By MATTHEW MARSHALL/Designated Contributor
Let me first get to a couple of bullet points from last week’s action…
-Texas and Tom Herman…not back.
-Holy crap, Ed Oliver is a MONSTER
-The Big 10 may not be as good as we thought
-Will Grier may be what we thought he was. (Shoutout to Dennis Green)
-Who’s was more overrated – FSU or Miami?
Enough about what we saw, how about what I predicted? Listen, it takes a real man to admit when he’s wrong. I was WRONG about Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic team coming into Oklahoma and winning by two touchdowns.
I wasn’t wrong about Kyler Murray though. That kid can play football at a very high level. I was WRONG about LSU getting bested by what I called an “overrated” Miami team. I would like a little credit for hitting the nail on the head in both the Auburn/Washington game and the Notre Dame/Michigan game. I’ll grade my Wisconsin prediction as a B – I was right about the manhandling, but wrong in the amount of points.
I’m giving myself a 3-2 record. Why? Because I’m writing this column and none of you have the stones to call me on it.
Ok, enough dwelling on the past. Let’s get to the games this weekend.
#3 Georgia at #24 South Carolina – Saturday 2:30pm – CBS
You’d think that Georgia owns Will Muschamp’s South Carolina squad. While they have won all matchups against the Mushchamp’s Gamecocks, they have been by a respectable score. This is one of those “fringe rivalry games”, in other words, you tell me they don’t like each other so I guess I believe you. Playing an in conference game in Week 2 is tricky. Neither team has much to go off of, and this is the type of game that can have major ramifications later in the season. Georgia is a very good team with premier talent. South Carolina is always a team that under achieves, but they seem to beat someone of note every year. Can the Gamecocks pull off the major upset in Week 2? No, the Bulldogs run away with this one with a monster day from Jake Fromm.
Line: UGA -10.5
PREDICTION: UGA 42, SC 17
#2 Clemson at Texas A&M – Saturday – 6:00pm – ESPN
Oh boy, what a monster match-up early in the season. This is the type of game that gets me hyped. Clemson boasts the nation’s best defense. Texas A&M wants to be back in the thick of things so badly that they were willing to break the bank for Jimbo Fisher. Both played FCS schools in Week 1 and rolled. Now we can finally see how much confidence Dabo has in Kelly Bryant with God’s gift to football, Trevor Lawrence, waiting in the wings. We also get to see what headway Jimbo has made down in College Station, and if he can get anything going on offense against 4 potential first round NFL picks on the Clemson defensive line. I expect this game to be close for a bit, but Clemson pulls away late.
Line: CLEM -12
PREDICTION: CLEM 38, TAMU 21
#13 Penn State at Pittsburgh – Saturday – 7:00pm – ABC
Last week saw potential for a shocking upset before Trace McSorley pulled of some of his patented late game heroics once again…
I’m still not completely sold on Penn State this year. They go up against Pat Narduzzi and a well coached defense this week on the road in a decent match up. Pitt is underrated every year. They always have good running backs who chew up yards and clock, and match that with very, very good defenses that give teams fits. Penn State has the talent to play with anyone, but they are missing last year’s best player in Saquon Barkley, and always seem to need some magic from McSorley late in games. How long can that really last? For me, at least one more week, but this is going to be a close game.
Line: PSU -8.5
PREDICTION: PSU 28, PITT 24
#15 Michigan State at Arizona State – Saturday – 9:45pm – ESPN
Late night PACtion?! Well, kind of. Michigan State needed a late score to top Utah State after being a darkhorse to get into the CFB Playoff. The voters watched and are now pretty cold on this team. Meanwhile, ASU started the Herm Edwards era by dispatching of UTSA fairly easily at home. Michigan State is going across the country to play in a weird environment in the Brian Lewerke homecoming game, and I don’t think they come out with the win. Stay up with me and watch because my upset of the week is ASU over MSU in a strange, but fun game that only late night PACtion (sort of) can give us.
Line: MSU -5.5
PREDICTION: MSU 23, ASU 28
#17 USC at #10 Stanford – Saturday – 7:30pm – FOX
This is the marquee matchup this week, and another game with huge conference/CFB implications. Stanford has one of the best, if not the best, running back in all of College Football. USC has two stellar freshmen who already have a great connection. This is coaching vs. talent. USC is the LSU of the West. They always have the best athletes, but some years just cannot put it together. Stanford, on the other hand, never has a squad that will scare you in terms of star ratings coming out of high school, but David Shaw always puts his guys in positions to win. Shaw is the most underrated coach in all of CFB and never gets the respect he deserves. I think Stanford throlles USC in this game as a sort of “welcome to college football” game for Daniels and St. Brown.
Line: Stanford -6
PREDICTION: USC 10, STANFORD 31
I’ll be back next week to recap last week’s action and look ahead to Week 3. That being said, I know it’s time for the NFL and your Fantasy Football team and this is year! Or, in the words of Dr. Rumack…