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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Picks Trying Not to Suck: Week Two

Not a great start for the Homerism brothers in week one. There's always next week, though.

(Continue...)

WEEK TWO–The Skinny
(Overall:
2-4)

As usual I think BH has done a great job analyzing the Sooners in week one. So, I wont go into OU's performance against Utah State, other than to say I am not overly alarmed by the closer than expected outcome. This OU team may not be as good as we hoped, but I have feeling they will have a greater competitive edge than in past years.

With so many big non-conference games this weekend, Skinny is going to put you on the accelerated track.

Skin's Advice of the Week: I highly recommend College Football Playbook featuring Jack Arute and Mike Leach on Sirius XM's Sportsnation for your midday football fix. We all know Leach is a fantastic football mind and never one to hold back. Jack Arute's quick wit is the perfect compliment to Leach.

Interestingly, Bob Stoops was The Playbook's inaugural guest this past Monday. I had always assumed Stoops and Leach weren't on the best terms when Leach left Norman after only one season. After listening to the interview, I don't know if Stoops and Leach are BFFs, but it's clear Leach has a tremendous respect for Stoops and the OU program. It's also interesting to note that Leach counts Owen Field as one of the most intimidating stadiums he has experienced. Let's hope the home-field advantage is in full effect for this weekend.

Georgia Tech (-13) at Kansas

It's hard to imagine a worse start to the Turner Gill era than last weekend. As if it isn't bad enough to lose to FCS opponent South Dakota State – maybe it was North Dakota – but to only score 3 points in the process? That's just pathetic. I can't imagine paying money to see that game. I like Turner Gill and I really hope he has success at KU, but I was never sold on his hire.

The Skinny says: Expect Josh Nesbitt and Ga. Tech's triple option attack to put up plenty of points to cover this spread. I am a little concerned that this is a trap game with a line at less than 2 TD's, but sometimes things are what they seem.

S. Florida (+17) at Florida

This is another head-scratcher to me.

Am I only the only person who saw Florida play last weekend? It wasn't like the Gators simply looked out of synch. They literally went an entire series without executing a simple snap and handoff. Could Vegas be playing on the stupidity of the average gambler who sees Florida playing a directional school and sees no way Florida doesn't win by 30?

Jim Leavitt did a tremendous job building the South Florida program before his controversial dismissal in the offseason. Would Stoops consider bringing in Leavitt as an assistant? I doubt it, but an interesting idea.

Skin says: If Miami (OH) can make Florida look like a JV team, I think the Bulls defense is plenty capable of keeping this one close.

Auburn at Miss. State (+2.5)

Cam Newton showed flashes last week of why he was so highly rated coming out of high school and junior college. Newton has the kind of measurables NFL scouts pay millions to acquire, but how polished is Newton as QB on the major collegiate level?

Taking his skills to Gus Malzhan at Auburn was probably a smart move. However, watching both Florida and OU last weekend, I think both would happily trade their current QB situations for Newton. You have to wonder if OU would have pursued Newton a bit more aggressively (which would have meant promising Newton the starting job) if Landry Jones hadn't played so well in the Sun Bowl.

Dan Mullen has done a tremendous job turning around the Bulldog program in his short tenure as coach as MSU. Mullen doesn't have the horses to compete on the same level as the elite SEC programs, but I like this matchup for the Bulldogs. Thursday will be Cam Newton's first meaningful snaps on the road in the SEC. The Bulldogs will do all they can to make life difficult for Newton.

Skinny says: I always like a home dog with the better defense. I think MSU wins this game outright.

Lee Greenwood Special: BYU at Air Force (-1)

Both teams come into the game undefeated, and honestly, after that, I don't know much about either team. But Air Force is a tough team to prepare for in one week. Not only will the Cougars' defense need to prepare for the Falcon's triple option offense, but Air Force is also one of the few teams in the country running a 3-4 defense. BYU will have to prepare for unique schemes on both sides of the ball.

The Skin says: I like Air Force to win the game.

Georgia (+3) at South Carolina

I'm not ready to jump on the Gamecocks' bandwagon just yet, but it appears this will be Steve Spurrier's best team in Columbia.

This is another play featuring a rookie QB, Georgia's Aaron Murray, in his first road game in the SEC. Unfortunately for Murray, he will most likely be without his top wide receiver in A.J. Green. Green appears to be another casualty in the NCAA's crackdown on players accepting gifts from agents.

I think these two teams are on the same level in terms of talent, which is part Carolina's improvement and part UGA's regression. With the resources at his disposal, I don't understand why Richt hasn't consistently put a better product on the field at UGA. Does a loss in his SEC opener put Richt on the hot seat? Probably not yet, but I get the feeling UGA has more to lose in this game.

The Skin says: I think the Gamecocks will get off to a fast start and win this game easily.

Miami (FL) at Ohio State (-9)

It's quite possibly the biggest week of the college football season, and I feel I owe BH's loyal followers a play on one of the marquee matchups.

I never tempt fate with my Sooners, so OU-FSU is out. Notre Dame-Michigan has way too many unknowns and I would argue isn't really a "marquee" matchup. I like Alabama at home against a freshmen QB, but 12 is a few too many points for me. By process of elimination that leaves The U at tOSU.

Randy Shannon has done a nice job at Miami. It seems the Hurricanes have improved with each season under Shannon, but it is a big leap from 9-3 to the dominant Miami of previous decades.

Buckeye fans are waiting for Tyrelle Pryor's breakout season, but, as with Miami, it's a big leap to that next level. While I don't think either Miami or Pryor will meet their lofty expectations, both will be improved.

Skinny says: The Buckeyes laying nine points is generally enough for me to take the other side, but I think OSU's defense and home-field advantage will be huge factors in this game. I'll take the Buckeyes.

WEEK TWO–Blatant Homerism
(Overall: 3-3)

I rarely pick an OU game, but I'm going to make an exception this week to satisfy the masses. It will be part of my coming "What to Watch" column. Thus, I'll only have five for you here.

Ya know, it just dawned on me that Vegas could be using PTNTS against all of Homerism's loyal readers looking for an edge.

Penn state at Alabama (-12)

I'm going to try to ignore the warning bells going of in my head here, because this looks all too sweet. It feels like an awfully chump play.

However, Nick Saban and Kirby smart have to be licking their chops at the thought of a true freshman making his first road start in Tuscaloosa. I just don't see that ending well for the Nittany Lions - JoePa should know better than that.

Homerism says: 'Bama, 17-3.

LGS: Hawaii at Army (-3)

The Rainbows definitely put up a valiant effort against USC last week, catching the Trojans unprepared with a funky Pistol offense. More power to 'em, but they won't catch Army off-guard this week.

With the element of surprise out of the picture, this game becomes a matter of context more than anything else. Hawaii is traveling all the way out to West Point for a game that kicks off at noon EST on Saturday. For the Rainbows, that means they're playing something like their yesterday. I don't know about you, but a time caught in a space-time vortex strikes me as a bad bet.

Homerism says: Who knows if Hawaii will even show up?

LGS, Part II: BYU at Air Force (-1)

Yeah, that's right: Two service academy games among the picks this week.

This certainly constitutes a danger game for the Cougars, whose decision to go independent didn't win them any friends in the Mountain West. Sandwiched in between games with Washington and Florida State, BYU brings its mission to lovely Colorado Springs in the first road contest for whomever is under center.

Troy Calhoun and his jilted Falcons probably can't wait to tear into the Cougs' fresh QB meat in what I expect to be an ugly affair.

Homerism says: BYU gets caught in Air Force's trap.

Rice at North Texas (-3)

Admittedly, I didn't see much of the Mean Green last week. By that I mean none at all. So, I'm riding blind here.

On the other hand, what I did see out of Rice didn't impress me. The fact that the Owls covered against Texas last week said much more about the Longhorns' transition to a new offense than it did about Rice being a worthy opponent. I don't think David Bailiff's squad is much improved from a year ago.

I like UNT's experience in this case. Also, this is the year when Todd Dodge is supposed to put it all together, making games like this one must-win propositions.

Homerism says: The Mean Green guts out a touchdown win.

San Jose State at Wisconsin (-38)

We all know each other pretty well by now, so I'm sure this pick shocks you. That's a ton of wood to be laying, period. In this case, though, I think it's warranted.

Someone named Mike MacIntyre opted in the offseason to leave his cushy job as Duke's defensive coordinator to see what he could do with the moribund outpost of a job known as SJSU. He inherits a pitiful team that won just two games in 2009 and had one of the worst defenses ever witnessed in the WAC, which is really saying something.

On top of that, he's facing the schedule from hell. Last week, the Spartans traveled to Tuscaloosa. This week, it's another roadie versus Wisconsin for a game that kicks off at noon. That means early wake-up call for Sparty.

If I knew I was about to get my brains beat in, I'd have a tough time getting out of bed.

Homerism says: John Clay will go wild against a truly awful SJSU run defense.