Week two might be my least favorite week of the college football season. The powers that be put enough marquee matchups and conference games on opening weekend to keep things interesting. But that goes by the wayside in week two. Sure, there are couple good non-conference games, but with very few (and none in the ACC) conference games to speak of, we end up with mostly games against FCS competition. There are six of those for the 14 ACC teams this week. Instead of trying to figure out whether thirty point spreads are too high, I’m only covering eight ACC games this week. A 5-4 week last week was good, though I couldn’t have been more wrong in the big-time ACC games taking Miami with the points and the over in the Georgia/Clemson game. Let’s see if we can improve this week.
The Virginia Cavaliers didn’t have a problem moving the ball and putting up points against the William and Mary Tribe last week. Likewise the Illini put up thirty points in each of their first two outings. But, unlike Virginia, Illinois struggled to stop their opponents. Expect both teams to do a lot to keep the opponents defenses on their toes. I’m not sure if you can find line on it, but the over/under on QBs to play in this game by both teams is 12.5. It’s an 11:00 start, but I think these two teams are awake and get things going early.
Pick: Over 55.5
Last week, ACC teams went 0-3 against the SEC, but in each instance the ACC was outmatched or at the very best evenly matched. This week the tables are turned as the ACC teams going into SEC country might actually be better. This starts with Pitt. Pickett did what I expected him to do and the Pitt defense was never challenged in their win over UMass. Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton will get’s things done on the ground but that won’t be enough to keep up with Panthers.
Pick: Pitt -3.5
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders @ Virginia Tech Hokies
VaTech -20; Over/Under 54.5
A lot has been made this week about the atmosphere in Lane Stadium last week, and I’m not going to take anything away from their performance last week. But a Friday night game against a nationally ranked opponent is easier to get up for than a 2:00 Saturday against a Conference USA team. Despite the win, I’m still down on this Hokie team and don’t think the energy matches what we saw a week ago. They should win the game, but 20 points is a tall task.
Pick: Middle Tennessee +20
I had Syracuse winning on the road against Ohio last week, but I didn’t see a 29-9 beatdown of the Bobcats. I’ll be interested to see if Syracuse is going to be more competitive this year, but I’m not ready to back them against a Big Ten team. I’m not putting much stock into Rutgers’ 61-14 win over Temple, but I had the Scarlet Knights winning this game going into the year and I don’t there’s anything to suggest that wasn’t the wrong take.
Pick: Rutgers -2
Boston College Eagles @ UMass Minutemen
Boston College -37.5; Over/Under 57.5
UMass got a touchdown late last week against Pitt’s second teamers as I was sweating a Panthers 38 point cover. We get essentially the same spread as the Eagles visit Amherst and I think the game plays out similarly. However, the total is just too high. BC could win this 56-0. They probably won't, but the Minutemen won’t be adding much to the scoreboard.
Pick: Under 57.5
Appalachian State Mountaineers @ Miami Hurricanes
Miami -8.5 ; Over/Under 54
I really wish Miami would have played a game last week so we’re would know something about them heading into this matchup against App State. Oh, wait. I’m not going to take much from that game outside of the fact that Alabama is really, really good. However, they still played the game, a game that was very physical. Add to that, they host Michigan State next week I don’t think Miami is in the best position to win this game going away. It’s very possible they come out and smack the Mountaineers around and show us they’re still the best team in the ACC Coastal. But I think App State is good and can give the Hurricanes a game.
Pick: Appalachian State +8.5
North Carolina State Wolfpack @ Mississippi State Bulldogs
N.C. State -1.5; Over/Under 55.5
Another ACC team traveling to SEC country, and dare I say another ACC team I like. NC State was one of my favorite teams coming in to the season and they didn’t disappoint in a 45-0 win over USF. Mike Leach hasn’t gotten his Bulldogs offense clicking in only his second year in Starkville. I expect they’ll be good in the next few years, but they’re not there yet. NC State should be able to come in and prove they’re the better team.
Pick: NC State -1.5
Georgia State Panthers @ North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina -26; Over/Under 66
I was really disappointed with North Carolina last week. Sure, the atmosphere in Blacksburg was rocking, but North Carolina needs to win that game. Mack Brown is a good coach and despite a date with Virginia next week, the Tar Heels won't be looking ahead. They’ll be looking to prove something this week and I expect the offense to show up and try to get in a groove. The defense is still very good and won’t have an issue stopping the Panthers. If Army can do it, North Carolina can do it.
Pick: North Carolina -26