The Loaf: Week 2 College Football Picks

Sports Section Chair: Michael Brown

Welcome back to The Loaf! We’re back at it again for Week Two of the 2019 season, and hopefully we can rebound from what was a heartbreakingly mediocre Week One in which we went 5-3, but were a combined 3 points from being 7-1, and we might’ve had a couple pushes had I gotten the lines later. That said, you can’t be extremely mad at 5-3; our two soul-crushing losses were Memphis (-5.5) (the line closed at Memphis (-4), and they won by 5!!) and Houston-Oklahoma (OVER 82.5) (the total closed at 80 and the final score was 49-31). We also lost Tennessee (-26) and I really don’t want to talk about that one much. I’m never picking the Vols again.

We did get five dubs, though. We got Oklahoma State (-14), Tulsa-Sparty (UNDER 48), Kansas (-4), Georgia (-21), and Louisville (+20.5). Like I said. Can’t be mad. We’re at 8-3 on the season which is certainly a good start.

This week I’ve got seven** more plays. I normally try to narrow it down and have less than that. But I did all the narrowing I could, and I got down to 7 again. But as long as we can keep up the success, the more the merrier!

(**I originally had 8 when I first posted this. I removed Stanford (+3) while watching College Gameday Saturday morning)

As a proud ACC Network viewer, I feel it’s only right that I include the inaugural 11 AM kickoff game that will now be a weekly thing on the ACC Network. And that game is Ohio vs Pitt (-5.5). This number seems significantly low for Pitt. I think it’s more of an overreaction to their loss to Virginia last week. Sure, the Panthers didn’t look good. But I lean more towards crediting Virginia for being really good (because it is) than I do Pitt being bad (because it isn’t bad. Just a mid-tier ACC team). Mid-tier ACC teams aren’t good teams, but they’re a lot better than 5.5 points better than a MAC team. And that’s just science. Ohio didn’t look great against the mighty Rams of Rhode Island either, especially when it came to defending the pass. I expect Kenny Pickett to have a better game too. Moral of the story is this: Pitt isn’t going to let Ohio keep this within less than a touchdown. That’s a bit extreme. Pitt 37, Ohio 17

Pitt

Kenny Pickett will look to improve on a so-so performance from Week One, and I believe he will see the improvement he’s looking for. Photo Credit: Pitt Athletics

I’ve always had a pact that I’d never pick games involving my team, and I made that mistake with the Quick Lane Bowl last year, but I’m gonna do it again. I like South Florida @ Georgia Tech (UNDER 62). There’s just so much about this that can be said. I think this is probably as high as it is because of how the game between these two looked last year, but that’s back when USF was actually decent, Georgia Tech wasn’t running a brand new offense, and Nate Woody was the Jackets’ defensive coordinator. None of those things are true as of now. South Florida has now lost somewhere around 7-8 games in a row, and they just look lifeless. Last week in the season opener against Wisconsin, they got shut out. Shut out. I don’t care who you are, or who you’re playing. It’s an embarrassment to not score even once, especially on a Friday night at HOME, opening the season up against a marquee opponent. South Florida probably won’t get shut out this week, but they won’t score a ton, either. Georgia Tech isn’t Wisconsin on defense, but it isn’t too bad. I saw lots of improvement last week against Clemson from what it was last year. The secondary is elite, and everyone is always flying to the ball, all the time. And Georgia Tech’s offense, man. Woof. They’ll get there, but they ain’t close yet. It was rough last week. They won’t be scoring lots of points this season. In fact, Georgia Tech unders might become a principle of The Loaf (the over hit last week, but that’s Clemson so it doesn’t count). Georgia Tech 30, South Florida 21

GT

Despite what the scoreboard said, Georgia Tech was alright defensively against Clemson the other night. Look for the secondary to have another decent game. Blake Barnett is no Trevor Lawrence, ya know. Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Times

I’ve picked against Alabama only once in the history of The Loaf, and I’m 1-0. So I’m gonna do it again. Give me New Mexico State (+56) @ #2 Alabama. I don’t have too much to say about this one, really. It’s just principle. You can’t be favored by 8 touchdowns. I don’t care if it’s Alabama. That’s ridiculous. Plus, Alabama also has a tendency to not cover these extremely large spreads against G5 teams. Aggies. Give it to me. All day long. Alabama 51, New Mexico State 14

NMSU

There’s no way they lose by 56, right? Photo Credit: College Football News

I’m gonna stay in the SEC with Ole Miss (-6.5) vs Arkansas. The Hogs are so bad, man. So bad. After a struggle win against FCS Portland State, Arkansas heads to Oxford for a bout with the Rebels of Ole Miss. And listen, I’m no Ole Miss apologist. And I love Matt Luke. But he ain’t it. Things aren’t going well for the Rebels and their future doesn’t excite me. That said, they aren’t nearly as bad as Arkansas. I don’t think Vegas realizes how bad Arkansas is. I truly think it might be one of the worst teams the SEC has ever seen. And it’s not like Ole Miss is terrible. It almost won on the road against what promises to be a very solid Memphis team. I mean, you probably see I don’t have much analytics to back this one up. It’s just logic, more than anything else. Ole Miss is better than 6.5 points better than Arkansas. Ole Miss 42, Arkansas 21

ole miss

Matt Corral was straight garbage against Memphis last week. That’s all there is to it. But he should perform better against a horrible Arkansas team. Photo Credit: The Clarion-Ledger

Speaking of Fresno State and unders, boy have I got the under for y’all. Next up I’m going with Minnesota @ Fresno State (UNDER 48.5). This is another one of those games where you look at the teams playing, and immediately take the under regardless of whether or not you know the number or not. On one side, you’ve got the Gophers, who are your typical mid-tier B1G team, not great moving the ball, and seem to do an okay job on defense. They don’t give up a ton, but they won’t be scoring a lot either, especially against a team like Fresno State, whose defense is quite impressive, and looks to perform well in their home opener in a night game against a Power 5 team. These same Bulldogs have been tasked with replacing the large majority of their offensive personnel from a year ago, so it’s still going to be a bit of a struggle for Fresno State to score points. I’m actually really excited for this game. Fresno State 21, Minnesota 17

fresno

It probably won’t be snowy in Fresno this weekend, but they won’t need it to keep this total under. Photo Credit: Orlando Sentinel

I never go out of my way to pick the marquee game of the week, but we got a play this week on The Loaf, with #6 LSU @ #9 Texas (UNDER 57). One thing I tend to notice, first of all, is that in big games like this, the defenses seem to come out more prepared and ready to play. Miami-Florida and Auburn-Oregon (sort of) are great examples from this season already. And both these teams have incredible defenses. It’ll be a showcase of talent on Saturday night at DKR, especially with the defenses. Both teams will have guys flying around making play after play and it’ll be fun to watch. Offensively, ehhhh?? Sam Ehlinger is awesome, but I don’t trust him to play all that well against that LSU secondary, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the sport. I also worry about LSU’s ability to consistently move the ball, because it’s been at least 10 years since it did. I love Joe Burrow, and I think he’ll make some plays, and the running game will be enough to win the game for LSU. But it’ll be thanks to the defense for carrying. I’m so excited for this game. It’s gonna be great. LSU 27, Texas 17

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 03 Alabama at LSU

The LSU defense is so good, and such a pleasure to watch. This weekend is gonna be fun. Photo Credit: And The Valley Shook

My last pick this week is my only over play this week, and it’s #18 UCF @ FAU (OVER 68), and I’m not sure why this number isn’t closer to 80. Just look at these two teams! UCF, as it has for years now, can MOVE the ball. They fly up and down the field with swiftness, and it’s super fun to watch. I was at the GT-Clemson game last week, and I remember every time I looked at the out-of-town scoreboard (which was often), UCF had added another couple touchdowns. Granted, they were playing FCS Florida A&M, but it’s not like FAU’s defense is much better. I think we saw that last week. The Owls looked dazed and confused on defense. UCF is scoring at least 40 in this game. That said, the Knights have never been stellar on defense, and they are always good to give up some large chunks of yardage and lots of points. I bet FAU can keep with ‘em on the scoreboard for a while anyway. UCF 49, FAU 27

ucf

UCF ran wild on FAMU last week, and they’ll do the same to FAU this week. Photo Credit: University of Central Florida

So that’s what I’ve got for Week Two’s The Loaf! Here’s to plentiful The Toast getting for all of us. Enjoy your college football weekend!!

 

               

 

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