Let’s face it, college football is just not going to be what we are used to this season. Week 1 has already come and gone, and it’s totally understandable if it passed you by. A grand total of five FBS-on-FBS matchups took place and not one Power 5 team partook. A far cry from your traditional College Football kickoff week. Still, it gave us a chance to make some college football picks.
In essence, Week 2 is essentially the new Week 1 this year. Except it’s not because we will still be without three of the Power 5 leagues. Nonetheless, the ACC and Big 12 both begin their seasons this week and the number of FBS vs. FBS matchups has grown to 14. With a larger slate at our disposal, it’s time to start digging for some winners. Behold, my first set of best college football picks of the season.
All college football picks and odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook
Week 2 College Football Picks
Tulane at South Alabama (+9.5)
South Alabama pulled the surprise of Week 1 when they took down Southern Mississippi with a 32-21 outright road win as two-touchdown underdogs. It makes sense that after an abysmal 2-win showing last year, the betting market wasn’t exactly high on the Jaguars out of the gate. USA will look to earn a second straight win as an underdog when they host Tulane in their home opener Saturday night.
Jaguars quarterback Desmond Trotter showed out against Southern Miss, passing for 299 yards and a pair of touchdowns while adding 41 yards with his legs. Wideouts Jalen Tolbert and Jalen Wayne were the go-to targets for Trotter against the Golden Eagles, piling up 169 and 101 receiving yards respectively. The road may be a bit tougher this week against a veteran Tulane secondary, but South Alabama is capable.
The Green Wave are in a transition year at quarterback. Keon Howard will take the reins of what is a talented offense, but he should anticipate plenty of South Alabama pass rush, an area in which the Jaguars thrived last week. Tulane will also be without running back Corey Dauphine this year after he tore his Achilles in the preseason. If there’s any game in which the absence of continuity will be most felt, it’s the first one. And Tulane has to go up against a South Alabama team that already has a confidence-boosting win under its belt. Give me the home dog catching 9.5.
UTSA (+9.5) at Texas State
This Conference USA-Sun Belt battle will carry with it in-state bragging rights as UTSA makes the roughly 1-hour trip north to San Marcos to take on Texas State. It is the season opener for UTSA, winners of 4 games a year ago. Meanwhile, it is the second game of the 2020 campaign for Texas State. The Bobcats come in with an 0-1 record after suffering a 31-24 loss to SMU last week, a game in which TSU was about a three-touchdown underdog.
Many have Texas State pegged as a program capable of taking a step forward this year. Quarterback Brady McBride is a large reason for this optimism. What is concerning about the Bobcats is their defense. If not for various turnovers and miscues by SMU last week, the game could’ve gotten much further out of hand. Texas State surrendered 544 total yards of offense, 26 first downs, and nearly a 50% conversion rate on third downs, none of which are very promising numbers.
One would rightfully argue that the Roadrunners’ offense is not SMU’s. With that said, transfer QB Josh Adkins threw for over 5100 yards and 27 touchdowns over the last two years at New Mexico State. Add in tailback Sincere McCormick, who fell just 17 yards shy of 1000 rushing yards a season ago, and UTSA should be able to move the ball. The Roadrunners also return six starters on defense. I will stay away from picking a winner outright, but I like UTSA catching 9.5 in what could be a good game for the offenses on both sides.
Check out our Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings, including scoring settings for PPR and half PPR leagues! Ranking are updated throughout the week.
Coastal Carolina (+7) at Kansas
Kansas opens its 2020 season with a chance to avenge a 12-7 loss to Coastal Carolina from a season ago. The game was perhaps one of the sloppiest the Jayhawks played all season long. Despite holding the Chanticleers to 291 total yards of offense, Kansas had 11 fewer yards, lost the turnover battle 2-0, and failed to score after a first quarter touchdown gave them a 7-0 lead.
While Les Miles figures to have a better Jayhawks squad this year, the big question ahead of the season opener is at quarterback. Miles has not named a definitive starter heading into the matchup, and there’s a real possibility that both senior Thomas MacVittie and junior Miles Kendrick see game reps on Saturday. I personally am not a fan of a 2-QB system, both for what it does to the psyche of the QBs as well as the possibility of stymieing offensive momentum.
That’s not all causing concerns in Lawrence, however. Kansas has also had numerous COVID-19 positives. Who will be available to play? And of those available, who will be in true game shape? While Coastal Carolina has also neglected to name its starting quarterback (a move of gamesmanship perhaps?), I remain confident in CCU’s ability to make this another close affair. Take the full touchdown and run.