College Football Picks: Picking Games Week 2

College Football Picks: Picking Games Week 2

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

One week into the season and you can already tell there's something different ... and it's not good.

As I had feared, there's already talk about which teams have moved into the top-4 and which teams have fallen out. Did I mention we are one week into the season?

I get it, the talking heads have to find something interesting to talk about, but seriously, the thought that any of us has any idea who might be in the final four after one weekend of play is just ridiculous.

How about we talk about which teams looked good and which ones didn't? Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of a small playoff, but not at the expense of losing out on any drama during the regular season. I'm still curious to see how these late-season matchups shake out. Will we ever see the day when a team rests their starters in anticipation of the playoff? It seems to run contrary to all that is college football, but then again, so is a four-team playoff.

With any luck the chatter about the final four will die down for a bit, perhaps the media was just a little giddy about the format and will realize as a whole that figuring out which team is in the fifth spot and which is in the fourth spot at this point is pointless.

As for my picks, well I certainly hit the nail on the head during week one; 5-1 to start the season,

One week into the season and you can already tell there's something different ... and it's not good.

As I had feared, there's already talk about which teams have moved into the top-4 and which teams have fallen out. Did I mention we are one week into the season?

I get it, the talking heads have to find something interesting to talk about, but seriously, the thought that any of us has any idea who might be in the final four after one weekend of play is just ridiculous.

How about we talk about which teams looked good and which ones didn't? Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of a small playoff, but not at the expense of losing out on any drama during the regular season. I'm still curious to see how these late-season matchups shake out. Will we ever see the day when a team rests their starters in anticipation of the playoff? It seems to run contrary to all that is college football, but then again, so is a four-team playoff.

With any luck the chatter about the final four will die down for a bit, perhaps the media was just a little giddy about the format and will realize as a whole that figuring out which team is in the fifth spot and which is in the fourth spot at this point is pointless.

As for my picks, well I certainly hit the nail on the head during week one; 5-1 to start the season, albeit all in the PASSing Thoughts category.

As always, I'll tweet any insights I come up with post-article each week. You can follow me at @gregvara.

Cream of the Crop
(Week: N/A; 2013: 26-16-0)

Saturday

Northern Illinois at Northwestern: A tough opening-week loss for the Cats last week, but that is probably working in our favor here. Northwestern is supposed to be improved this year, and although we didn't see it last week, I'm guessing the effort will be better this week. NIU will be without bulldozing RB Cameron Stingily and when you are overmatched, you need all your bigs to be playing.

Side: Northwestern -7

Missouri at Toledo:
Not much to go on in the early season, but something about this game screams over. Toledo found itself in a bunch of shootouts last year, and Missouri is never shy about entering the other team's end zone. Expect the offenses to be ahead of the defenses in this one.

Total: Over 60

Best of the Rest
(Week: N/A; 2013: 35-26-0)

Saturday

Old Dominion at NC State: I didn't realize Old Dominion had a football team. This can't be good. Sure, N.C. State has a history of blowing games it should win, but come on. Hey, it's still early in the season, there's not going to be a lot of information to share.

Side: N.C. State -17

Middle Tennessee State at Minnesota:
Believe it or not, I actually think the Gophers will be quite improved this season. The reason is the defense, which is reportedly pretty solid entering the season. A solid defense is key in games like this as it prevents the back-door cover and provide some points of its own.

Side: MN -17

PASSing Thoughts
(Week: 5-1-0; Season: 5-1-0)

Thursday

Pittsburgh at Boston College: I've heard a lot of hype on the Panthers team this year, and normally I would shy away from taking the hyped team that's on national television, but Boston College hasn't been pretty bad for years now, and I can't trust the Eagles, either. I'll side with the talent in this game and hope Pittsburgh doesn't get blindsided.

Side: PIT -4

Florida Atlantic at Alabama:
Remember how pedestrian Bama looked on defense last week? Well, WVU is exactly a slouch on offense, and though the Tide defense has some issues, FAU is not the team to expose them. The offense will run wild, and the defense will try to atone for last week's effort.

Side: Alabama -40

Michigan State at Oregon:
This one is tough. On one hand you have the Ducks, who always play their best at the beginning of the season. On the other hand you have a MSU team, which was doubted at every turn last year but almost always came out on top. I might be falling into the trap here, but 12 points against a team that is solid in all facets is a bit too much.

Side: MSU +12

Michigan at Notre Dame:
Notre Dame is a different team with Everett Golson behind center. The line here is very manageable, almost to the point where ND just needs to have the game won prior to the final few minutes, which I think it can do.

Side: Notre Dame -3.5

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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