Articles

Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Picks Trying Not to Suck: Week 2

The Brothers Homerism got off to a middling start in the opening week, including a fortuitous "no bet" for BH in the Michigan-Western Michigan game. No one is in the mood for pontificating, so let's get straight into the picks.

(Continue...)

WEEK TWO--The Skinny
(Last Week: 2-3-1)

Duke at Stanford (-21.5)

As anyone who was bored enough to sit through the end of my recent podcast with BH knows, I am on the Stanford bandwagon this season. The Cardinal is my sleeper pick to make championship game in the Sugar Bowl (or whatever it is called now).

Andrew Luck is obviously a great player and the talent around him is certainly worth recognizing, but Stanford is not blessed with truly elite personnel. The Stanford teams of the past couple years remind me of Bob Stoops' early teams at OU. Stanford seems to have that know-how-to-win, intangible quality (espoused by far too many football analysts). That plus a great system will win a lot games. The Cardinal won't need to be on top of their game to beat the Dukies by 3 TD's.

Skinny says: I love Stanford in this game.

Lee Greenwood Special: TCU (-1.5) at Air Force

The Lee Greenwood Special jumped out at me early this week. The line is now down to 1.5 after opening at 6 (???) earlier this week. I guess there a plenty of reason to be down on TCU after last week's loss to Baylor. No, this isn't the same TCU team we have watched the past two seasons. However, you have to give Baylor some credit for last week's outcome, and the Horned Frogs are still a very solid program.

It is always risky to pick against the service academies and their unique brand of offense, especially after spending weeks preparing for an air attack like Baylor. But, the strength of TCU's defense is against the run. Expect the Horned Frogs to move the ball with ease against a poor Air Force defense.

The Skin says: I'd be very hesitant to take this line at 6 or 7, but I love it at 1.5!

Nevada at Oregon (-26.5)

The Ducks are coming off an underwhelming performance against LSU last week. LSU is the better team in my mind, but the Ducks looked worse than a Willie Lyles scouting report. I don't think Oregon is as bad as it showed last weekend, nor is LSU as good as it has been anointed this week.

Oregon is back in Eugene this weekend, and I expect the Ducks will be back on their game. Very few defenses have the size, athleticism, and physicality to slow the Ducks, and Nevada certainly isn't one of them. Plus, this will be Nevada's first game of the season, another major advantage for Ducks.

Skin says: Chip Kelly and the Ducks will bounce back big this weekend.

South Carolina (-3) at Georgia

I am buying UGA low this week. A lopsided loss to Boise on a neutral field isn't as bad as many perceive it to be.

South Carolina is a definite step down in competition from Boise. I was less than impressed with the Gamecocks last weekend against ECU. Marcus Lattimore might be the best back in the country, but as long as Stephen Garcia is leading the Gamecock,s my tendency is to go against USC as a road favorite.

This is a must win spot for UGA and Richt and I am counting on that to work in my favor.

The Skinny says: I like UGA to win straight up, but I'll take the three-point cushion.

BYU at Texas (-7)

The hardest part of handicapping Week 2 is not overreacting to the events of Week 1. Thus, I am not putting too much stock into BYU's shaky performance at Ole Miss, as if winning a road opener against an SEC opponent isn't impressive enough.

A home opener against the lowly Rice Owls is a different story. Sure, the Longhorns covered thanks to some creative play calling and a couple fourth quarter touchdowns, but it was a much closer game than the final score indicated. I did not see the game - I doubt many of you did, courtesy of the Longhorn Network - but by all accounts Texas and quarterback Garret Gilbert struggled last Saturday.

BYU is sure to be a tougher contest for the 'Horns. Back-to-back road games are always a concern in college football, but BYU is a tough, disciplined program lead by an experienced QB.

Skinny says: I think the Longhorns will win a very close game.

LGS, Part II: San Diego State at Army (+9.5)

In honor of this great country, I have decided to pick a second LGS this weekend.

SDSU is definitely the better team, but 3,000 miles, 9.5 points, three times zones and a 9 a.m. Pacific kickoff are a tough challenge for any team, even against Army.

The Skin says: I'll take Army!

WEEK TWO--Blatant Homerism
(Last Week: 3-2)

LGS: San Diego State at Army (+9.5)

It always scares me when The Skinny and I are in total agreement, but he hit the nail on the head with his analysis. From a situational perspective, this one is all Army.

BH says: Army getting the points.

LGS, Part II: TCU at Air Force (+1.5)

I'll also give you a two-fer on the LGS this week. Thankfully, Skin and I are in complete disagreement on this one.

The fact that the Horned Frogs are on back-to-back road trips and will have to deal with the altitude in Colorado Springs definitely has me feeling Air Force here. Also, TCU's furious comeback against Baylor masked how thoroughly it got whipped by the Bears. Baylor had 120 yards in penalties and covered kicks as poorly as I have ever seen. Otherwise, the Bears owned this one.

The Horny Toads won't get those same breaks against these cadets.

BH says: AFA straight up.

Notre Dame (-3) at Michigan

Whereas TCU needed a ton of breaks to hang with Baylor last week, the Fightin' Irish essentially handed their game to South Florida. Michigan, on the other hand, thoroughly dismantled Western Michigan and must be feeling awfully proud.

I'm sticking to my guns here. ND's red zone issues can't possibly rear their ugly heads again, can they? And the Wolverines can't possibly have taken so quickly to Brady Hoke's program, can they? I'll let these two prove me wrong.

Which will be brighter: Michigan's new lights or Brian Kelly's face if his team throws another oskie inside the five?

BH says: Irish by a minimum of 7.

Virginia at Indiana (+7)

Let me get this straight. Virginia blows up an FCS team in its home opener. The 'Hoos have a quarterback starting his first road game, which will be at night. It's Virginia.

This team is favored?

Yeah, Kevin Wilson's debut as the head Hoosier didn't go so well. I get that. However, if I get a chance to bet against UVa as a road favorite, I'm taking it.

BH says: Wilson!

UAB (+23.5) at Florida

Nice start last week to Will Muschamp's tenure at Florida. But, while the Gators were putting a hurting on Florida Atlantics, Neil Callaway and his Blazers were laying in the weeds, resting up with a rare off-week to start the season.

UAB is a veteran team with 16 returning starters, including senior QB Bryan Ellis. It may not be a particularly good team, but it won't be cowed by a night game at the Swamp.

With last week being Coach Boom's debut and next week the start of conference play against intra-division rival Tennessee, look for UF to be just a little flat here.

BH says: Florida by not enough, with a special lean to a play on the first half.

Mississippi State at Auburn (+7)

The defending national champions' unimpressive performance was one of the big stories of last week. The Bulldogs had to be licking their chops watching Utah State pound the rock against the Tigers' inexperienced front four.

Yet, let's not forget Auburn has one of the most talented rosters in the country, courtesy of the recruiting magic of Gene Chizik and assistant Trooper Taylor. I'm going to do my damnedest to avoid an overreaction to what may have been a wake-up call for young War Eagle.

BH says: Not sure who wins, but feel good about AU getting a touchdown.