Week 2 of the 2022 college football season was fraught with unseemly upsets, as can often happen at the start of a new year. Will more Top 10 teams fall this week?
College football, Week 2. Traditionally, it’s chaos. It’s the weekend of David and Goliath, Buster Douglas and Mike Tyson, and Team USA vs Russia wrapped up in a single glorious Saturday.
2022 was no exception. Top 10 powerhouses Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Baylor all were toppled. Kentucky beat Florida for the third time in five years after three decades of futility. Wisconsin was dismissed by Washington State, Georgia Southern managed to get Scott Frost fired at Nebraska, and No. 1 Alabama (now No. 2) was pushed to the brink by an unranked Texas team.
The Sun Belt Conference gave notice that they ain’t skeered’a no one, (when will Power-5 teams learn not to schedule Applachian State early in the season?) and the SEC struggled to win some of their out-of-conference games.
As for my picks? Well, those were a bit chaotic too.
Upset: I picked Pitt +6.5 against Tennessee. The Vols netted a 7-point victory in overtime. Damn you, dumb college OT rules.
Lock: I took Mississippi State -11.5 over Arizona, and the Bulldogs rolled to a 22-point victory. I also predicted the over at 59.5, which fell a few points short. So much for extra credit.
1-1 on the picks last week, looking at 3-1 on the season so far. The advice to stay away from UK vs UF turned out to be worthwhile, as that game didn’t go at all as most thought, with Kentucky walking out of Gainesville with a 10-point win.
Here are my picks for Week 3 with odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
College Football Week 3 Upset Pick: Troy Trojans vs Appalachian State Mountaineers
ESPN College GameDay is coming to Boone, North Carolina, and the entire town is abuzz following App State’s huge road upset of then-No. 8 Texas A&M. Right now, the mighty Mountaineers are feeling 7-foot tall and bulletproof, but watch out for Troy.
If there’s another Group of Five team who loves to play early-season spoiler as much as Appalachian State, it’s Troy, and the Trojans would love nothing more than to ruin the party in what is now a huge early-season in-conference game.
The line is App State by 12.5 right now, and while it’s likely that Mountaineers do prevail in this game, it should end up being a tight game. This will be gut-check time for both teams, and the first one to blink will head home with a big fat L.
Pick: Troy plays defense better and App State is more potent on offense. Usually, these immovable object-irresistible force games end up in a game-winning FG to decide it so take Troy and the 12.5 points.
BONUS UPSET PICK: Iowa is favored by 23.5 over Nevada. This is a Hawkeyes team who has only scored 14 points the entire season against South Dakota State and Iowa State. The Wolfpack may not win this game, but you can bet it will be closer than 23.5 points.
Many teams begin conference play this week, which means locks are going to be more difficult to predict in many cases. Here’s one I think you can take to the bank.
College Football Week 3 Lock: Georgia Bulldogs vs South Carolina Gamecocks
If you’re thinking 24.5 points is too many to give for the opening week of conference play and the Bulldogs’ first game of the season outside the Georgia borders, think again.
The Bulldogs reportedly didn’t practice well the week before the Samford game, and some of the performances in the game were less than what Kirby Smart had hoped for.
Or were they?
Smart is a master of illusion and manipulation when it comes to how he talks about his team publicly. Georgia was running the most vanilla of vanilla playbooks against Samford and Smart was primarily concerned with getting reps for many of the backups while keeping the starters healthy.
They were able to do just that and still manage a 33-point shutout. Not many programs have that kind of magic.
Georgia went 8-5 ATS last season with a 1-1 mark so far this year. South Carolina looked sloppy and unprepared against a rugged but still developing Arkansas. Georgia is on another level, and should eviscerate the Gamecocks.
Pick: Georgia by 31, with at least a two-touchdown lead at halftime
As mentioned earlier, with conference play beginning there will be a lot of teams who we don’t really know who they are or what they can truly do. Two of them are meeting in Louisville on Friday night.
College Football Week 3 Bad Bet: Florida State Seminoles vs Louisville Cardinals
Florida State has fans believing again, which is exactly why I’d stay away from this game. On paper, the Seminoles are clearly the better team, and the way the ‘Noles have played in their first two games it’s hard not to think they’ve got a good thing going.
But…Friday night, after a week off, on the road, against a Louisville team who used to thrive on Friday night prime-time games.
No thank you.
Throw into that mix the fact that FSU was 6-7 ATS last year and Louisville was 6-6, and it’s clear that this is not a game bettors will want to have on their slips.
Pick: We want to believe in the Seminoles, but something has me smelling potential upset here. Pick’em, Dano.
The Strangest Thing We Saw in College Football Week 2
In a week full of strange things including a rash of upsets and a major program firing their head coach after just two games, there may have been nothing stranger than the roughing-the-passer-targeting-safety-intentional grounding play that turned out to be none of the above, and probably saved Alabama’s skin against the Longhorns.