No Sleep Till Football

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2011 NCAA Football – Week 2 Best Games

Week 2 of the college football season is upon us. I know it’s only week 2, but the funny thing about college football and me is that I already think it’s going too fast. The buildup is such that even after just one week it feels as if the season is already going too fast. One of the reasons the season feels like it goes so fast is because the importance of the games are such that each week really is a playoff game. Last week we saw Oregon, Notre Dame and Georgia lose important games all 3 possibly could have won. I still think all 3 teams have BCS dreams. Those dreams are still intact, but now they are tenuous dreams hanging by a thread as another loss could potentially end those dreams without a conference championship. In Notre Dame’s case I think their margin for error is a single game.

By the way, these games are listed in order of importance. These are the games I think are the most interesting this week in descending order of importance. Thus, to me the Georgia/South Carolina game is the most important of the week because I think both teams had schedules that set up for each team to run the table. That dream is dead for Georgia, but the Bulldogs still have a schedule & team capable of winning out and going 11-1 which wins the SEC East. South Carolina got by East Carolina this week so their undefeated dreams are still alive. The “least” important interesting game for me this week is Oregon/Nevada. Oregon should roll and I don’t doubt that they will, but the game is interesting because of the bounce back aspect for the Ducks.

ROAD PREDICTION HOME
Leave it to the SEC to get us going this week with a barnburner of a game out of the SEC East. I think this is essentially the game that will determine the SEC East championship unless Florida really surprises which actually wouldn’t be surprising given the state of the Georgia football team under Mark Richt. If your SC then this is the year to go 12-0 and make a serious run at a national championship. After losing to Boise St., Georgia needs this game BAD or else they start 0-2 and the heat on Richt is incredible. Extremely important game. SC can’t play the kind of mistake filled football they did against ECU between the hedges. Current Line: South Carolina (-3)!
I’m surprised Notre Dame is favored in this game although when you consider how the Irish lost last week, you can be sure Brian Kelly will have them chomping at the bit this week at the Big House. Michigan is coming off a nice 34-10 win over Western Michigan, but the game wasn’t as dominating for the Wolverine as the score would indicate. Western Michigan moved the ball and Denard Robinson didn’t have a great game. Both teams had significant weather issues last week. I don’t think Brian Kelly can start 0-2. That would be a season in the tank very quickly considering Michigan St. & Pittsburgh are up next. Current Line: Notre Dame (-3.5).
Penn St. is ranked 23rd in the country with Alabama being knocked down to #2 after LSU took over the #2 spot after beating Oregon. Expect Alabama to potentially regain the spot. Penn St. has a great defense of their own so it’ll be interesting to see how AJ McCarron does against the Nittany Lions, but the star of course is the Alabama defense. Last week Penn St. was able to run for 245 yards against Indiana St. Alabama held Kent St. to -9 rushing yards! This could be another example of how utterly dominant the Tide are and I wouldn’t be surprised with a shutout. Current Line: Alabama (-10).
Arizona QB Nick Foles might be the most underrated QB in the nation. He’s going to move himself into a 1st Rd. pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. At 6’5/245lbs and a cannon for an arm, he’s got more than one NFL team salivating at the prospect. Last week against Northern Arizona, he passed for 412 yards & 5TD in the Wildcats 41-10 win. Brandon Weeden is getting massive press and Oklahoma St. can score at will, Foles will be the best QB on the field and will welcome the shootout. Current Line: Oklahoma St. (-14).
It’s weird that this is being billed as the SEC game of the week when Georgia & South Carolina are hooking up. I don’t think this will be much of a game. I think the Bulldogs are a legitimate top-10 team while Auburn had to pull a rabbit out of their hat last week to get by Utah St. at home! That doesn’t spell victory this week when Mississippi St. comes to town. Interestingly enough, I think Auburn fans are going to be seeing some familiar situations with Chris Relf playing QB for MSU who I think is going to put on a pretty good Cam Newton impersonation. Expect Vick Ballard to run at will and MSU to completely dominate the national champions. They’ll easily cover that line. Current Line: Mississippi St. (-6.5).
This should be an interesting game. Texas played well last week in beating Rice while BYU did themselves a favor by going on the road to an SEC team’s stadium and coming away with a 14-13 win over Mississippi. Granted, Ole’ Miss is the weakest (well, Auburn might be) team in the SEC West, but it’s not exactly easy winning in SEC country. I don’t know if that gives the Cougars any confidence going to Austin, but it’ll be a good test for the 24th ranked Longhorns. Garrett Gilbert wasn’t great last week, but BYU’s defense isn’t fantastic. This should be a good an interesting game more so for Texas although a BYU win certainly looks impressive as they’d start the year 2-0 with road wins in Oxford & Austin. Current Line: Texas (-7).
It’s amazing that Missouri is this much of a favorite in Tempe. The Tigers would be a 13.5 favorites if the game were in Columbia! Missouri beat Miami-OH last week 17-6 which looks bad, but Missouri’s defense was great while new QB James Franklin struggled a bit in his first start as a true sophomore. The Sun Devils hammered UC-Davis last week with everyone playing well. Arizona St. did a great job of running the football, but that isn’t likely to happen against Mizzou. It’ll be interesting because a lot of people think ASU is going to represent the Pac-12 South in the Pac-12 Championship game. Current Line: Missouri (-7.5).
Some of it is that Jerry Kill is an excellent football coach and Minnesota fans should be extremely happy. On the other hand, nobody thought Minnesota would lose to USC by the score of 19-17 in Southern California! If MarQueis Gray doesn’t get injured, maybe Minnesota starts the Kill Era 1-0! Utah comes calling this week and the Utes rush defense did a good job last week. This is Utah’s first game as a Pac-12 member which is interesting, but this is a game that is certainly more important for USC. If the Trojans win handily then Minnesota is A LOT better than we think. If USC loses then that program has clearly taken a step back. Either outcome is instructive for the upcoming season. Current Line: USC (-8.5).
I’m telling you right now that Tennessee loses this game and doesn’t cover that line. I know it was Austin Peay, but Cincinnati beat them 72-10 and ran for almost 400 yards! That’s ridiculous. Seriously. Tennessee had a great game themselves beating Montana 42-16. Tyler Bray & Tauren Poole had excellent games. I love what Butch Jones is doing and Cincinnati is a really underrated football program. I’m not sure they can reach the heights like they did under Brian Kelly, but you never know. I think this is interesting because a Cincinnati wins shows that Tennessee isn’t all the way back just yet under Dooley and that the Big East has some good football teams. Current Line: Tennessee (-4.5).
I was a little disappointed last week when Air Force only beat South Dakota 37-20, but then again, South Dakota did beat Minnesota last season. Air Force has a great coach in Troy Calhoun and a great team this year running that triple option. TCU looked extremely mortal last week against Baylor, but some of that was that TCU couldn’t cover Robert Griffin throwing the football. The Frogs won’t have that problem as Air Force is going to run 99% of the time. Still, TCU can lose this football game which would be odd because it would send them to an 0-2 start. The last time TCU started a season 0-2 was back in 1999 when they lost to Arizona & Northwestern to start the season. Current Line: TCU (-1).
Not really an important game this week, but Iowa/Iowa St. is one of my favorite rivalry games to watch. Iowa should win this game after beating Tennessee Tech 34-7 last week. The Hawkeyes gave up a bit too much on defense, but I’m not sure ISU has enough offense to take adavantage of a bad day by the Hawkeye defense if it happens again. The Cyclones needed a last minute TD to beat Northern Iowa last week, but a couple of years ago Iowa needed a couple of last second blocked FGs to get by the Panthers so I won’t read too much into that. Maybe the Northern Iowa games are getting to be just as dramatic as this showdown? Current Line: Iowa (-6.5).
As you can see by the line this isn’t supposed to be much of a game, but I think it’ll be interesting to see how Oregon and Chip Kelly bounce back after last week’s loss to LSU. Specifically I’d like to see how much tighter of a game the Ducks can play. Last week they committed way too many peanlties and turnovers. Nevada isn’t the same caliber as a team like LSU, but Chris Ault is a good coach and the Wolfpack will play fundamentally sound football. The game would be more interesting if Colin Kaepernick were suiting up for Nevada, but this is Nevada’s first game so they’ve had plenty of prep time. Oregon never loses at Autzen Stadium and they won’t this week, but how amazing will their play be? Current Line: Oregon (-26.5).
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September 8, 2011 - Posted by | Air Force, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona St., Auburn, BYU, Cincinnati, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi St., Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma St., Penn St., South Carolina, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Utah

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