We’re one full week in to college football’s glorious fall crescendo, but Week 2 promises to hold less fun (famous last words) than Week 1 did, at least at first glance.
There are only a couple of really big games, and so we know the drama’s going to come from a completely unexpected source (Arkansas State upsetting Bama? MAYBE??), but we’re picking the biggest games of the week either way.
Last weekend, some of us came pretty close on certain predictions. James Jones, Ryan Sterritt, and Will McLaughlin were almost spot on with the WVU-Tennessee pick, and I myself narrowly missed sniping the Notre Dame-Michigan score (I picked 23-16, Irish won 24-17). Still, there were hard misses. We all picked FSU, and only AU Nerd predicted a Bayou Bengal victory. Oops.
So, should you take our advice this week? Do we know what we’re talking about?
Of course not.
#3 GEORGIA @ #24 SOUTH CAROLINA - 2:30 PM (CBS)
“I don’t think this will go well for Muschamp’s crew, but I want it so bad. Please. Drag Georgia down into some stupid, bullshit 16-12 style game, with tipped interceptions and special teams gaffes and red zone woes galore. Make Georgia question if Justin Fields should be the starting quarterback. If Georgia wins, so be it. But be infectiously dumb, Gamecocks. I believe in you. 22-15 UGA.” - Ryan Sterritt
“I’m on record as thinking SCAR is going to win this game and win the east. There’s no backing down now. SCAR 21 uga 17.” - Son of Crow
“I would love nothing more than for South Carolina to pull this thing off. It’s going to be frustrating watching Alabama and UGA waltz through their schedules. If there is any team that can kill the UGA hype for at least a week, it’s the Gamecocks. But I don’t have a ton of confidence in a Will Muschamp offense vs a Kirby Smart defense. I think this is close early but SCAR has some turnovers and UGA’s ground game eventually wins out. UGA 31, SCAR 14” - AU Nerd
“Maybe I am completely off base, but are we saying this is a game to watch because there is nothing else to watch at this time? Don’t get me wrong, I will watch it because its an SEC game, but this won’t be pretty in my opinion. Dawgs 34, Gamecocks 13.” - Drew McCracken
“South Carolina is going to ugly this one up and the crowd will be up for it. I don’t think it will be enough, but they’ll certainly frustrate Georgia enough to keep things close. Georgia 23, South Carolina 12.” - James Jones
“I think we all agree that we would love to see South Carolina pull this game out. While it’s early in the year, this could very well decide the SEC East. Also, it’s great to see Deebo Samuel back on the field with the Gamecocks after missing most of last year. And while I think this game will be close, I think Georgia pulls this game out late. 24-17 UGA.” - Will McLaughlin
“Despite Georgia’s Saban-style roster at the moment, they’ve only had a real decisive win over the Gamecocks once in the past decade, and that was when South Carolina was going through major transition with Spurrier’s final moments. I think with this being at Willy B, the Gamecocks are going to be really frothed up for it, and probably take an early lead. It’s time to find a featured back for Georgia, so we’ll see who Kirby gets comfortable with as this one will be close. I think Justin Fields see a series or two DJ Shockley style, and South Carolina’s defense stands up enough to keep it tight. Rodrigo Blankenship misses a long field goal as time expires, Gamecocks win 27-26.” - Jack Condon
#2 CLEMSON @ TEXAS A&M - 6:00 PM (ESPN)
“Clemson has gotten the better of Jimbo Fisher the last few years, and I’m not betting against the Clemson defensive line against the fifth best team in the SECW. Could it happen? Sure. But nah, not really. 30-17 Clemson.” - Ryan Sterritt
“I think Clemson should be ranked number 1 at this point and I think they’ll crush Jimbo and the boys. That defensive line is so bonkers. Clemson 42, Aggy 28.” - Son of Crow
“I know life is exciting in College Station right now with their shiny new head coach winning his first game in an epic beatdown. But it’s about to get real fast. To beat this Clemson football team you have to stretch them vertically. I just don’t see Kellen Mond being able to do that. I also don’t see this Aggies defense slowing Clemson down. Expect a blowout by the 4th quarter. CLEM 41, Aggies 14” - AU Nerd
“Well isn’t this fun! Dabo and Jimbo get to tie it up again but this time in the beautiful city of College Station. The Aggies are probably about a year or 2 away from making this a truly interesting game but it is still the top game of the weekend. I think that Clemson D-Line is just too much for Mond and the boys but Jimbo may just keep them in it for a bit longer than people think. Aggieland will be fired up for this one and that place can get loud, especially when Clemson puts Sunshine in. Tigers 24, Aggies 10.” - Drew McCracken
“Maybe I’m only thinking of Auburn’s trips there, but College Station just isn’t that intimidating. Clemson is a much, much better team than Texas A&M. I’m betting the running game can’t get much going, and whichever Aggie QB plays is running for his life. Clemson’s offense does enough to make it relatively ugly. Clemson 38, Texas A&M 10.” - James Jones
“The Aggies take Auburn’s place on Clemson’s schedule and begins a HOME and HOME series in College Station Saturday. It’s Jimbo’s first big game with the Aggies, College Gameday will be there, and Aggie fans will be yelling louder than usual. In the end, Clemson’s defense is going to have a field day with the A&M offense and score the road victory the ACC desperately needs. 38-13 Clemson.” - Will McLaughlin
“Unlike what Jimbo did for Willie Taggart in Tallahassee, Kevin Sumlin actually left some good talent in College Station. Clemson’s got more though. This one’s close through three quarters, but the Tigers’ pressure becomes too much and a big late sack either results in a turnover or a short field that opens the floodgates. I have more faith in Dabo’s ability to manage two good quarterbacks than Kirby Smart’s, and I think both Trevor Lawrence and Kelly Bryant end up with multiple touchdown drives. 35-14 Clemson.” Jack Condon
#17 USC @ #10 STANFORD - 7:30 PM (FOX)
“I’ll be honest, I don’t know enough about either team to say much here. But I do know Stanford played awesome against a pretty good SDSU team even with Bryce Love having an awful night, and USC let UNLV hang around way too long. Let’s say Stanford, 27-24.” - Ryan Sterritt
“Trees. Stanford 35, USC 19.” - Son of Crow
“I think this will be a fascinating showdown. Stanford had a very unlike Stanford showing last week as Bryce Love struggled but KJ Costello threw for 300+ yards and four touchdowns. JJ Arcega-Whiteside caught 3 of those TDs & had 226 yards receiving. Those aren’t Cardinal offensive numbers. On the other side, USC has a phenom freshman QB in JT Daniels throwing to a phenom freshman WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. Defense though gave up 21 to UNLV which is a little concerning. I think this will be a close battle but with the game being on The Farm, probably lean Cardinal. STAN 24, USC 20.” - AU Nerd
“The sneaky number 2 game of the weekend. After Clemson starts to pull away from A&M, this will have my full focus. Stanford had an easy win last weekend while USC struggled with a game UNLV team. I will go with the Trees for their sheer reason that the Trojans are starting a true freshman on the road. That almost never works out (unless you are Georgia for some God forsaken reason). Trees 19, Trojans 13.” - Drew McCracken
“There’s no way I’m backing a true freshman quarterback on the road against a top 10 team. I don’t care what his star rating was. Stanford showed enough last week to give them some confidence. Stanford 24, USC 13.” - James Jones
“To me, both teams were unimpressive in their season openers. In fact, USC trailed UNLV 14-12 with a minute left in the 3rd quarter before taking the lead and pulling away in the 4th quarter. This will be TJ Daniels first road start for USC and he’s taking on a team hoping for a bounce back game from Bryce Love after his 18 carry, 29 yard performance against San Diego State. After Washington’s loss to Auburn, the Pac-12 needs another team to step up and help carry the conference. I’ll take the Cardinal at home. 28-23 Stanford.” - Will McLaughlin
“I agree with Ryan in that I know next to nothing about either team. I do know that Stanford is still playing that Jim Harbaugh style of football, but they do have this receiver named JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who’s a damn problem for everyone they play. He caught six passes for 226 yards in their opening win over San Diego State, more than making up for Bryce Love’s slow start. He should be matched up with USC’s Iman Marshall all night, but I think he’ll have the better game. Love gets going too. Cardinal 30-21.” - Jack Condon
#15 MICHIGAN STATE @ ARIZONA STATE - 9:45 PM (ESPN)
“Michigan State pulled an Auburn and had to steal away a game from Utah State, and they don’t have much that excites me. That’s their style, though, right? Meanwhile, Arizona State is one of the biggest unknowns in the P5, and I’m all aboard the Herm Edwards-train. Also, don’t be tricked by the number next to Michigan State’s name. Sparty is #27 in S&P+, while the Sun Devils are #29. 38-31 Arizona State.” - Ryan Sterritt
“Herm Edwards is gonna play to win this game. ASU 17, MSU 5.” - Son of Crow
“I have absolutely 0 idea what happens in this game. Michigan State looked terrible out the gate while Arizona State took care of business. I still don’t know if I want Herm Edwards to succeed or fail. Maybe I just want him to inject some chaos into the CFB world. Knocking off the #15 team in the country would be chaos so why not? AZST 28, Sparty 27.” - AU Nerd
“HOW IS THE LAST GAME NOT IOWA-IOWA STATE?!?! It’s El Assico?!? (Take the Cyclones) But I digress....Herm actually won a game last week against UTSA and looked good doing it, while Sparty looked very meh against Utah State, This will be a fascinating game to watch, just to see if Dantonio runs across the field to choke out Herm at some point. I will take the Devils just because Herm is the new Les Miles...not in the coaching sense, in the HOLY GOD HOW IN THE HELL DID THEY PULL THAT OFF way. Wait till you see the two point play where a pass is thrown off the opposing team’s facemask to a wideout in the corner of the endzone. Sun Devils 36, Sparty 35.” - Drew McCracken
“I’m not going to overreact to last week. Michigan State struggled with a Utah State team that employs Chuckie Keeton (he’s a GA). Arizona State bulldozed a team that had far less athleticism. I’m backing a veteran Spartan team with a defense that can travel. Michigan State 23, ASU 21.” - James Jones
“Mark Dantonio takes his Michigan State team to the desert for some Pac-12 After Dark action. The Spartans got by Utah State by the skin of their teeth last week. Herm Edwards debuted as Sun Devils coach with an impressive win over UTSA. The last time a Big 10 team visited Tempe was 2013. On that night, the Sun Devils knocked off Wisconsin in one of the most bizarre ends to a game I’ve ever seen. In short, the Badgers went FULL Les Miles and epically butchered the game clock costing them the game. And oh by the way, did I mention this game is part of Pac-12 After Dark? 38-34 Arizona State.” - Will McLaughlin
“We’re totally going to have some fun with Herm Edwards this season in Tempe. His first game at the helm was a resounding win over UTSA — not that it means much — but people are excited about the Sun Devils for the first time in a while. N’Keal Harry is a fun guy to watch, and could have some Spartan defenders lunging for air. Overall, I think we’ll see Michigan State rebound after a slow start against Utah State and get a win on the road, but Herm’s going to beat someone he shouldn’t this year. 30-27 Michigan State.” - Jack Condon
Go get rich.