By Nick Radivoj
The College Football season is officially underway as Week 1 is in the books. We finished off Week 1 at 5-5 losing a little bit on the juice. I’m not sure which hurts more: feeling as if you are on the right side of the game but end up losing, or being completely wrong and missing big time. On to Week 2 to get us all in the win column!
#1 Alabama (1-0) at Texas (1-0)
When: 12 ET on 9/10
Line: Alabama -20
Both teams showcased their high powered offenses last week as they each put up north of 50 points in their season home openers. This game highlights 2 highly touted QBs with Bryce Young and Redshirt Freshman Quinn Ewers. In his first outing wearing burnt orange, Ewers didn’t disappoint as he threw for over 200 yards along with 2 passing touchdowns and an interception. Bryce Young showed off why he was the Heisman winner last year as he accumulated 6 total touchdowns on the day. The key to the game will boil down to turnovers. Ewers has a gunslinging reputation which could lead to turnovers providing the Tide a short field and easy path to score. Alabama shouldn’t face too much difficulty on offense as Texas doesn’t have the guys yet to slow down this offense. The over can very well be in play here depending if Texas can score over 20.
The play: Alabama -20
#10 USC (1-0) at Stanford (1-0)
When: 7:30 PM ET on 9/10
Line: USC -9
These aren’t your Trojans and Cardinals of old as both teams are looking to bounce back after a rocky 2021 campaign. The Lincoln Riley experience started off with fireworks in Southern California as the Trojans put up 66 points in Week 1. QB Caleb Williams seems to have Riley’s offensive plan under his belt as he nearly had a perfect day for his first start as a Trojan. Williams wasn’t the only Pac 12 QB to impress last Saturday as Stanford’s Tanner McKee threw for over 300 yards himself with the team logging almost 9 yards per play. Once again the key will come down to turnovers as Stanford put the ball on the ground 4 times last week against Colgate, losing 3 of them along with an interception in the air. Stanford will need to ensure the turnover battle stays close in this one in order to give themselves a chance against a Top 10 team. Ultimately, I’m looking towards Riley to have brought over that Big 12 defense as he did his high powered offense.
The Play: Over 67
South Carolina (1-0) at #16 Arkansas (1-0)
When: 12 PM ET on 9/10
Line: Arkansas -8.5
QB KJ Jefferson looked like a seasoned vet with 4 total touchdowns as Arkansas managed to hold off Cincinnati at home last week. He seems to find himself at home with receivers named Trey as he gets himself a new target in Trey Knox (2 TDs Week 1) as he tries to replace production left by first round WR Treylon Burks. As par for the course this year, South Carolina trots out transfer QB Spencer Rattler as their new signal caller. Although the colors may have changed a little it seems that the QB underneath as not as we see more of the same from Rattler with 2 turnovers Week 1 against Georgia State. Coming off an emotional win from Week 1, Arkansas may come out a little slow but still can’t envision how they don’t handle their business at home.
The Play: Arkansas -8.5
Appalachian State (0-1) at #6 Texas A&M (1-0)
When: 3:30 ET on 9/10
Line: Texas A&M -19
If only every game could be what last week’s North Carolina vs. Appalachian State showed off as they had a thrilling 63-61 final. Texas A&M, on the other hand, started off rather slowly as they held a 10-0 lead for what seemed like an eternity against Sam Houston but ultimately winning 31-0. TAMU HC Jimbo Fisher has made it crystal clear that Haynes King is his guy behind center as he provides a dual threat ability that defenses need to be on the lookout for. King’s final stat line reflected over 400 yards of total offense but will need to hone in this week as he threw 2 interceptions against Sam Houston. Part of me will be banking on the fact that the 12th man won’t play as big of a factor as Chase Brice is an experienced leader for Appalachian State. I believe Jimbo will look to give the fans some fireworks as they didn’t get the full show Week 1 and as long as Appalachian State can provide me some support this has the making of another high scoring affair.
The Play: Over 52.5
#25 Houston (1-0) at Texas Tech (1-0)
When: 4 PM ET on 9/10
Line: Texas Tech -2.5
If you are a college football fan craving some offense then seeing an over/under like this really gets you excited. A tale of two different opening weeks as Texas Tech handled business at home while Houston scratched and clawed their way to an overtime victory on the road against UTSA. Unfortunately, Texas Tech lost their starting QB Tyler Shough for what seems to be a few weeks due to injury. The Red Raiders didn’t have to look far for his replacement as the offense didn’t skip a beat as backup QB Donovan Smith came in relief to throw for 4 TDs. Always fun to root for the over in a game like this but would rather take the safe play.
The Play: Texas Tech -2.5
Arizona State (1-0) at #11 Oklahoma State (1-0)
When: 7:30 PM ET on 9/10
Line: Oklahoma State -11
I hope you didn’t miss the offseason as you might be quite confused looking at these box scores from Week 1. Former Florida QB Emory Jones is the new leader of this Arizona State team as they look to come into Stillwater to provide one of the first big upsets of the year. Meanwhile, reliable Spencer Sanders is back at the helm for the Cowboys. Week 1 looked as if we had the Cowboys of old as they put up over 50 points while Sanders threw for over 400 yards. Arizona State’s Emory Jones brings the threat of not only in the air but rushing the ball as well as he showed off his wheels with 2 rushing touchdowns in Week 1. As many saw the gaudy 102 points combined in Oklahoma State’s first game, you may be scratching your heads as I lean the other way. I expect Mike Gundy to go back to his ways from last year of controlling the pace of play while letting his defense play clean football. Play it but don’t watch it as no one enjoys rooting for an under.
The Play: Under 58
#20 Kentucky (1-0) at #12 Florida (1-0)
When: 7 PM ET on 9/10
Line: Florida -5.5
A great year to be a Gator fan as the city is getting spoiled as they host back to back Top 25 night games. As we thought last week, The Swamp will be rocking again to aid Florida in securing another Top 25 win under their belt. Depending how the season unfolds, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis could very well be potential 1st round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. With that being said, I’m going to ride on the coattails of Levis here – if you are going to be that guy and be a potential top pick you need to be able to come in and have a statement game for your resume. He was able to knock the rust off in Week 1 and should be looking for a big start in The Swamp. Levis’ talent combined with a potential let down factor after a huge Florida victory last week. I’m cool with the Cats losing but let’s keep it close.
The Play: Kentucky +5.5
#24 Tennessee (1-0) at #17 Pittsburgh (1-0)
When: 3:30 PM ET on 9/10
Line: Tennessee -6.5
Tennessee cracks their way into the Top 25 in Week 2 after a commanding win against Ball State. Honestly, what’s not to like about this team? Tennessee seems to be everyone’s darlings this year and potentially a team to give Georgia a run for their money down the road but first they need to handle their business before looking ahead. Another fun QB matchup with Kedon Slovis for Pittsburgh along with Hendon Hooker from Tennessee. Both teams have the ability here to put up some points on the board but as we saw last week Pat Narduzzi is fine playing a one score game while running the ball. While most are expecting fireworks, I’m trending for the exact opposite.
The Play: Under 66
#9 Baylor (1-0) at #21 BYU (1-0)
When: 10:15 PM ET on 9/10
Line: BYU -3.5
Nothing quite like getting College Football after dark. This game will mark the last time that these two schools will square off as non-conference opponents as BYU is set to join the Big 12 next year. All eyes will be set on BYU Jaren Hall as the QB picked up right where he left off last year in BYU’s Week 1 victory. I expect Baylor HC Dave Aranda to scheme up some clever defenses to confuse Hall but BYU is coming into this game with something to prove both for next year joining the Big 12 and this year gaining more respect with a higher ranking.
The Play: Over 53.5
Arkansas State (1-0) at #3 Ohio State (1-0)
When: 12 PM ET on 9/10
Line: Ohio State -43
Although winning against a Top 5 team in Week 1, Ohio State slides in the rankings from 2 to 3. This could be because Georgia looked every bit the reigning National Champions that they did or that people were underwhelmed by the Buckeyes showing like I was. The defense for Ohio State held up their end of the bargain last Saturday night but the offense underwhelmed for 3 quarters to say the least. I expect Ryan Day to give the fans a show of what this offense has the potential to do as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing them put up 50+ against weaker opponents.
The Play: Ohio State -43