Dirty Dozen: Crystal Ball Run staff picks for Week 2

As mentioned last week, this year we are going to keep score all season long to see which Crystal Ball Run writer claims bragging rights at the end of the year. After one week, Allen is sitting on top after correctly picking straight-up winners in 11 out of 12 games last weekend. Here is how we are stacked up right now:

1. Allen (11)
2. David, Jonathan, Tom (10)
3. Aaron, Andy, Kevin (9)

This week we add a couple of our newer contributors to the mix and we will see how long it takes for them to catch up in the standings.

Without any further delay, let's get to our picks for Week 2…

Miami (1-0) vs. No. 12 Florida (1-0): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ESPN

Aaron’s Take: Question: Is an upset really an “upset” if everyone is picking said upset to occur? That’s the question countless college football fans are asking themselves as Florida leaves the Swamp and heads down to Miami to take on the Hurricanes.

On paper, Florida is ripe to get tripped up in Miami. The Gators young defense will be going up against the most dynamic opponent they’ll face until Georgia later this year. Their offense is banged up, with Matt Jones returning to the lineup after missing Week 1. And speaking of that offense, the 2013 version looked a lot like the 2012 version last week against Toledo; lacking playmakers and downfield threats.

Still, I’ll stick with the Gators here, if only because they’ve been here before. The Gators faced the same questions prior to games last year against Texas A&M, LSU and South Carolina last year…and guess what? They still found a way to win each of those games.

An upset won’t be an upset in Miami Saturday. Give me the Gators in a close one.

Allen: Miami 17, Florida 14
Aaron: Florida 20, Miami 17
Andy: Miami 31, Florida 17
David:Florida 20, Miami 19
Jonathan: Florida 23, Miami 17
Josh: Miami
Kevin C.: Florida 24, Miami 16
Kevin M.: Florida 23, Miami 17
Tom: Miami 28, Florida 27

UTSA (1-0) vs. No. 13 Oklahoma State (1-0): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. FOX Sports 1

More: UTSA Looks for signature win

Allen’s Take: Um, why is this game being played in San Antonio? Did that sly Larry Coker pull a fast one when the contracts were signed?

OSU is playing its second consecutive game on the road, and this one has an early kick. Don't be surprised if the Pokes are sluggish to start before they pull away.

Allen: Oklahoma State 38, UTSA 17
Aaron: Oklahoma State 56, UTSA 14
Andy: Oklahoma State 44, UTSA 17
David: Oklahoma State 45, UTSA 17
Jonathan: Oklahoma State 42, UTSA 12
Josh: UTS… Oklahoma State
Kevin C.: Oklahoma State 35, UTSA 10
Kevin M.:Oklahoma State 46, UTSA 17
Tom: Oklahoma State 55, UTSA 14

Illinois (1-0) vs. Cincinnati (1-0): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ESPN2

David’s Take: Illinois had to survive a furious comeback by Southern Illinois before escaping with a win at home, 42-34. Cincinnati cruised to a win over Purdue 42-7 in Tommy Tuberville's debut with the Bearcats. Even though they play in a weaker conference, Cincinnati is just a better ballclub right now. Expect the Bearcats to roll to a second straight victory over a Big Ten team.

Allen: Cincinnati 35, Illinois 31
Aaron: Cincinnati 3, Illinois 21
Andy: Cincinnati 35, Illinois 27
David: Cincinnati 45, Illinois 17
Jonathan: Cincinnati 32, Illinois 31
Josh: Illinois
Kevin C.: Cincinnati 49, Illinois 28
Kevin M.: Cincinnati 31, Illinois 23
Tom: Cincinnati 29, Illinois 27

Kent State (1-0) vs. Bowling Green (1-0): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ESPN3

BCS Buster Watch

Andy’s Take: This is the MACtion opener for two preseason division title contenders. So, ya, this one is important. The Falcons are coming off a hugely impressive defensive effort in taking down Tulsa last week. Can they do it against the Rockets on the road? Their chances sure would go up if Kent State star running back Dri Archer isn’t available to play, thanks to an injured left ankle. The winner has a clear leg up in the East Division race and ultimately I think you see defense win out in this one, even if Dri Archer plays. Give me Bowling Green in a mild upset on the road.

Allen: Bowling Green 21, Kent State 14
Aaron: Bowling Green 34, Kent State 24
Andy: Bowling Green 29, Kent State 20
David: Bowling Green 30, Kent State 20
Jonathan: Bowling Green 22, Kent State 16
Josh: Kent State
Kevin C.: Bowling Green 18, Kent State 12
Kevin M.: Bowling Green 27, Kent Sate 17
Tom: Bowling Green 33, Kent State 12

Missouri (1-0) vs. Toledo (0-1): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ESPNU

Aaron’s Take: A week after heading to the Swamp, Toledo will face off against their second SEC opponent in a row, when they travel to Columbia to take on Missouri.

This week’s challenge should be less daunting, but unfortunately for Toledo, the results will be the same.

Missouri’s first run through the SEC didn’t end so well last year, but 2013 is a different year and this looks like a different season. Sure the Tigers “only” played Missouri in Week 1, but James Franklin looked much more comfortable in the pocket and seems to finally have chemistry with former top recruit Dorial Green-Beckham. Then there was the return of Henry Josey at running back, who sprinted for 113 yards last week.

Missouri might not be an SEC East contender but they are improved from last season. It’ll show Saturday.

Allen: Missouri 42, Toledo 17
Aaron: Missouri 31, Toledo 19
Andy: Missouri 30, Toledo 23
David: Missouri 35, Toledo 24
Jonathan: Missouri 40, Toledo 20
Josh: Missouri
Kevin C. : Missouri 28, Toledo 20
Kevin M. : Missouri 24, Toledo 13
Tom: Missouri 28, Toledo 20

No. 11 Georgia (0-1) vs. No. 6 South Carolina (1-0): Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ESPN

Early Analysis

Jonathan’s Take: The Bulldogs return home after a slim loss at Clemson to face Jadeveon Clowney and the No. 6 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is 1-10 against top 15 teams and needs a win against South Carolina to recuperate his image as he inches closer to the NFL.

Georgia’s defense isn’t the same as last year, but their running game is even better. Even though College Gameday will be at Notre Dame-Michigan, this is the game of the week. The SEC East division crown could depend on it. Plus, Georgia can’t make a fan cry two weeks in a row, right?

Allen: South Carolina 21, Georgia 20
Aaron: Georgia 22, South Carolina 14
Andy: South Carolina 27, Georgia 2
David: Georgia 24, South Carolina 21
Jonathan: Georgia 31, South Carolina 28
Josh: South Carolina
Kevin C.: South Carolina 31, Georgia 30
Kevin M.: Georgia 24, South Carolina 23
Tom: South Carolina 24, Georgia 21

No. 19 Northwestern (1-0) vs. Syracuse (0-1): Saturday, 6:00 p.m. Big Ten Network

Kevin M’s Take: As long as quarterback Kain Colter is available for the Wildcats, and all indications are he will, Northwestern should be in fine shape against Syracuse. I gave too much respect to the Orange last week against Penn State as the lone Crystal Ball Runner to pick Syracuse to beat the Nittany Lions, but I saw first hand just how poor of a pick that was. Northwestern's defense made some big plays last week on the road at Cal and I suspect they will do so again this weekend at home. I like Northwestern a lot in this particular match-up.

Allen: Northwestern 31, Syracuse 20
Aaron: Northwestern 31, Syracuse 14
Andy: Northwestern 44, Syracuse 24
David: Northwestern 41, Syracuse 21
Jonathan: Northwestern 29, Syracuse 21
Josh: Northwestern
Kevin C.: Northwestern 31, Syracuse 21
Kevin M.: Northwesten 30, Syracuse 17
Tom: Northwestern 34, Syracuse 17

BYU (0-1) vs. No. 15 Texas (1-0): Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ESPN2

Early Analysis

Kevin C's Take: This looked like a very interesting game until Mike London and Virginia rained all over BYU's season. Texas took a little while to get started last week but then they rolled by 49 over NMSU. BYU's offense scares me and not in a good way. Hide your children, hide your wives, this BYU offense is not fan friendly. The Horns will take a while to get going in this one, just like last week, but they will get it going and the Cougars simply don't have the talent to match what I think is the odds on favorite to take the Big 12 this year.

This is a road game for the Longhorns but I have a tough time picking against them in this spot.

Allen: Texas 17, BYU 12
Aaron: Texas 32, BYU 28
Andy: Texas 37, BYU 24
David: Texas 27, BYU 12
Jonathan: Texas 31, BYU 25
Josh: Texas
Kevin C.: Texas 27, BYU 10
Kevin M.: BYU 26, Texas 23
Tom: Texas 38, BYU 14

No. 16 Oklahoma (1-0) vs. West Virginia (1-0): Saturday, 7:00 p.m. FOX

Early Analysis

Allen’s Take: These two teams were full of surprises last week. The Sooners rolled out new schemes on both sides of the ball. The Mountaineers rolled out the red carpet for FCS foe William & Mary, and their guests nearly left with a shocking upset.

OU is a 20-point favorite here. Let's slow that roll a bit.

Allen: Oklahoma 30, West Virginia 20
Aaron: Oklahoma 42, West Virginia 20
Andy: Oklahoma 44, West Virginia 27
David: Oklahoma 33, West Virginia 20
Jonathan: Oklahoma 30, West Virginia 21
Josh: Oklahoma
Kevin C.: Oklahoma 35, West Virginia 17
Kevin M.: Oklahoma 38, West Virginia 20
Tom: Oklahoma 56, West Virginia 21

No. 17 Michigan (1-0) vs. No, 14 Notre Dame (1-0): Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ESPN

Early Analysis 

Andy’s Take: This game has all sorts of intrigue to it, both on and off the field. This is or isn't a rivalry, depending on the day you ask Brian Kelly and it also happens to feature two quarterbacks with a lot of questions to be answered against two tough defenses.

Fans should have a lot of answers following this one. For me, it comes down to Tommy Reese vs. the Michigan defense because Reese needs to play well and mistake free in order for his team to win. Gardner on the other hand as more athleticism and can afford a mistake or two because of that ability. One thing we should all know by now? These games are going to be close. Give me the home team under the lights.

Allen: Michigan 20, Notre Dame 16
Aaron: Michigan 16, Notre Dame 13
Andy: Michigan 27, Notre Dame 23
David: Michigan 38, Notre Dame 31
Jonathan: Michigan 21, Notre Dame 15
Josh: Michigan
Kevin C.: Notre Dame 28, Michigan 24
Kevin M.: Michigan 24, Notre Dame 17
Tom: Michigan 19, Notre Dame 16

No. 25 USC (1-0) vs. Washington State (0-1): Saturday, 10:30 p.m. FOX Sports1

Jonathan’s Take: Washington State didn’t disappoint in its season debut, narrowly losing to Auburn 31-24, but USC did. Lane Kiffin has apparently picked a quarterback but only the quarterbacks know who it is.

New USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast’s 5-2 defense is a massive improvement from last year, but it won’t matter if the Trojan offense can’t put points on the board. But whoever the USC quarterback is, the offense can’t be bad enough to lose to Mike Leach and Washington State.

USC wins ugly, as usual.

Allen: USC 40, Washington State 20
Aaron: USC 24, Washington State 20
Andy: USC 31, Washington State 24
David: USC 32, Washington State 28
Jonathan: USC 35, Washington State 30
Josh: USC
Kevin C.: USC 34, Washington State 24
Kevin M.: USC 35, Washington State 17
Tom: USC 48, Washington State 27

No. 5 Stanford (0-0) vs. San Jose State (1-0): Saturday, 11:00 p.m. Pac 12 Network

David’s Take: Stanford did not play in week one of the season, so they are a bit of an unknown quantity. The defense should be physical again this year, but there was a massive talent drain on the offensive side of the ball at running back and receiver. Quarterback Kevin Hogan returns though, and he helped spark the team on the way to the Rose Bowl last season. San Jose State returns their quarterback as well. David Fales was the most accurate passer in the FBS last season, and SJSU almost took out Stanford last season. But after getting to sit back and watch what happened, I don't think Stanford will take their local rival too lightly.

Allen: Stanford 28, San Jose State 7
Aaron: Stanford 42, San Jose State 14
Andy: Stanford 44, San Jose State 31
David: Stanford 38, San Jose State 15
Jonathan: Stanford 35, San Jose State 20
Josh: Stanford
Kevin C.: Stanford 28, San Jose State 21
Kevin M.: Stanford 27, San Jose State 20
Tom: Stanford 35, San Jose State 10

Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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