‘Canes vs. Buckeyes. Nittany Lions vs. Crimson Tide. Columbus. Tuscaloosa.
With, I might add, a side order of Wolverines-Irish in South Bend and Bulldogs-‘Cocks in the highly underrated college city of Columbia.
And that’s just the SEC and Big Ten.
Does it get any better when it comes to college football? We think not, at least not this early in the regular season and unless monkeys and/or midgets are involved.
So, let’s get right to the festivities, shall we?
No. 22 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina (Noon ET)
THE LINE: Georgia -3
THE PLOT: Both schools are coming off impressive season-opening wins. Both schools have been slapped by the NCAA, although Georgia’s loss of stud wide receiver A.J. Green is a much, much bigger blow than South Carolina’s loss of tight end Weslye Saunders. Both schools need this win to get a leg up out of the gate in the race for SEC East supremacy.
The winner regardless of the outcome? The fans both at home and in the stands as this is shaping up to be one helluva a way to kick-off the second weekend of the 2010 season.
THE PICK: The loss of Green combined with the home-field disadvantage shifts the edge away from the Bulldogs, at least on paper. But wait. Dammit. Stephen Garcia is still the Gamecocks’ starter at quarterback, no? Dammit. OK, we’ll grab the coin again, flip it and… it’s in the air… it’s still in the air… and it ends up on… Gamecocks still. To cover and win outright.
THE SCORE: Gamecocks 27, Bulldogs 24
Michigan at Notre Dame (3:30 ET)
THE LINE: Notre Dame -3.5
THE PLOT: Denard Robinson was a one-man Pat White-ing crew in Michigan’s impressive season-opening win over UConn. Can we see a repeat performance from Mr. Robinson in his first road test as a starting college quarterback? Notre Dame looks to be improved on the defensive side of the ball, and they’ll need to be if Robinson even remotely resembles Game One Shoelace, although a so-so showing the first week against Purdue still leaves questions needing to be answered. On the flip side, do you think Dayne Crist is having impure thoughts as to what he could do to a young, inexperienced and depleted Wolverines secondary?
THE PICK: This should be one of the best games of the day, and is truly one of those contests that could go either way. In the end, Robinson’s inexperience in tandem with the Irish’s home-field advantage will be too much for the Wolverines to overcome. Unless they can and do. Like with the UGA-USC game, flip a coin on this one, although we see a Wolverine cover for the degenerates in the audience regardless.
THE SCORE: Irish 31, Wolverines 30
No. 12 Miami at No. 2 Ohio State (3:40 ET)
THE LINE: Ohio State -8.5
THE PLOT: For all of the talk of this being a grudge rematch, with the Hurricanes looking to “avenge” their “controversial” loss to the Buckeyes in the ’02 national title game, it appears likely that this game will come down to a pair of quarterbacks who were either on the verge of or had just become teenagers around the time of the ’03 Fiesta bowl.
OSU’s Terrelle Pryor and The U’s Jacory Harris could very well put themselves — or, in the case of Pryor, further entrench himself — at the top of the Heisman discussion with an impressive performance in a win. Both players have a tremendous amount of God-given ability, but still have to show that their flashes of brilliance can become consistent excellence. If Pryor has indeed turned the corner some/most think he has, it will be up to Harris-led offense to keep pace. Speaking of which…
One thing the ‘Canes likely learned through film work is that the Buckeyes will be one of the fastest — if not the fastest — defenses they will face all season. One of the things the Buckeyes likely learned through film work is that they will need all of that defensive speed to be able to keep pace with the stable of uber-quick and athletic skill-position players on the Hurricanes’ offense. This match-up of units has the chance to be something really, really special. Just don’t blink, though.
THE PICK: For some reason, I see this game going one of two ways. Either the Buckeyes win by ten or more, or the Hurricanes win by three or less. Just not seeing anything in between. So, we’ll go with the former and a win/cover for the Buckeyes. Then again, I have been doing my night-before-the-game warm-ups (sponsored by Bud Light!!!) so…
THE SCORE: Buckeyes 38, Hurricanes 28
No. 18 Penn State at No. 1 Alabama (7:00 ET)
THE LINE: Alabama -12
THE PLOT: There’s little doubt what the overriding story line of this game is: true freshman quarterback Rob “Robert” Bolden heading into his first road start with the din of 100,000 of his closest Tuscaloosa friends who’ve had all day to “prepare” for the night game assaulting his young ears. Not to mention a still-talented defense eagerly awaiting Evan Royster, PSU’s top running back who has the talent to take the pressure off the frosh QB but was held to 3.6 YPC and 40 yards against Div. 1-AA Youngstown State. Godspeed, young man. Godspeed.
Obviously another subplot is the will he/won’t he surrounding Mark Ingram. Ultimately, he won’t and, much like in last week’s opener, his absence likely won’t matter all that much this week either. While it may be a little tougher for backups Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy and Demetrius Goode to stuff 243 yards and eight yards a carry into the stat sheet this week, we’re still calling for the Tide to be able to run the football with relative ease against what is ultimately a rebuilding Nittany Lions defense.
Oh, and those Greg McElroy and Julio Jones guys may have something to say about the outcome as well. Not a good sign for a Penn State team that will be a much better one come November than they are right now.
THE PICK: Neither team was seriously challenged opening weekend. Alabama will likely leave Bryant-Denny stadium still awaiting their first true test. No offense, Happy Valleyites.
THE SCORE: Crimson Tide 37, Nittany Lions 17
LAST WEEKStraight up: 4-0Vs. spread: 1-3
OVERALLStraight up: 4-0Vs. spread: 1-3
(Odds courtesy of SportsBook.com by way of our friends at NBC Sports.com)