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Senior College Football Columnist

Week 2 Picks: Texas A&M will top Gators, Michigan will bounce back

Florida faces a much tougher test on the road at rowdy Kyle Field. (US Presswire)

My picks for Week One weren't great, but they weren't dreadful either. I went two over .500 (12-10) against the spread. The good: picking San Jose State to give Stanford fits. The bad: picking Michigan State to have no trouble with Boise State. The ugly: picking Auburn to beat Clemson. Here are this week's guesses:

Ohio State 28, UCF 13: Tougher test for Braxton Miller this time, but his defense will be the difference this week.

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Kansas State 30, Miami 28: Stephen Morris and the young 'Canes offense is dangerous, but stopping Collin Klein and the KSU run game will be too much for Miami.

South Carolina 34, East Carolina 17: The Pirates will see too much of Marcus Lattimore for their own good.

Clemson 44, Ball State 13: Chad Morris' offense looked terrific without Sammy Watkins. Expect more fireworks.

Virginia Tech 59, Austin Peay 6: Hokies will have a lot less trouble this week. The Governors are coming off a 49-10 thumping at the hands of Western Kentucky, which doesn't have a D as salty as Bud Foster's bunch.

Michigan State 35, Central Michigan 7: Central ran for more than 300 yards last week against an FCS program. They'll be fortunate to run for 30 against the Spartans.

Wisconsin 31, Oregon State 17: Beavers should be a little better than they were last year, but Badgers are still too big and physical and will wear Oregon State down in the second half.

Louisville 56, Missouri State 10: The Bears hung around for awhile against K-State last week, but the Cards won't allow that to happen.

Michigan 37, Air Force 20: Denard Robinson will bounce back as the Wolverines' run game gets cranked up against a smaller defense.

Southern California 52, Syracuse 17: The Orange surrendered 42 points last week to a team with inferior talent at every skill position compared to what Syracuse will see this week.

Texas A&M 20, Florida 17: Was leaning to going with the Gators, but playing the hunch that Johnny Manziel, a couple of big-time backs and the solid Aggies O-line will rise to the stage.

Notre Dame 34, Purdue 17: The Irish's improved front seven isn't dominant but it's good enough to keep heat off a shaky secondary.

Alabama 54, Western Kentucky 10: Willie Taggert's done a nice job with Western, but his squad isn't ready for the most physical team in the country.

Florida State 69, Savannah State 0: Jimbo Fisher will pull off the gas early so the 'Noles also don't go over 80 on Savannah State.

Oregon 59, Fresno State 14: Chip Kelly's super fast team will make this one a track meet early and Marcus Mariota will continue to impress with his passing skills. The bandwagon for the redshirt freshman QB and this team is filling up fast.

Arkansas 47, Louisiana-Monroe 13: Hogs have become more balanced and will blow this open by the second quarter.

LSU 42, Washington 21: Keith Price is really good, but his O-line will be overmatched against the Tigers' front, especially in Death Valley.

Oklahoma 66, FAMU 14: No hiccups this week for the Sooners offense.

TCU 59, Grambling State 6: If the Tigers couldn't win last week against an FCS opponent, they aren't getting close to the Horned Frogs.

Nebraska 27, UCLA 24: Brett Hundley faces a much tougher D, but he and the Bruins will give Bo Pelini's team all it can handle.

Georgia 23, Missouri 21: Even though the Dawgs are under .500 away from the Athens the past two seasons and missing some key players on D, look for Murray and Gurley to spark Georgia and for the Georgia pressure to rattle the Tigers.

Texas 44, New Mexico 3: The Longhorns will have no trouble with Bob Davie's team.

Oklahoma State 35, Arizona 27: Matt Scott and Ka'Deem Carey will give the Cowboys some problems, but Rich Rod's D won't be able to keep up with OSU.

Stanford 28, Duke 20: David Cutcliffe's team is much improved. Just not that much improved although it's worth noting that the Blue Devils staff is very close to the San Jose State staff whose team just gave the Cardinal a big scare.

RANDOM STUFF

*As I pointed out that last weekend, the Big Ten certainly didn't boost its credibility with a host of shaky performances. Keep an eye on the Pac-12 this weekend. The conference's resident heavyweights, Oregon and USC, should roll. (Sorry, Syracuse, Fresno State.) Stanford also should handle Duke, which hasn't beaten a ranked team on the road in football since the days before Coach K had even began his coaching career.

The issue is can the league pull an upset or two? And can it be competitive in games against some legit powerhouses?

The biggest stage: Washington visiting No. 3 LSU. After that, you have Oregon State hosting No. 13 Wisconsin; UCLA hosting No. 16 Nebraska and Arizona hosting No. 18 Oklahoma State. My hunch is one of the latter three has a decent shot to pull off a big upset.

*I'm very curious to see if Taylor Martinez: Passing Quarterback thrives for a second week. The California native comes home to face UCLA, which surrendered 174 rushing yards to Rice last week. In Week 1, the QB threw for a career-high 354 passing yards and five TDs against Southern Miss, displaying refined mechanics.

Martinez grew up a Bruins fan, but UCLA only looked at him as a safety. Ultimately, the Bruins never offered the speedster a scholarship. (Norm Chow, then the offensive coordinator, along with head coach Rick Neuheisel already had QB Richard Brehaut committed.) Martinez running the Pistol for the Bruins would've been pretty intriguing though.

*Some interesting moves in a week of college football: 'Bama, which had 5-1 odds to win the BCS title, is now 4-1. WVU was 45-1. The Mountaineers are now 20-1. Tennessee had been 150-1, but after handling N.C. State is now 75-1 according to Bovada.

*Speaking of West Virginia, Dana Holgorsen's pal, Bob Stitt, the innovative coach at DII Colorado School of Mines, had a record-setting day in Week 1. The Orediggers set a school record with 690 yards of offense in a 57-16 win over William Jewell.

*3Penny Films has done some very good chronicling the inner workings of college football programs. The latest: a well-done video detailing the building process at Miami, both literally and figuratively.

*The outstanding Wisconsin sports information folks put out a note earlier this week, pointing out that only two programs at the FBS level have begun the season 2-0 every year since 2002, Wisconsin and USC. I mentioned this one on Twitter and got an avalanche of tweets lamenting cupcake schedules. It is true that the Badgers have faced a run of almost entirely non-BCS conference opponents in that stretch, but it's hard to take issue with USC's side of things. The Trojans faced the likes of Arkansas, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Ohio State, BYU and Utah and some of those programs were home-and-home series. Then again, as some people noted, a few of those USC W's aren't considered W's any more.

*Help is on the way for Randy Edsall and Maryland. Deon Long, a 6-0, 200-pound juco player who had signed originally with WVU and then headed to New Mexico to play for Mike Locksley, is putting up ridiculous numbers in the first two weeks for an Iowa juco that is averaging 81 ppg in its first two games. Long had 19 catches for 210 yards in the first half of a game for Iowa Western Community College last weekend.

*Former USC linebacker Jordan Campbell, who was part of the Trojans 2007 signing class that included Joe McKnight, is still playing college football. Campbell is the star of New Mexico Highlands defense. He registered 10 tackles, four TFLs, two sacks and two forced fumbles last week.

*One-time Michigan DB Carvin Johnson is No. 2 in the FCS in tackles with 17, one behind his teammate DeVonte Hawkins.

*Newest Twitter follow: @TomPenders. The former college hoops coach really, really doesn't hold back. Kinda like the Iron Sheik of basketball coaches. Proof:

Billy Gillespie used his resouces to try and get my job in 2009 at UH. That was a professional no no. Why did he do it? Total asshole! Why?
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