College football season started with a bang. Several of the top ranked teams in the country “struggled” with lesser opponents. Or did they? Maybe, just maybe, it was the first week of the goddamn season. Maybe, just maybe, other teams have half-decent players and coaches and can walk and chew gum at the same time. Or maybe those other teams spent the off season working on their craft and actually improving. Maybe the sky isn’t falling and all the overreactions to the Seminoles, Buckeyes, Bruins and Tide are just that. Fans spend seven long months waiting for Football Season to roll around and just because their team doesn’t set the world on fire Week One, they’re told their team is no good and can’t possible make the playoffs. Unless you’re Wisconsin or South Carolina, you still have a shot at the final four.
As for my picks last week; I went 3-1. I missed South Carolina/Texas A&M…badly. I have been trying to throw dirt on A&M for two years now, but those Walkers keep on comin’. The found plenty of human flesh to feast on last Thursday when they humiliated the Ole Ball Coach on national TV. But just like the overreactions to the struggles of higher ranked teams, the over-hype of A&M after said win was just as predictable. The Aggies certainly look like a Top 10 team, but I need a bigger body of work and a better quality win than over a team that will finish with five losses before I skyrocket them in the polls. The good news is that they play in the SEC, so they will have plenty of chances to prove themselves. As will I this season and boy does it start Saturday…
This weekend gives us some of the best games we’ll see all year. As I reminder, I am a huge Buckeye fan, so I refuse to pick their games. I will however give you my picks for what I think the best four games of the week are:
Apparently all you need to do to get a little respect in week one is play Fresno State. Beating up on that bunch of creampuffs is the ticket to high praise and a gold star. This week USC is facing an entirely different story. Stanford has a backbone, and they’ve shown USC and Oregon several times in recent years they won’t take a back seat to anyone in the PAC12. In fact, they’ve been driving the PAC12 bus a few years now, and I don’t see that changing. USC will give it a go, but Stanford is just too much for a young Trojan team.
Stanford 33 USC 29
Christmas comes early this year. This might be the best game of the season, and we’re only in week two. This is a classic battle of strength vs. strength; the Oregon high octane offense vs. the Michigan State shutdown defense. First, congrats and kudos to the Sparty for scheduling this game. It takes brass balls to travel 3,000 miles away and play a Top Five team in one of toughest places to play college football. I have been racking my brain about this game all summer. If this game were on a neutral field, I would pick Sparty. That being said; Oregon is at home, and I still have no faith in the Michigan State offense. I will be rooting hard for Michigan State, but when in doubt, take the home team.
Oregon 23 Michigan State 17
If you read my picks last year, you know how I feel about this game. I’m sure fans of both teams feel like if they win this game, they will be in the thick of the national title hunt. And they would be if this were the 1920s. Do you remember the 1920’s? Prohibition was sweeping the country, the Great Depression was in the middle of being “great,” and that was the last time Michigan and Notre Dame football mattered. Wait…if you’re reading this, you’re using the internet, so of course you don’t remember the 1920s; which means you also don’t remember why anyone cares about these two teams playing each other. Just know whoever wins this abortion of a football game will have one more win to point to as they constantly remind you they have the most wins (or second most wins) of all time.
Michigan 27 Notre Dame 23
P.S. I get bonus points if the blimp (not Brady Hoke) crashes on the field.
Neither of these teams is ranked in the Top 25, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing some really good football the past few years. If you’re a college football junky like me, you start to look for the less obvious games to watch as day grows into night. The problem is that this game is on TV the same time as the three games above are plus the Ohio State – Virginia Tech game, so chances are you’re going to miss this one. But try to catch some or maybe just the highlights because these two teams are good and getting better every day. I happen to think Charlie Strong is one of the best coaches in college football. I also think that even though recruiting has been down at Texas (thanks Mac Brown), they still have enough talent to win this game.
Texas 43 BYU 40