by Bob Epling
The Campus Game
Last Week 13-6
Each week predictions for all SEC games and selected national games are posted here by the weekend.
The professor’s prognostications stuttered to a 13-6 opening opening mark.
Best Pick? No great shakes here … either Boise over Oregon or Alabama beating Virginia Tech.
Worst Choice? I did not forsee the Cincinnati beatdown of Rutgers.
Conference play in the SEC begins in earnest this week. South Carolina visits Georgia, Vanderbilt travels to LSU, and Mississippi State plays on the plains of Auburn. Tennessee hosts UCLA in the top game featuring a non-conference opponent.
For game times and television information, visit The Campus Game TV Schedule for Week 2.
Troy at Florida … Gators get a second tuneup before the Big Orange visit next week. Tough to evaluate defending champs from scrimmage win over Charleston Southern and we may not know any more this week.
Professor’s Pick: FLORIDA
UCLA at Tennessee … Vol coach Lane Kiffin gets to match wits with his mentor, UCLA OC Norm Chow. Tennessee looked great against a bad team last week; this time expect them to look good against a mediocre band of Bruins.
Professor’s Pick: TENNESSEE
Florida International at Alabama … The Tide plays in the Georgia Dome about as often as the NFL’s Falcons, and based on the rollover of Virginia Tech Bama may be back there in December.
Professor’s Pick: ALABAMA
Mississippi State at Auburn … These two teams, picked at the bottom of the SEC West by most, offer an interesting early season matchup. Dan Mullen (MSU) and Gene Chizik (AU) won their openers in pretty convincing fashion so the game serves as a nice benchmark for both programs. Tigers beat a tougher opponent, so get the toilet paper ready at Toomer’s Corner.
Professor’s Pick: AUBURN
Vanderbilt at LSU … Bengal Tigers struggled for four quarters at Washington, so some concern exists on the bayou. I attribute the close game to two factors: a 2500 mile trip with a very late kickoff and an improved U-Dub team. Commodores will not be sunk easily, but sink they will.
Professor’s Pick: LSU
South Carolina at Georgia … Dog fans (rightly) showed much concern over an underachieving offense in the loss to Oklahoma State (the only SEC loss of the first weekend). That Cowboy defense does not compare with the rabid roosters that will be bandying between the hedges Saturday night. Still, Georgia’s O looked like Fielding Yost’s point-a-minute teams compared to the Gamecocks in their game with NC State. Let’s go with Dogs in a very tight, low-scoring game.
Professor’s Pick: GEORGIA
Selected National Games
(from The Campus Game Top Ten List)
Stanford at Wake Forest … Jim Harbaugh’s squad is fiesty while Wake is wounded. Professor’s Pick: STANFORD
East Carolina at West Virginia … Skip Holtz and the Pirates were impressive in Week 1, but I like the Mountaineers at home. Professor’s Pick: WVU
Air Force at Minnesota … The Gophers were fortunate to beat Syracuse in overtime, while the AFA strafed Nicholls State. Because they are inaguarating the beautiful new open-air TCF Bank Stadium (can’t wait for some late November games there), go with Minnesota. Professor’s Pick: MINNESOTA
Houston at Oklahoma State: The Cougars from C-USA pose a nice test for OK State after the big win over Georgia. Could be exciting, but expect State to Cowboy up. Professor’s Pick: OKLAHOMA STATE
Clemson at Georgia Tech: Picked Earlier (Professor’s Pick: GEORGIA TECH)
Notre Dame at Michigan: Irish and Wolverines looked mighty solid in season openers, and this is a huge game for both programs, their fans, and (most of all) their coaches. Before the season started, I predicted the Irish to go 10-2. Michigan was one of the losses. Professor’s Pick: MICHIGAN
USC at Ohio State: Buckeyes received a scare against Navy, now welcome the talented Trojans. Matt Barkley looked every bit the phenom against San Jose State, but beating the Buckeyes in Columbus will be a much bigger challenge. I can’t quite pull the trigger on an upset – although I want to. Professor’s Pick: USC
See You at Kickoff!