Week 2 was great for the 3 main programs in the state of Utah. The Utah State Aggies were able to get an easy win against an injured Air Force team. The Utah Utes got another impressive game from Travis Wilson as Utah rolled past the Weber State Wildcats 70-7. BYU easily had the most impressive performance as they ran all over the Texas Longhorns 40-21. These programs talked all offseason about how they wanted to move at a faster pace and put points on the board. The programs seem to be delivering on their offseason claims as the Aggies, Utes and Cougars combined to score 162 points. As we get closer to the third weekend of the College Football season, set aside some time because here are 5 games that you must watch this weekend.
1. Wisconsin at Arizona State: 7:30 pm PT on ESPN
This game might not get the national attention it deserves, but I think it will be the best of the weekend. Arizona State had a pretty nice season last year and has desires to continue to take steps forward towards a division title and possibly a shot at the Rose Bowl. You’ve got to have a really good team to do that and a schedule that provides the stage, facing Wisconsin at home does just that. Former Utah State Head Coach Gary Andersen faces his real first test as the coach of the Badgers, going into Tempe and getting a win is no easy task. Both teams have shown that they can score and so I’m expecting a lot of points to be scored. It feels like the Sun Devils may have a special season this year and I think this is where that starts. It’s tough to expect Gary Andersen to lead Wisconsin and steal one from ASU.
My pick: Arizona State defeats Wisconsin
2. Alabama at Texas A&M: 2:30 pm CT on CBS
How could I possibly leave this game off of the list?? Ever since Johnny Manziel had his “Heisman Moment” and defeated the Tide on their home field, everyone has been waiting to see if Saban and Co. can return the favor. Texas A&M was the focus of College Football during the offseason and not for reasons Head Coach Kevin Sumlin is happy about. Instead of riding the momentum of a dominating victory over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, the Aggies are trying to avoid the distractions their star QB brings them. Nick Saban and Alabama are 6-1 when facing a team that previously beat them and I’m thinking that record may be 7-1 once this game is over. Alabama is head and shoulders above everyone else in College Football right now and they’ve had this game circled for months. I thought with all of the distractions the Aggies have faced that it would hinder their performance for the game, but it seems that Sumlin has been able to weather the storm and has his team playing some good football. If Johnny Football can refrain from taunting the opposing team, Texas A&M just may have a chance.
My pick: Alabama defeats Texas A&M
3. Tennessee at Oregon: 3:30 pm ET on ABC
The Ducks are favored by about 4 touchdowns in this game, but i just don’t see it. The Ducks have played very well to start off the season, but this is a different kind of test than what they saw from Nicholls State or Virginia. Now, I’m not saying the Vols are going to waltz into Autzen and get a win, just that it will be closer than expected. Butch Jones was hired at Tennessee to help bring back what was once a prominent and relevant program in the SEC. Having a good showing against the Ducks is the first step in that process. You got to give credit to Tennessee for coming out West and facing a Pac-12 team. The Ducks just have too many weapons on offense for Tennessee to handle, that will be the difference in the game.
My pick: Oregon defeats Tennessee
4. Ohio State at California: 7:00 pm ET on FOX
Wait……What?? Cal is horrible and Ohio State will be contending for a National Championship this year! Both of those claims ay be true, but I think this one could get interesting. Last year at “The Shoe” the Buckeyes got a scare from the Golden Bears and especially from Cal running back Brendan Bigelow as he rushed for 160 yards. The Big Ten has historically struggle when they’ve gone to the west coast and I think that will be the case Saturday night. Can Cal contain Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller and can true freshman QB Jared Goff help put points on the board for the Bears? This could be the coming out party for Jared Goff and this could also be where Miller officially begins his Heisman run.
My pick: Ohio State defeats Cal
5. Washington at Illinois: 3:00 pm PT on BTN
Washington impressed the nation the first week of the season by demolishing the Boise State Broncos. It was just an all around beat down that caught the eyes of everyone. The Huskies are set on getting to the top of the Pac-12 North and following up their last game with a win against Illinois would help validate that. This is a decent stage for the Huskies as the game will be played at Soldier Field in Chicago. Watch out for Illinois as well, they’re off to a 2-0 start highlighted by a nice win over Cincinnati last week. This game will be better than most think and would be a nice win for both teams.
My pick: Washington defeats Illinois