Week 2 Predictions
Well, now that we have our top 25 picks for the week, we’re going to take a look at a few broader predictions for the weekend. This will be a recurring Thursday/Friday article, so keep a look out and let’s see how right or how dumb I am. Five Predictions for Week 2:
1. Good Weekend For The Big 12 And The Carolinas
The Big 12 sparkled opening weekend and they have an even more lopsided schedule in their favor this weekend. The only matchup that might work against the conference is Iowa State taking on Iowa. They’re both 1-0 and they always play each other tough. That could be a good rivalry game to watch this weekend. Colorado has, if possible, an even easier opponent than they did last week in Toledo. And Oklahoma gets to lick its wounds and take out its frustrations on Idaho State. Is there any team you’d like less to be this week than Idaho State taking on Oklahoma after they lost their QB and their season opener to drop out of the top 10? Missouri, for some reason, has a history of struggling against Bowling Green. BGU put up 339 passing yards last week, but they’re taking on a really good Missouri secondary this week. Between the history of these two teams and seeing how Blaine Gabbert follows up his exemplary first college start, this could turn out to be an interesting game to watch. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Big 12 went undefeated this week. They should certainly not go any worse than 8-2.
And the Carolinas…North Carolina has a chance to show itself to be one of the few talents left in the ACC when it takes on UConn Saturday. UConn is just not good. The one thing going for them is the fact that they tend to only lose games late. Two years ago when they came from out of nowhere to compete for a BCS Bowl, they won eight of their first nine games, only to lose three of its last four. Last year they started 5-0 before losing five of their last seven regular season games. I wouldn’t expect that trend to continue this year. UNC will beat them handily. And I honestly expect South Carolina to upset Georgia. Not that I think the other USC is that good, but I think Georgia is that bad. They made Oklahoma State’s defense look good, and the coach had to publicly assure his QB, Joe Cox, in the middle of the week that he would still be their starter on Saturday. Not good.
2. Oklahoma State Will Lose A Little Bit Of Its Fresh Top-5 Shine
Before OSU’s big win over Georgia looks a little less credible because of UGA’s loss to the Gamecocks, the Cowboys are going to scuffle against Houston. They won’t lose. Jon and I both picked them to win. But Houston will give them a run for their money. I’m still not sold on OSU’s defense. And Houston’s QB, Case Keenum, passed for 359 yards in only two-and-a-half quarters of play last week in a 55-7 rout of Northwestern State. Granted, it’s Northwestern State, but this is still the same QB who averaged 386 yards passing per game last year, leading his team to 40.6 points per game. Those guys can play some offense. When the two met last year, Houston took a 16-7 lead in the second quarter before OSU scored four unanswered TDs to run away with the game. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll be a shootout. And I think people will start to lose a little faith in OSU even after the 2-0 start.
3. Bad Weekend For The Big 10
The Big 10 has three credible teams right now, and two of them will lose this weekend. And they’re going to lose big. At home. Penn State will handle Syracuse. That one they don’t have to worry about. But, Ohio State is going to get smoked by the real USC. I know the Shoe is a tough place to play, especially for a freshman QB. But the Trojans have barely missed a beat when installing new QBs the past few years, so I don’t know why this should be so different. Pete Carroll has a system that just knows how to win, and I don’t think OSU can keep up with all of USC’s speed. To say nothing of the fact that logic simply will not allow me to say that they scuffled with Navy, but I can expect a better showing by OSU against the team that made Penn State look like a JV squad in the Rose Bowl last year. OSU will get crushed. I’ll be stunned if the margin is within two scores.
And Michigan will get crushed by Notre Dame. This is certainly not an endorsement of Notre Dame. They’re already being prematurely hyped, as I chronicled a couple of days ago. But, just as with South Carolina, a big win against a team that’s still down and out will cause people to raise their eyebrows and make unjustified praise of the program. It will take a few more weeks for Notre Dame to be exposed as a fraud. But, for now, they’re going to look like the real deal because people think Michigan beating Western Michigan shows the team is back to prominence. They’ll have to take it all back this weekend.
4. The Holy Trinity Will Get Seriously Reshuffled Next Week
Am I the only person that noticed that TCU, Utah and Notre Dame are ranked consecutively #16-18? I hope not, but it doesn’t really matter because it won’t stay that way for long. TCU has a chance for a fairly credible win over Virginia, so don’t expect them to stay behind Va Tech, who should be 1-1 after playing Marshall. And Notre Dame will be on the fast track upward after their spanking of Michigan, especially with the room that should be created by the upset of the week…
5. Vanderbilt Will Break Its Losing Streak To LSU
This is the first time the two teams have met since 2004. LSU is 20-7-1 in the all time series and has won the last five straight games against Vandy. It’s time to break the losing streak, even though they’re playing at Baton Rouge, where LSU is 10-2-1 against the Commodores. So, why is Vanderbilt going to win? Glad you asked.
LSU went 3-5 in conference play last year, even worse than Vanderbilt’s 4-4. That includes losing four straight conference games, three of which were at home.
Last year, LSU was second-to-last in the SEC in passing defense, better than only Mississippi. Their opener against Washington didn’t give much reason to hope, either, as the Huskies played them down to the wire, passing for 321 yards and rushing for 157 more. Washington actually outgained the Tigers by over 150 yards, but did themselves in with turnovers (one interception and one fumble) and penalties (11 for 83 yards). I know there’s a world of difference between Western Carolina and LSU, but Vanderbilt did go for 620 yards of total offense last week, 433 of which was on the ground. If LSU lets Vanderbilt go wild like they did Washington, it will be a very long and embarrassing day for the Tigers.