC victory.
The Pick: Georgia 34 South Carolina 20
#18 Mississippi State at Kansas State: Bulldogs QB Nick Fitzgerald is back under center after serving a one-game suspension. Junior signal-caller Alex Delton made some strides last year and will need a breakout performance for the Wildcats. Generally, Kansas State plays a ball-control style of offense matched with a sturdy defense. The problem in this matchup is Mississippi State thrives using a similar slow down the pace game plan with a better QB and overall roster. The home team full of overachievers gives yet another ranked team a run for their money but come up short.
The Pick: Mississippi State 27 Kansas State 20
Saturday Upset Special
Fresno State may not be in a power 5 conference but that won’t stop them from going on the road to beat Minnesota as a minor upset.
(Honorable Mention: Arizona gets a ‘W’ in the left column by upsetting Houston on the road)
Iowa vs. Iowa State rarely fails to produce a competitive game usually decided late if not in overtime. This year shouldn’t be different and hardcore fans will get what they ask for.
(Honorable Mention: Northwestern vs. Duke should be decided late in the ball game with the winner notching a second quality victory this early in the season.)
Against The Spread
Kentucky travels to the swamp as clear underdogs. The Wildcats make a game of it thus sneaking under the 14.5 point spread.
-The Takeover: OU’s Kyler Murray and OSU’s Dwayne Haskins have large shoes to fill replacing quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and J.T. Barrett. In Week 1 Murray looked elusive and Haskins delivered 5 TD’s and 313 passing yards.
-Powerhouses Alabama and Clemson our playing two quarterbacks. Clemson has an understudy situation with Trevor Lawrence nipping at the heels of Kelly Bryant the starter. For the Crimson Tide Tua Tagovailoa got the nod and is backed up by the significantly more seasoned Jalen Hurts. A final decision should be made soon so the distraction doesn’t linger far into the season.
-West Virginia quarterback and Heisman hopeful Will Grier threw for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns in a lights-out performance 40-14 win over Tennessee.
-TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson threw for 3 TD’s and had 2 rushing TD’s in Week 1. Robinson chalked up those numbers without playing a minute of the second half.
-The Big Ten struggled out of the gate seeing Michigan get outplayed by Notre Dame, while Penn State and Michigan State nearly lost to overmatched opponents.
Listen to my new episode College Football Week 2 Preview & Predictions! Week 1 Recap & Banter!
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Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio