Senior College Football Columnist

Week 2 picks: Good start, but always room for improvement


I had a good first week, going 13-6 against the number in FBS games. The good: almost nailing the exact score of the UNLV-Wisconsin game. The bad: picking Oregon to beat LSU. The ugly: thinking TCU would handle Robert Griffin and Baylor. Here are this week's guesses:

Oklahoma State 41, Arizona 28: Nick Foles had a strong opener, and with or without Juron Criner, the 'Cats have some quality targets, but OSU is loaded on offense and also has more talent and experience on both lines. OSU did give up 34 last week to ULL, but most of that came late in the game after OSU got up 44-13.

More college football picks
Clark Judge Brett McMurphy
It this strange week of college football, here are some picks trying to make sense of it all. More >>
Related links

Arizona State 35, Missouri 17: The Tigers are the higher-ranked team, but they're going into a tough spot Friday night. Mizzou is really banged up. ASU is very physical on D and has a nasty front seven. Brock Osweiler does need to show he can handle a big spot, but expect him to respond well at home on national TV.

Alabama 27, Penn State 10: The Tide are much better and more seasoned than the team Penn State faced last time out. 'Bama does have some QB issues, but Trent Richardson and the big, athletic O-line will take care of the offensive burden on the road.

Stanford 42, Duke 24: David Cutcliffe's team had a brutal opener, losing to Richmond. Expect them to play hard, and they do have some decent skill talent to not get crushed here.

Wisconsin 40, Oregon State 14: Mike Riley is using two QBs after enigmatic Ryan Katz has looked shaky early this season. That doesn't bode well, especially since the Beavers are really depleted at their skill positions, while the Badgers are the much more physical team.

Florida 41, UAB 7: The Gators offense displayed a lot of its blazing speed for new OC Charlie Weis in the opener against undermanned FAU. This week they get back a few of their better offensive weapons (Trey Burton and Deonte Thompson) who didn't play in the opener. Bad news for the Blazers.

Nebraska 38, Fresno State 7: The Huskers were pretty sloppy in their debut despite Taylor Martinez's numbers. Look for them to get some of that sorted out as the young O-line jells against a shaky D that was thumped last week by Cal.

Virginia Tech 35, ECU 28: The Pirates gave South Carolina fits for a couple of hours last week. They won't be intimidated at all here at home. The problem is their suspect D is a mismatch for Tech's budding star RB, David Wilson.

South Carolina 28, Georgia 27: I'm very tempted to pick the Dawgs in an upset to bounce back in this must-win spot for Mark Richt, but I can't go against Marcus Lattimore here. The big RB ran all over UGA in 2010 (182 yards and two TDs) and the Dawgs will be without one of their top defenders, LB Alec Olgetree. The UGA O-line also struggled in pass protection in Week 1, and it doesn't get any easier with this Carolina bunch coming in. Look for QB Aaron Murray to respond with a big night, though, and keep it interesting.

Oregon 52, Nevada 17: The Ducks were snuffed out by LSU last week. Now they face a team they can exploit. Expect them to allow Darron Thomas to get into a rhythm early, and the Oregon speed will show up in a big way.

Arkansas 49, New Mexico 6: Tyler Wilson and his stud WRs (Jarius Wright and Joe Adams and crew) are too good for the Lobos, and the Hogs' D will feast on a New Mexico offense that surrendered 10 sacks in last week's loss to CSU.

Ohio State 34, Toledo 20: The Buckeyes face a much better MAC team than they faced in Week 1. OSU still should cruise, but Toledo QB Austin Dantin is capable, and he'll make a few plays.

Mississippi State 26, Auburn 17: The Tigers got a huge scare from Utah State at home and now face Vick Ballard, an improved Chris Relf and Dan Mullen's offense. How will the young Tigers respond? I was going with Auburn close, but I think Ballard and Relf will be the difference in the second half.

Michigan State 45, FAU 10: The Spartans did not look sharp at all against Youngstown State in their opener, but Kick Cousins and MSU will be better in Week 2 against an Owls team that was overmatched by UF's speed in the opener. Expect FAU to have all sorts of trouble with the MSU RBs.

USF 31, Ball State 14: Skip Holtz's team is coming off the big emotional win in South Bend and gets a MAC opponent. It'll be a challenge for the Bulls not to come out a bit flat. BSU knocked off Indiana after going 10 for 14 on third downs. The Cardinals will face a much better D this time around, but they should have some decent moments early.

TCU 17, Air Force 10: Gary Patterson was irate at his D after getting shredded by Baylor in the opener. Fortunately for the Horned Frogs, as solid as AFA is, the Falcons aren't geared to exploit TCU's biggest weakness -- the corners -- and the Horned Frogs do have some good LBs to stand up to the option game.

USC 26, Utah 21: The past few years, the Trojans have struggled much more than the experts expected at home. They looked very shaky against a lesser Minnesota team last week. This is a more talented Utah bunch with an experienced QB and a big-time RB in John White. Expect the USC ground game to respond after a dismal debut. Having Marc Tyler back helps, but it really will start with a different attitude up front.

Michigan 28, Notre Dame 27: Two weeks ago, I would've picked ND here by at least a touchdown, but the Irish QB situation is much shakier than I expected it would be. I liked how much better the Wolverines D looked as the game wore on last week, although Michael Floyd, Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick pose a much, much tougher test. Then again, Denard Robinson and an experienced UM O-line will do that for ND too.

Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for and college football commentator for CBS Sports Network. He is a New York Times Bestselling author, who has written books including Swing Your Sword, Meat Market and Cane Mutiny. Prior to joining CBS, Feldman spent 17 years at ESPN.

Biggest Stories

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre


Most Popular Shop