In week one we learned some things about some teams (i.e. Texas is bad) and still have questions about others. (Are Notre Dame and Texas aTm that good? Or were their opponents that bad?) and we also now have teams looking to replace key contributors (BYU, VaTech & Arizona) while teams we thought would be good (Utah State) looked horrible.
With that in mind, let's jump right into this weeks Five:
(lines courtesy of 5Dimes and are effective as of Thursday, 09/10/2015 @ 6:00 AM - Future line moves will not be accounted for since you get what you lay for, when you lay 'em.)
1. Kansas State (-17) @ UTSA - There are always "helmet" games in College Football that give you opportunities. This is one of those. UTSA looked good against Arizona, keeping the game within 10 points on the road. Kansas State beat South Dakota (of the FCS) 34-0 but lost their starting QB for the season in doing so. I still see K-State winning here, but not by 17. UTSA to cover.
2. Utah State @ Utah (-13) - Utah dominated Michigan, which is not a good team right now but certainly better than where Utah State is. Under new OC Josh Heupel the Aggies could only generate 250 yards of total offense. In fact, they needed an 88 yard punt return in the 4th quarter to eek out a 12-9 win, at home, against Southern Utah of the FCS. Utah has a much stouter defense and a much better offense. This one could get ugly. Utah to cover.
3. UTEP @ Texas Tech (-21) - When you consider that Texas Tech couldn't beat Sam Houston State by 21, I don't see any way they can do better against UTEP. And while UTEP looked just north of awful against Arkansas, the only thing the Red Raiders have in common with the Razorbacks this year is an "R" at the beginning of their mascot name. Take UTEP to cover. I would lean ML but I think Tech's offense will be too much.
4. Washington State @ Rutgers (-2.5) - I am not suggesting that Rutgers is a world beater, but the Cougars looked pathetic in losing to (3-9 in 2014) FCS member Portland State. I think Wazzoo is in for a terrible year. The fan base is already freaking out because it doesn't appear there's enough money in the athletic department budget to fire Mike Leach before the end of the year. Rutgers to cover, and then some.
5. Boise State (-2.5) @ BYU - This would be a good game that I wouldn't touch save one thing: BYU QB Taysom Hill was lost for the season against Nebraska. The problem is the Broncos were less than impressive against Washington. I don't think that matters. Boise State to cover and roll as BYU tries to work things out.
Louisiana Tech (-1) @ Western Kentucky - The Wahoos beat Vanderbilt last week and LaTech humiliated FCS Southern. That said, I like Western Kentucky here on the ML. Although not strongly enough to put them in my Five.
Houston @ Louisville (-13) - Houston fans have high hopes for this game after crushing an FCS opponent (sort-of) last week. Louisville surprised a lot of people by playing Auburn tough. I can't bet a team coached by Bobby Petrino, and they certainly don't go in the Five but I'm leaning Louisville here to cover at home.
Buffalo @ Penn State (-21) - Short and sweet: If the Nittany Lions can't protect Hackenberg then they aren't going to be beating anybody by 21.
Iowa (-3.5) @ Iowa State - If I felt I knew more about the Cyclones I'd take Iowa State here and it would have been in my Five. I don't, so it's not. Still, I'm leaning ISU on the ML.
Oklahoma (-1) @ Tennessee - This COULD be the game of the week not involving Michigan State and Oregon. That said, I'm still not sure about OU so it's not in my five. My gut feeling says Tennessee on the ML though.
Kentucky @ S. Carolina (-7.5) - Last week, S. Carolina squeaked out a cover. This week I'm dropping them out of my Five but predicting they do the same thing against a Kentucky team whose fan base is already scheduling Midnight Madness.
Oregon @ Michigan St (-4) - We are going to find out most of what we need to know about both of these teams. Right now, I like Michigan State to win by a touchdown. But I don't like that enough that I feel comfortable about it. Let's just say the minimum bet on Michigan State and keep the game the hell away from the Five.
Rice @ Texas (-14) - As putrid as the Longhorns looked last week against ND I'm not sure they can SCORE 14, much less win by that much. That said these are the Owls, who only seem to play well against the Longhorns once every 20 years. That said Rice on the ML but with zero confidence (and zero risk).
LSU (-4.5) @ Mississippi State - Hail State, and Hail the upset against an LSU team that didn't get a warm-up game and which looked horrible on the road. The hard part of this is, I picked LSU to win the West. This will hurt, but it's not a killer. Hail State to cover.
Oregon State @ Michigan (-16.5) - I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate this line for Michigan. I'm not even sure Michigan can beat the Beavers right now. Still, I think they might win, getting better every week remember, but I can't see any way they win by two touchdowns, two extra points and a field goal. Oregon State to cover but lose. (we hope)
Remember: These picks are for entertainment purposes only and are worth exactly what you're paying for them and I'm risking on them. My sole purpose on this blog is to prove that a normal guy, working a day job, can come in just over 50% with some research and knowledge of the game.
Enjoy the weekend.