Well, I'm glad that's over with. Of the 14 games I picked with a money line, only seven of the favorites covered (USC, Alabama, Oklahoma State, California, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Boise State. Ole Miss covered, too, but I forgot to pick their game) . Of those seven favorites, I only picked four (USC, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, and Boise State). California and Notre Dame easily covered, embarrassing Maryland and Nevada, respectively, while Virginia Tech hung tough with Alabama for three quarters before the Crimson Tide pulled away. Of the 7 underdogs who beat the spread, I only picked one (Miami), while making Penn State over Akron my lock of the week. If I actually gambled, chances are you wouldn't be reading this, since both of my hands would probably be in casts.
10-9 (including 5 games without lines)
5-9 (only games with lines)
Lock of the Week record: 0-1
Since it seems like a waste of time to keep picking the Florida over Charleston Southern games every week, I'm going to only pick those games involving AP Top 25 teams that have a line. As always, the home teams are in caps, the lines are Dan Sheridan's, and all of these picks are 100 percent correct.
Clemson (+5) over #15 GEORGIA TECH
Not only do I think Clemson will beat the spread, but I think they will win outright. (This is assuming of course that C.J. Spiller will show no effects from his week one injury.) Call me crazy, but I just don't see the triple option being enough to overcome the talent difference between these two teams.
#1 FLORIDA (-36) over Troy
Give Troy credit for scheduling this game. Coming off a beat down at the hands of Bowling Green, though, I don't like Troy's chances in this one.
WYOMING (+33.5) over #2 Texas
Kudos to Wyoming for getting the Longhorns to come to Laramie. That should put some bread into the academic coffers (who are we kidding? Any money gained from this game is going to go towards buying a flat screen for the scoreboard). Texas showed they aren't out to prove anything in these early season gimmes last week, beating Louisiana-Monroe by only 39 in Austin. The Laramie crowd has to be worth at least six points, right?
#3 USC (-7) over #8 Ohio State
Is this the surest bet of the season? How the hell is this only seven points? As a lifelong Buckeye fan, I hate to say it, but this is my LOCK OF THE WEEK.
Florida International (+34) over #4 ALABAMA
I know Alabama is coming off a big win over Virginia Tech, but 34 points? Really? I'm not doubting Florida International is going to have trouble scoring, but can Alabama really be this good on offense?
#5 OKLAHOMA STATE (-15) over Houston
This should be entertaining. Two high-powered offenses, two suspect defenses (despite the Cowboys efforts vs. Georgia last week, I'm still skeptical). The difference is I really do think Oklahoma State's offense if good enough to win by 15 even if the Cougars put up 30.
Syracuse (+28.5) over #7 PENN STATE
This game will be over by halftime. Based on last week's second half against Akron, though, I just don't see Penn State's backups (nor their play-calling) being up to running up the score. Besides, a winner like Greg Paulus isn't going to let his team lose by more than 25.
#9 BYU (-17.5) over TULANE
While this is a potential letdown game for BYU, I just don't think Tulane has enough talent to capitalize. Besides, BYU knows they need to win out to have any shot at a BCS bid, so, unlike a middling BCS school that is coming off of a major upset, the Cougars will be focused and motivated.
#11 LSU (-14.5) over Vanderbilt
After struggling (somewhat) to put away Washington last week, some may be thinking LSU is vulnerable. Knowing how inconsistent the Tigers are, however, I fully expect them to wipe the floor with Vandy.
#12 BOISE STATE (-36) over Miami (Oh.)
Did you know that in the final 2003 AP poll, Miami was ranked #10?* My how times have changed. It is a testament to the strength of Boise State's program that a small school in Idaho that plays on a blue field can be considered 36 points better than a team and no one even bats an eye.
*And that #9 was Washington State?
#14 VIRGINIA TECH (-19.5) over Marshall
Let's see here, Va Tech put up 24 points on an Alabama defense considered among the best in the country, while Marshall gave up 28 points to Southern Illinois. I'll take my chances on the Hokies winning by 20.
#16 TCU (-11) over VIRGINIA
Virginia lost to William & Mary last week, managing only 14 points in the defeat. Something tells me the Horned Frogs defense may be even tougher to score against.
#17 Utah (-13.5) over SAN JOSE STATE
Did you see San Jose State's coach Dick Tomey's assessment of USC's 56-3 dismantling of his team? "For a while it looked like we could compete with them. Obviously, it was an illusion." Notice he didn't use the word "trick." Dick must be an Alliance-approved magician.
#18 Notre Dame (-3.5) over MICHIGAN
Can we finally care about this game again? Yes, yes we can. Jimmy Clausen looked ridiculously good vs. Nevada, and the defense shut out a team that averaged 37.6 points per game last season. Michigan blew out Western Michigan, and the offense finally started to resemble Rich Rodriguez's West Virginia teams. This should be an exciting game, but Notre Dame's experience will carry the day. Game of the week.
#19 North Carolina (-4.5) over CONNECTICUT
If this were a basketball game, people might actually care. As it is, Butch Davis sucks.
South Carolina (+7) over #21 GEORGIA
Georgia struggled on offense against an Oklahoma State defense that was one of the worst defenses in the country last season. South Carolina is coming off of a 7-3 victory over NC State. Georgia will win, but I don't know if they can pull far enough ahead to cover.
#22 NEBRASKA (-23.5) over Arkansas State
If you just dropped the "Atlantic" and the "State" off of the names of Nebraska's first two opponents, their schedule (and the subsequent blowouts) would be far more impressive.
#24 Kansas (-11) over UTEP
The Jayhawks should have no problem with a team that was just one of two FBS schools to lose to a MAC team (Buffalo).
#25 MISSOURI (-18.5) over Bowling Green
Bowling Green is coming off of a pretty thorough beating of Sun Belt powerhouse Troy (the other FBS school to lose to a MAC team), but Missouri is coming off a completely thorough beating of Big Ten middleweight Illinois.
Every week, in addition to my picks, I'm going to update my conference and BCS projections based on the previous week's action (changes are in italics).
ACC: Virginia Tech
Big 12: Texas
Big East: Cincinnati
Big Ten: Penn State
Conference USA: Southern Miss
MAC: Bowling Green
Mountain West: BYU
Sun Belt: North Texas
WAC: Boise State
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. BYU
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Boise State
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
Rose Bowl: USC vs. Penn State
National Championship Game: Florida vs. Texas
National Champions: Florida Gators