It's Thursday and you know what that means - it's time to make our Week 2 college football bets.
And boy oh boy, let's hope they go as well in Week 2 as they did in Week 1.
Seriously, I hope you read and tailed last week's picks, as we pretty much nailed every big game - going 6-1 overall. We told you Florida State would win by double digits. We told you Colorado could upset TCU and made the Buffaloes +20.5 our best bet. And told you Utah would still destroy Sun Belt Billy Napier and the Florida Gators.
Still, as Lamar Jackson likes to say, "Nobody cares, work harder" and it's time to move on to Week 2.
Before we get started, remember: If you're not subscribed to "College Football Betting with Aaron Torres" you're doing yourself a disservice. You can listen above, and also make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel as well.
Now, to our Week 2 picks:
Nebraska at No. 22 Colorado (-3): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, FOX
I mean, there's only one fair place to start in Week 2 - and that's by discussing the story of Week 1. We're of course talking the Colorado Buffaloes.
By now you know what happened last week in Fort Worth. And now, the question is: After a week's worth of hype, can Colorado move past TCU and onto Nebraska.
To me, the answer is yes.
One, I don't think that success will get to this group's head for one simple reason: Most of these guys have dealt with it before. Remember, the core of this team - notably Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter - came with Deion Sanders to Colorado from Jackson State. These guys were the biggest game on everyone's schedule last year, and are used to the hype. This is nothing new to them.
Two, I just think this is a good matchup for Colorado.
As we saw last week, Colorado isn't perfect - specifically, they just don't quite have the bodies up front on either the offensive or defensive lines. Therefore, while I'm far from an X's and O's expert, the teams that are going to have the best success going against them are the ones who can run the ball right at them. Think the Oregon's, Utah's and Oregon State's.
There's just one problem: I'm not sure Jeff Sims and this Nebraska offense are the ones to exploit that.
Yes, Nebraska was able to move the ball effectively on the ground last week against Minnesota. But most of it came behind the wheels of Jeff Sims at quarterback.
The problem is that trying to make plays in space - plays right into Colorado's hands. The Buffaloes are thin up front, but their best athletes are on the outside. That includes Hunter, fellow corner Omarion Cooper (who transferred from Florida State) and Shiloh Sanders, Deion's older son, who started his career at South Carolina before going to Jackson State.
Point being, I think it's going to take a minimum of 28 to 31 points to beat Colorado this year, unless you can completely control the clock.
Well, I'm not sure Nebraska can control the clock. And if they don't, I'm not sure they can put up 28 points.
Colorado wins and covers to improve to 2-0.
No. 23 Texas A&M (-4.5) at Miami: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Let's get to the appetizer before the entree that is Texas-Alabama, and talk Texas A&M and Miami. Both are coming off 5-7 seasons. Both desperately need a signature win. And both are coming off impressive openers.
More importantly, both are coming off openers where they established who they want to be.
For Texas A&M, Bobby Petrino promised to do away with Jimbo Fisher's Cheesecake Factory menu playbook, pare things down and get the ball in the hands of his playmakers. The Aggies did exactly that on Saturday, putting up 52 points versus New Mexico. Yes, it's only New Mexico. But this team didn't put up 40 in a game all season a year ago. So, it was a positive start.
As for Miami, well, we all know what Mario Cristobal wants his team to look like. He's a former offensive lineman and o-line coach and he wants to be punishing and physical up front. I'd say that worked out to a tee in Week 1, as Miami finished with 250 yards on the ground, averaging seven yards per carry.
So now that we know who each team wants to be, who will exert their will on the other?
I'm riding with Texas A&M.
First off, I just think A&M is just further along in where they want to be than Miami. Yes, A&M went 5-7 last year. But they also beat LSU, played Alabama to the final play, and lost five games by a touchdown or less. Miami lost five of its seven by double-figures and their best win was... at Virginia Tech? Maybe?
I also think as good as that run game was last week, it will be a different deal against Texas A&M's front seven. The Aggies run defense wasn't all that good last year, and it's hard to gauge too much from one game against New Mexico. But at the same time, there is a lot of young talent on that front that is starting to emerge, all against a Miami offensive line that - while talented - is breaking in four new starters.
Finally, while I don't love taking road favorites, I'm not sure how much of a true road environment this will be. Did you see that Miami is offering a "buy one, get one to a future game" deal for people to come out to Hard Rock Stadium?
Not ideal. And I expect a lot of maroon in the stadium Saturday.
I also expect an Aggie win and cover.
No. 11 Texas at No. 3 Alabama (-7): Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
I didn't intend to start this article by previewing the three big ones right off the top, but how can I resist? It's Texas. It's Bama. It's Saturday night in Bryant Denny Stadium.
I'd ask "who's ready for this one" but let's be honest - we all are.
And when this game kicks off, well, I like Alabama to win. Convincingly.
Look, maybe I'm wrong. I've been many times before. At the same time, what I keep coming back to is what I said all off-season about Texas: I don't trust their coach. And I don't trust their quarterback.
That's a bad combination. Especially on the road, in the toughest environment Texas has played in, in this regime.
Starting with Quinn Ewers, I keep being told how special he is. I see his name on mock draft boards and Heisman lists, and I keep waiting to see. It. But I don't. Yes, he had a good half against Alabama last year. And yes, it really sucks he got hurt. But what no one ever acknowledges is that after he came back from injury, well, he wasn't good. He finished last year completing 56 percent of his passes, with just 15 touchdowns. And in Week 1 Texas didn't look much better, as they were up just 16-7 at half as Ewers completed 63 percent of his passes.
Then there is Steve Sarkisian and well... umm... what do you say. We all realize that he's in Year 10 as a Power 5 head coach and still has never won more than eight games in a regular season. Again, that's as a Power 5 head coach. He didn't cut his teeth at Jacksonville State or Troy. His only experience as a head coach is at Washington, USC and Texas. And he has yet to muster more than eight wins in a season.
Oh, and one more wild stat for you on Sark: Did you know he's lost five games in the last two years where he's had a double-digit lead midway through the third quarter?
As Ron Burgundy once said, "I'm not even mad. That's actually kind of impressive."
From the Bama perspective, it really does appear as though Alabama is the team they promised all off-season. They were physical at the point of attack, with my buddy Cole Cubelic mentioning on the broadcast that they're the first team he can ever remember with three starters on their offensive line over 350 pounds. And they can all move and will be playing on Sundays soon.
In the end, I expect this Texas game to go like a lot of them. Sark will draw up some cool stuff early and they'll jump out to a lead. Alabama will battle back, and it will be close at halftime. Then Sark will come out, unable to make the proper adjustments and Alabama will pull away late.
Final score: Alabama 31, Texas 20
UConn (ML) at Georgia State: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Oh, to go from the joys of Texas-Alabama to UConn-Georgia State. Who else is giving you this kind of content?!?!
No one dammit, no one!
I won't bore you with too many details, but I watched the entire UConn-NC State game a week ago, and bluntly there really wasn't a significant talent gap between UConn and NC State. To be clear, the Wolfpack deserved to win. But UConn also killed themselves with penalties and couldn't get off the field on big third downs.
The gap between the two schools wasn't all that significant.
Now for them to be going on the road and getting three points against Georgia State?
I think this is one where they take care of business.
The Huskies improve to 1-1 with an outright win over Georgia State.
No. 19 Wisconsin at Washington State (+6): Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Wisconsin gave me vibes similar to Texas coming out of Week 1. In other words, if you saw the final score, you'd see that they won 38-17 and say "Oh, they rolled in game one under Luke Fickell."
The reality though was that it was a dog fight, as the Badgers were up just 14-10 at halftime. More importantly, the highly touted Air Raid offense resulted in just 189 yards passing, as Wisconsin again relied on the ground game, where they put up over 300 yards. Which is fine. It doesn't matter how you win, just that you get the W.
My point is though, that this Badgers team is still very much a work in progress.
Washington State however? They're ready to win now. Cam Ward is in his second year as this team's starting quarterback, and to his credit, this offense fired on all cylinders in Week 1. They not only put up 50 points, but did it in a true road environment at Colorado State.
Oh, and while we're at it, this game is a sellout in Pullman.
It's going to be a rocking atmosphere, as incredibly, this is the first ever Power 5 team to come to Pullman for a non-conference game.
I'm going to go ahead and just take the points, although I do expect the Cougars to win outright.
Stanford (+29) at No. 6 USC: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, FOX
A couple thoughts, and a couple thoughts only on this game.
One, Stanford is in its first year under Troy Taylor. He inherited a mess, but I promise, this team will be able to put up points. Taylor was the head coach at Sacramento State last year, where his team finished third in the FCS in total offense and second in points scored. They won't do that at Stanford, but they can move the ball, as evidenced by the 37 points they put up.
Two, you're going to read all these glowing narratives this week about how USC's defense was "much better" last week, giving up just 10 points to Nevada. One, they still did give up 28 points two weeks ago to San Jose State, the same team that struggled to move the ball against Oregon State last week. Two, in that heroic defensive effort against Nevada, they still gave up over 300 yards passing.
Finally, there's a little bit of a weird scheduling quirk here. Because USC played in Week 0, this is their third game - and they actually have a bye next week.
In their third straight game that they know they'll win, and with a week off ahead, I just don't think we get anywhere close to an A-effort from USC. I'm thinking something like a 45-28 Trojans win, and a Stanford cover.
UCLA at San Diego State (UNDER 48.5): Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, CBS
First off, I love the random CBS/late night Mountain West games. Last week we got Wyoming's stunner against Texas Tech. And this week we have this one on late night.
As for the game itself, well, I thought UCLA only looked sort of OK in the post Dorian Thompson-Robinson era. They're going to figure it out with true freshman Dante Moore at quarterback, but on the road I expect them to play it a little closer to the vest and mostly keep the ball on the ground. A ground attack that will run right into the strength of San Diego State's defense.
Then there's the Aztecs offense which, umm, hasn't been good under Brady Hoke. They run the ball reasonably well, but like what was mentioned above, that falls in line with UCLA's strength. UCLA has been a team that has never quite figured out the secondary under Chip Kelly, but has been pretty effective stopping the run.
Expect a close, low scoring game here.
I'm not quite sure San Diego State can score enough to cover, but I think both defense are good enough, where we escape with a 27-10 type game and UCLA win.
No. 12 Utah (-7.5) at Baylor - Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN: Yes, Utah won last week and yes, Baylor lost. At the same time, Utah's offense largely stalled out in the second half against Florida and neither team has a healthy quarterback for this one. Oh, and it's supposed to 102 degrees in Waco on Saturday with an excessive heat warning. Yeah, I want nothing to do with this one.
No. 10 Notre Dame at NC State - Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, ABC: As mentioned, I watched the entire NC State-UConn game the other day, and while UConn had its chances, NC State was the clear better team. And Brennan Armstrong was, at one point a big-time college quarterback. As for Notre Dame, Sam Hartman was my preseason Heisman pick - buuuuuut, are he and the Irish that good? Or was Navy just that bad in Week 0? We'll find out Saturday.
Oregon (-6) at Texas Tech: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, FOX: Oregon won their opener by 74 points, literally. Texas Tech lost their opener. Gotta go with the Ducks here, right? I'm not so sure. Lubbock is wild, especially at night. And plus, can't we all see into the future on how Oregon's season will play out. Lose this game, everyone calls them overrated, then they rip off seven straight wins and enter November with a chance to make the playoff. Then, they'll lose some weird, inexplicable game on a cold November night, and we'll all act surprised. Honestly, I've seen that Oregon season play out like eight times in the last decade, and I'm staying away from this one.