"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK TWO PICKS

Last Week: 22 - 4
Season: 22 - 4

Friday Night

Utah State (1 - 0) 13 @ (24) Utah 27: This is a pretty fierce rivalry, one of those "you can throw the records out the window" types. Utah State squeaked by someone called Southern Utah last week while Utah was defeating Michigan. I'll take the Utes, especially at home.

Saturday

South Florida 24 (1 - 0) @ (11) Florida State (1 - 0) 37 : Both of these teams drilled lesser opponents last week. USF is coming off a 4 - 8 season, trying to regain some of the past glory that had them competing for conference championships. They probably have enough offense to score on the 'Noles, but it's doubtful they can prevail in a shootout.

Jacksonville St. (1 - 0) 13 @ (6 - 0) Auburn  (1 - 0) 30: This is most likely going to be a laugher, but Jacksonville State was 10 - 3 last season in the FCS Ohio Valley conference and was seeded third in the sixteen team playoff field. They'll be overmatched at Auburn, but the Tigers need to execute and stay focused coming off a big win against Louisville or they could be in for a surprise.

Appalachian State (1 - 0) 17 @ (12) Clemson (1 - 0) 34: Sun Belt members Appalachian St. ran off six straight wins to end last season and beat Howard 49 - 0 last week. Clemson beat up on FCS Wofford last week and look to run their record to 2 - 0, but the Mountaineers could catch the Tigers peaking ahead to their Thursday night clash at Louisville.

Tulane (0 - 1) 10 @ (15) Georgia Tech (1 - 0) 45: The Yellow Jackets pounded Alcorn State last week, but take a step up in class, but just barely, against Tulane, big losers to Duke in week one. This one could get ugly, and very early.

(9) Notre Dame (1 - 0) 27 @ Virginia (0 - 1) 16: The Irish play their first of five ACC opponents, traveling to Charlottesville to take on the Cavaliers. Notre Dame looked terrific last week, trouncing Texas and sending the Longhorns home to reassess their situation. Virginia was taken down by UCLA's freshman QB sensation. I think the Irish have a good team and a real shot at the playoffs.

Stephen F. Austin (0 - 1) 17 @ (3) TCU (1 - 0) 47: Stephen F. Austin couldn't handle fellow FCS foe Northern Arizona at home last week, so it's not likely they'll be able to contain a TCU team that was probably a little disappointed with their victory over Minnesota to start the season.

Hawaii (0 - 0) 14 @ (1) Ohio State (1 - 0) 51: About the only good thing for a Hawaii team that is traveling a long way to get treated like the pig at a luau is that the Buckeyes are coming off a short week. So maybe the game will be close for 20 minutes instead of 5. Norm Chow is trying to get the roster up to a higher standard that he was familiar with at USC and other stops.

Fresno State (1 - 0) 20 @ (17) Ole Miss (1 - 0) 48: Fresno State competes well in the Mountain West, where they qualified for the championship game last season. But they struggle mightily against Big Five conference teams. The Rebels put up 76 points against FCS Tennessee-Martin last week. I don't see that many points this week, but they'll put up plenty against the Bulldogs.

(10) Georgia (1 - 0) 37 @ Vanderbilt (0 - 1) 17: A couple of seasons removed from head coach James Franklin's departure for Penn State, the Commodores appear to, well, be Vanderbilt again. A loss to Western Kentucky, albeit a good non-conference foe, wasn't the way they wanted to begin the season. It won't get much better on Saturday in an early season SEC match-up.

Middle Tennessee (1 - 0) 6 @ (2) Alabama (1 - 0) 38: Okay, I really can't say much about this one, except that Saban usually calls off the dogs instead of running up the score.

Toledo (0 - 0) 20 vs. (18) Arkansas (1 - 0) 34 (in Little Rock): the Razorbacks looked great in taking care of the first of ten bowl teams on their schedule. Toledo is the second and presents a defensive challenge for Arkansas. The Rockets averaged 37 points a game in 2014, putting up 52 and 63 to end the year. Bret Bielema's defense looked stout in defeating UTEP a week ago and they'll be tested. But Toledo doesn't pose much of a threat on the other side of the ball, so look for Hogs to keep the momentum going for another week.

(19) Oklahoma (1 - 0) 27 @ (23) Tennessee (1 - 0) 24: Next to the Oregon - Michigan State game, this is the next best game of the week. I'm not sold on the Vols, but I think Oklahoma has a decent chance to contend for the Big 12 title.   This early in the season it's all still a guessing game.

Ball State (1 - 0) 14 @ (16) Texas A&M (1 - 0) 51: The Aggies were very impressive in a victory over Arizona State. Ball State gave up 36 points to VMI. Enough said.

(21) Missouri (1 - 0) 30 @ Arkansas State (0 - 1) 20: No one can fault Arkansas State for their schedule. After traveling to USC last week they host a tough tiger team. The Red Wolves really didn't look as bad against the Trojans as the score would indicate and I give them a chance to make it close against the Tigers. 

(22) Arizona (1 - 0) 37 @ Nevada (1 - 0) 34: Arizona allowed 32 points to a far inferior UTSA last week. The Wolf Pack challenged the Wildcats in Tuscon last year and Arizona gives up a lot of points for a program looking to get to the next level. I like Nevada to give Arizona all they can handle.

Lamar (1 - 0) 17 @ (4) Baylor 51: The Cardinals routed Bacone, an NAIA team last week, by the score of 66 - 3. They should have banced (sic) some of those points because they'll need them today against the Bears, who put up 56 on SMU after a slow start last week.

(7) Oregon (1 - 0) 30 @ (5) Michigan State (1 - 0) 31: In the marquee match-up of the week, Michigan State will try to avenge last year's a tough loss in Eugene. This time they get to host the Ducks in East Lansing. I'm a big Spartan fan and think they have enough to contain Oregon and escape with their national title hopes intact.

Idaho (0 - 1) 7 @ (8) USC (1 - 0) 56: The Trojans are one of my picks for the Final Four and I they'll keep rolling today against one of the worst teams in the FBS.

 (14) LSU (0 - 0) 23 @ (25) Mississippi State (1 - 0) 28: Mississippi State is a home Bulldog, with LSU coming in as a four point favorite. But the Tigers had their opener against McNeese State cancelled due to weather and will have to open the season in a very hostile environment. I'll go with a mild upset, not really understanding where all the hype around an unproven LSU 8 - 5 team from last year is coming from.

(20) Boise State (1 - 0) 24 @ BYU (1 - 0) 27: BYU escaped Lincoln with a last second Hail Mary and Boise was unimpressive on offense against Washington. In a virtual tossup, I'll go with the home team to carry some momentum from last week's stunner.

(13) UCLA (1 - 0) 51 @ UNLV (0 - 1) 10: Bruin Freshman Josh Rosen was a week one sensation, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns against a decent Virginia defense. He should get to stay sharp against a pretty bad UNLV team.

Iowa (1 - 0) 27 @ Iowa State (1 - 0) 21: A tough intrastate clash finds Iowa heading to a tough place for visitors, but I don't think Iowa State has enough to stay with the Hawkeyes.

Washington State (0 - 1) 20 @ Rutgers (1 - 0) 28: Washington State was stunned by Portland State, a mediocre FCS team that probably cemented the end of Mike Leach's tenure in Pullman. The Knights pounded their FCS opponent, Norfolk State, 63 - 13. Not a tough pick on paper, but we'll see how the Cougars rebound in a coast to coast trip.

Oregon State (1 - 0) 20 @ Michigan (0 - 1) 27: This is a good chance for new Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh to get his first win, and over a Big Five conference foe. The Wolverines played another Pac-12 team close on the road last week and look for Michigan to get into the win column today.

East Carolina (1 - 0) 17 @ Florida (1 - 0) 27: These same teams played in the Birmingham Bowl to end last season and the Gators came out on top. That was against a better Pirate squad at a neutral site, so I don't think ECU has quite enough in a rebuilding year to grab a win in The Swamp.

Kentucky (1 - 0) 23 @ South Carolina (1 - 0) 27: Mike Stoops has an improved Wildcat team and if this game was in Lexington, I'd give them the nod. But North Carolina is a pretty good team and the Gamecocks found a way to beat them last week.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.