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College Football Week 2 Picks: Top Teams Sure to Beat the Spread

Urban Meyer is 13-0 as Ohio State's coach.
Urban Meyer is 13-0 as Ohio State's coach.Kirk Irwin/Getty Images
Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2013

The early weeks of the college football season feature huge blowouts by powerhouses, and the Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the top teams sure to beat the spread.

Many of the ranked teams are playing tuneup games before they get into their conference schedules. Several teams from BCS-AQ conferences are going head-to-head, and some of those games will be over by halftime.

It's tough to figure out which teams are better than others this early in the season, but voters still look at the results to determine the polls.

Here is the schedule for ranked teams in Week 2 followed by a few teams that will beat the spread. All lines are courtesy of Bovada as of 10:45 p.m. ET, Sept. 5.

 

No. 2 Oregon Ducks (-23) at Virginia Cavaliers

Most nonconference games between teams in power conferences stay close. However, this one is going to get out of hand.

The Ducks pounded Nicholls State 66-3 in coach Mark Helfrich's debut. Oregon has a reputation of putting up points, so that performance was a sign the offense can still be great without Chip Kelly.

Sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota and junior running back De'Anthony Thomas are both Heisman candidates. Mariota threw for 234 yards and a score last week, and he added 113 yards and two touchdowns on only five carries. Thomas carried the ball 18 times for 128 yards and two scores.

When those two are done, sophomore running back Byron Marshall comes in. He ran for 124 yards with a touchdown on eight carries. The Ducks have many options to go to on the ground.

After setting a school record with 772 total yards, including 500 rushing yards, the Ducks will be ready to fly across the country to take on Virginia.

Meanwhile, Virginia rallied in the final minutes to beat BYU. The Cavaliers had to escape with a 19-16 victory at home, so having home-field advantage against the Ducks won't make a difference.

Oregon has the best offense in the country, and it will win by much more than 23 points.

 

San Diego State at No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (-28)

Ohio State got out to a 23-0 lead in the first quarter against Buffalo, and the team coasted the rest of the way. The Bulls outscored the Buckeyes 20-17 in the final three quarters, and the voters punished the team for an underwhelming performance.

The Buckeyes were without several players due to suspensions and injuries, but a 40-20 victory doesn't look great for a team expected to contend for a championship.

Junior Braxton Miller looked good in his season debut. He threw for 178 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He impressed early by making accurate throws, and he put the game away on the ground. He ran for 77 yards on 17 carries. This week, Miller is set to become Ohio State's all-time leader for rushing yards by a quarterback. 

Running back Jordan Hall stepped up last week. He had 159 yards on 21 carries, and he had two touchdowns of at least 37 yards. His explosiveness will be valuable to the team all season.

Ohio State dropped to No. 3 in the AP Poll, which should send a message to the team. It needs to win big in order to impress the voters and control its own destiny.

The Buckeyes scored at least 50 points in four games last year, so the offense is capable of blowouts. Look for the Buckeyes to come out with something to prove this week.

 

San Jose State at No. 5 Stanford Cardinal (-25.5)

A bye week to start the season cost the Stanford Cardinal a spot in the AP Poll. Now, the team gets a chance to show how good it can be.

Stanford has built a strong offensive line, and the defense is also one of the best in the nation. Outside linebacker Trent Murphy and safety Ed Reynolds lead a defense that returns seven starters.

The defense will shut teams down, and opponents will have a hard time just moving the football.

Kevin Hogan is expected to lead the offense, and he'll need a big year for his team to live up to expectations.

Teams can be rusty in openers, which is what happened to Stanford last season. It had to get a field goal in the fourth quarter in order to escape an upset bid by San Jose State.

But things will be a lot different this year. The defense is more experienced, and it will be dominant. With a strong offensive line, Hogan should be able to lead his team to quite a few points.

 

*All information is courtesy of ESPN.com

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