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College Football: Week Two Picks Against the Spread

September 4, 2018


                                                                                                                                     photo courtesy of Back to the Future 3



Last week... well, sucked for Pigskingrind as it went 3-6 ATS. The proverbial train flew off the bridge in flames. 




This week we have a better feel for everything so the confidence on hitting six or seven out of 10 is fairly high. Picks are in bold.



Oklahoma State -31 v South Alabama


This one seems a little obvious. Mike Gundy and his Cowboys have Boise State the following week so why not tune up on the Jaguars for their final preparation?


Sure the Jags hung with Louisiana Tech, finally losing 30-26, but Oklahoma State is a bigger fish. 



Oklahoma -31 v UCLA


So the Bruins lost to Cincinnati at home in one of the few games they were expected to win. (The line was 16). UCLA has serious quarterback issues. The running game is sporadic. Meanwhile, Oklahoma broke Florida Atlantic into a million pieces, winning 63-14.


The humanity of it all. 



Georgia Tech -3 at South Florida


Make no mistake, head coach Paul Johnson will be running the ball against a Bulls' defense that lost its top two tackles. Its linebacker corps looks a tad underwhelming. Why is this important?


In South Florida's opener against Elon, the Bulls' defense gave up 192 rushing yards. Georgia Tech, in its opener, rushed for 439 yards against Alcorn State last week. 





Colorado +5 v Nebraska


This used to a be a Big 12 rivalry game, so count on both teams to be "up" for this game. Granted, the Buffs are not road warriors, but this team is finally starting to mesh and play good football—they are currently ranked No.1 in total offense in the Pac-12, No. 16 nationally. They beat Colorado State 45-10 in Denver and unlike Nebraska, have one game under their belt. Nebraska has yet to play anyone (the Akron game was canceled due to inclement weather).


The Cornhuskers may win, but do not be shocked if Colorado, under quarterback Steven Montez, pulls off the upset.



Mississippi State -9.5 at Kansas State


The Wildcats are a huge question mark. They struggled to beat South Dakota 27-24. Turnovers and penalties hampered Kansas State.  I have enormous respect for head coach Bill Snyder but the Bulldogs may be a bit too much for #PurpleReign.


Mississippi State just trampled Stephen F Austin, 63-6. Yes, it was expected but the defense holding SFA to six points while playing its reserves is still impressive. I just do not think the Wildcats have the stamina to play pitch-and-catch with the Bulldogs' vertical offense. 



Air Force +10 at Florida Atlantic


I hate to see the Fighting Kiffins go down two weeks in a row, but the Owls looked awful against Oklahoma. The Falcons will run the ball (333 rushing yards vs Stony Brook in week 1) against a defense that gave up 316 rushing yards in week 1. Yikes.


This matchup is all about the running game and Air Force has the big edge here.  



Arizona State +6.5 v Michigan State


The weather forecast for September 8 is a high of 108, a low of 82. Let's add 10 degrees to that because it is always hotter on the field. While this is a night game, the temperature will still be in the 90s. The travel west will also cause some problems—the kickoff time of 10:45 ET is not advantageous for the Spartans. 


Sparty struggled with Utah State but Arizona State did not against Texas San Antonio. This one will be closer than the experts think. 



Liberty +10.5 at Army


Love the service academies but this game spells upset for the Black Knights.


Last week, Liberty beat the stuffing out of Old Dominion, 52-10. Army has a passing attack under quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. But Duke still manhandled Army.


PS-I am going with Liberty also as a nod to my friend Samantha Steele Ponder, a Liberty alum. Go Flames.



 TCU- 22.5 v SMU


The Frogs look good to go. The Mustangs not so much. 



Philadelphia -2.5 v Atlanta


The Eagles are going to soar. Quarterback Nick Foles has been shaky in the preseason but chalk that up to a sophomore slump, I guess. The Eagles are unfirling their championship banner so this game should have plenty of crowd support. Philly for the win. 




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