Five Other Big Games
Miami at #21 Kansas State: These two played an absolute thriller last September going down to the final play. Miami started very slow last week, but then bulldozed after the first ten minutes to a 41-32 victory. If the Canes can pull this one out, starting 2-0, there's no reason the team cant make some noise in the ACC and really spring forward the Al Golden era. Why do I believe they won't do it? Kansas State is the team with the difference maker in this one. Collin Klein will look to light up a Miami D that gave up 446 yards passing last week, while using his dual threat capabilities to keep the Canes of balance.
The Pick: Kansas State 34, Miami 24
Auburn at Mississippi State: Don't let the score fool you. Clemson for the most part was able to move all over the Auburn defense, and while Clemson might be that good, panic sirens will be going off if the Tigers don't pull this one off. Gene Chizik has his national title ring, but patience will begin to wear thin if Auburn starts 0-2. Mississippi State is loaded with veterans on defense and has Ladarius Perkins at RB, who should give Auburn fits after giving up 330 yards rushing. For the Bulldogs, a win will probably mean a 5-0 start going into the home date against Tennessee.
The Pick: Mississippi State 24, Auburn 17
#24 Florida at Texas A&M: After the "we're confident in everybody" charade Florida played with its quarterbacks, Jeff Driskel has finally been named the starter. Of course, if last week was an indication, they really don't trust anybody. They ran the ball, found that the run didn't work, ran anyways, and barely walked out with a win over Bowling Green. If Will Muschamp doesn't want to start hearing yells and moans form Florida fans, he better win this one. A loss would put the Gators at 1-1 with Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida State still to follow. Texas A&M hasn't seen a defense like Florida's, but the Aggie defense isn't too bad either with 6 starters returning. Texas A&M meanwhile hasn't seen an offense like Florida's in a while either, and that's not a complement. Driskel will struggle while the Aggies will take advantage of a couple turnovers to pull ahead.
The Pick: Texas A&M 27, Florida 20
#15 Oklahoma State at Arizona: The Rich Rodriguez era at Arizona got off to an interesting start. The Zona offense moved at will with 600+ yards of offense, while the defense shut down Toledo cold. And yet, the team won 24-17 in overtime. Oklahoma State meanwhile had a bye week last Saturday with their 84-0 win over Savannah State (they should have just gone for 100). Quarterback Wes Hunt looks to be the next big thing for the Cowboys who are slowly turning into a factory with 9+ win seasons the last four years. Rodriguez really is a fine football coach, and may get Arizona at this level one day. But Saturday is not that day.
The Pick: Oklahoma State 38, Arizona 24
#7 Georgia at Missouri: First chance for Georgia to show the world it really does belong in the national title conversation. Mizzou is no slouch either however, with James Franklin and a passing attack that should be among the best in the SEC. The key to this game is how Mizzou will block the Georgia front seven. If Georgia DT John Jenkins wants his big paycheck, this is where it starts. If Georgia is getting to Franklin on a regular basis, it could be a long day. On the flip side, Mizzou will have to stop the run against a young stable of Georgia backs. If Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are running wild, forget it. Georgia will get some pressure on Franklin, who will have a solid day, while the Georgia attack will rely on Aaron Murray to bring them home. Mizzou will come close; it just wont be quite enough.
The Pick: Georgia 28, Missouri 17
A few other games people don't care about but are kinda interesting:
UCF at #14 Ohio State - While the Devin Smith catch got all sorts of attention last weekend, and rightfully so (check it out), the jury is still out on Ohio State for this season. They'll beat UCF, but we'll know a bit more about the Buckeyes after week 2.
Toledo at Wyoming - Both these schools did something they don't do all that often last season: win. Toledo had a heartbreaker last weekend at Arizona, while Wyoming hung tough at Texas. A 1-1 start and an inside look at bowl eligibility is on the line (seriously, that does mean a lot to these schools).
Texas State at Texas Tech - Don't laugh. Texas State destroyed Houston last weekend 30-13, forcing Houston OC Mike Nesbitt to resign (I'm not making this up). Former Alabama and Texas A&M head coach Dennis Franchione looks on the verge of doing miracles, and he could be up to the task against a Red Raider defense that still needs a lot of help.
Some other final thoughts:
-Poor Savannah State. Scheduling FCS schools is one thing, but this is just not okay. After this weekend, Savanah State's defense might average 75 points in opponents ppg.
-When gameday is at Florida Texas A&M, you know its a long weekend. As you can see by the pickoff, there isn't much must see TV this weekend on the college football front.
-The PAC 12 really could be in for a long weekend. Washington and Oregon State are surefire losses to LSU and Wisconsin. The big tests come with UCLA and Arizona battling Nebraska and Oklahoma State respectively. The Mike Leach era might go from rough start to utter disaster if the Wazzu loses to Eastern Washington.
-Washington State won't lose to Eastern Washington.
-Michigan, want to show that last week was really about Alabama being that good? Come out and smack Air Force team that's better than most people think. If there are problems this weekend, then it really will be time to worry with road dates at Notre Dame, at Nebraska, and at Ohio State to follow.