The 2017 season has begun, and this week’s slate is tasty. DK’s 2017 Week 2 CFB Game Picks celebrates the fact that college football teams refuse to let Irma hog the spotlight this weekend. She’s wreaking havoc by delaying, cancelling, and affecting games in the southeastern U.S., but there still will be several compelling games to watch. Let’s break them down.
DK’s 2017 Week 2 CFB Game Picks
All game times in Eastern Daylight Time.
2016 Season: 67-33 (.670)
“Upset” Special of the Week
Louisville @ North Carolina (Saturday, September 9th, 12:00 p.m., ESPN)
Irma will not affect this game, as she is not expected to make it that far up the coast by kickoff. Louisville may be affected by the lethargy that befell them at Purdue in Week 1. For its part, North Carolina got beat at home by Cal. Lamar Jackson looks to repeat as the nation’s best player, but his supporting cast is not as strong as it was a year ago. The Tarheels will win at home.
Pick: North Carolina 34, Louisville 31
“Be Careful Here” Game of the Week
Nebraska @ Oregon (Saturday, September 9th, 4:30 p.m., FOX)
Oregon looked great in its opening game. Willie Taggart may have the Ducks back on track sooner than many anticipated. Nebraska struggled against Arkansas State in its home opener. Don’t sleep on Mike Riley with a week of game film to use in coaching, though. Oregon would do well finish a good week of practice, and to take the Cornhuskers seriously.
Pick: Oregon 35, Nebraska 28
“Be Careful Here” Game of the Week #2
UT San Antonio @ Baylor (Saturday, September 9h, 8:00 p.m.)
Baylor laid an egg last week in their home opener. If the Bears play like that again in Week 2, they’ll get beaten by the Roadrunners too. UTSA had their Week 1 game cancelled because of Hurricane Harvey, but we know from recent years that they have given Power 5 Conference teams fits in the early season (we’re looking at you, Arizona). The scandal and coaching turnover seem to be taking a toll in Waco. Don’t be surprised to see Baylor struggle mightily this Saturday.
Pick: Baylor 31, UT San Antonio 28
Holy War Game of the Week
Utah @ BYU (Saturday, September 9th, 10:15 p.m., ESPN2)
The Holy War is always a “throw out the records” and “ignore the betting lines” kind of affair, and this year’s contest will be no different. There is legitimate antipathy in this rivalry, as under-the-radar as it may seem to those who reside east of the mighty Mississippi. BYU plays mad and will be at home, but Utah is bigger and better across both lines of scrimmage. The Utes will get the win.
Pick: Utah 35, BYU 29
Coaching Hot Seat Game of the Week #1
Houston @ Arizona (Saturday, September 9th, 10:30 p.m., ESPNU)
Houston opens its season in Tucson this week, facing an Arizona team that looked anything but sharp against Northern Arizona, despite the gaudy final score. Houston’s coach from last year now prowls the sidelines at Texas, but the Cougars still have some really good players. Arizona will outscore them on Saturday, but not by much.
Pick: Arizona 52, Houston 48
Coaching Hot Seat Game of the Week #2
San Diego State @ Arizona State (Saturday, September 9th, 11:00 p.m., PAC12Network)
Arizona State barely survived New Mexico State in Week 1, and gets the Donnel Pumphrey-less Aztecs in Week 2. Rocky Long is leading this program in the right direction, and SDSU figures to compete for the Mountain West West Division crown (they may want to rename those divisions. #IJS). The Sun Devils seem headed toward a disappointing season. San Diego State gets the road win.
Pick: San Diego State 38, Arizona State 34
Boise State @ Washington State (Saturday, September 9th, 10:30 p.m., ESPN)
Washington State rose four spots in the Top 25 rankings after Week 1, and seems poised to compete for the PAC-12 North crown again this season. Boise State no longer sneaks up on anyone, but they appear to be undermanned in this contest. Don’t anticipate a Cougars blowout, but look for them to beat the Broncos in Pullman.
Pick: Washington State 28, Boise State 20
Georgia @ Notre Dame (Saturday, September 9th, 7:30 p.m., NBC)
This stands as a litmus test game for both teams, in one of those great intersectional matchups between two ranked squads early in the season. Notre Dame won more convincingly last week, but Georgia dispatched a better opponent. Look for the Bulldogs to run, run, and run some more, escaping Notre Dame Stadium with the win.
Pick: Georgia 24, Notre Dame 17
Heated In-State Rivalry Game
Stanford @ Southern California (Saturday, September 9th, 8:30 p.m., FOX)
These teams don’t like each other much (remember “What’s Your Deal?” from a few years ago?), and many of the players competed against one another as high schoolers in Southern California. Stanford destroyed Rice in a pre-season game in Australia, but that was to be expected. USC struggled early against Western Michigan in oppressive heat in their opener, but got the offensive kinks worked out in time to pull away late. These two teams are well-balanced and talented up-and-down the roster, and if the game were played at Stanford Stadium, the Cardinal would likely prevail. It isn’t, though. USC gets a hard-fought win over the only other private university in the PAC-12.
Pick: USC 31, Stanford 30
Oklahoma @ Ohio State (Saturday, September 9th, 7:30 p.m., ABC)
Heisman candidate Baker Mayfield leads the Sooners into the Horseshoe to take on Heisman candidate J.T. Barrett in a game that may help determine the CFP fortunes of each team. OSU’s win in Norman last season helped the Buckeyes punch their ticket to the dance at the end of the season. So, will Oklahoma get revenge and help their own cause by winning in Columbus? In a word, no. Ohio State will prevail and defend their home turf.
Pick: Ohio State 40, Oklahoma 31