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Staff Picks - College Football Week 2

Shoot, big-time Lone Star matchups ahead!

Louisiana Tech v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Auburn’s 1-0, and there’s nothing more important in the land. However, we do enjoy watching other college football games and seeing other teams lose. There are some highly-ranked teams that will definitely lose this weekend, and it could be of interest to Auburn fans depending on who takes that big fat L. Will it happen? Maybe.

Clemson (-17.5) vs Texas A&M (O/U 59.5)

It’s amazing that a game that went late in the 4th quarter a year ago has a spread of 17.5 points. Of course Travis Etienne, Trevor Lawrence, and Justyn Ross barely saw the field a year ago. I still think Jimbo is a good enough offensive coach to find some deficiencies in a younger defense to make this closer than the spread. Look as much as I hate to say it, A&M is a much better program today than they were under Sumlin and are going to continue to get better. It won’t result in victory in Death Valley, but it will be a game that Aggies will hang their hat on to show marked improvement from last year. Clemson 38 Texas A&M 27 - Josh Black

Texas A&M seems very confident that they can go into Death Valley and win and you can’t fault them for confidence but this Clemson team is on a different level than Texas State is, no offense. It will be fascinating to watch the QB battle of Trevor Lawrence and Kellen Mond. Travis Etienne ran all over Georgia Tech last week and I think you’ll see him continue his torrid start this week. This is a big game for Clemson and the ACC and I think these Tigers are up to the task of holding serve at home. A&M will barely cover and the game will go under by the narrowest of margins. Clemson 38 Texas A&M 21 - Will McLaughlin

Clemson is going to murder this A&M team. As far as I can tell, Clemson has improved since this matchup last season (Lawrence is starting now, Etienne has become a top 5 back in the country) and A&M is about the same. Oh, and it’s in Death Valley this year? I’ll go with Clemson winning this one, although I’m not quite sure they cover. Tigers 35-24. - Ryan Sterritt

Clemson Has the best roster in college football. I’m not 100% sure the kids from college station can hang with this year’s tigers for 4 quarters. I’m looking to see improvement from Jimbo’s group but I don’t think it’s going to come this quickly. Give me Clemson to win. The Purple Tigers pass their final test before the playoff and they get to do it in week 2 because life is about as fair as a Panamanian election. Tigers 39, Aggy 24 - Son of Crow

Clemson is a great football team. I’m not as high on Texas A&M as everyone seems to be. I could be wrong here, absolutely, but Jimbo Fisher hasn’t done anything at A&M – yet. A&M was arguably Clemson’s toughest test in 2018 (sans an injury-filled post-Kelly Bryant Syracuse game) so expect a closer game than Vegas thinks. Clemson wins their 17th straight, but it will be far from easy. Clemson 35, Texas A&M 27 - Josh Dub

I don’t know that we learned much about either of these teams last week. ‘Kellen Mond is efficient when he isn’t pressured’, knew that. ‘Travis Etienne is a bad man’, knew that. I think this comes down to whether or not Lawrence and home field makes enough of a difference to cover this number. Clemson tends to struggle early in the year, and I think they’ll give up enough points to keep this one close and hit the over. Clemson 41, A&M 31 - James Jones

I watched a lot of that Clemson/GT game and while the Tigers whooped the Jackets they didn’t necessarily look excellent doing it. The Aggies did what they should vs Texas State but I think have some question marks at OL. It wouldn’t surprise me if this one is lower scoring than people expect but I think Clemson has too many weapons and it’s had to win in Death Vally right now. Tigers pull away in the 2nd half 38-17 - AU Nerd

Clemson wins but doesn’t cover and the under. I really want to think that this one will be fun but something tells me that it will be one of those between the 20s moving game and not much after that. I see Clemson winning comfortably but they won’t cover. 24-10 Cousin Clem - Drew Mac

Jimbo earns every bit of his guaranteed $75 million, that is to say he is alive and breathing during this game. The Tigers cover, and get the Aggies on their road to a bit 8 win season. Clemson 38-17 - AU Chief

Clemson looked really good before I started watching their game against GT last week, and then I saw Trevor Lawrence throw two interceptions. People are high on A&M’s defensive front, so I think they’ll do an alright job on Etienne, but they’ll wear down in the face of a hostile crowd. Focusing so much on the run game gets them burned by one of the several yetis that play wide receiver for the Tigers. Close for about 22 minutes, then multiple scores the rest of the way. Clemson 41, Aggies 23 - Jack Condon

Texas vs LSU (-5) (O/U 53.5)

It’s so easy for me to laugh at hype and Texas. We’ve seen this so many times before. However, Sam Ehlinger looks the part based on the end of last season against some team that thinks they’re Bama because they lost a Sugar Bowl like a bunch of entitled babies since they CLEARLY SHOULD’VE BEEN IN THE PLAYOFF WITH TWO CONFERENCE LOSSES WHEN THE REST OF THE PLAYOFF HAD A COLLECTIVE 1 LOSS BETWEEN THE FOUR TEAMS GOING INTO IT. Truth is, Texas kicked Georgia’s ass last year. ALSO, LSU kicked Georgia’s ass last year. What does this have to do with a game between LSU and Texas in 2019? Nothing! But I sure did enjoy typing it!

In all seriousness both of these offenses look to be on the right track early in the season, but when I look at the other side of the ball for these teams all I see is Grant Delpit and YEP that’s all I need to see! LSU 28 Texas 24 - Josh Black

Who said the SEC doesn’t play true non-conference road games? We’ve got 2 of them this week. Is Texas really back? Is LSU’s offense as good as advertised after their season opener? We’ll find out under the lights in Austin. I’m honestly bummed this game is at the same time as the Auburn game because it’s a fascinating matchup. Whoever wins this game is gonna have a signature win, especially if it’s LSU. I’m gonna go with the Bayou Bengals here and barely over. LSU 30 Texas 24 - Will McLaughlin

There is no reason Texas should be ranked as a top 10 team. FPI has them at #20 in the country. SP+ had them at #35 in the preseason (updated rankings haven’t dropped yet). On the flip side LSU maybe has a really good passing game now? Joe Burrow was pretty decent down the stretch last year, and he was allowed to throw for 5 touchdowns against Georgia Southern. Give me another win for Tigers, 31-18. - Ryan Sterritt

This is going to be a game of hits. LSU can bring the lumber and Texas runs its big QB as many times as it can. I’m looking forward to this game because I have believed the hype and foolishly think Texas is back. LSU, on the other hand, didn’t go anywhere. LSU keeps churning out defensive backs like they grow on Cypress Trees. Nothing would make me happier than LSU to look vulnerable, knowing we have to play those guys in their house later this year. However, I think this one will come down to who is willing to take risks on defense. I think LSU blitzes early and often and I think their offense does just enough to win. LSU 28, Texas 26 - Son of Crow

Until they prove me wrong, I believe 2019 Texas is riding 2018 Texas Bowl Game hype. I’m not sure if they’re a top 10 team yet. I’d love to be proven wrong, because college football is more fun when Texas is playing like an elite team. Tom Herman has obviously stepped it up since his first season. Home field advantage won’t be enough for the Longhorns to overcome LSU. Joe Burrow will do Joe Burrow things. LSU 34, Texas 31 - Josh Dub

I’m going to assume Texas isn’t BACK until after they win this one. I think they can hold LSU’s running game down, and I don’t think Burrow is as dominant on the road against someone other than Georgia Southern. LSU and the under. LSU 21, Texas 13 - James Jones

Is Texas really, truly back? Has LSU’s offense finally evolved? Find out this Saturday.... I really like this matchup. Two QBs who don’t necessarily wow you with their tools but are gutsy competitors who excel within their systems. Some big time skill players on both sides as well. But I am #TeamAranda and think the Tigers defense control this game. LSU’s offense doesn’t look as explosive as it did against Georgia Southern but Burrow hits a few big plays through the air. Third set of Tigers in this pickem win. LSU 31 Texas 20 - AU Nerd

LSU covers and the over. It’s that time of year again, DTT - Don’t Trust Texas. I know that at some point Tom Herman will get Texas right but it won’t be Saturday night. I don’t want to admit Joe B is a really good qb but I think he might be. LSU 31-24. - Drew Mac

I really don’t think Texas is back. However, I’m going with the upset here. Coach O has been punching above his weight for far too long at this point. Texas 28-27 - AU Chief

I saw exactly zero seconds of the LSU game last week, and exactly zero seconds of the Texas game as well. We’ll get to see if LSU’s new offense can do something against a defense with a pulse, and everyone else seems to like the Tigers, so I think maybe we finally get to see the cracks in the Ed O coaching dam. Texas 27, LSU 19 - Jack Condon

Michigan (-23.5) vs Army (O/U 48)

Finally a matchup for Michigan where they can’t accuse the opponent of cheating. So glad they have the chance to put their noses up and proclaim that this is what college football integrity looks like on the field. Army is going to milk that clock from the time toe meets leather. Take the under. Michigan 27 Army 14 - Josh Black

Be on alert Michigan, Army took Oklahoma to Overtime last year. I think this will be a low scoring game, especially if Army can control the time of possession like they’re accustomed to. I think Michigan wins, but Army definitely covers and this game goes under. Michigan 21 Army 14 - Will McLaughlin

I’m afraid Army may not be as good as last year if their slight win over Rice is any indication. Army always has the ability to shorten the game and frustrate opposing offenses by keeping them off the field, but I don’t like their chances here. Michigan will respect the troops, though, because that’s what Michigan men do. 35-14. - Ryan Sterritt

Life is too short to care about what Michigan football is doing. What a bunch of self-righteous dopes. I hope Army scares them to death with a 40 minute time of possession. Michigan 21, Army 20 - Son of Crow

Man, I want to pick Army here. I really do. The talent discrepancy is too large, though. Michigan fans will hate every second of this game. Army will keep it uncomfortably close until the final whistle. Michigan 21, Army 15 - Josh Dub

Army was really underwhelming against Rice, but this is still a huge number to cover against a team that’s going to hold onto the ball for 40 minutes. Biggest thing here is whether or not Army’s defense is still excellent without Jay Bateman. I’ll assume they’re good enough to keep it close and under 48 total. Michigan 24, Army 8. - James Jones

I would love nothing more than Army to knock off Harbaugh and listen to the incredible new excuses to come out of Ann Arbor. But sorry Black Knights, just not seeing it. All Wolverines 35-7 - AU Nerd

Take Army and the points along with the under. I really wanted to take Army here but the showing against Rice talked me out of that decision. I don’t trust Khaki Jesus to be the savior Michigan fans pray for him to be but they get the win here but much closer than they want. 24-17 Michigan - Drew Mac

-AU Chief

We’d all enjoy watching the fallout from an Army victory, but it won’t happen. People remember what happened last year against Oklahoma, but this is a team with defense. Army runs into a pretty sizable wall in Ann Arbor and gets shut down. Michigan still doesn’t score much. Wolverines 27-7 - Jack Condon

Tennessee (-3.5) vs BYU (O/U 51)

God bless you, Spencer.

HOO BOY, TENNESSEE! I really think you should win this, I really do! But BYU has a Mormon version of Johnny Football and y’all literally have NO IDEA what you’re doing defensively! BYU 31 Tennessee 24 - Josh Black

I’m not sure which games the bigger “yikes” game we’re picking this weekend, this one or the game below. There’s no sugarcoating how bad the Tennessee loss was to Georgia State. Now, BYU, a team that also played pretty poorly last week comes to town. Will Tennessee pick themselves up off the ground OR will BYU send Tennessee into an even further tailspin? I like the Cougars outright here and the under. BYU 28 Tennessee 20 - Will McLaughlin

Tennessee, a favorite? After last week? I know BYU had a rough date in the Holy War, but I don’t expect them to be a broken shell of a program this week. They didn’t lose to Georgia State. Give me BYU to win outright and put even more pressure on Fulmer to get back on the field. BYU 23-17. - Ryan Sterritt

Guys Tennessee might be the second worst team in the conference. I think their loss to Georgia State is the kind of thing that either galvanizes a team together the rest of the year, or makes a team start to quit on a coach. I HOPE for the latter, except I was hoping Pruitt would be the guy to take over for Saban one day. BYU 26, Tenn 25 - Son of Crow

Both teams are coming off tough losses. You see how one word can mean two different things? You see, BYU’s “tough” loss involved a bitter defeat in the Holy War. I believe the game was a lot closer than the 30-12 final indicated. Utah capitalized on BYU’s mistakes in a big way. I thought BYU was outplaying Utah for a while. Anyway, it was a respectable loss against an opponent that was supposed to beat them anyway. They have a playmaker at quarterback that can change the game.

Meanwhile, Tennessee’s “tough” loss involved getting destroyed by Georgia State. Georgia. State. You can sufficiently ignore the garbage-time touchdown they scored at the end, Georgia State soundly defeated Tennessee. I’m interested to see how these teams respond to their respective “tough” losses. BYU is the easy pick here, even on the road. BYU 31, Tennessee 21 - Josh Dub

Woooooooooo boy. How does UT respond? Do they come out firing? Do they fold? The issue last week wasn’t really their offense (other than turnovers). It was their defense being run over by Georgia State. I don’t think they want any part of Mormon Manziel. BYU 35, UT 31. - James Jones

Last year’s fiasco ruins some of the enjoyment of Tennessee’s incredible faceplant last week but not completely. Whomever burned their boat pre game knew something.... While it would be pure hilarity to see the Vols drop this one too, I am gonna guess Vols rally and get the W. It won’t be pretty but after last week a win is a win. Vols 45 BYU 31 - AU Nerd

Tennessee covers and waaaaaaaaaay under. 51 points?!?! Really??? I Ok...Man this is a sad game. Tennessee did what they did and BYU looked like an out classed team from the get go in the Holy War. Look for Tennessee to look like a competent team for the first half and then coast while BYU looks like they normally do. Vols 30-13 - Drew Mac

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Last week couldn’t have happened to a better person. Part two is gonna be just as delicious. BYU 38-21 - AU Chief

Is Jeremy Pruitt actually not a good coach? Is Phil Fulmer trying to take over the reins once again in Knoxville? Probably yes on both of those. Things are already shaky for Vol Country after what happened last Saturday, and it’s not getting any better this weekend. After a loss like that, the team and the fans have to be waiting for something bad to happen. They might fold quickly if they get behind. BYU 39, Tennessee 28 - Jack Condon

Ole Miss (-6.5) vs Arkansas (55.5)

LOL @ Ole Miss for being favored in Vegas after looking like garbage offensively against a Memphis team that is…NOT THAT GREAT! And kudos to Arkansas for not falling into the snake pit last weekend, boldly outlasting Portland State! This game is historically the most unpredictable SEC game seemingly every year. I do think Arkansas is the more well coached team, and has *slightly* more depth on each side of the line, so I’m going with my gut and picking the Hogs to pick up their first SEC win in a hot minute. Arkansas 21 Ole Miss 17 - Josh Black

Woo boy.... I think the 55.5 is very very generous here. Both offenses struggled last week with the Rebels scoring just 10 against Memphis while Arkansas only managed 20 against Portland State. Still, this game is at home for Ole Miss and their defense now led by former Colorado coach Mike Macintyre kept the Rebels/Bears/Sharks, whatever they are, in the game. I like Ole Miss here. Ole Miss 27 Arkansas 17 - Will McLaughlin

This is more than likely a battle for last in the SEC West, loser takes all. Both of these rosters are in rough shape, but I think there’s a path for Morris to make Arkansas respectable. I can’t say the same for Matt Luke. They have nothing on the line of scrimmage these days. Meanwhile Arkansas is breaking in eleven (ELEVEN!) new starters on offense. Winning an SEC game would be a huge boost for them. Hawgs with the upset, 28-20. - Ryan Sterritt

Ole Miss really is the worst team in the conference. I jokingly tweeted Saturday that this is now a must-watch game. It isn’t, but only because college football doesn’t embrace promotion/relegation. Just IMAGINE if the loser of this game was in the Sun Belt next year. Tell me you wouldn’t be glued to the TV knowing millions of SEC dollars were on the line as the hapless Rebel Black Bears get into a slap fight with the Razorbacks. Arkansas has (gulp) more talent on the lines somehow than Ole Miss right now. That will be the difference in the game. HOGS 27, REBS 19 - Son of Crow

Ole Miss against Arkansas. Blech. I had a pre-season theory that these two teams will go winless against the remainder of the SEC. This is technically SEC football, but please don’t hold it against the rest of us. Ole Miss 17, Arkansas 14 - Josh Dub

Both of these teams are just an absolute mess right now. All I can think to do is lay the points and take the under. Ole Miss 20, Arkansas 16 - James Jones

I wish this game wasn’t the same time as Auburn’s. Not because I think this will be an epic display of the game of football but in fact the opposite. Some really fun, dumb stuff is gonna happen in this game. Preseason I was feeling Hogs in this matchup (I had planned to pick em in the survivor pool) but the Rebels salty defense got my attention Saturday. Yes, the offense was terrible but I think they have more weapons than Arkansas. Gimme the Rebels in an ugly but entertaining affair 23-21 - AU Nerd

Arky and the points and the under. So let me get this straight, Ole Miss scores 10 against Memphis and Arky scored 20 against something called Portland State. Yeah, gimme the under. As for the game... offah... I guess Arkansas since they are at home. I want to see this one more for the sad souls that don’t have a family member on the team, in the band or as a cheerleader. You lost a bet and made poor choices my friend...cause this is gonna be a sad football game. Arky 18, Ole Miss 12 because yeah...they can do that. - Drew Mac

Which of these two terrible teams makes it through this one? I don’t have a clue. Thankfully Vegas has an idea and I’ll just go with that. Ole Piss 32-24 - AU Chief

We’re all losers with this game on the docket, but nobody will be watching because there are a million games on at the same time and one of those is the biggest game of the day. Do you go with the team that mustered 10 points against Memphis, or the team that only managed 20 against Portland State? I don’t know who’s got more talent, but I think the Rebels are a bit more tested right now. They scrap through what should be a ridiculous game and get the (low-scoring) win. Ole Miss 23, Arkansas 20 - Jack Condon