ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 04: Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Daylen Baldwin (85) celebrates with Michigan Wolverines running back Leon Franklin (34) in the end zone after scoring a touchdown on a catch-and-run pass during the fourth quarter of a game between the Western Michigan Broncos and the Michigan Wolverines on September 4, 2021 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Week 1 gave College Football fans a little bit of everything including blowouts, no-shows by a few ranked teams, drama-filled action, and a great game on Sunday night between Notre Dame and Florida State. Week 2 has several quality matchups but lacks as many high-profile games as we had in Week 1. That said several of those big games were mismatches on the field so maybe just maybe we can get a week full of surprise upsets and down-to-the-wire ball games. 

Marquee Matchups

#3 Ohio State vs. #12 Oregon: The Ducks will be missing stud defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux who suffered in injury in the opener in a tougher than expected game against Fresno State. Minnesota pushed Ohio State last week so it will be interesting to see if the Buckeyes run defense improves versus a team in Oregon that likes to run the ball. Oregon has a talented backfield with CJ Vardell and Travis Dye along with QB Anthony Brown. On the flip side not only can Ohio State run the ball they can air it out using the best receiver duo in the country in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Oregon gave up nearly 300 yards in receiving in Week 1 so that will have to improve. If the Ducks can limit TD’s in the redzone and also take advantage of getting points instead of FG’s they should be still alive in the 4th quarter.  

The Pick: Ohio State 37 Oregon 27

 

#9 Iowa State vs. #10 Iowa: The Cy-Hawk Trophy and in-state bragging rights are at stake in this ever blossoming rivalry. However, a win here would go a long way in December as a quality non-conference victory to add to the resume. The Hawkeyes were great as they blasted Indiana whereas the Cyclones plotted their way to a subpar performance in Week 1. Both teams can play stout defense so it will come down to protecting the ball and limiting mental mistakes. This podcaster is a tad weary from the showing the Cyclones had, it’s one thing not wanting to show a bunch in the opening weekend but they were mediocre on offense at best versus Northern Iowa. Iowa State does have a track record of starting slow on “O” as they barely beat Northern Iowa in 2019.Will find out if in fact 2021 is the year for the Cyclones to win the Big-12 as a few experts picked in the preseason. A grind-it-out type of defensvie struggle is almost certain and a FG or TD in the last 5 minutes will likely get someone over the hump.    

 

 The Pick: Iowa State 23 Iowa 20 

 

Under The Radar 

 

#21 Utah vs. BYU: This west coast matchup is flying under the radar but it should be highly competitive. Utah is a steady program that is well-coached, prefers to wear opponents down with the run and plays hard-nosed defense. BYU isn’t the most talented club but they do have some and also tend to be within winning range in the 2nd half of games. This year however BYU lost 5 players to the NFL Draft with the most impactful being QB Zach Wilson. The Utes bring back a fair amount of defensive talent but their RB and QB rooms were damn near emptied. Utah did bring in a few key transfer players so let’s see how they fit in. This game will be decided in the trenches and on paper that seems to strongly favor Utah.  

 

The Pick: Utah 24 BYU 20 

 

Saturday Upset Special 

 

Troy upends Liberty in what would be a minor upset. 

 

Rice has a chance to upset Houston as an 8-point dog at home. 

 

Hardcore Barnburners

 

Michigan vs. Washington: The Wolverines suffered a key injury on offense but managed to look relatively good in Week 1. The Huskies did the complete opposite after being hyped up in the preseason rankings. Both teams looking for respect lends itself to a barnburner.   

 

Kentucky vs. Missouri: Kentucky’s main objective is to play ball control by toting the rock and being stingy on defense. Missouri is looking to turn the corner as a program but can they stop the Wildcats instead of relying on having to outscore them? 

 

Against The Spread 

 

#22 Miami should be able to lick their wounds and bounce back from the butt-whopping by Bama but if Appalachian State can run the ball and play well on defense in the red zone they could pull off an upset or lose by less than the 9-points as an underdog.

 

#11 Penn State has a letdown performance following a big win on the road still beats Ball State but not by 22.5-points as the favorite.   

 

Take it to the window 

 

#5 Texas A&M will beat Colorado and cover as a 17-point favorite. 

 

Quick Hits Recap

 

-Central Florida mounted a 21-point comeback to defeat Boise State 36-31 tying their largest comeback in school history. 

 

-Michigan senior WR Ronnie Bell will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

 

-Penn State’s special teams unit blocked a FG, missed a 23-yard FG, had a 76-yard punt, and missed an extra point. 

 

-At halftime of the Badgers/Nittany Lions game it was 0-0, Penn State had 1 first down and 2 yards rushing (-2 after the 3rd Qtr) yet still managed to beat Wisconsin on the road. The Badgers were horrible in the redzone which sealed their fate.  

 

-UTSA got their first-ever victory from a Big Ten school with a 37-30 win over Illinois.

 

-Random Stat: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi State are a combined 1-41 against Alabama in the Nick Saban era. 

 

-The Big-12 are looking to expand and the schools on the table include BYU, Central Florida, Houston, & Cincinnati.  

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Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio and TheGruelingTruth.Net

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