College Football Picks: Future Big 12 showdown, USC’s test

Sep 6, 2022, 8:33 PM | Updated: Sep 7, 2022, 8:35 am

BYU linebacker Max Tooley (31) celebrates after returning an interception for a touchdown during th...

BYU linebacker Max Tooley (31) celebrates after returning an interception for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA football game against South Florida Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Week 2 is a quick turnaround for college football fans.

With the Labor Day Weekend games going through Monday night, you don’t have much time to recoup before it ramps back up.

The five most intriguing games of Week 2, with lines from FanDuel Sportsbook:

1) No. 9 Baylor at No. 21 BYU.

The Bears pulled away from the Cougars in their meeting last year in Texas, a big win in what turned out to be one of the best seasons in school history. The return trip is the first of five games against Power Five opponents for the Cougars. Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes came from BYU to turn around the Bears’ offense last season.

Line: BYU by 3 1/2. Pick: BYU 30-28.

2) No. 20 Kentucky at No. 12 Florida

Gators QB Anthony Richardson has a chance to be a season-changing player for Florida and the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky has split the last four meetings, which doesn’t sound like much, but the Gators had won 34 straight before that. For the second straight week, a big one in the Swamp.

Line: Florida by 5 1/2. Pick: Florida 28-24.

3) No. 10 Southern California at Stanford

Lincoln Riley’s debut at USC was the expected feel-good affair against Rice. Stanford has slipped from its 2010s peak, but the Cardinal still beat the Trojans badly enough last year to get Clay Helton fired. Stanford is not the measuring stick it once would have been for USC, but it is the first true test for Caleb Williams, Jordan Addison and team transfer portal.

Line: USC by 9 1/2. Pick: USC 35-28.

4) Mississippi State at Arizona

No team in the country looked better in Week 1 relative to its 2021 performance than Arizona, handily beating San Diego State after going 1-11 in coach Jedd Fisch’s debut season. This nonconference matchup against an experienced SEC team seemed as if it would be too much of a lift for the Wildcats in the offseason. Now, it’s intriguing.

Line: Mississippi State by 11 1/2. Pick: Mississippi State 31-23.

5) No. 1 Alabama at Texas.

Two storied programs getting together on campus is always interesting, but let’s be real: This is not so much about whether former Tide assistant Steve Sarkisian’s Longhorns can beat ‘Bama as it is getting a gauge on where the rebuild stands in Year 2.

Line: Alabama by 20 1/2. Pick: Alabama 42-14.


The rest of the ranked teams facing FBS opponents:

Arkansas State at No. 2 Ohio State (minus 43 1/2)

Buckeyes expected to be without star WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a few games in which they won’t miss him … OHIO STATE 59-10.

Marshall (plus 20 1/2) at No. 8 Notre Dame

Irish finally get Marcus Freeman that first victory as head coach … NOTRE DAME 31-13.

Appalachian State at No. 6 Texas A&M (minus 18 1/2)

Mountaineers get at another shot at a P5 upset, but a much tougher task at College Station … TEXAS A&M 38-17.

Hawaii (plus 51 1/2) at No. 4 Michigan

Will J.J. McCarthy’s first start at quarterback also signal Cade McNamara’s last? … MICHIGAN 52-7.

Kent State at No. 7 Oklahoma (minus 32 1/2)

Another tuneup before the Sooners head to Nebraska … OKLAHOMA 56-21.

Arizona State at No. 11 Oklahoma State (minus 10 1/2)

A future Big 12 game? Or Pac-12? Or ACC, maybe? … OKLAHOMA STATE 34-26.

Akron at No. 14 Michigan State (minus 34 1/2)

Zips needed OT to beat St. Francis (Pa.) last week. Not great … MICHIGAN STATE 48-7.

Southern Mississippi (plus 24 1/2) at No. 15 Miami

Eagles RB Frank Gore Jr. (178 yard rushing in USM’s opener) faces his dad’s former school … MIAMI 35-14.

No. 24 Tennessee at No. 17 Pittsburgh (plus 6 1/2)

Return matchup after the Panthers won in Knoxville last year … TENNESSEE 31-27.

Washington State at No. 19 Wisconsin (minus 16 1/2)

Wazzu QB Cameron Ward, a talented FCS transfer, gets stiff test against typically stingy Badgers … WISCONSIN 41-20, BEST BET.

South Carolina (plus 8 1/2) at No. 16 Arkansas

First SEC game for former Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler, now with the Gamecocks … ARKANSAS 31-24.

No. 23 Wake Forest at Vanderbilt (plus 12 1/2)

Commodores (2-0) already have matched last season’s win total … WAKE FOREST 38-27.

No. 25 Houston (plus 2 1/2) at Texas Tech

Red Raiders expected to be without QB Tyler Shough … HOUSTON 42-41.



Louisville (plus 6 1/2) at UCF, Friday — @DanaBecker

Discouraging opener for the Cardinals, followed up by another tough road trip … UCF 35-31.

Oregon State (plus 1/2) at Fresno State, Saturday

Beavers go for a mini-Mountain West title after beating Boise State last week … OREGON STATE 28-24.

Missouri at Kansas State (minus 7 1/2), Saturday — @ChrisLTurner

Still, feels like a Big 12 game … KANSAS STATE 31-21.

Duke (plus 10 1/2) at Northwestern, Saturday — @Evan_GoCats

Both opened with encouraging victories after miserable 2021 seasons … NORTHWESTERN 23-14.

Iowa State (plus 3 1/2) at Iowa, Saturday — @thebenwhitehead

Hawkeyes are riding a six-game winning streak in the Cy-Hawk rivalry … IOWA STATE 23-20, UPSET SPECIAL.



Last week: Straight-up — 18-3; Against spread — 10-11.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://bit.ly/3pqZVaF

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

College Football Picks: Future Big 12 showdown, USC’s test