Friday, September 9, 2011

Week 2 Predictions

Missouri (+8.5) @ Arizona State

The Tigers are ranked, but the Sun Devils are giving over a touchdown. I've gotta go with the home team here, even though I'm not completely sold on them yet this year. They'll make some waves in the Pac12, but I'll believe they can win it when they actually do. The Tigers have been close to the middle of this Big12 mess, but I don't think that'll affect them.

The Call: Arizona State wins, but Missouri covers the spread

The Result: Arizona State 37-30

Some big plays there, and props to the Tigers for making a game of it (how many games have we seen double-digit 4th quarter leads fall so far this season? Seems like a ton.) The Sun Devils seem to finally be clicking - let's see if they can keep it up.

Iowa (-6.5) @ Iowa State

Both of these two won cupcake games last week, though the Hawkeyes had a more interesting Saturday, I guess. Gotta just go with the default guess on this one -

The Call: Iowa by 10

The Result: Iowa State 44-41

Yeah, I guess the Cyclones get to win one in-state rival game every now and then.

Toledo (+18) @ Ohio State

So the Buckeyes rolled over Akron last week - what makes anyone think they can't do the same to the Rockets?

The Call: Ohio State by 31

The Result: Ohio State 27-22

Hmmm... what to make of this one. The Bucks were sloppy all around, and it definitely cost them. The Rockets took advantage, but just not enough. Quite the scare, and we'll see how it impacts Ohio State going forward.

Oregon State @ Wisconsin (-20.5)

Yeah, the Beavers lost to a cupcake last week, and they played really badly. But it was more because of the fact that they're playing a bunch of guys who are green and have no experience. It'll help to have one week under their belt, and they'll probably play better this week. But going to the Badgers is no way to work out the kinks.

The Call: Wisconsin by 28

The Result: Wisconsin 35-0

I know the Beavers aren't having a good year, but the Badgers are just playing lights out. They're top five, if not top three material right now.

Mississippi State @ Auburn (+5.5)

The Tigers looked really rusty last week, getting whipped by Utah State most of the day. But playing at home with a psychological advantage against the Bulldogs... I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

The Call: Auburn by 4

The Result: Auburn 41-34

It came down to the wire, and the D still needs a ton of work, giving up 531 yards, but maybe there's a little of last year's magic left in the tank. The Bulldogs might upset somebody in the SEC West this season, but they're not gonna blow anybody out.

California @ Colorado (+6.5)

The Buffaloes, as usual, are struggling. And even though this is technically a non-conference game, they're going to get a rude welcome from their new conference-mates.

The Call: California by 17

The Result: California 36-33

The first of two close calls for the newest members of the Pac12 today, and the Buffaloes were able to rack up the yards, but the Bears played steady and were able to bend without breaking.

Virginia Tech @ East Carolina (+17.5)

The Pirates were in it against South Carolina for a long while last week, and they have some skills. But the Hokies are going to roll this season, as usual, and they've won in this series three of the past four games.

The Call: Virginia Tech by 20

The Result: Virginia Tech 17-10

Not the prettiest of days for the Hokies, and their offensee definitely sputtered a bit, but they got the job done. Another tough loss for the Pirates, who are done with two of their toughest games of the season and will start to rack up with W's.

Alabama (-9.5) @ Penn State

The Tide are still looking like the class of the SEC, and while the Nittany Lions have probably their best opportunity in a while to win the Big10, I don't know that it'll be enough this week. Let's split the uprights here.

The Call: Alabama wins, but Penn State covers the spread

The Result: Alabama 27-11

Ah, thought the Nittany Lions would at least put in a couple TD's on their home field. But Bama thought otherwise, and showed why their D is possibly the toughest in the country this year.

Hawaii (+5.5) @ Washington

The Huskies had a rough outing last week, with their D giving up big yards to a cupcake, while the Warriors fended off Colorado pretty handily. But Hawaii isn't great on the road, and Washington should be able to shake off a bad start.

The Call: Washington by 7

The Result: Washington 40-32

2-0 for the Huskies, which they haven't done since 2007. They have Nebraska next week, which will be the rubber match to the three-games the two have played in the last calendar year. The Warriors just couldn't get anything going on the ground all game, which isn't the way to play on the mainland.

Stanford @ Duke (+20.5)

The smart bet here is the Cardinal. C'mon now.

The Call: Stanford by 35

The Result: Stanford 44-14


Cincinnati @ Tennessee (-4.5)

Sure the Volunteers are still struggling, and won't fare that well in the SEC this year, but the Bearcats fell off the map last year and don't show any signs of resurrection.

The Call: Tennessee by 10

The Result: Tennessee 45-23

Solid all-around performance by the Vols. The Bearcats... meh.

South Carolina @ Georgia (+3)

The gut is screaming to go with the Bulldogs on this one. Thinking rationally, the Gamecocks have the better running game, can adjust better, and probably have a psychological edge here. But damn, why does the gut say the Dawgs just need this one more? I hate that. Argh.

The Call: Georgia by 6

The Result: South Carolina 45-42

And now my gut knows what it feels like to be a Georgia fan. Without those three miscues by Murray, the Dawgs win this one handily. Credit the Gamecocks for keeping their cool though and getting the job done.

UNLV (+14.5) @ Washington State

What, so the Cougars beat a cupcake and now they're two touchdown favorites? I don't think so.

The Call: UNLV by 4

The Result: Washington State 59-7

I have absolutely no explanation for this one (the score, or how completely wrong my call was). None. Am I a Cougar believer? Well... not quite yet. Though I will pay them a bit more attention this season now.

Fresno State @ Nebraska (-27.5)

Hmmm... that's a pretty big spread. I think the Huskers have it in them though. The Bulldogs might be able to keep it close for a half, but I don't think they'll sustain.

The Call: Nebraska by 31

The Result: Nebraska 42-29

Well, the Bulldogs hung in there longer than I thought. Huskers are looking good - it'll be fun to see them in the Big10 this season.

Georgia Tech @ Middle TN State (+11)

So the Jackets are going on the road to a SunBelt school, huh? Plus the whole "passing" deal... they're all about trying new things this season, I guess.

The Call: Georgia Tech by 14

The Result: Georgia Tech 49-21

Good game to work on the passing, but nearly 400 yards on the ground later and the Yellow Jackets are rolling. As much as they can against the competition, I suppose.

BYU (+7) @ Texas

The Cougars toughed out a win on the road last week against Mississippi, but do they have enough in the tank to do it again? The Longhorns had their usual beatdown of Rice, and should be able to get back on track here.

The Call: Texas by 10

The Result: Texas 17-16

Apparently the Longhorn resurgence is going to take a while. Tough one for the Cougars to lose, but they'll have more chances soon.

Notre Dame @ Michigan (+3)

No, the Irish aren't going to implode again like they did last week. But The Wolverines are looking good so far and will be excited for this one. They should be able to start strong and hang on.

The Call: Michigan by 6

The Result: Michigan 35-31

What an ending - storybook for the first night game in the Big House. Can their future opponents count on Notre Dame to turn the ball over 4-5 times each game? No - Kelly will get that straightened out. But a ton of damage has been done to this season already. Fantastic victory for the Wolverines, despite some lapses of their own.

Solid again straight up, 14-3, and a bit better against the spread, 8.5-8.5. Not in the money yet though.

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