NCAAF Week Two: Top-25 Game Previews
By Kevin Cunningham
September 7, 2013
www.collegesportswriters.com


What can we take away from week one of the college football season? That Georgia’
s one loss away from their season being looked at as a disappointment, and that
FCS schools have a chance at beating just about anybody.

This week, some key games include South Carolina at Georgia, Florida at Miami
and Notre Dame at Michigan. I see Georgia getting revenge, Miami closing the gap,
but not quite getting over the hump and Notre Dame losing in front of over 100,000
screaming fans.

(1) Alabama – BYE

(2) Oregon at Virginia

Last week I made it known that I believe the Ducks and the Crimson Tide are the two
best teams in the country. This coming from an Ohio State fan, may I remind you. The
Ducks are just too explosive on offense not to be one of the top teams in the country
and I picked them last week to beat Nicholls State by 70. Unfortunately, the Ducks
only won by 63. Virginia isn’t terrible, but they have no shot here.

Oregon wins 59-10

(3) Ohio State vs San Diego State

Things were rolling for the Buckeyes last week against Buffalo, then things got a little
dicey and the Miller-led Buckeyes only won by 20. Again, Ohio State is at home
against an inferior opponent. If they’re truly supposed to be a national title contender,
they have to start beating teams like San Diego State by 40 or more points.
Ohio State wins 52-14

(4) Clemson vs South Carolina State

A week ago, I picked against the Tigers thinking that they wouldn’t have enough on
the defensive side of the ball to stop Aaron Murray and the Georgia Bulldogs. That
proved to be one of my three losses for the week, but the defense didn’t exactly
make a statement. The Tigers won the game 38-35, thanks to quarterback Tajh Boyd
and wide receiver Sammy Watkins, which many already knew were great. This one
has no chance of being a “let down” game.

Clemson wins 52-7

(5) Stanford vs San Jose State

There are a few teams this season that are really good, but are a year away from
being elite. Ohio State is one team, and this Stanford team is another. This will be
the Cardinal’s first game of the season, and I don’t expect this outcome to ever be in
question.

Stanford wins 48-7

(6) South Carolina at (11) Georgia

People were jumping the South Carolina bandwagon and riding Jadeveon Clowney’
s tail before the season started. Fast forward a boring 17-point win over North
Carolina and people wonder why I mocked the people who thought Clowney had a
chance at a Heisman trophy. Sure, he could have a great game here, and put himself
back in discussions, but long term, a defensive end is a defensive end. Offensive
stars from other teams have to be lackluster. That’s just how the Heisman trophy
goes.
Look for Georgia to prove the doubters wrong here. South Carolina has a good
offense, but it’s nowhere near as good as Clemson’s. Sorry SEC fanatics. The
Bulldogs will likely hold South Carolina under 30, and while the Gamecocks have the
almighty Clowney on their side, I’m still a believer in Murray and the two-headed
rushing monster that the Bulldogs possess at running back. They’ll score more than
30, especially coming off of a loss.

Georgia wins 34-24

(7) Texas A&M vs Sam Houston State

If last week’s Texas A&M game didn’t show you how mature Johnny Manziel is, I don’
t know what will. Best of luck to him, but I don’t see a bright future ahead of him in the
NFL. The Aggies are overrated, but will reach nine to 10 wins based on a pretty easy
schedule. If they face a monster in their bowl game, bet against them. I’ll tell you that
right now.

Texas A&M wins 45-7

(8) Louisville vs Eastern Kentucky

Boy do I love Teddy Bridgewater. Like I said last week, if I’m an NFL team with the
first pick in the draft this coming April, it’s Bridgewater’s name I’m calling. Not
Clowney’s. Bridgewater reminds me of a mini Russell Wilson. He’s an extremely
bright, accurate passer, who doesn’t make stupid mistakes. Bridgewater looks to
escape the pocket when he needs to in order to find a better throwing lane; not to
bolt off and run with the ball, despite his ability to do so if he chose to. He’s Wilson-
esque, but a little taller, with probably a tad less of an arm overall. I’ve been a fan,
and I won’t be jumping off his bandwagon any time soon.

Louisville wins 52-10

(9) LSU vs UAB

Well, the Tigers proved me wrong last week, and as usual, it was because of their
defense. Sure the Tigers gave up 27 points, but they held TCU’s offense to two
touchdowns and 259 total yards for the game. I never underestimate LSU’s defense.
They’re always dominant. It’s the offense that drives me berserk. Against UAB, the
defense will surely be enough.

LSU wins 34-7

(10) Florida State – BYE

I almost never talk about teams on their bye weeks, but did you see freshman
quarterback Jameis Winston? What’d I tell you last week? The dude’s a future stud.

(12) Florida at Miami (FL)

The Gators handled Toledo easier than I expected them to, but Miami is no longer a
joke. The Hurricanes haven’t been good in recent years, but this year is different.
They’re definitely a top-25 team again, but they’re not back to where they once were
quite yet. Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris and running back Duke Johnson
are fun to watch, and the defense is getting better.
This game comes down to Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel. I don’t put much stock
into Driskel despite his enormous potential people unmistakably see in his NFL-
ready body. Either Driskel can score more points than the Gators can allow, or he
won’t. It’s that simple.

Florida wins 27-24

(13) Oklahoma State at University of Texas San Antonio

Look at the names of the teams. Don’t look any further.

Oklahoma State wins 59-7

(14) Notre Dame at (17) Michigan

The Fighting Irish started off the season pretty impressively. The defense held
Temple to six points, which was to be expected if they were a dominant unit; and the
offense was led by quarterback Tommy Rees in a proficient manner. Michigan
comes into this game winning by 50 over Central Michigan. Again, as expected, the
Wolverines delivered.
Neither of these teams are top-ten teams, but they’re ranked about where they
should end up. They’re both very solid teams, but aren’t quite there yet. Throw
Michigan’s name into the hat of, “one year away” teams. They won’t be on the same
level as Stanford or Ohio State, but they will likely be in the top-10 by the end of the
2014 season.
For the here and now, Michigan’s at home and they go up against Rees, who hasn’t
played his best against great competition. These teams are evenly matched to me.
But with the game being in Ann Arbor, I have to go with the Wolverines here. If it were
in South Bend, I’d change my pick immediately.

Michigan wins 27-24

(15) Texas at BYU

Can someone tell me why the line on this game started out at only -6.5 for Texas?
Granted, it’s up to -8 now at most places, and rightfully so. BYU lost to Virginia for a
reason last week. Granted, they are at home, but Texas is underrated if they’re only
five points better than Virginia.

Texas wins 31-17

(16) Oklahoma vs West Virginia

The Sooners aren’t spectacular, but West Virginia almost lost to William & Mary last
week. Give me a break.

Oklahoma wins 41-14

(18) UCLA – BYE

(19) Northwestern vs Syracuse

I told people last week that Northwestern was a legitimate top-25 team and they
somewhat proved it by beating California out west last week. This week, they need to
take care of business by beating a worse team at home.
Northwestern wins 41-24

(20) Washington – BYE

Okay, I’ll talk about two bye week teams this week. Go back and read what I posted
about Washington’s game last week against Boise State. I picked the Huskies to
beat the Broncos with good reason last week. They ended up winning by 32.

(21) Wisconsin vs Tennessee Tech

Another lowly opponent for the Badgers this week. Another big victory.

Wisconsin wins 59-7

(22) Nebraska vs Southern Miss

Boy that Nebraska-Wyoming game was close last week. A little too close for a top-
25 team if you ask me. Quarterback Taylor Martinez needs to learn how to throw the
football.

Nebraska wins 31-17

(23) Baylor vs Buffalo

For those that don’t know Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk’s name, add it to
your college football vocabulary. You’ll be glad you did. Let’s just say, Heisman dark
horse.

Baylor wins 56-14

(24) TCU vs Southeastern Louisiana

I got a little into TCU earlier with LSU, so I won’t go into much detail here.
Quarterback Casey Pachall needs to step up for the Horned Frogs if they want to
truly compete in the Big 12.

TCU wins 45-10

(25) USC vs Washington State

I’m not sure why USC wasn’t ranked last week, but they finally are now. The Trojans
have a ton of talent. Unfortunately for them, it’s everywhere but the quarterback
position. Thanks to a weak schedule, head coach Lane Kiffin will keep his job
another year, not thanks to his quarterback play.

USC wins 45-17

2013 Overall record: 17-3
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