|Michigan hosts Notre Dame under the lights Saturday night. (AP photo)|
Last Week: 1-6 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
This Season: 1-6 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 3-4 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Season: 3-4 (spread)
Notre Dame at Michigan; 8 p.m.; ESPN
The Skinny: This historic rivalry will be taken to a new level Saturday night when the Big House hosts its first ever night game. So the juice for this game is amped up even more than usual, if that’s possible. Last week, Notre Dame was embarrassed at home in a loss to South Florida. Now, the Irish are going with backup QB Tommy Rees. Michigan, on the other hand, were impressive, get this, on both sides of the ball against Western Michigan last week. The Irish will put up more of a fight, but the Wolverines get the victory. The Pick: Michigan (+3.5) wins it 31-27.
The Skinny: This is the only game that features two ranked teams, and it is another game steeped in tradition. Unfortunately, it’s not the Penn State teams of the past that awaits Alabama (which is as good as ever) in Beaver Stadium. Both teams could play two QBs, but the pressure is on the Penn State offense not to turn the ball over. Even if the Lions play mistake-free, a victory would be asking a lot for a young squad without a leader. The Tide pull away after surviving the crowd and an early Penn State uprising. The Pick: Alabama (-10) wins it 33-20.
No. 12 South Carolina at Georgia; 4:30 p.m.; ESPN
The Skinny: Never again. Those two words are forever ingrained in my soul after I went against myself and picked Georgia to cover last week against Boise State. If you’re an avid reader you know how much that goes against my though process. But I lost my mind temporarily and Boise destroyed the pretenders from Georgia. But, remember, this mind loss was temporary. South Carolina and RB Marcus Lattimore run to victory. The Pick: South Carolina (-3) wins it 27-21.
Oregon State at No. 8 Wisconsin; 12 p.m.; ESPN
The Skinny: Oregon State is already having a disaster season — and it’s only Week 2. The Beavers opened the season with a loss to FCS opponent Sacramento State in overtime. On top of that, the school’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards, James Rodgers, won’t play. That adds up to the Badgers and new QB Russell Wilson (a 22-year-old who played in the Colorado Rockies organization) winning easily. The Pick: Wisconsin (-21.5) wins it 42-17.
Nevada at No. 13 Oregon; 3:30 p.m.; FX
The Skinny: The first thing you need to know about this game is Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick is in the NFL, a second-round pick of the 49ers. The second thing? Oregon must make a statement in this game to take a small step back into the national title picture, something that is on life support after a hugely disappointing loss to LSU last week. Look for a Ducks performance reminiscent of last year. The Pick: Oregon (-26.5) wins it 52-20.
BYU at No. 24 Texas; 7 p.m.; ESPN2
The Skinny: BYU opened its season with a 14-13 road victory over Ole Miss, an SEC team that should carry a lot of weight for the Cougars’ confidence. Texas, seeking to quickly forget last year’s disaster of a season, won big against Rice, picking up over 500 yards of total offense with new co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin. He came over from Boise State. Texas keeps that momentum going. The Pick: Texas (-7) wins it 38-27.
Florida Atlantic at No. 17 Michigan State; 12 p.m.; ESPN2
The Skinny: Michigan State wins, but it’s all about the number, which is huge. But the Spartans should rebound from a lackluster opening victory over Youngstown State with a big victory over FAU. The Pick: Michigan State (-32.5) wins it 40-7.
Here are Craig Carroll’s picks for the week: Michigan, Alabama, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Oregon, Texas, Michigan State.
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