College Football 2011: Predicting the Winner of Every Week 2 Game

Amy LamareSenior Analyst ISeptember 5, 2011

College Football 2011: Predicting the Winner of Every Week 2 Game

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    College football blazed back into action this past weekend with a thriller down in Texas.  The Baylor Bears leapt out to a sizable lead early in the game, only to see the Horned Frogs of TCU come back and threaten to eke out the win.

    Baylor prevailed in the end, and millions of college football fans remembered why they love this sport so much. The win catapulted Baylor QB Robert Griffin III into early Heisman talk.

    Not too many surprises in Week 1. LSU dominated Oregon and Boise State handled Georgia. Oklahoma and Alabama rolled onto wins as did Stanford, Florida State and Wisconsin.

    Notre Dame, Oregon State and UCLA all came out in week one and belly flopped – dashing the hopes of their fans on impact.  USC eked out a win against Minnesota with sophomore wideout Robert Woods setting a USC single game record with 17 receptions (formerly held by Johnnie Morton). 

    Week 2 brings more great matchups with Penn State facing Alabama in Happy Valley, ASU taking on Mizzou,  and the inaugural Pac-12 games kicking off—so let’s take a look at them and predict the winners!

    Notes:

    • There are 65 games involving 110 teams from the FBS in action during Week 2. Twenty teams play schools from the FCS.
    • 10 Teams are IDLE: Baylor, Boise State, Kansas State, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Miami (O.), Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Troy
    • Teams in CAPS are the home teams

Arizona at OKLAHOMA STATE

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    I’m going to have to go with the Cowboys on this one.  Arizona is no slouch, but Mike Grundy’s Oklahoma State team is looking like a sleeper BCS contender to me. They won’t fall to Arizona, especially at home.

    ADVANTAGE: Oklahoma State

Missouri at ARIZONA STATE

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    I am going to have to go with the Pac-12’s Sun Devils on this one.  If this team can stay healthy and avoid the mid-season implosion that has been a signature of this program lately, they will be a contender for the Pac-12 South title.

    Missouri is surely the favorite, but they are heading into Tempe in early September where the median temperature is approximately the surface of the sun.

    Advantage: ASU

FIU at LOUISVILLE

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    Do I even have to say it? CUPCAKE.

    Advantage: Louisville

TCU at AIR FORCE

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    TCU had a heartbreaker of a loss to Baylor in Week 1—a game, which has to go down as one of the best opening day games of all time.

    This week, expect them to come out and dominate against Air Force.

    Advantage: TCU

Temple at AKRON

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    I’m going to have to go with Akron here. It's a home game and while the programs seem to be pretty evenly matched, the level of talent the Zips are facing in the Owls is a vast step down from their Week 1 opponent, Ohio State.

    Advantage: Akron

Alabama at PENN STATE

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    The Crimson Tide head into Happy Valley to face the Nittany Lions in a premier match up for Week 2.  Penn State’s D is looking to be pretty fierce this year, making for a more competitive game than most may expect. That said, Alabama will prevail.

    Advantage: Alabama

New Mexico at ARKANSAS

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    Arkansas.  New Mexico has not won many games in the past several years. Don’t expect them to suddenly take down the Hogs at home.  This is a CUPCAKE game for Arkansas.

    Advantage: Arkansas

Memphis at ARKANSAS STATE

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    I’m going with Arkansas State but only because they are at home.

    Advantage: Arkansas State

San Diego State at ARMY

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    San Diego State for the win, as they say. 

    Advantage: SDSU

Mississippi State at AUBURN

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    Mississippi State is ranked higher than Auburn and did not struggle against Memphis the way that Auburn did versus Utah State—at home.

    Advantage: Mississippi State

Ball State at USF

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    I suppose South Florida could suffer the proverbial letdown after going into Notre Dame Stadium and thoroughly walloping the Fighting Irish, but against Ball State? I highly doubt it.

    Advantage: South Florida

Boston College at UCF

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    Interesting matchup. I am going to have to go with BC.  Why? Experience. History. Tradition.

    Advantage: Boston College

Morgan State (FCS) at BOWLING GREEN

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    Honestly, I know very little about 95 percent of the FCS programs, so based on this I’m going with Bowling Green.

    Advantage: Bowling Green

Stony Brook (FCS) at BUFFALO

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    Buffalo.  See last slide for reasoning.

    Advantage: Buffalo

BYU at TEXAS

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    Oh man. Normally, there would be no question, it would be Texas all the way. However, who can forget last season?     

    That said, while I think the Cougars will challenge Texas, I am going to have to go with Texas for a few reasons, the biggest of which is Home Field. Remember UCLA last year? I do not see that happening again.

    Advantage: Texas

California at COLORADO

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    Welcome to the Pac-12 Colorado. Are you ready to lose? Because lose you will. Cal has issues, that is for sure. But not only is Cal a Pac-12 member and a former Pac-10 member, they are also a Pac-8 member. And to be sure, Buffaloes, the Pac-8 is coming for you this season.

    Advantage: California

     

Central Michigan at KENTUCKY

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    Kentucky, while winning their game against Western Kentucky 14-3 in  Week 1, did not exactly put up an offensive showcase that builds confidence.  That said, recruiting and talent advantage goes to the SEC member Kentucky.

    Advantage: Kentucky

Cincinnati at TENNESSEE

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    I hope Cincinnati realizes that once the Big XII implodes, the Big East (and its mostly irrelevant football teams) is next.

    Advantage: Tennessee   

Wofford (FCS) at CLEMSON

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    Clemson. Clemson. Clemson.  Holy Moly I hate these early season B.S. cupcake games with a passion.

    Advantage: Clemson 

Northern Colorado (FCS) at COLORADO STATE

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    In state, blah blah blah. Boring. Play someone in your own division Colorado State

    Advantage: Colorado State

Connecticut at VANDERBILT

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    Well, now isn’t this interesting. UCONN, though not expected to be good this year, has been decent to good lately.

    And Vandy, well, do I need to say it? They are smart.  This game is a bit of a tossup for me, however I’m going with UCONN.

    Advantage: Connecticut

Stanford at DUKE

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    Is this football or the academic decathlon?  Stanford, I realize you may have scheduled this game when you were a Pac-10 bottom feeder, but it is beneath you now.

    Advantage: Stanford

Virginia Tech at EAST CAROLINA

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    ECU has had some breakthrough games that garnered them some buzz in recent years. This won’t be one of them.

    Advantage: Virginia Tech

Alabama State (FCS) at EASTERN MICHIGAN

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    Remember what I said about FCS programs (trust me, I am trying to educate my BCS focused self)?

    Advantage: Eastern Michigan

FAU @ MICHIGAN STATE

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    Michigan State, I expect more from you. It would serve you right if you lost this game. Sheesh. That said, you won’t.

    Advantage: Michigan State 

UAB @ FLORIDA

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    Sigh. This is getting boring, mais oui?

    Advantage: Florida

Charleston Southern (FCS) at FLORIDA STATE

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    This is why I advocate reinstating strength of schedule vis a vis non-conference schedules.  In FSU’s defense, they do have Oklahoma on the schedule next week.

    Advantage: Florida State

Fresno State at NEBRASKA

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    This is getting old. Powerhouse versus mid-major. Old story. Good for the mid-major if they win. Bad for the powerhouse if they lose.

    Advantage: Nebraska

South Carolina at GEORGIA

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    Ooooooh, Innnnnnteresting.  Hmmm. Neither are top 20 teams, IMO, but get elevated because of their conference schedule, which is often, enough. Not here though. Both are on the top end of mediocre.

    Advantage: Georgia

Georgia Tech at MIDDLE TENNESSEE

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    Do we need to discuss this?  No, I didn’t think so.

    Advantage: Georgia Tech  

Hawaii at WASHINGTON

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    This is an intriguing matchup. Coach Sark is wily, though and for that reason, I have to give it to the Huskies.

    Advantage: Washington

Houston at NORTH TEXAS

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    Houston toppled UCLA. Now, the challenge of that is, frankly, debatable. That said, they should easily handle North Texas.

    Advantage: Houston

North Dakota (FCS) at IDAHO

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    Yawn.  No surprise, going to have to go with the FBS team here. After all, in almost all cases, they have the talent/recruiting advantage.

    Advantage: Idaho

South Dakota St. (FCS) at ILLINOIS

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    Have I mentioned I am bored of these FBS vs FCS cupcake games? If you’ve followed me on my website or Twitter, I have a long record of complaining about these early season games.

    Hey, Penn State & Alabama, Florida State & Oklahoma, LSU & Oregon—there is plenty of precedent for playing a competitive out of conference early season schedule.

    Advantage: Illinois, begrudgingly.

Virginia at INDIANA

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    Indiana is a basketball school.

    Advantage: Virginia

Iowa at IOWA STATE

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    Inner-state rivalry so early in the season, lovely!

    Advantage: Iowa

Northern Illinois at KANSAS

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    Kansas football may not light the world on fire. But they will win this game.

    Advantage: Kansas

Warning: Lots of "Cupcake" Games Ahead

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    Warning: there are a lot of mismatched David versus Goliath matches ahead.

    I may get snarkier and snarkier.

    You have been warned.

    Onward!

Louisiana Lafayette at KENT STATE

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    Interesting. But no. Kent State.

    Advantage: Kent State

Central Arkansas (FCS) at LOUISIANA TECH

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    Louisiana Tech, folks.

    Advantage: Louisiana Tech         

Grambling State (FCS) at LOUISIANA-MONROE

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    I'm going to go with Louisiana Monroe.

     

    Advantage: Louisiana Monroe.

Northwestern State (FCS) at LSU

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    LSU, I give you points for taking on Oregon. I take them away for this cockamamie game. Seriously. When has Northwestern State ever been able to compete with the LSU Tigers?  This is pathetic.

    Advantage: LSU

Southern Miss at MARSHALL

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    Marshall dominated the FCS for a number of years, but have fallen off recently.

    Advantage: Southern Miss

Notre Dame at MICHIGAN

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    The first ever night game in the Big House. Michigan has a lot of questions to answer in Brady Hoke’s first year. After Notre Dame got hammered by South Florida in Week 1, so do the Fighting Irish.

    Advantage: Michigan because Michigan has to be at least as good as South Florida, right?

New Mexico State at MINNESOTA

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    Minnesota has to be feeling pumped. After all, due to Lane Kiffin’s lame play calling, they almost beat USC at home. Junior QB MarQueis Grey should develop into a force to be reckoned with under the tutelage of new coach Jerry Kill.

    Apologies for listing Grey as a freshman earlier. I was thinking of USC's MarQueis Lee, who is a freshman.

     

    Advantage: Minnesota

Southern Illinois (FCS) at MISSISSIPPI

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    Ole Miss got beat by BYU, which doesn't give me a lot of faith in them, however, they should pull off a win against this FCS foe.

     

    Advantage: Mississippi

Navy at WESTERN KENTUCKY

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    Navy.  Without a doubt. Even with graduation and attrition, this team showed signs of dominance last year. WKU has a pathetic recent record. No way they beat the Midshipmen. Plain and simple, folks.

    Advantage: Navy

Nevada at OREGON

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    Oregon. Sure LSU beat them. But that is because Oregon is a one-trick pony and LSU had a lot of time to prepare for them. Nevada, minus Colin Kaepernick, doesn’t pose as deep a threat. Especially at Autzen, especially after a loss to LSU.

    Advantage: Oregon

Rutgers at NORTH CAROLINA

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    This is interesting. And I’m going to go out on what I feel is a bit of a limb and pick Rutgers.

    Advantage: Rutgers  

North Carolina St. at WAKE FOREST

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    NC State is clearly the favored team. I can’t help but feel like Wake Forest has a weapon or two at their disposal, but it’s not enough.

    Advantage: North Carolina State   

Eastern Illinois (FCS) at NORTHWESTERN

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    I am tearing my hair out at the tedium of these early season cupcake games. For real.

    Advantage: Northwestern

Gardner-Webb (FCS) at OHIO

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    Sigh. Done with the FCS vs. FBS. What is the point other than for the FBS an easy win 99.9 percent of the time and for both MONEY? ICK.

    Advantage: Ohio 

Toledo at OHIO STATE

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    Ohio State just loves their cupcakes. I am disgusted.

    Advantage: Ohio State  

Oregon State at WISCONSIN

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    Oh man, Oregon State is going to start the season 0-2. (Pardon me while I laugh)  Wisconsin has this easily in hand. Not only are they a top 10 (IMO) team, the game is at Camp Randall, where they rarely lose.

    Advantage: Wisconsin

Maine (FCS) at PITTSBURGH

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    I’m sorry. I keep saying it, but I know I am not alone in being bored with 70 percent of the games in the early weeks of the college football season.

    Advantage: Pittsburgh

Purdue at RICE

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    Purdue. Plain and Simple. I don’t have much else to say about this matchup. Man, I cannot wait for conference play.

    Advantage: Purdue

San Jose State at UCLA

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    UCLA got beat by Houston. Rick Neuheisel is officially on the hot seat. SJSU got hammered by Stanford. Both teams limp into this game seeking an identity.

    Advantage: UCLA   

UTEP at SMU

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    SMU.

    Advantage: SMU

Rhode Island (FCS) at SYRACUSE

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    Syracuse faces off against an FCS foe in Rhode Island.  They will win. And then they travel to Los Angeles to take on USC and have their butts handed to them.

    Advantage: Syracuse

Tulsa at TULANE

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    I’m going with Tulsa here.  And I am going to be honest and admit it is a gut feeling.

    Advantage: Tulsa

UNLV at WASHINGTON STATE

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    Wazzou won big in Week 1 but also lost their QB. That said, it should not affect them against the Rebels of UNLV.

    Advantage: Washington State

Utah at USC

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    Oh it pains me, as a USC alumna but from what I saw Saturday, this Trojan squad lacks speed, focus and a sense of urgency. Lane Kiffin’s insistence on calling the two point conversion, which almost never freaking works, is mystifying. Especially considering USC has the number one kicker recruit in the country in Andre Hedari.

    Of special note: This is the inaugural game of the Pac-12 conference.

    Advantage: Utah, but I hope I am wrong.

       

Weber State (FCS) at UTAH STATE

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    Utah State nearly upset Auburn at home. They COULD, I suppose, suffer a letdown. I think it is more likely they will be PUMPED.

    Advantage: Utah State

Norfolk State (FCS) at WEST VIRGINIA

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    West Virginia.  I really hope I can do another prediction article midseason when all of these total cupcake easy win BS games are out of the way. I mean seriously folks, YAWN.

    Advantage: West Virginia  

Nicholls State (FCS) at WESTERN MICHIGAN

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    FBS vs FCS, I am over it.

    Advantage: Western Michigan

Texas State (FCS) at WYOMING

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    See last slide. GAH!

    Advantage: Wyoming