This week has a few good showdowns: Wisconsin in the desert, where ASU/Badgers sort out who's actually decent; Ole Miss where I suspect the Longhorns' superior talent wins out; conference seasons gearing up in earnest; and some game in College Station. These are the ones I, being the overlord of barely-above-.500, like.
First, show your work: Week Two 4-3, Overall 10-7
RE ND @ Michigan: "At night, in Ann Arbor, with superior talent, I suspect Michigan wins handily."
RE USF @ Sparty: "Sparty could score 24 points in three games...on 12 safeties."
Wrong as Thayer Evans:
RE Cincy @ Illinois: I knew it; I said it, and I still bet on the Bearcats "Yes, these are exactly the kind of games Tuberville loses."
RE Miami-OH @ Kentucky: "Kentucky couldn't cover 17 against Miami (OH) in basketball right now, much less football."
On to Week Three:
Boise -24.5 v. Air Force: Hard to believe that last year was the first meeting between these two. But, it's even harder to believe that Boise -for all their vaunted reputation, is barely above .500 as road chalk the past several years. (actually it's not...cheater pants with their cheater field). I hate this spread, because playing the triple option flexbone is always a weird experience, but I love the total. This one is going over 57.
Louisville -14.5 @ Kentucky: Yes, it's a rivalry, but only in the sense that Tennessee is still a rivalry (hope you have another decade in the wilderness, Vols). The disparity in these teams is night and day. With no good chances for a top shelf win left on the Cards schedule, they are essentially Boise with a funny accent, playing out the string for their Pizza Messiah. Bridgewater is going to do naughty things to the Wildcats' secondary. Cards. Huge.
Oregon -28.5 v. Tennessee: Virginia showed how you can compete with the Ducks: get a solid pass rush, have linebackers that can play well in space, string together physical drives, and above all do not let Mariota and DAT get the corner. The Vols, however, have awful linebackers, a young secondary, a laughable pass rush, a willingness to give up intermediate/short throws, take awful pursuit angles, and start a freshman QB...in Autzen. Oregon is going to torture the Vols so badly that Dick Cheney will later use the game film as an aphrodisiac.
Ducks like both water and waterboarding.
Iowa -2.5 @ Iowa State: This is one of America's best-kept secrets. The hate here is akin to Alabama-Auburn, only a bit understated because...Iowa. ISU is a new team, with young guys. Iowa is still coached by Ferentz, Davis and still can't stop the spread. The ‘Clones have also won 6-of-nine. It will be close, nasty, contested throughout, but I like ‘Clones to cover, and don't call it an upset.
Utah -3 v Oregon State: The only justification for this being a three-point spread is the name value of the Beavers, and the past work of Mike Riley. Don't take the gamblers' fallacy that OSU is "due." This is a bad team that lost to a bad FCS school and an equally bad Hawaii squad. Utah is beginning to not merely look just competent these days, but sort of not too bad. Utah sends the Beavers into a death spiral.
UCF at Penn State -6: UCF is actually a good, bowl-ish kind of squad. Retooling, slow-starting Penn State is off everyone's radar, but is much better than that, especially at home. What UCF wants to do, run east-west with that intermediate passing game is exactly the sort of thing Penn State will eat alive. This will start off ugly, but Penn State will pull away in the second half.
Also, f-you, George O'Leary: You are the worst person in modern amateur athletics.