Which games will we be talking about the most on Sunday morning?
No. 12 Oregon Ducks vs No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ducks are headed to Columbus for an early kickoff in what should be the most hostile environment they see all season. Oregon comes into this matchup with a 1 score win over Fresno State while the Buckeyes are looking to build off of a 14-point win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on the road.
Oregon is dealing with a few injuries at key positions, but we have no idea who is going to play or not at this point. Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best player in the country according to most experts, but he left the game last week with a sprained ankle and appeared on the sideline in a walking boot in the second half. There are also rumors Justin Flowe could be injured, but these are completely unconfirmed.
The Buckeyes are a bit banged up in the secondary but I expect everyone to play in some capacity. The offense is mostly healthy outside of center Harry Miller and this is where this game will be won for the Buckeyes. Their offense will score plenty and it will simply be too much for the Ducks to keep up with. If we look at the spread on this game, we can see that the Buckeyes have been rising all week.
College football odds will move a significant amount, especially when we see injuries and Vegas gets hit on one side over and over. This line movement suggests that the books are worried about their Oregon exposure, even at a 2 score game. I think it’s viable that we leave this week with a Ohio State making up a lot of ground on #2 Georgia in the polls with a clean win and we’ll see Oregon fall a bit, due to the convincing loss I foresee.
#10 Iowa Hawkeyes vs #9 Iowa State Cyclones
I think that this game is interesting from a polling perspective simply because of our outlook on these teams just a week or so ago. While Iowa was getting major respect in the polls already, there is no doubt that Iowa State was perceived to be the better and more complete team, but after week 1, Iowa has made a lot of believers. Iowa was able to rise up the polls with a convincing win over the Hoosiers and a win in this game could have them jump even more. There would not be a tougher two-game schedule to go 2-0 out there in the eyes of the pollsters and this would instantly vault Iowa into this sneaky playoff contender.
We obviously know this would likely require a win over Ohio State in Indy, but the Hawkeyes look better than every team on their schedule besides Penn State if they can win this game and solidify a fantastic strength of schedule.
While Iowa State can still prove a lot with a win, I don’t think that the reaction will be quite as significant. Iowa State sputtered out of the gates and Iowa, while having a great game last week against Indiana, wasn’t nearly as hyped as the Cyclones heading into the season. I think there will be a crowd that suggests Iowa is the team we thought they were, Indiana stinks, and Iowa State simply took care of business with a close win. College football picks are tough to nail down, but either way, this game will be a major topic on Sunday.
To learn more about the matchups in there games, click here.
#15 Texas Longhorns vs Arkansas Razorbacks
The Longhorns come in off of a convincing win over a good G5 team in Louisiana. This was a game a lot of people had circled as a tester out of the gate for Steve Sarkisian and he passed that test with flying colors. The biggest takeaway from that game was Texas’s overall discipline and ability to execute in a given situation. This is something that would come and go under former coach Tom Herman and if that is fixed, this team could truly compete for a Big 12 Championship.
Arkansas was in a battle with Rice in the first half before blowing the doors off of them in the second half and covering a 20-point spread. While it was a tale of two halves, I think that we can expect a solid Arkansas performance on both sides of the ball, relative to our yearly Arkansas expectations that is. My biggest concern is that the Arkansas passing game is so reliant on Treylon Burks and he is still not 100% from what we know per Rivals, who wrote this, “Treylon Burks (lower leg) played, but was obviously rusty in the Razorbacks’ 38-17 win over Rice.” I expect the Longhorns to take this game and rise up the polls.
Washington Huskies vs Michigan Wolverines
Wait a second … neither of these are ranked? Well, I expect this to change next week once Michigan takes care of business of Washington in the Big House on Saturday night. The Huskies looked absolutely dreadful on offense last week and I just can’t expect anything better from then until I see it.
The Wolverines on the other hand took care of business in a warm-up game against a much better team than Washington lost to last week at home. Once the Wolverines win a double-digit game on national TV in a game that you can get at just -6 if you are looking to bet online, they’ll jump up the board.
NC State Wolfpack vs Mississippi State Bulldogs
This is another unranked matchup that I am predicting will have a ranked team by Monday. NC State is the better team here and they are going to win this game in convincing fashion. Mississippi State spent most of week 1 trailing to LA Tech, a solid G5 team, but not one that you want to be trailing for the entire game.
NC State looked great in an easy game in week 1 and I think that this a team that will hover around the top 20 all season and this should start after this week. NC State is ranked 27th in the AP poll this week if we look at others receiving votes and they will jump up into the top 25 with a win here on the road in what the sportsbook sees as a pick’em game.