Every good sports section has picks and predictions to go along with their analysis, so I figure I should too.
With the second, more telling, week in college football hours away, I’ll give you what I think are the best games to watch.
1. USC-Ohio State
Critized for being too slow, and uneasy under-pressure Jim Tressel’s Squad this year could do some much need positive PR tochange that nasty image. After you get blown away two years in a row in the BCS title game, the media isn’t going to look favorably at you, and why should they. Well here we go Buckeyes. They play a more-than-likely, over-rated USC squad starting a true freshman at QB, and replacing 9 starters on defense. This should be easy money, but if anybody can compete with these shortcomings, its USC. Their Stable of Running backs rivals any groups of I’ve seen. Terrell Pryor might be on his way to becoming one of the all-time greats, but its not going to happen tomorrow. USC is too deep at skill positions to loose this. It won’t be the blowout it was last year, but the Buckeye’s were a two-point conversion away from over-time with Navy. Yes NAVY. No offense midshipmen, but USC brings a lot more to the gridiron. USC 44 – Ohio St. 32
2. Notre Dame-Michigan
Just say it. “Notre Dame vs. Michigan.” That used to mean something, now it’s just the name of two, middle-of-the-road colleges, trying to rebuild once-great dynasties. Well, Notre Dame may be closer than people think to reestablishing its college football prominence again. Having said that, I also think Rich Rodriguez will seriously turn last season’s debacle into serious wins. Freshman QB Tate Forcier is legit too. His athleticism is a perfect fit for Rodriguez’s option happy offense. Returning starters are the bedrock of each unit, everyone relies on those guys to pick up the slack. Well the Irish have all 11 back on offense. If Charlie Weiss can have the same play-calling success he had at New England, then Lou Holtz might not seem so crazy in a few months. Jimmy Clausen is, and always was the real deal. I think with Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, and super-end Kyle Rudolph, there is no way he won’t put up bona fide numbers. Notre Dame pulls it out 30-21.
3. Oklahoma State – Houston
The Pokes better watch out, Houston is no longer the Big XII’s stomping mat. They shouldn’t be that worried, Ok State’s offense has as much fire power as any team in the nation, and Houston wont be able to keep up. Everyone was so pleased with the Pokes defense as well; I say, they played, Georgia!!! Of course their defense looked stout. Look for Houston to spread the Pokes out early and often, but still they’ll come out on top. Oklahoma State 45 – Houston 33
4.Georgia — South Carolina
I haven’t seen a couple of offenses as anemic since, well, last-year; week-two in the SEC. Auburn beat Miss State 3-2. Don’t expect much better from this slugfest. Lots of hard-hitting plays featuring Rennie Curran and Eric Norwood. This one will be a heavy weight clash of dominating D’s vs. struggling O’s. It’s hard to tell, but my money’s on the Ole Ball Coach. His newfound dependence on defense won’t stop him from ironing out the wrinkles in the offense this week. Look for Steven Garcia to play just a wee bit better than Georgia’s ailing Joe Cox. S.C. pulls off the minor upset as Mark Richt falls 0-2 for the first time at Georgia. South Carolina 24 – Georgia 14
5. Nebraska – Arkansas State
Ok, here’s my big upset, and honestly there are no hard facts or anyone willing to support me, but I’ve liked what Arkansas State has done the past few years in the Sunbelt. I think they’ve got a stable of running backs that would compete in any conference in the nation. With 358 yards rushing last week, I think their ground game might take over. It’s a Long shot but I still like my gut. Nebraska’s inevitable rise to power will have to wait even longer. Their defense was a little dodgy against Florida Atlantic last week, look for three or four running backs of Arkansas State. to get carries. They’ll keep ‘em coming fresh, to pound against the Cornhusker’s. It’s upset-Saturday in Lincoln. Arkansas St. 27 –Nebraska 22