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Carges College Primer: Week 2

Pete looks ahead to the best college football matchups this weekend!

September 08, 2017 - 10:28 am

Pete Carges reporting
Twitter: @Carges550


As the National Football League takes center stage on this glorious September weekend, you may want to take a gander over at some of the college games on the docket as Week 2 may have the best top-to-bottom slate of the entire season.

We’ve got one top-five matchup, two top-15 matchups and another in the Top-25. (Seriously Notre Dame getting Top-25 votes?)

But all homerism aside, last week proved that you can really never count a team out until the clock hits 0:00. The only negative part about week one results is that we really didn’t learn a whole lot about the landscape of college football. The good teams won, the better teams covered, and Carges’ picks got off to their traditional 1-3 start. The top Vegas handicappers will tell you Week 1 is always a crapshoot, so hopefully you took last week as a warmup, while the real fun starts on Saturday.
 

Week 2 Can’t Miss Games:

  • 5 - Oklahoma at 2 - Ohio State - 8:00 p.m. (ABC)

It’s not often we get a potential playoff preview in Week 2, but the Buckeyes and Sooners may be playing a warmup for January this weekend.

These two blue blood programs both notched easy wins on the scoreboard last week, but their method of doing so was very different. Ohio State struggled for more than a half against an inferior Indiana team while Oklahoma methodically dismantled Tulsa thanks to Baker Mayfield’s surgical performance at quarterback.

Whichever team wins here will almost assuredly get into the Final Four if they only have one blemish in conference play. However, this game looms very large for Oklahoma, as a loss at the Horseshoe and an undefeated Conference schedule may still not be enough to slot them in to the College Football Playoff with the barf-worthy performance put on by the Big 12 in week one.

There’s one thing that’s for sure though: points will be flying off the board in this one. The Sooners' All-American quarterback will be taking serious advantage of Ohio State’s shoddy secondary. I don’t know that Oklahoma can win the game, but they’ll keep it close for a while, and definitely try to impress the committee while doing so.

My Pick: The OVER 65.
 

 

  • 13 - Auburn at 3 - Clemson - 7:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Georgia State and Kent State. Not exactly a murderer’s row of opponents in Week 1 for these two groups of Tigers, but both handled their business in preparation for this dynamite clash in Week 2.

This game was the springboard for Clemson’s National Championship run last year, but many were impressed at how Auburn held their own in a 19-13 loss. The Tigers of Clemson didn’t appear to miss a beat with new quarterback Kelly Bryant last week, while Auburn debuted their new signal caller in Jarrett Stidham, who impressed as well. Stidham does have big game experience in the past, leading Baylor back in 2015 before getting injured, but there is nothing quite like Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night.

With Florida State essentially out of the mix, Clemson has a clear shot to the Playoff, but that may hit a bump this weekend. I like the defending champs to win at home, but it’s a tight one and I would not be surprised if there was an upset in the works.

My Pick: Auburn +5
 

  • 14 - Stanford at 6 - USC - 7:30 p.m. (FOX)

Remember Sam Darnold? That “other” California quarterback after Josh Rosen’s magical performance Sunday night. Yeah, he’s still pretty good, and the Trojans are still a serious National Championship contender. This despite just barely squeaking out an 18-point win against a MAC team last weekend.

All the hype is on a Stanford upset Saturday, as the last memory we have of them was a 62-7 drubbing of Rice in Australia. However, playing USC at the Coliseum is a little different than taking on a school named after a food on a different continent. Stanford has dominated in this series in recent years and the Trojans are tired of these nerds taking away their National Championship hopes.

I like USC BIG in this one, with Darnold getting his Heisman campaign back on track and order being restored in the Pac-12 race.

My Pick: USC -6
 

***UPSET ALERT***

  • Boise State (+10.5) at Washington State

A 10.5 point line seemed way too high for a team that knocked off the Cougars a year ago and are typically good for one Power-5 upset a year. The door to a New Year’s Bowl seems to have opened a bit with South Florida’s lackluster performances over the past two weeks, and I like the Broncos to come out swinging against Luke Falk and Wazzu, who struggled a bit before pulling away against Montana State last week.
 

Other Games to Watch:

  • 15 - Georgia at 24 - Notre Dame - 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Pittsburgh at 6 - Penn State - 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
  • 23 - TCU at Arkansas - 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
     

My College Football Playoff (if the season ended today):

  • 1 - Alabama vs 4 - Ohio State
  • 2 - Michigan vs 3 - Clemson 

Next four in: Penn State, Oklahoma, Washington, USC
 

Heisman Front-runners:

  1. Lamar Jackson - QB - Louisville
  2. Saquon Barkley - RB - Penn State
  3. Baker Mayfield- QB - Oklahoma
  4. Josh Rosen - QB - UCLA
  5. Mason Rudolph - QB - Oklahoma State
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