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NCAA Football Week 2 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports

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NCAA Football Week 2 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports
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Each Monday morning, Whatifsports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win percentage) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2010 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts, and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension, and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

 

Game of the Week: Miami (FL) vs Ohio State

The 2003 Fiesta Bowl is still considered one of the greatest college football games of all time.

Miami, on a 34-game winning streak, was surely the favorite in what was also the 2002 Bowl Championship Series national championship game. The Hurricanes matched up with Ohio State, a team that matched the Hurricanes' undefeated season and were looking to put Jim Tressel on the map.

The game featured two overtimes, a controversial call, and one upset as the Buckeyes topped the Canes 31-24 to win the championship.

This week, they'll square off again for the first time since that memorable outing. And while it may not have the streaks, the hype, or the championship on the line, it's certainly an intriguing game featuring two quarterbacks with Heisman Trophy potential early on in the college football season.

Both teams opened their seasons last Thursday with unsurprising routs featuring nearly identical scores. For No. 2 Ohio State, it was a 45-7 drubbing of Marshall, while Miami throttled Florida A&M 45-0.

Miami didn't need to leave Jacory Harris in very long for him to put the Hurricanes in cruise control or for him to remind national pundits why he's a candidate for college football's most prestigious award. Harris completed 12 of 15 passes for 210 yards and three quick touchdowns before giving way to his reserves.

Miami racked up more than 400 yards of offense and averaged nearly 10 yards per pass attempt, but less than five yards per carry, somewhat troubling considering the opponent.

Meanwhile, Ohio State signal-caller Terrelle Pryor was busy matching Harris. Pryor needed a few more attempts to get there, but threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns of his own.

The Buckeyes amassed more than 500 yards of total offense and looked much better running the ball, going for more than six yards per carry.

It's that running game that helps Ohio State prevail once again in the 2002 title game rematch.

In this week's simulations, the Buckeyes don't quite get to five yards per carry, but they stifle the Hurricanes to just over 100 yards on the ground and an average of just 3.8 yards per touch.

As for the Heisman hopefuls, they just about put up matching numbers, but chalk one up for Pryor for being on the winning side.

His Buckeyes win the matchup more than 70 percent of the time by an average of eight points.

 

Game of the Week: Penn State vs Alabama

The nation's top-ranked team didn't need its Heisman Trophy-winning running back in the season opener.

Whether the Alabama Crimson Tide will have Mark Ingram this time around hasn't yet been announced. But even if he is cleared to play, should Alabama use him against Penn State? Or can they beat the Nittany Lions without him?

If there is one thing that Week 1 proved, and it surely wasn't a shock, it's that Trent Richardson doesn't present a significant dropoff from Ingram at running back.

Richardson ran the ball 10 times for 66 yards and two touchdowns as Alabama cruised to a 48-3 victory over San Jose State in the opener.

That said, it's certainly hard to gauge the prolific numbers that Bama put up. The Tide amassed nearly 600 total yards, ran for 6.3 yards per carry, and averaged more than 11 yards per pass attempt. Similarly, they held San Jose State to just 175 yards of offense, less than five yards per pass attempt, and just 3.1 yards per carry.

Clearly, the competition level wasn't there in what was basically a tune-up. A date with Penn State will be anything but—though the Nittany Lions' numbers from the first week hardly painted a clearer picture.

The Nittany Lions rolled to a 44-14 victory over Youngstown State, in which the Penguins tacked on a late touchdown and Penn State seemingly needed a first-half wake-up call.

It got it from true freshman quarterback Rob Bolden as he threw for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was the first time Joe Paterno had ever started a true freshman quarterback, and Bolden answered the call, though the numbers were far from as outlandish as those put up by Alabama.

Now, the rookie will likely make his second career start against the nation's top team. Can he spring the upset?

Not likely.

And Alabama could probably considering resting Ingram instead of risking bringing him back too soon.

The rushing numbers for the two teams—Bama without Ingram since they haven't confirmed he will play—are nearly identical.

And in all actuality, the Crimson Tide's passing game appears to give them the advantage. Alabama throws for an average of nearly 50 more yards per game, but more importantly needs fewer passing attempts to do it.

In this week's simulations, the nation's top-ranked team stays atop its perch easily. The Crimson Tide win more than 82 percent of the time by an average margin of more than two touchdowns.

 

College Football Week 2
Matchup Win %
Avg Score
James Madison Dukes 5.0 6
@ Virginia Tech Hokies 95.0 66
Presbyterian Blue Hose 5.0 5
@ Clemson Tigers 95.0 61
Morgan State Bears 5.0 8
@ Maryland Terrapins 95.0 44
Kent State Golden Flashes 14.0 11
@ Boston College Eagles 86.0 28
Duke Blue Devils 57.9 26
@ Wake Forest Demon Deacons 42.1 25
New Hampshire Wildcats 5.0 6
@ Pittsburgh Panthers 95.0 64
Indiana State Sycamores 5.0 7
@ Cincinnati Bearcats 95.0 63
Texas Southern Tigers 5.0 7
@ Connecticut Huskies 95.0 58
Eastern Kentucky Colonels 5.0 8
@ Louisville Cardinals 95.0 47
Iowa State Cyclones 5.0 10
@ Iowa Hawkeyes 95.0 38
Southern Illinois Salukis 5.0 9
@ Illinois Fighting Illini 95.0 47
South Dakota Coyotes 5.0 6
@ Minnesota Golden Gophers 95.0 41
Illinois State Redbirds 5.0 8
@ Northwestern Wildcats 95.0 52
Western Illinois Leathernecks 5.0 8
@ Purdue Boilermakers 95.0 49
San Jose State Spartans 5.0 12
@ Wisconsin Badgers 95.0 48
Florida Atlantic Owls 12.3 31
@ Michigan State Spartans 87.7 46
Miami (FL) Hurricanes 29.8 26
@ Ohio State Buckeyes 70.2 34
North Dakota Fighting Sioux 5.0 9
@ Northern Illinois Huskies 95.0 46
Nicholls State Colonels 5.0 10
@ Western Michigan Broncos 95.0 32
Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs 5.0 8
@ Akron Zips 95.0 34
Liberty Flames 8.8 9
@ Ball State Cardinals 91.2 31
Central Michigan Chippewas 12.3 15
@ Temple Owls 87.7 34
Toledo Rockets 19.3 20
@ Ohio Bobcats 80.7 34
Eastern Michigan Eagles 45.6 17
@ Miami (OH) RedHawks 54.4 20
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 5.0 7
@ Arizona State Sun Devils 95.0 44
Citadel Bulldogs 5.0 6
@ Arizona Wildcats 95.0 65
Montana State Bobcats 5.0 10
@ Washington State Cougars 95.0 35
Colorado Buffaloes 8.8 21
@ California Golden Bears 91.2 38
Virginia Cavaliers 19.3 19
@ USC Trojans 80.7 35
Stanford Cardinal 56.1 34
@ UCLA Bruins 43.9 33
Syracuse Orange 86.0 33
@ Washington Huskies 14.0 24
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 5.0 8
@ Kentucky Wildcats 95.0 38
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 7.0 26
@ Arkansas Razorbacks 93.0 45
South Florida Bulls 7.0 21
@ Florida Gators 93.0 39
Penn State Nittany Lions 17.5 14
@ Alabama Crimson Tide 82.5 30
Georgia Bulldogs 63.2 30
@ South Carolina Gamecocks 36.8 28
Oregon Ducks 86.0 33
@ Tennessee Volunteers 14.0 19
Auburn Tigers 91.2 36
@ Mississippi State Bulldogs 8.8 19
LSU Tigers 95.0 32
@ Vanderbilt Commodores 5.0 9
Idaho State Bengals 5.0 6
@ Utah State Aggies 95.0 47
Colorado State Rams 5.3 18
@ Nevada Wolf Pack 94.7 46
San Diego State Aztecs 93.0 31
@ New Mexico State Aggies 7.0 13
Georgia Southern Eagles 5.0 7
@ Navy Midshipmen 95.0 48
Michigan Wolverines 33.3 28
@ Notre Dame Fighting Irish 66.7 36
Hawaii Warriors 75.4 32
@ Army Black Knights 24.6 23
McNeese State Cowboys 5.0 9
@ Missouri Tigers 95.0 51
Wyoming Cowboys 5.0 7
@ Texas Longhorns 95.0 37
Missouri State Bears 5.0 8
@ Kansas State Wildcats 95.0 50
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 19.3 22
@ Texas A&M Aggies 80.7 37
Buffalo Bulls 24.6 22
@ Baylor Bears 75.4 32
Idaho Vandals 31.6 29
@ Nebraska Cornhuskers 68.4 36
Troy Trojans 36.8 23
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys 63.2 30
Florida State Seminoles 61.4 39
@ Oklahoma Sooners 38.6 38
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 95.0 48
@ Kansas Jayhawks 5.0 21
UTEP Miners 5.0 26
@ Houston Cougars 95.0 51
Prairie View A&M Panthers 5.0 8
@ Southern Miss Golden Eagles 95.0 53
Memphis Tigers 17.5 19
@ East Carolina Pirates 82.5 36
UAB Blazers 26.3 29
@ Southern Methodist Mustangs 73.7 40
Bowling Green Falcons 40.4 25
@ Tulsa Golden Hurricane 59.6 28
North Carolina State Wolfpack 49.1 30
@ UCF Knights 50.9 34
West Virginia Mountaineers 86.0 33
@ Marshall Thundering Herd 14.0 22
Mississippi Rebels 87.7 38
@ Tulane Green Wave 12.3 21
UNLV Rebels 5.0 12
@ Utah Utes 95.0 41
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 5.0 5
@ TCU Horned Frogs 95.0 69
Brigham Young Cougars 40.4 22
@ Air Force Falcons 59.6 26
Texas Tech Red Raiders 95.0 39
@ New Mexico Lobos 5.0 11
Austin Peay Governors 5.0 9
@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 95.0 46
Rice Owls 42.1 26
@ North Texas Mean Green 57.9 30
Arkansas State Red Wolves 64.9 23
@ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns 35.1 20
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 95.0 36
@ Florida International Golden Panthers 5.0 9
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