I am not even going to acknowledge the carnage of last week's slate of games. Suffice to say, my picks did just about as well as the Big 10. All that's left is to move onto another week of
great games. It seems like every year, there is a week like this that lacks many big time matchups. But at the same time, these weeks tend to produce some great action.
Georgia (-6) at South Carolina
Georgia has been off since their opening weekend thrashing of Clemson between the hedges in Athens. South Carolina took a beating of their own that weekend, but recovered to notch their first win of the year last weekend over East Carolina. The challenge gets much tougher this week with Todd Gurley coming to Colombia.
This one opened at just -2.5 for UGA, but has steadily risen all week. I really liked the Dawgs giving just 2.5, but 6 gets a little more interesting. In past years, I probably would have gone with South Carolina, but Gurley is healthy, and the Gamecocks defense has been....not good. Go Dwags!
Iowa State at Iowa (-10)
Yes, I'm picking this game outside of the Big 10. For one, it shows just how weak this weekend of games is. And two, it gives me a chance to make fun of what appears to be a bad 2-0 Hawkeyes team (but not the worst in the league, Illinois!). On the other side, Iowa State is 0-2, and also not very good. However, they're not as awful as we'd like to think (hello 15 point third quarter lead vs. Kansas State).
The Hawkeyes have needed 4th quarter comebacks to beat powerhouses Northern Iowa and Ball State to open the year, and as they say, anything can happen when the Cyhawk Trophy is on the the line. Iowa gets the W, but I'll take the Cyclones and the points.
West Virginia at Maryland (-3.5)
This could be the second most intriguing non-PSU game for me this weekend. It's the only game at noon I really want to see, and it's one of only a few power conference matchups all weekend. West Virginia was solid in hanging with Alabama in week 1, before blowing out Towson last week. Maryland walked all over William and Mary to open the year, and rallied to win in Tampa against USF a week ago.
This game is about as even as it gets, with the Terps getting the customary 3ish point bump with the home field. After last week's B1G disaster, I have a hard time taking any conference team. WVU looked better against Alabama than the Terps did at USF, so I'll take the Mountaineers and the points.
East Carolina at Virginia Tech (-11)
The Hokies return to Blacksburg riding the wave of arguably their biggest win in years last weekend in Columbus. They face one of the preseason mid-major darlings, who fell last week in Colombia to South Carolina in their first shot to make a statement.
In past years, this is the type of game that almost seemed like a lock that VPI would at the very least struggle in, if not lose outright. I don't think they drop this game, the fired up Lane Stadium crowd will see to that. But a noon kickoff, against a pretty good ECU team could make things interesting. I'll go with the visitors and take the points.
Tennessee at Oklahoma (-20.5)
Some games just sound big when you say them out loud. This is one of those, and 10 years ago, or in 3-4 more years, it might be again. Instead, it's an SEC vs. Big 12 game with a 20+ point spread. The Vols looked very good in picking apart Utah State 38-7 in their opener, before sleep walking to a 34-19 win over Arkansas State in Knoxville a week ago. The Sooners have picked up right where they left off last year, blowing out Tulsa and Louisiana Tech to open their season.
Part of me says 20 points is entirely too much for any game involving two power conference teams. But, this game really feels like men vs. boys. Tennessee has seen an influx of talent in their recent recruiting classes, but that talent is young. Oklahoma is a playoff and national title contender, and playing at home. I'll go with the Sooners and give the points.
Around the B1G
Bowling Green at Indiana (-7.5)
Kent State at Ohio State (-32)
Miami (OH) at Michigan (-31)
Minnesota (+14) at TCU
Illinois at Washington (-13.5)
Purdue at Notre Dame (-28)
Nebraska (-10.5) at Fresno State