The Schedule Gets Tough in Week 3

By Amsinger - September 11, 2006


With a record of 107-30 in two weeks of picking all Division 1A football games, I've gotta feel pretty good about how things have played out. I've had my fair share of solid picks (UCLA over Utah, PITT over Virginia, FSU over Miami, Ohio State over Texas, BYU over Tulsa, Mizzou over Ole Miss and Colorado State over Colorado) along with a healthy dose of bad picks (18 from last week).

As we get ready for week three together, here's a look at what I got wrong in week two.

WEEK ONE RECORD: 61-12
WEEK TWO RECORD: 46-18

1.) North Carolina over Virginia Tech. What was I thinking! For some reason, I believed John Bunting would turn the Heels around at home after losing to Rutgers and give the Hokies hell. Instead, the UNC quarterbacks (Cam Sexton and Joe Dailey) combined for 19-38, 179 yards, 1 TD and 4 PICKS!!!! Va Tech has a national champion-caliber defense that I will give much more respect to the rest of the season.

2.) N.C. State over Akron. Who should be embarrassed more? Me, or Chuck Amato? Matter of fact, send me an email saying you picked the Zips to win this game! I'd love to meet you! What a disaster for the Wolf Pack.

3.) Clemson over Boston College. Oh boy, I said this would be a blow-out victory for the Tigers. How did the Eagles go from underachievers against Central Michigan to serious contenders for the ACC Championship? Quarterback Matt Ryan will be first team all conference if he continues on this pace. I won't second-guess the Eagles this week.

4.) Wyoming over Virginia. After nailing the Cavs loss in week one to Pitt, I thought I had this one in the bag too. I said the Cowboys would win by four...they lost by one in overtime! At least part of my prediction is true, Al Groh is on the hot seat after this one. Beating Wyoming 13-12 in OT at home doesn't spell success.

5.) Washington over Oklahoma. This pick really got fans of the Sooners heated and for good reason I guess. I can't say it was completely off-base considering the score at halftime. 13-13!!!! If OU was such a superior team why did it take so long to find its' stride - AT HOME!!?? Sorry Stoops, I'm not turning over a new leaf just yet...picking against the Sooners this week too.

6.) UTEP over Texas Tech. How could anyone feel bad about this pick? UTEP made a believer out of me with a fantastic overtime thriller. It took a shaky placekicker to end it for Texas Tech. My hat is off to head coach Mike Leach. After picking against the Red Raiders two weeks in a row, I'll change my tune for this week's TCU game.

7.) Ball State over Indiana. Just like the UTEP-Texas Tech game, I'm proud of this pick. The Cardinals were up 23-7 at halftime and lost by just one stinkin' point to an Indiana team that is ready to LOSE this week to another one of those special 1AA teams!!!

8.) Northwestern over New Hampshire. What a depressing loss for the Division 1A Wildcats. The other Wildcats deserve such a huge victory. Like I said last week, QB Ricky Santos (New Hampshire) could be this year's Tony Romo (Eastern Illinois, now backup QB for Dallas Cowboys) in 1AA football. He's that good. I said this game would be close (20-17 N'Western), I never considered it would be a 34-17 win in New Hampshire's favor.

9.) ECU over UAB. Blazer fans thought I was an idiot for picking against them in their home opener after they played so well in Norman the week before. Uh...UAB beat the Pirates by just five points.

10.) SMU over N. Texas. My sincere apologies to Phil Bennett for saying his team was a "good one" in the preseason.

11.) Kent State over Army. After going with Army and getting burned in week one, I pick against the Black Knights in week two - and this is what happens! Week three will be a no brainer...have fun with the Aggies!

12.) Northern Illinois over Ohio. After Garrett Wolfe played so well against Ohio State I figured he'd have a field day against the Bobcats. HE DID!!! 196 yards and two touchdowns on the ground - STILL - wasn't enough to beat Ohio? Don't worry Joe Novak, your team will heal its wounds this week against Buffalo.

13.) Toledo over W. Michigan. Again, I'm learning my lesson. Picking against a team at home is a tricky situation. After watching the Broncos lose to Indiana - and Toledo taking Iowa State (a much better team than Indiana) to overtime in week one - I figured this pick was gold. HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE!!! Like I said, I'm learning my lesson, give me time.

14.) UNLV over Iowa State. This was without a doubt an upset special. After watching the Cyclones win by just six and the Rebels defense shutting down ISU quarterbcak Bret Meyer, I can't feel bad about this pick whatsoever.

15.) Oregon State over Boise State. I have every right to feel bad about this pick. What was I thinking? The Broncos did not get any love from "Off Prompter" in the preseason and especially last week against the Beavers. My condolences Chris Peterson...you have a great team.

16.) Idaho over Washington State. Excuse me for getting so caught up in Dennis Erickson being back in Moscow, Idaho. The Vandals gave Michigan State all it could handle in week one, so this pick had a lot to do with projected momentum. Again, HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE!!! I'm sorry Cougar fans, really - sorry.

17.) Stanford over San Jose State. What a disaster for Walt Harris! The first half was exactly what I predicted...Stanford comes out strong and proves last week as an aberration. BUT...WAIT...they get outscored 14-0 in the second half and lose by one!!!! If Walt Harris had any kind of polite personality I'd feel bad for him. Since he doesn't, I don't.

18.) South Carolina over Georgia. Steve Spurrier gets shut-out for the first time since he coached Duke in the 80's!!! Seriously, who saw that coming? Kudos to Mark Richt, sticking with true freshman Matthew Stafford at quarterback. While he did throw three picks...he earned valuable SEC experience.

There you have my 18 goofs from week two. This week will be much better. Let's see how I fair. Reminder, I'll give you predictions from the Big Ten, SEC, Big East, Conference USA, WAC, Sun Belt and my Lindenwood University - TODAY. On TUESDAY, the same will come your way from the Pac-Ten, ACC, Big 12, Mountain West, MAC and the Independants.

And, we're off!

BIG TEN CONFERENCE: 9-2 last week, 19-3 overall in this league.

Cincinnati - 17
OHIO ST. - 42

*Troy Smith continues his push for the Heisman. Watch Smith run for 80 yards and throw for another 240. Anthony Gonzalez boosts his personal NFL stock with another strong performance against the lowly Bearcats. Jim Tressel keeps the focus off the Penn State game the following week and the Buckeyes roll once again in Columbus.

Michigan State - 27
PITTSBURGH - 34

*What a great game! Dave Wannstedt's biggest win at Pitt yet. Sure Virginia was cool and Cincy was nice - but a Big Ten team? Tyler Palko is very under the radar right now and that comes to an end following this week's performance. Palko outplays Michigan State's Drew Stanton.

SYRACUSE - 28
Illinois - 24

*The Orange should be 2-1 after this victory in Champaign. Losing to Iowa will wake up the "we-can-win" ghosts that hung out for years in up-state New York. This may not be a case of Syracuse improving - more than it is the Illini are just that bad.

Iowa State - 13
IOWA - 17

*With QB Drew Tate listed as day-to-day, the Hawkeyes are worried. Backup quarterback Jason Manson threw 4 picks and fumbled the ball in Tate's absence versus Syracuse. Here's the good news. Iowa State is also playing poorly despite a 2-0 record. QB Bret Meyer was shut down by the UNLV defense last week and in week one, the Cyclone defense couldn't stop the offense from 0-2 Toledo. I'm taking the home team in this rivalry game.

Ball State - 24
PURDUE - 35

*Why did you let me down last week BSU? After blowing a sweet 23-7 halftime lead over Indiana, I can't sit here and say the Cardinals will go into West Lafayette and beat the Boilermakers. Not with sophomore RB Kory Sheets playing so well. In two games, Sheets has SEVEN touchdowns!!! Quite the fantasy player huh? Anyway, the Boilermakers better enjoy this 3-0 start, because a three game losing streak is on the other side of Ball State.

Eastern Michigan - 31
NORTHWESTERN - 45

*Head coach Pat Fitzgerald will not be happy with his defense AGAIN following this victory. But at least his offense gets on track again after losing to NEW HAMPSHIRE! Tyrell Sutton explodes for over 200 yards in a much needed moral boost for the Wildcats.

Temple - 7
MINNESOTA - 55

*The Gophers ground game was held in check last week by the Cal Bears, but things are different this week. They get to play TEMPLE!!! Like the NBA Draft, I think Temple's schedule should be announced on national television with Myles Brand presenting the names of the lucky opponents.

Michigan - 13
NOTRE DAME - 45

*NBC won't be happy. The Irish blow this thing wide open early against a lethargic Michigan team that can't seem to throw the ball anymore. Lloyd Carr's popularity level hits an all new low after this channel-changer.

Youngstown St. - 6
PENN STATE - 24

*The Nittany Lions still look a bit shaken up from the Notre Dame shallacking. The offense doesn't break it open against the Penguins until midway through the second half. Anthony Morelli needs to find WR Derrick Williams more if PSU wants to use this game as a tune-up for the top-ranked Buckeyes.

San Diego State - 20
WISCONSIN - 21

*This game is way too close for comfort in Madison. New Aztec head coach Chuck Long walks in like he owns the place in the first half. Then John Stocco brings the Badgers back and sets up a late field goal that keeps Wisconsin undefeated.

S. ILLINOIS - 35
Indiana - 24

UPSET SPECIAL #1

*The Hoosiers incredible, undefeated season (2-0) comes to an end against a powerful Salukis team at home. RB Arkee Whitlock runs for over 180 yards for SIU as the Salukis become the 5th 1AA team to knock off the big boys. If you consider the boys from Bloomington - "big" boys.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE: 8-1 last week, 18-2 overall in this league.

LSU - 17
AUBURN - 28

*The LSU Tigers were the most impressive team through the first two weeks of the season. Auburn, on the other hand - seems to have more depth...everywhere. Last week's performance by RB Kenny Irons is a perfect example. He rushes for just 69 yards on 21 carries - but guys like fellow RB Brad Lester and QB Brandon Cox pick up the offensive slack to still score 34 points. Throw in the fact that the Auburn defense is now led by the former leader of the LSU defense - coordinator Will Muschamp and the writing is on the Jordan-Hare Stadium walls...AUBURN WINS!

La. Monroe - 10
ALABAMA - 34

*The Tide was missing their "swagger" after barely getting by Vanderbilt at home. This blow-out makes QB J.P. Wilson feel a bit more comfortable as 'Bama gets ready for a brutal SEC schedule. Expect a stellar 150 yard performance from the struggling RB Kenneth Darby, who's averaging under three yards per carry coming in.

Tulane - 10
MISS ST. - 17

*The Bulldogs finally score! Last year's "Big Game for the Big Easy" was a victory for Sylvester Croom and I expect the same thing this week. Much needed win for Mississippi State.

Wofford - 6
S. CAROLINA - 34

*Spurrier watches a fantastic performance from his quarterback Blake Mitchell - who really didn't play all that bad against Georgia last week. The Gamecocks work on improving the ground game in the first half - to no avail. So, in the second half Mitchell takes over. Expect WR Sidney Rice to enjoy his first solid game of the season.

Ole Miss - 17
KENTUCKY - 31

*Unfortunately, I haven't been impressed with Ed Orgeron's football team this season. I predicted the Rebels would lose to Missouri - but barely getting by Memphis at home suprised me. QB Brent Schaeffer has been a serious dissapointment so far and since Kentucky's offense can put points on the board, expect the host Wildcats to be too much for Ole Miss.

FLORIDA - 34
Tennessee - 17

*The Vols proved me wrong in week one against Cal - then proved their fans wrong the following week against Air Force. What happened? If Fisher DeBerry does the mature thing and kick the extra point - the Falcons would have had all the momentum in overtime. Tennessee MAY HAVE lost to Air Force at home!!!! On the other hand, the Gators looked great against a solid UCF team and Chris Leak is hitting his stride at the perfect time. Gators win easily.

UAB - 13
GEORGIA - 23

*Aside from Western Kentucky, the Bulldogs will never win a game smoothly this season. With their quarterback situation ironing itself out and true freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford taking over as "the guy", head coach Mark Richt is perfectly happy winning one ugly game after another.

ARKANSAS - 24
Vanderbilt - 10

*Darren McFadden is back! Mitch Mustain is the starter! Houston Nutt can finally sleep at night! Things are working out for the Razorbacks and after a strong 20-0 win over Utah State, I expect the Hogs to go on the road and beat a solid Vandy defense that gave Alabama hell last week. Watch for McFadden to rush for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns.

BIG EAST CONFERENCE: 6-0 last week, 12-2 overall in this league.

Maryland - 16
W. VIRGINIA - 31

*Pat White continues to just "manage" the game. Steve Slaton is the Heisman contender on this Mountaineer team and the sophomore tailback makes Rich Rodriguez's smile get even bigger with another 200+ rushing performance against the Terps. QB Sam Hollenbach will make a few nice throws in the first half to keep this close, but expect Slaton to make Maryland look silly in the second half.

Miami - 21
LOUISVILLE - 27

*A last second drive wins the game in Kentucky for the Cardinals! QB Brian Brohm shows his NFL caliber-potential against a defense that may have five or six future pros. RB George Stripling gets the majority of the Cardinal carries and doesn't muster much. Expect 65 yards on the ground from Stripling, but don't think it's because he isn't an adequate replacement for Michael Bush. He's facing the MIAMI DEFENSE!!! Huge win for Bobby Petrino and even sweeter revenge for the Big East...a conference that was dumped by Miami a few years ago.

Cincinnati - 17
OHIO ST. - 42

*Troy Smith continues his push for the Heisman. Watch Smith run for 80 yards and throw for another 240. Anthony Gonzalez boosts his personal NFL stock with another strong performance against the lowly Bearcats. Jim Tressel keeps the focus off the Penn State game the following week and the Buckeyes roll once again in Columbus.

Michigan State - 27
PITTSBURGH - 34

*What a great game! Dave Wannstedt's biggest win at Pitt yet. Sure Virginia was cool and Cincy was nice - but a Big Ten team? Tyler Palko is very under the radar right now and that comes to an end following this week's performance. Palko outplays Michigan State's Drew Stanton.

SYRACUSE - 28
Illinois - 24

*The Orange should be 2-1 after this victory in Champaign. Losing to Iowa will wake up the "we-can-win" ghosts that hung out for years in up-state New York. This may not be a case of Syracuse improving - more than it is the Illini are just that bad.

S. Florida - 17
UCF - 38

*Sure the Bulls are 2-0 and belong in a BCS conference, but they haven't played anyone!!! At least George O'Leary's guys went to Gainesville and got the snot knocked out of them! O'Leary told me in the offseason that this year's UCF team is better than last year's. I believe him. UCF earns a solid win at home - on CSTV, and gets ready to compete for the CUSA Championship this season.

Ohio - 20
RUTGERS - 35

*The Scarlet Knights are making a believer out of me!!! After picking against them in week one versus UNC, I've learned my lesson, never second guess such a storied football tradition!!! HAHAHAHAHA! Well, that's obviously a joke, but this team is not. Ray Rice and Brian Leonard combine for one of the best backfields in the nation. Despite picking against Ohio last week versus N. Illinois and getting burned, I'm going against the Bobcats two weeks in a row. Nothing personal Frank Solich - I promise!

Wake Forest - 17
UCONN - 20

UPSET SPECIAL #2

*If you want to watch a pretty exciting finish in week three, may I suggest you drive up to Storrs. The Huskies beating an ACC team??? You bet! RB Terry Caulley is a phenom for UConn and he'll help control the clock and keep the Huskies defense off the field. Wake Forest had problems beating Duke at home last week and UConn head coach Randy Edsall had two weeks to prepare for the Deacons. That equation equals victory for UConn.

CONFERENCE USA: 7-3 last week, 16-4 overall in this league.

MARSHALL - 35
Kansas St. - 23

UPSET SPECIAL #3

*The Wildcats proved me wrong (sort of) by blowing out Florida Atlantic 45-0 last week. I thought it would be close, but FAU is just that bad of a football team. Keep in mind, the Wildcats beat Illinois State 24-23 in week one! This is not an upset in my mind, but on paper it is. Thundering Herd QB Bernard Morris wins this game with his legs.

UAB - 13
GEORGIA - 23

*Aside from Western Kentucky, the Bulldogs will never win a game smoothly this season. With their quarterback situation ironing itself out and true freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford taking over as "the guy", head coach Mark Richt is perfectly happy winning one ugly game after another.

S. Florida - 17
UCF - 38

*Sure the Bulls are 2-0 and belong in a BCS conference, but they haven't played anyone!!! At least George O'Leary's guys went to Gainesville and got the snot knocked out of them! O'Leary told me in the offseason that this year's UCF team is better than last year's. I believe him. UCF earns a solid win at home - on CSTV, and gets ready to compete for the CUSA Championship this season.

TEXAS - 45
Rice - 21

*The Owls will take an early 14-0 lead forcing Mack Brown to pull Colt McCoy for true freshman QB Jevan Snead. All he does is roll off 38 consecutive points and the questions begin to fly. Who is the starting QB? Is it Colt or Jevan? Man, gotta love college football.

MEMPHIS - 23
East Carolina - 20

*Gotta feel for Skip Holtz. Off to a very misleading 0-3 start. The Pirates (who I picked last week versus UAB) were good enough to win all three games this season. Playing at home will give ECU the momentum early, but QB Martin Hankins is off to a fantastic start and he stays red hot in the second half against the Pirates.

N. Texas - 30
TULSA - 34

*QB Paul Smith will bounce back from a rough game against BYU. The Golden Hurricane became one-dimensional against the Cougars because their running game was stuffed. North Texas won't have the same success - but will score plenty thanks to a fantastic rushing attack. Tulsa head coach Steve Kragthorpe walks away with many concerns and is worried about next week's trip to Annapolis.

Grambling St. - 13
HOUSTON - 42

*Houston QB Kevin Kolb officially has the rust off. He had issues against Rice in week one, threw for 350 yards in week two against Tulane and is ready to throw for more than 400 yards against Grambling State!!!

Tulane - 10
MISS ST. - 17

*The Bulldogs finally score! Last year's "Big Game for the Big Easy" was a victory for Sylvester Croom and I expect the same thing this week. Much needed win for Mississippi State.

N.C. State - 16
S. MISSISSIPPI - 21

UPSET SPECIAL #4

*One week after sprinting off the field in Raleigh, following a heart-breaking loss to Akron - head coach Chuck Amato simply strolls off the turf in Hattiesburg. He knows he's done. The Golden Eagles swarm Marcus Stone and Southern Miss prevails in an emotional victory heading into CUSA play. Amato has to sweep a three-game homestand (BC, FSU and Wake Forest) to keep his job this season.

SAM HOUSTON ST. - 19
SMU - 13

*After picking SMU to win its' first two games of the season and getting burned both times, I figure I'm doing head coach Phil Bennett a favor. Hey, there's gotta be a reason former OU quarterback Rhett Bomar is tranferring to SMSU...other than being caught in that whole car dealership scandal of course.

WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: 4-3 last week, 11-4 overall in this league.

BOISE STATE - 44
Wyoming - 14

*I'm no longer in the business of picking against the Broncos. They have "it" - which is also called IAN JOHNSON!!! This guy is so good it's scary. 240 yards and 5 touchdowns? In ONE GAME? Hey, do you know what letters are in the word BRONCOS??? B...C...S!!!!

Idaho State - 16
IDAHO - 27

*Not a bad way to win your first game back in Moscow. Dennis Erickson is welcomed home by his loyal Idaho fans and he gives back by taking care of 1AA Idaho State. Enjoy it while you can Dennis, the Oregon State Beavers are drooling to play your Vandals next week.

FRESNO STATE - 41
Washington - 31

*The Huskies come out strong against the Bulldogs and show the fans in Seattle the first half in Norman was the real thing. Then, Ty Willingham's club shows Seattle the second half in Norman was the real thing too - as Fresno State rattles off 28 consecutive points and gets the win.

Nicholls State - 9
LOUISIANA TECH - 23

*The Bulldogs get in the win column thanks to another outstanding performance from senior wideout Johnathan Holland who catches 9 balls for 155 yards and two touchdowns. I'm calling this one the "Battle of the Husker Beat-downs" since Nebraska blew-out both of these teams already this season.

Texas Southern - 13
NEW MEXICO ST. - 35

*The Aggies bounce back after losing to their rival New Mexico (which I predicted by the way). The Lobos were coming off a loss to 1AA Portland State and the Aggies lost to them at home! That won't happen this week as sophomore quarterback Chase Holbrook continues to make a name for himself in the WAC (853 yds. in 2 games!).

UTAH - 52
Utah St. - 7

*The Utes are still angry about opening the season with a flop against UCLA. This is a good football team - just not as good as Ute fans expected. The Utah running game is working again as Darryl Poston racks up almost 100 yards on the ground for head coach Kyle Whittingham.

Colorado State - 13
NEVADA - 24

*I'm not calling this an "Upset Special" based on records. I know CSU is 2-0 and Nevada is 0-2, but other variables make this prediction work. Such as, CSU's schedule. Wins over Weber State and Colorado (who lost to Montana St. as well) are NOT impressive. The Wolf Pack opened on the road against Fresno State and Arizona State - not easy. Nevada's offense gets enough to win since the Rams aren't exactly back to normal without star running back Kyle Bell.

UNLV - 35
HAWAII - 55

*Hawaii has a good football team, while UNLV will have a good football team in two seasons. The Warriors played Alabama tough in Tuscaloosa and had two weeks to prepare for their home opener against the Rebels. The defense is questionable still, despite holding the Tide to just 25 points. I know Alabama is an SEC team, but the Tide would have problems scoring against Temple if they played 'em.

SUN BELT CONFERENCE: 7-1 last week, 12-3 overall in this league.

Tennessee Tech - 3
M. TENNESSEE ST. - 35

*The Blue Raiders played well against Maryland last week...losing by just two touchdowns. The offense finally comes together for head coach Rick Stockstill while his solid defense led by linebacker J.K. Sabb continues to shine for MTSU.

Troy - 10
GEORGIA TECH - 27

*The Jackets get off to a fast start by scoring on their first two possessions, but Troy reminds us how tough it is by getting within four at halftime. Unlike Florida State, Reggie Ball and Calvin Johnson have enough juice to put the Trojans away in the second half.

Bowling Green - 31
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL - 35

UPSET SPECIAL #5

*After a heart-breaking loss to USF last week, the Golden Panthers faithful (around 11,000) rush the FIU Stadium field to celebrate a great home victory! Things aren't looking good for Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon, who's fresh off an OVERTIME win over...BUFFALO!

Florida Atlantic - 16
OKLAHOMA ST. - 42

*OSU head coach Mike Gundy is smart. The best way to bring in recruits is by having them watch the Cowboys win. Therefore, schedule Missouri State, Arkansas State and FAU to open the season! It gets much more difficult next week when the Cowboys have to saddle up against the high-scoring Houston Cougars.

N. Texas - 30
TULSA - 34

*QB Paul Smith will bounce back from a rough game against BYU. The Golden Hurricane became one-dimensional against the Cougars because their running game was stuffed. North Texas won't have the same success - but will score plenty thanks to a fantastic rushing attack. Tulsa head coach Steve Kragthorpe walks away with many concerns and is worried about next week's trip to Annapolis.

La. Monroe - 10
ALABAMA - 34

*The Tide was missing their "swagger" after barely getting by Vanderbilt at home. This blow-out makes QB J.P. Wilson feel a bit more comfortable as 'Bama gets ready for a brutal SEC schedule. Expect a stellar 150 yard performance from the struggling RB Kenneth Darby, who's averaging under three yards per carry coming in.

THE NAIA GAME OF THE WEEK: 0-1 last week, 1-1 overall this season.

LINDENWOOD U. - 35
Benedictine College - 24

*The Lions burned me last week by losing to Georgetown (KY) 27-17. If you ask this LU alum it's because the Lions turned the stinkin' ball over three times early in the first half!!! Those turnovers led to a 27-7 halftime score. The Lions did play comeback and scored ten unanswered points, but it wasn't enough. This week, QB Ben Kisner continues to find his groove and throws for 245 yards and two touchdowns while freshman sensation RB McCray Harris plows his way for 130 yards on the ground. LU gets back to the .500 level with a solid road win.

Posted by Amsinger at 02:19 PM on September 11, 2006
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