All right, so the Gamecocks had a bit of trouble with NC State, sending me into an acceptable but blemished 1-1 record right off the bat. Still, I made a good call on the big game that mattered (like I’ve been saying, do not dismiss those under the radar Big 12 teams – there’s more than Texas and the now tarnished Sooners), so with that in mind, it’s on to Week 2 and breaking down some key matchups.
This week starts and ends with the third-ranked Trojans visiting the eighth-ranked Buckeyes. A dream matchup in Week 2. Who’s national title dreams will be slashed early, just like Oklahoma’s were last week? USC goes into this one as a 7 point favorite. Bodog and the gambling community has quite a bit of confidence in them to level them with that size of a spread against a powerhouse on their own field, but that’s what we’ve got. And is it that surprising after Ohio State barely squeaked out a victory against Navy while USC absolutely obliterated San Jose State 56-3. Sure the opponents were of different caliber, but the number speak for themselves. USC is on a mission now, they see only two teams above them and will be reaching for the title every game, every down. It might have taken them a quarter to get into gear, but they won’t make that mistake again. It’ll be close until toward the end of the third quarter, then expect USC to pull away. I’d bet them to cover.
And let’s venture over to the Big 10, where Michigan hosts 18th-ranked (and the subject of HIGH expectations this year) Notre Dame. Both teams are 1-0, and Notre Dame holds a slim 3-point edge as the Bodog favorite. You can catch this one on ABC, and it’ll no doubt be an early-season bout to follow, as at least Notre Dame will be on everyone’s Bowl Game radar throughout the autumn season. In a warm-up last week, Irish QB Jimmy Clausen lit it up for more than 300 yards and 4 Tds. He was 15-18 with no interceptions. We’ll see how he does against a stronger defense, but there’s no reason to believe he can’t toss at least 3 more scores and add another 300 yards to his tally. Michigan will try to counter with their ground game, led by Denard Robinson, who had a touchdown and 74y yards in game one (beware, one run accounted for more than half those yards), but it won’t be enough. Bet Notre Dame to cover.