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Non-TCU Games of the Week

Week Two features heated rivalries and Pac-12 vs. Big Ten showdowns

Iowa v Iowa State
Will Brock Purdy’s Cyclones be able to escape the Hawkeyes in this Top-10 match up?
Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

The Headliner

#12 Oregon at #3 Ohio State (-14.5) - September 11, 11:00 AM, FOX

The hangover from the Week One excitement to a Week Two lacking marquee match ups is strong again this year. This game has long stood out as a surefire banger, but may have lost some of its luster, given the feeling of inevitability for any game involving the Buckeyes. This feeling is especially strong with the injury to Oregon’s defensive superstar, and likely top-5 NFL Draft pick, Kayvon Thibodeaux. After shaking off some early rust last week, Ohio State turned on the jets to roll to a big conference win on the road. OSU QB CJ Stroud looked cold as ice after each big play, like he read all your Kyle McCord & Quinn Ewers tweets and knew they were headed straight for Freezing Cold Takes. Perhaps Oregon makes the QB switch to dynamic freshman Ty Thompson and that lights a spark, but have to think Stroud and the never-ending wealth of riches at his disposal will continue to romp over the competition

My pick: Ohio State wins (-700); Ohio State covers (-14.5); Total Under 64

The Undercard

#10 Iowa at #9 Iowa State (-4.5) - September 11, 3:30 PM, ABC

The Battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy, or ¡El Assico! as it is lovingly known, is one of the great College Football events returning in 2021 that we missed last season. And what a glorious return it is – both teams enter ranked in the AP Top 10 for the showdown, with real conference title and Playoff hopes for the season. The teams couldn’t have looked more different in Week One: the Hawkeyes throttled a highly perceived Indiana team to take command of the Big Ten West, while the Cyclones were lucky to escape FCS Northern Iowa. So we should believe Iowa will again roll through Ames to another victory? Not so fast: 1) weird stuff always happens in this game, like running into your own punt returner to lose the game; 2) ISU has advantage at coach and almost every position (though one could argue RB is actually a toss-up, don’t @ me Breece Hive) 3) the Cyclone kicker is named Connor Assalley, which is perfect for this rivalry, I wish we had TCU kicker Clint Skillet or Oklahoma kicker Colton Redriver or Florida kicker Caden Cocktailparty. Anyway, I think the Cyclones were locked-in to this game and forgot to show up last week, whereas Iowa couldn’t fully engage with this game before dealing with its conference opener last week.

My pick: Iowa State wins (-200); Iowa State covers (-4.5); Total Over 46

Upset Watch

Washington (+220) at Michigan (-7) – September 11, 7:00 PM, ABC

This is an over reaction special. The opening line on this was a coinflip of Michigan by one point, and now after one game that jumps all the way to a TD favorite, with ESPN giving Washington a 17.4% chance of victory. To be fair, Washington was inept in a season opening home loss to FCS Montana while Michigan lit up the scoreboard while easily handling Western Michigan. However, the Huskies’ top 3 WRs all missed Week One, but could possibly return for this major match up, which would be a huge boost for Dylan Morris (or Sam Huard if they go ahead and pull the plug on Morris). I just think the swing in perception against Washington is not representative of the actual talent, and the Huskies are certainly capable of putting a scare on the Wolverines.

My pick: Washington wins (+220); Washington covers (+7); Total Over 48.5

G5(ish) Showcase

Utah (-7) at BYU – September 11, 9:15 PM, ESPN

I know this is cheating as Utah is a Pac-12 team and BYU is an independent (for now) and not technically under the G5 moniker. But I couldn’t leave the Holy War, another one of the great rivalries of the sport, off the agenda. These two teams bring up such nostalgia for myself and all Frog fans – I can’t think of either without seeing Jerry Hughes menacing Cougar & Ute QBs. While the TCU rivalry with BYU appears to be getting rekindled with the impending announcement of the new additions to the Big 12, this series continued beyond the days of the Mountain West. However, it’s hard to call it much of a rivalry as Utah has won the last 9 meetings. While BYU had a great 2020 and has some returning talent, Zach Wilson is gone and the Cougars have stacked this season with several difficult opponents. Perhaps the Provo home field advantage can prove decisive, but I’ll go with the on-field advantage and take the Utes.

My pick: Utah wins (-275); Utah covers (-7); Total Over 49