More of this please

Week 1 of College Football is in the books, and it was quite a doozy. As we look forward to Week 2, the games just keep getting better and my unhealthy obsession with the blatant manipulation of kids my age in order for school administrators to gain millions of dollars this sport is stronger than ever. As a reminder, this will be a weekly feature, publishing every Thursday during the season. Anyone is invited to pick with us in the comments and we’ll throw the standings of the peanut gallery up each week. If you finish first, Matt will personally fly to your home and give you a firm but comfortable handshake. (Note: he won’t actually do this. [Edit from Matt: Bitch I might]) Before we get into Week 2’s games, let’s take a look back at Week 1.

Florida Atlantic (+31.5) lost by four touchdowns but didn’t let Miami cover the spread; good work guys! Southern Illinois (+24) gave Illinois a game, only losing by one score. Clemson (+2.5) handled Georgia at home thanks to the ineptitude of the ‘Dawgs field goal snapper. LSU (-3) got by TCU in Dallas without much of a problem. Northwestern (-3) thanked Cal for their kind pick-sixes that provided the difference in the game and waltzed out of Berkeley with a 14-point win.

Big thanks to Creed Tucker and Michael W for joining in on the fun last week. It’s not too late to start making picks this week if you want to get in on it as well. Here are the standings after the first week:

  1. Michael W 5-0
  2. Harry 4-1
  3. Bob 4-1
  4. Creed Tucker 4-1
  5. Matt 3-2

Let’s get to Week 2’s set of games. As a reminder, the lines come from Danny Sheridan and all game times are eastern.

Saturday, 12 pm, ESPN

#9 Florida (-3) at #24 Miami

It’s a battle for who gets to be the second best team in the state behind FSU! How exciting! Can’t wait to stand through this one in the midday Florida heat thanks to the genius that didn’t make this a night game. Couldn’t they at least have had the decency to make this a late afternoon game? Is anyone that schedules these games listening? Hello? Buehler???

Saturday, 12 pm, ESPN2

Cincinnati (-7.5) at Illinois

Are they really putting this game on ESPN2? Must be a light early slate. I guess it can’t possibly be worse than the beat down that the Bearcats put on Purdue last week, but it’s Illinois so who knows?

Saturday, 4:30 pm, ESPN

#6 South Carolina at #11 Georgia (-3)

The Bulldogs will try to find a new snapper for their field goals [Edit from Bob: It’s called a long-snapper, Harry.] and avenge a tough loss at Clemson last week. I think a better bet in this game is the over/under on the number of times ESPN commentators will mention Jadeveon Clowney. I’ll set it at 783.5. [Edit from Matt: I’ll take the over.]

Saturday, 6 pm, Big Ten Network

Syracuse at #20 Northwestern (-12)

When was the last time Northwestern was a double digit favorite against a half-decent team? If Syracuse’s okay showing against Penn State is any sign, this line screams trap.

Saturday, 8 pm, ESPN

#13 Notre Dame at #17 Michigan (-3.5)

It’s round two of Michigan AD David Brandon’s shameless money grab, Under the Lights II. It’s also the last game between these two at the Big House for quite some time because Notre Dame hates losing to Michigan year in and year out. I mean, these losers went 1-2 against Rich Rodriguez. They are aware that the only other BCS team with a losing record against Rich Rod’s Michigan outfits was Indiana, right? Holy shit, Notre Dame has “scheduling conflicts” due to their new ACC deal. They’ll continue to play Purdue, Michigan State, and Stanford though. Thanks for ruining one of College Football’s best rivalries, assholes! Let’s get to the picks before I pop a vein in my neck.

Harry’s Picks

FLA vs MIA Trying to be as objective as possible, I have no clue what to pick here. Florida’s offensive struggles were well documented a season ago and a sloppy effort in Week 1 against Toledo did nothing to alleviate those concerns. On the flip side, Miami’s defense was absolutely atrocious a year ago and while it looked quite improved last Friday against FAU, it was against FAU so take that with at least a few grains of salt. Miami’s bread and butter offensively appears to be the run game, with Duke Johnson giving himself some early Heisman hype a week ago with 224 yards from scrimmage in just three quarters of play. However, Florida had one of the best rushing defenses in the nation a season ago. Add this all up and I have…nothing. As Bill Simmons says, when in doubt, take the points. Miami +3

CIN vs ILL I cannot believe this line is so low. Last week the Bearcats beat a Purdue team by five touchdowns that won at Illinois a season ago. I’d probably take Cincinnati if they were a double digit favorite; this line seems like a gift. Cincinnati -7.5

SCAR vs UGA Guys, I’m not sure I buy South Carolina. They needed a Hail Mary to eke out a victory against a 5-loss Michigan team in the Outback Bowl a season ago and while they looked pretty good in Week 1, UNC is hardly a juggernaut. Since Georgia already has a loss, another one knocks them out of the National Championship race for good; expect them to play like it. The ‘Dawgs will be ready to go between the hedges in Athens. Georgia -3

SYR vs NW This line is way too high. Northwestern just lost starting CB Daniel Jones for the season against Cal, and the ‘Cats secondary was already weak. Jones’s replacement, redshirt freshman Dwight White, got torched against Cal. In their own right, Syracuse put up a respectable performance against a solid Penn State team in a six-point loss. Northwestern should win this game, but I’m not comfortable giving up this many points. Syracuse +12

ND vs MICH I hope this is the only week we have to pick Notre Dame in a big game, because this school makes my blood boil. Pardon my french, but good lord I hate these assholes. While I’m not as big a Michigan fan as I used to be, I’ll have no problem rooting my face off for the Maize and Blue this week. In terms of actual football analysis, not much is needed. Michigan is a very good football team this year; Notre Dame is solid at best. The Michigan Marching Band might as well start playing “The Victors” right now. Michigan -3.5

Last week: 4-1

Season: 4-1

Bob’s Picks

FLA vs MIA Despite playing a pretty poor Florida Atlantic team last week, Miami still looked to me like they can be a very solid team this year and could make some noise. At the same time, Florida looked pretty questionable in a win over Toledo. My view on this game is pretty similar to Harry’s, but I’m not going with a foolish “When in doubt, take the points” mantra because a three-point spread means points are not worth considering. I am taking Florida here just because I trust them more. Feel free to call it, “When in doubt, take the SEC.” [Edit from Harry: Gee, that worked out really well for you last week in the Clemson-Georgia game. #ACC4Lyfe!!!!!!] I also just think they’re overall the better team here. Florida -3

CIN vs ILL Cincinnati just beat Purdue, a team no worse than Illinois, by 35, and Illinois beat FCS Southern Illinois by just 8. I could hardly see any justification for not taking Cincy here with this line. Cincinnati -7.5

SCAR vs UGA I’m hoping people realize that Georgia overall played a really impressive game on Saturday, just losing barely to a great team in a tough environment. [Edit from Harry: #ACC4Lyfe!!!!!] Todd Gurley looked fantastic, and we all know that Aaron Murray is a stud. I think Georgia wins that game 50% of the time and we would be heralding them as a top team. South Carolina is a classic good-but-not-great team in my mind, and Georgia is going to be ready for this one coming off that loss and returning home to Athens. Georgia -3

SYR vs NW Last week, Northwestern played a team that posed tough matchup issues for the Cats, were nearly impossible to scout, and Northwestern was missing their two best players by far– and they still won by 14. Northwestern beat ‘Cuse by 1 on the road last year, and this Syracuse team has far less talented than last year and has a new coach, while Northwestern is improved. The Colter and Mark injuries scare me a little, but it looks like they should be good to go on Saturday. Regardless, I’m not sure that they need them. Remember: Everything was going against Northwestern last week and it looked like they could have blown it, yet they still won by 14. Northwestern -12

ND vs MICH Notre Dame isn’t that good this year, far far worse than last year. Michigan is very good this year, at least as good as last year. Michigan really should have beaten Notre Dame last year, and now they’re at home, under the lights, and really want to get revenge on the team that somehow made it through the regular season undefeated. Michigan -3.5

Last Week: 4-1

Season: 4-1

Matt’s Picks

FLA vs MIA A wise man once said “When in doubt, take the SEC”. Florida is a very good football team, and there are plenty of reasons compelling me to pick them in this game (and a 3 point line is essentially a pick ’em). They have a fantastic defense and likely a good enough offense to get by in this game. The only way Miami wins this game is if Florida QB Jeff Driskel is rendered ineffective and Miami’s Stephen Morris is able to pick apart the Florida secondary a la Teddy Bridgewater in the Sugar Bowl last year. That seems unlikely to me, so I’ll take Florida somewhat confidently. Florida -3

CIN vs ILL This week, I’d actually like to give a little bit of analysis regarding the Illinois game (shocking!). While last week’s game was a major disappointment based solely on the final score, the Illini actually put together an incredibly easy and effective passing attack led by Nate Scheelhaase, who had his best game in the orange and blue. This is a big statement, because Scheelhaase has been Illinois’ quarterback for the last 12 years (all numbers approximate). While I don’t believe the Illini will win, or even keep this game all that close, a 38-24 loss would be very exciting because it’d mean another successful game to build on for the offense. Cincinnati -7.5

SCAR vs UGA If Georgia doesn’t fumble a hold on a chip shot field goal to tie the game late, they may very well have been able to dispatch Clemson. Georgia is still a very good FOOTBAWWW team, and I actually don’t believe they’ll have too much trouble with South Carolina, winning by a couple scores. Georgia -3

SYR vs NW Northwestern had an incredibly bizarre game against Cal last week, and I believe trying to really learn anything about the ‘Cats from that game is kinda foolish, other than noting the injuries. Weird things happen in week one and week two, and most teams are (and should be) defined by their performance during the conference schedule. Syracuse played well against Penn State and had plenty of chances to win the game late. This one is pretty tough for me. I believe that Northwestern is a good football team and could beat Syracuse 31-17, yet I could definitely envision a 38-35 nail-biter, because that’s what Northwestern does. This is a tossup, so I’ll just go with the #B1G to win by 14. Northwestern -12

ND vs MICH This Saturday, Devin Gardner will have a breakout game on a national stage, obliterating Notre Dame’s slightly above-average back seven and beginning his campaign to make the final five of the Heisman voting. Michigan will win by 10-20. No, I’m not kidding. Michigan -3.5

Last week: 3-2

Season: 3-2