If Week One of the college football season was a sugar high, Week Two is the proceeding crash, with top-level teams playing cupcakes all over the slate. But there is still meat on these bones; it’s just a matter of finding the goods. Here are the games you should watch this weekend.
The Hipster Classic (A game only college football psychos could love) – Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The best part of Big 12 is the general opposition to defense. If the Big 12 were starting an anti-defense movement, Texas Tech would be leading the charge. It is that opposition that offers the Lumberjacks a glimmer of light in this game.
Recently Dropped on the Border Fuel Shop: Click to grab the Prescott Tee!!
And senior quarterback Trae Self can attack that weakness, as he has improved in accuracy, yards per attempt, and passing touchdowns every year. Texas Tech floundered for two quarters before finding its gear against the Houston Cougars. And, another slow start could make this an entertaining game. But, the flip side of a solid game from TTU could show the squad as a contender for the Big 12 race.
The Pick – Texas Tech Straight Up
The Car Crash (A disaster, but you can’t look away) – California Golden Bears vs. TCU Horned Frogs
Another season, another stingy Cal defense paired yet again with the worst kind of offense. Despite the loss, the Golden Bears allowed just 61 yards on defense, where TCU did most of its work in week one and scored four of its touchdowns.
But the Horned Frogs are not too shabby on defense themselves, ranking 4th in total defense heading into Week Two because both these offenses might be just horrible and mistake-prone. Both defenses could be very stout. Let the despicable football begin.
The Pick – Cal +11.5
A Pleasant Surprise (You did not anticipate enjoying this game so much) – Washington Huskies vs. Michigan Wolverines
I know, I know, the team that lost to Montana is on this list. So how is this one of the college football games to watch? Washington is the first FBS team to lose to an FCS team since 2016, but all hope is not lost.
The Huskies secondary only allowed four completed passes in the fourth quarter and a shade over 100 yards through the air on the day. The front seven also recorded five tackles for loss and a sack. The Huskies and sophomore quarterback Dylan Morris have their big mistake behind them and can play loose against Michigan.
Michigan has also stumbled in these trappy games under Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines slipped up against Iowa in 2016. In 2018, the squad eked out a win against Northwestern and out Army the following season. All three teams were unranked.
The Pick – Michigan -6.5
A Solid Second Horse (Missed first place by just that much) – Iowa State Cyclones vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
The preseason Big 12 darlings limped out of week one with a muted performance against UNI. Now, Iowa State is on the road against a team picking off right where it left off. Iowa rolled over Indiana (yeah, that’s how it’s spelled) to continue a dominant run extending back to November of 2020. The Hawkeyes have beaten seven straight Big Ten opponents, four by over 20 points.
Brock Purdy and company struggled to get the offense off the ground, and on the road in Kinnick Stadium is a brutal place to find your wings.
The Pick – Iowa +4.5
The Title Fight (Aka the Game of the Week) – Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
An absolute brawl is in the works, and for some reason, it is kicking off at 11:00 a.m. It is always fun to see two teams trade blows, like a pair of quarterbacks duel over 60 minutes. But some of the best games pit the top units on both teams against one another, clawing to see which flinches first: The immovable object or the unstoppable force.
Oregon has studs at every level, from Kayvon Thibodeaux on the line (maybe the best pass rusher in college) to linebacker Noah Sewell to elite corner Mykael Wright on the backend. Those aces line up against an all-star receiving group headlined by Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Behind them is the crowded backfield of Master Teague III and Miyan Williams (even third-string RB TreVeyon Henderson posted a 70-yard pass).
And that is all before we even get to the much-heralded quarterback C.J. Stroud who passed for 236 yards and four touchdowns in the second-half following a slow start.
Let the fireworks begin.
The Pick – Oregon +14