Well, the good news is that it'd be really hard for me to do worse than last week.
North Carolina @ Connecticut (+4.5)
The Huskies will be looking for some revenge after getting pasted in Chapel Hill last year. But the Tar Heels are still moving up and should be able to get it done.
The Call: North Carolina by 10
The Result: North Carolina 12-10
Not a whole lot of fireworks in this one, but the Tar Heels came through when they needed to. Solid road win.
Iowa (-6.5) @ Iowa State
Iowa State had had the Hawkeyes number when this has seemed like a mismatch in past years. But Iowa got a huge scare last weekend and should come out fired up and more focused.
The Call: Iowa by 7
The Result: Iowa 35-3
Combined with Colorado's loss to (Holy!) Toledo last night, this weekend could be a rough one for the Big12...
Fresno State @ Wisconsin (-9.5)
You know, I really shouldn't do this. It's a bad idea.
The Call: Fresno State by 4
The Result: Wisconsin 34-31 (OT)
Was that you talking before, gut? Hmmm - didn't realize you'd start grumbling so soon this season. Exciting game.
Stanford (+3) @ Wake Forest
Was Baylor that good? Or are the Demon Deacons slipping? The Cardinal pounded Pac10 bottom-dweller Washington State last week, and they're looking solid. Will home field be able to carry the Deacs?
The Call: Wake Forest by 4
The Result: Wake Forest 24-17
Home field or something like it. Wake needed that one to keep respectable, and the win definitely helps the ACC in the long run. But I'm not that down on the Cardinal just yet... they still could shake some teams up.
Notre Dame @ Michigan (+3)
Both of these teams need this one - bad. All else seemingly equal, I've gotta give the edge to the team with the QB experience.
The Call: Notre Dame by 7
The Result: Michigan 38-34
Great back and forth this game. Things are looking up for the Wolverines. The Irish should win most of their other games, since they don't play many teams that are looking good, but the BCS is looking a far way away.
Idaho (+20.5) @ Washington
So the Huskies keep up with LSU and they become 20+ point favorites against the WAC? Look, I know they're improved, and they're probably gonna win, but they were amped on adrenaline last week and played somewhat sloppily at times. I can see a let down on the horizon.
The Call: Washington wins, but Idaho covers the spread
The Result: Washington 42-23
Slowly... climbing... out... of the cellar...
TCU (+11.5) @ Virginia
This will be the first game for the Horned Frogs, so they might be a little rusty, while the Cavaliers "played" last week, if you could call it that. The Mountain West cannot lost this one and continue to gain respect.
The Call: TCU by 14
The Result: TCU 30-14
There you go, Horned Frogs. You won't get the good pub for it, but it's a good win. Hang on, Groh - you going for ride.
UCLA (+10.5) @ Tennessee
Last year, the Bruins win was one of the bigger upsets of September, especially considering how horribly the played in the first half. I know they're rebuilding and should be better this year, while the Vols are breaking in a new coaching staff, but the Vols aren't going to drop this one. Not at home.
The Call: Tennessee by 17
The Result: UCLA 19-15
Damn. That'll take the wind out of Kiffin and UT's sails.
South Carolina @ Georgia (-7)
Who needs this one more, the Dawgs or the Gamecocks? If the Dawgs lose, they're 0-2 and in serious jeopardy of a really bad year, while if the Gamecocks lose, they're 1-1 and things are going pretty normally, actually. But the bigger question is if either one can pull together some semblance of an offense. The over/under is at 38, which seems really high to me - I'm thinking we'll see a lot of FG's in this one...
The Call: Georgia by 9
The Result: Georgia 41-37
That was one hell of a game - I felt like it was a Big12 shootout. Passing, kickoffs, field goals - oh the field goals. After losing a bad one last week, this is definitely a game Georgia can build on and will be much stronger because of. South Carolina showed a lot of guts too, and even though they lost, that's about as quality of a loss as you can get. As far as the rivalry between these two goes, that was classic.
Vanderbilt @ LSU (-14.5)
Ahh, I'll be getting back to the swamp heat of Louisiana never felt so good to the Tigers. That was a tough road trip to the northwest, and I'll be their itchin' to start the season in Death Valley. The Commodores beat up on I-AA Western Carolina last weekend, but I think the roles will be reversed this go around.
The Call: LSU by 21
The Result: LSU 23-9
Hmmm... the Tigers seem to be having a slow start to their season. They're gonna have to step it up when they start to face the big boys. Nice try, Commodores.
USC (-6.5) @ Ohio State
Much like LSU's trip last week, this one's a no-win situation for the Trojans. After last week's demolition against San Jose State and the Buckeyes' close call against Navy, anything but a win would be a major disappointment. I know that Pryor is a year older (& wiser?), and that Barkley is a true freshman, and that it's the Horseshoe at night, but even a win gets us right back to the norm - USC dominating non-conference teams, Ohio State losing big games. Nothing will change unless the Buckeyes win. Can they? It wouldn't surprise me, but I've gotta try to thread the needle on this one.
The Call: USC wins, but Ohio State covers the spread
The Result: USC 18-15
Boom - he splits the uprights. As exciting as the UGA-South Carolina game was, this one was too, but different. I think that was in part because the Ohio State crowd was visibly in the game until the very last minute, making it an electric atmosphere. Ohio State couldn't have really asked for more - they controlled the lines, won the field position battle all night, and put some dents in the USC defense. But for all their problems, the Trojans converted when they needed to, scoring on their only two sustained drives. So after all that, what have we learned? Well, I was wrong about this being a no-win for the Trojans - they just solidified their QB position for the next three years. Ohio State is getting closer and closer back to the top - one of these days soon they'll turn the corner and be back.
Purdue @ Oregon (-11.5)
The second of the Big10-Pac10 games this weekend, and it's just as tough to call. What will the Ducks do? Will they rebound from last weeks unmitigated disaster and regroup, or will they continue to free-fall with the season basically going into the tank? It'll certainly help that the Boilermakers had trouble with Toledo last week. I feel like being positive about this one.
The Call: Oregon by 14
The Result: Oregon 38-36
Ok, well that should help get the Duck's season back on track. (On a side note - Toledo is looking like the class of the MAC right now...)
So we did better than last week, yeah? 9-3 straight up and 6-6 against the spread. Better, at least. Totals are 16-8 straight up, 9-15 AtS.