Time for my Week 2 Picks:
Michigan State 35, Central Michigan 24
I’ve been waiting for Central Michigan to pull off an upset for over a year now because QB Dan LeFevour gets so much hype. He’s pretty good but the Chippewas have proven they don’t have enough to beat the big boys (Indiana last year doesn’t count).
Western Michigan 24, Indiana 21
Like I said, Indiana doesn’t count.
Northwestern 41, Eastern Michigan 6
Why didn’t every Big Ten team play a team from Michigan? What about Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech, Ferris State, Kalamazoo College and Oakland University? Eastern Michigan only has a slightly better chance than those schools to upset the Kitty Cats.
Penn State 38, Syracuse 13
I had no problem giving Greg Paulus his due last week. He simply played a lot better than I thought he would. But this ain’t the Carrier Dome anymore. Fans will actually be in attendance at Beaver Stadium and very few of them will be wearing Orange. The Nittany Lions happen to be a pretty damn good football team too.
Wisconsin 17, Fresno State 13
These two teams met last year in Fresno in what turned out be an extremely overrated battle between two Top 25 teams that in reality weren’t very good. Wisconsin looked like an improved team last week against Northern Illinois, but you have to worry about the two touchdowns they gave up in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs can win this game, but UW rarely loses at home.
Iowa State 23, Iowa 21
I’m taking the Cyclones for no other reason than they always seem to win this game at home no matter how good Iowa is or isn’t. Iowa State has won four of the last five in this series at home.
Notre Dame 34, Michigan 24
I’m still not sold on Michigan. Notre Dame, meanwhile, has some serious weapons on offense with Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. Jimmy Clausen has way more experience than Tate Forcier and that will be enough to get the job done on the road.
Minnesota 31, Air Force 20
I was really disappointed in Minnesota’s effort last week at Syracuse and I’m tempted to think they might lose their inaugural game at TCF Bank Stadium. Air Force is on a two-year bowl streak but it only returns 12 starters and the Falcons rarely play schools from BCS conferences.
Illinois 38, Illinois State 7
The Illini better get things back on track in a hurry because their first three Big Ten games are against Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State after a bye next week. Illinois State won’t pose much of a threat but Illinois needs to show some fireworks on offense.
USC 31, Ohio State 24
My fears regarding the Buckeyes’ losses at key positions were realized last week when they allowed a furious Navy comeback. This is still a good team but there are too many new faces in there that need a few more weeks to gel. Meanwhile USC’s new face – true freshman QB Matt Barkley — looks like the real deal.
Oregon 28, Purdue 17
The Ducks are probably happy they had over a week to prepare for this game after what transpired in Boise, Idaho last week. The Boilermakers looked good against Toledo, but even without LeGarrette Blount, Oregon is the better team and the Ducks are at home.