College Football Picks: Week 2

Last Week: 8-4                             Season Record: 8-4

So my misses last week were Maryland against Texas (while I did pick Texas, I warned that they were overrated), Ole Miss against Texas Tech, Notre Dame against Michigan, and BYU against Arizona. My upset pick of Cincinnati over UCLA came true, as I predicted there would be some growing pains for Chip Kelly’s debut. So let’s get to the picks. One thing to note, please don’t get upset: I’m abstaining from doing Clemson vs Texas A&M. I got assigned to work that game for Pro Football Focus so I’m going to pull a Kirk Herbstreit and not pick a game I’m doing. My apologies, because I think that’s one of the more interesting games on the docket. So without further ado, let’s get picking.

#18 Mississippi State (-9) vs Kansas State

Mississippi v Mississippi State

Mississippi State STEAMROLLED Stephen F. Austin last week 63-6, scoring at least 2 touchdowns in every quarter. Kansas State’s obviously better than SFA, but now Mississippi State is getting star quarterback Nick Fitzgerald back, who was suspended for the opener. With their Heisman candidate quarterback back in the fold, Mississippi State wins easily.

Projected Score: Mississippi State 42 Kansas State 21

Duke vs Northwestern (-3)

Northwestern vs Purdue was a fun game where Northwestern got out to an early lead and were barely able to hang on after a furious Boilermakers comeback. Duke is always a question mark, as David Cutcliffe’s team sometimes looks like the sneakiest team in the country, others they look like they belong outside the Power 5. I’m going to take the Wildcats for this one.

Projected Score: Northwestern 27 Duke 21

UCLA vs #6 Oklahoma (-30.5)

Goddamn was Kyler Murray impressive in his debut. He absolutely destroyed the FAU defense to the tune of 209 passing yards on 9 of 11 passing with 2 TDs while adding another 23 on the ground, including this run.


If UCLA can’t beat Cincinnati, they stand no chance against the Sooners. Oklahoma wins easily.

Projected Score: Oklahoma 51 UCLA 17

#3 Georgia (-10) vs #24 South Carolina

Georgia made quick work of Austin Peay and they don’t look like they’ve missed a step from the team that was a Tua Tagovailoa heave away from winning a national championship last year. South Carolina’s good, and I think this will be a close game, but Georgia’s winning this thing.

Projected Score: Georgia 30 South Carolina 20

Ball State vs #8 Notre Dame (-34.5)

Bloodbath.

Projected Score: Ball State 77 Notre Dame 0

JK

Projected Score: Notre Dame 52 Ball State 14

I swear to God if Ball State comes back to bite my ass for that…

Colorado vs Nebraska (-3.5)

Colorado was very impressive against Colorado State last week and this is Nebraska’s first game after last week’s scheduled game against Akron was cancelled due to inclement weather. They’re going to try and reschedule it but in the meantime they’ll be sending out true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez to start. This will be tight but I think I’m going to take Colorado in Scott Frost’s Nebraska debut.

Projected Score: Colorado 35 Nebraska 31

Iowa State vs Iowa (-3.5)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 30 AutoZone Liberty Bowl - Memphis v Iowa State

The Battle for the CyHawk trophy has been quietly one of the best games every year and it never seems to matter who happens to be good in a given season. I think I’m going to take Iowa State in this. Runningback David Montgomery is one of the most underappreciated players in the country and I think he gets a chance to show his stuff against the Hawkeyes.

Projected Score: Iowa State 42 Iowa 38

Virginia vs Indiana (-6)

Peyton Ramsey looked impressive against FIU, though Michael Penix Jr (I giggle every time I say it) showed some playmaking ability himself. I still think the Hoosiers will roll with a dual-QB system depending on what each situation calls for. As for Virginia, they’re going to struggle. They lost all their playmakers from a year ago and they got off to a slow start against Richmond. I think Indiana wins their home opener against the Cavaliers.

Projected Score: Indiana 31 Virginia 21

Kentucky vs #25 Florida (-14)

The Florida Gators looked great against Charleston Southern last week. The defense is expected to be very good this season, though there are still some question marks surrounding the quarterback position. Kentucky has a really good linebacker in Josh Allen but other than that there isn’t a whole lot to speak of on the Kentucky roster, so I think Florida runs away with this one.

Projected Score: Florida 38 Kentucky 14

#13 Penn State (-8.5) vs Pittsburgh

Penn State had a REAL scare last week against Appalachian State, as it took a ballsy performance by Trace McSorley in the final minute and OT to win the game. They face a tougher opponent in Pittsburgh but I think the Nittany Lions will get their shit together and come away with the win.

Projected Score: Penn State 35 Pittsburgh 21

#17 USC vs #10 Stanford (-5)

I feel like this game should be saved for the end of the season, but I’m not complaining. These teams hate each other and this is going to be a damn good game. I think I’m going to go with Stanford just based purely on a hunch. I think Bryce Love reminds us why he’s the Heisman favorite as he leads the Cardinal to victory.

Projected Score: Stanford 31 USC 28

#15 Michigan State (-6) vs Arizona State

UTSA v Arizona State

Michigan State, like Penn State, survived their week 1 “cupcake” opponent, as it took a late touchdown and defensive lineman interception for them to come away with the win against Utah State. Arizona State’s going to be a lot more challenging with a receiver like N’Keal Harry for the Spartans to deal with. The Sun Devils are going to be my upset pick this week as I think they stun Michigan State at home as Herm Edwards moves to 2-0 as a college head coach.

Projected Score: Arizona State 28 Michigan State 24

That’s going to do it for this week’s picks. Let me know if you want my thoughts on any other games in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter @jimwyman10.

Has there been an uglier coaching search than Tennessee?

Tennessee_Volunteers

This has to be one of the most frustrating times to be a fan of a college sports program or to work in that school’s athletic department. Since Tennessee fired Butch Jones a few weeks ago, they have had miss after miss in trying to name their new head man. While teams like Florida have already gotten their new coach, Tennessee has gone through seemingly endless problems in trying to find Jones’ replacement. Here is a list of candidates that have not worked out.

Duke’s David Cutcliffe said no.

Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy said no, even though Tennessee would’ve made him the highest paid coach in the SEC.

Purdue’s Jeff Brohm was reportedly targeted, then falsely reported that he was going to be given the job (which really broke my heart, Brohm is a heck of a coach and I really wanted him out of West Lafayette so the Boilermakers can be bad again).

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele was considered.

SMU’s Chad Morris was called about the job, no word if he said “no” or if Tennessee decided he wasn’t a fit.

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was reportedly considered.

And worst of all, Ohio State defensive coordinator and former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano was announced as the hire, but Tennessee students protested his hiring so hard that the Vols athletic department backed out.

So the reason Tennessee students were protesting Greg Schiano’s hire was because he was a coach at Penn State during the whole Jerry Sandusky business that rocked the college football world. Allegedly, according to court documents, Schiano had witnessed Sandusky do something to a boy in a shower, briefly mentioned it to former Penn State quarterback Mike McQueary, and then did nothing after that.  This was both a social media protest and a physical protest, which you can see below:

schiano-the-rock-schiano (1)

photo credit: CBS News

Yeah, that’s going to be hard to ignore if you’re trying to make a guy the face of your football program. Both Schiano’s former employer and current employer Penn State and Ohio State, respectively, have come to the defense of Schiano’s character. Penn State has even come out and said Schiano had nothing to do with the Sandusky situation, but that still has Tennessee taking the safe route and backing out on their hire of him. As of this writing, Tennessee is still without a head football coach.

This might be the first time that I’ve ever seen a team back out from a coach, especially the very day he was announced as the hire. Schiano had basically signed on the dotted line but because of these protests from Tennessee fans, they took the safe route and changed their minds. I really do feel bad for Schiano in this scenario. Hear me out. Before I get into this, I should preface this by saying obviously child molestation or any form of sexual assault is horrifying and Sandusky totally deserved what he got. What I’m about to say may be a bit controversial and if I offend any of my readers, please tell me because the last thing I want to do is make you uncomfortable as a reader. This is a really touchy subject that I’m going to try and word as carefully as humanly possible. But put yourself in Schiano’s, Hell even Joe Paterno’s, shoes in this situation. Sandusky was a close friend (I don’t know if he and Schiano were ever close, I was only 5 years old when Sandusky retired). Now close your eyes and picture your closest friend, someone who has been your ride-or-die for as long as you can remember. Now picture them doing what Sandusky did. Would you straight away go to the police in this situation? The right thing to do in this situation is of course, yes, you would go to the police. But if I picture any of my friends doing something like this, I’m not so sure I would go straight away to the police. I would probably end up doing what Paterno did and tell him to cut the shit. Hell in Schiano’s case, he did tell somebody, that being a young quarterback on the roster. And this happened 20 years ago. But because of the severity of what Sanudsky did, anybody who was linked to him is considered partly responsible. I find it really hard to blame Schiano or Paterno for what happened or loop them into the same boat as Sandusky because I’m not so sure I would have done anything differently, same goes for many other people. The right thing to do isn’t always the easy thing, in fact, more often than not the right thing is often the harder thing to do. But Sandusky had been close to these guys and they considered him a good friend, even though he really wasn’t because a good friend wouldn’t put them in this situation in the first place. But while Paterno passed away when the details of the scandal were still coming out, Schiano has to live with the repercussions and it just cost him the top job at a major college football program.

As for Tennessee’s coaching search, there are a few more options they can look at. Texas A&M just fired Kevin Sumlin, who I think could be a good replacement. He’s had good success at A&M in the past, they’d just been trending in the wrong direction the last couple years and it was time for a change. I think he can be really beneficial for their program. Jim McElwain could also be a guy to target, as he had been fired from Florida (a decision I disagreed with) midway through a down season following an appearance in the SEC title game. So despite not landing Schiano, there are still plenty of quality options on the market for the Volunteers without checkered pasts.

Well that blog got uncomfortable. Again, if you had any issue with what I said about the whole Sandusky situation, please let me know. I tried to word that as carefully as I could because it really is a subject you have to tiptoe around. Also, one last bit before I close this thing out, Tennessee really considered Jason Witten? You do realize he’s still the starting tight end of the Dallas Cowboys right? A guy that’s making $7.4 million to play a sport he loves and has been great at for 15 years? Okay, then. Good luck with that. Let me know what you think of Tennessee’s coaching situation in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter @jimwyman10 and contribute to my Patreon.