Deion Round 2? SEC Bounce Back? – WOF Week 2 Preview

Last week, most of the favorites won. It’s time for things to get crazy in Week 2.

Well, I was pleasantly whelmed for most of the week 1 action. But there were definitely some upsets that kept things interesting. Deion gets first billing, but Duke wasn’t far behind. And don’t forget Florida State who announced their return to college football’s high rent district with that primetime thumping of LSU. 

Week 2 sets up nicely for some sequels to the week 1 lineup. But on top of that, there are just way more interesting P5 vs. P5 matchups. Colorado doesn’t get a moment to recoup, facing historic rival Nebraska in the Deion home opener. The Big 12 has an opportunity to shine with some ranked matchups. The B1G plays 14 non-con games. The ACC is semi-underwhelming, but they have some good games too. 

Then there’s obviously the elephant in the room. The most anticipated non-con game of the year is this week. The question: who wins in a fight? A longhorn or an elephant?

SEC – Are you OK?

The SEC had 3 big games in week 1

  • Florida at Utah – Florida lost big
  • South Carolina vs. North Carolina – South Carolina lost big
  • LSU vs. Florida State – LSU lost big

Then there was Tennessee vs. Virginia – Tennessee won big (but Virginia is absolutely terrible).

So not a good showing for the SEC in week 1. Hey, at least you didn’t drop a game vs. a G5. That counts for something. 

If the SEC wants to silence the haters who point to their week 1 failings as a sign of being overrated, they are in luck. They have opportunities aplenty in week 2 to show the world that the SEC is still on top.

  • Texas at Alabama
  • Arizona at Mississippi State
  • Auburn at Cal
  • Texas A&M at Miami
  • Ole Miss at Tulane
  • Vanderbilt at Wake Forest

SEC, do something with that slate. Have a winning record, and don’t let the big one get away (looking at you Bama). If you blow it again, I’ll be the first to point and laugh. 

  • Odds listed refer to spreads taken from FanDuel at the time of writing.

What I’ll Be Watching


Friday Night Football? Again? I guess commissioners and TV networks will do anything at this point to increase revenue. Including, but not limited to, moving into Friday nights for an additional window of CFB programming. Down south this is sacrilege; Friday night lights should be reserved for the high school ranks. For me, someone who cares more about soccer and F1 than high school football, an FBS, non-con, Friday game is a pleasant surprise.

Illinois at Kansas (-3.5) – 6:30 PM CST

When this game was scheduled years ago, it was each school’s best opportunity to win a P5 game. Now, both teams are actually good and this is a tough out for both of them.  The Jayhawks have one of the best QBs in the Big 12 with Jaylen Daniels. Illinois might have struck gold with Ole Miss transfer Luke Altmyer. I never expected to say Illinois vs. Kansas is a good QB matchup. 

The real matchup:

Lance Leipold’s passing attack vs. Bret Bielema’s defense (with DB coach extraordinaire, Jim Leonhard, on staff).

Saturday – GAME DAY:

11:00 AM CST:

Nebraska at 22 Colorado (-2.5)

Deion told you, me, and everyone all offseason: We coming. Well, it looks like Deion’s here. And in his own words, he’s “about to get comfortable.” If what happened at TCU was Deion uncomfortable, then a settled in Deion could probably own the sport. Colorado at TCU was the 2nd most watched game of week 1 with over 7 million viewers. Now it’s time for Deion round 2. Can he do it again?

Matt Rhule’s reintroduction into college football was not met with the same fanfare or success as Deion. His QB, Jeff Sims, threw 3 picks in a heartbreaker loss to MN last week. Nebraska wants to be back in the worst way. Outside of the Cornhuskers, that state has nothing to root for. Sims can scoot though. Maybe Nebraska opts to just pound the rock on Colorado. Go back to the triple option days. Nebraska will absolutely be a stiffer defensive test for Sanders, Edwards, and Hunter. 

Vegas is just as confused by Colorado as the rest of us. Nebraska was a 7.5 point favorite before the season started. Now Colorado’s favored but by less than a field goal. A 10 point line change shows that even the desert didn’t expect Deion to start this strong. 

Other games to track:

10 Notre Dame at NC State (+7.5)

Notre Dame has finally found a passing attack. But, they played Navy and Tennessee State. Is that really adequate competition to measure the golden domes against? Obviously not. Now they get a real game, against a real opponent, on the road. If they beat NC State like they did Navy, ND might actually belong in the playoff conversation (it pains me to type that).

Now let’s look at NC State. They are supposedly a fringe contender in the ACC and a candidate to upset Clemson – I doubt it would be an upset now. They struggled mightily against UConn last week in a game no one watched. If UConn gives you trouble, how will you handle Notre Dame?

12 Utah at Baylor (+7.5)

I mainly just want to see the Pac-12 continue their fantastical run of dominance in their last year of existence. It’s wonderfully ironic. 

Does Cam Rising return for the Utes? Or do we get another week of Bryson Barnes? Either way, Utah should be fine. Their defense is criminally underrated and keeps them in every game, regardless of who plays QB.

On the subject of QB: Baylor lost their starter, Blake Shapen, to an MCL injury last week. That’s on top of losing to Texas State in the Bobcats’ first ever victory over a P5 program. Things are not great in Waco right now. 

Sooo. After all that, how is the line only 7.5? Vegas must know something the rest of us don’t. Instinct tells me Utah wins by 30. 

2:30 PM CST:

Iowa at Iowa State (+3.5)

The Iowa Athletics Gambling Bowl (name still being workshopped).

Both teams lost multiple players to gambling suspensions. Finding concrete information on the subject is tricky. Most media outlets and sports writers are handling the situation with kid gloves. There is clearly a silent understanding that this looks bad and the less it’s talked about the better. 

At a minimum:

Iowa State lost about 9 players including the expected starting QB.

Iowa lost 4 players including one of their top 2 RBs.

Iowa didn’t score the court mandated 25 points last week – getting only 24. So if they plan on taking that assignment seriously, I expect them to run up the score on the Cyclones given the opportunity to do so.

Other games to track:

23 Texas A&M at Miami (+4.5)

Last year this game was huge. This year I don’t really care, and I’m not sure why. Both teams went 5-7 last year. Both would like to win at least 8 this year. Although A&M is under a little more pressure to “win now”

I have to pay attention to this game for one reason. The loser is going to take a lot of heat from their respective fanbase. The winner won’t gain much, but the loser will be the subject of every overreaction Sunday take possible. This includes week 2 coaching hot seat chatter.

20 Ole Miss at 24 Tulane (+7.5)

Tulane wants to be 2021 Cincinnati this year and make the CFP. Well, that’s cool and all, but then they better absolutely crush Ole Miss at home. It’s their only P5 non-con game. And newsflash Tulane – Ole Miss is favored!

Ole Miss hung 73 on Mercer last week. Yes, it’s “only Mercer,” but 70+ is impressive no matter what. And, Ole Miss was supposed to be a run-heavy team this year. Against Mercer, they actually aired it out quite a bit. 41 pass attempts for over 500 yards through the air.

6:00 PM CST:

This slate is just unfair. My game and the best game are on at the same time. I’m going to need an extra TV in the living room this week.

19 Wisconsin at Washington State (+6.5)

To get my full thoughts on this game: check out this week’s edition of Wisco Wednesday.

To keep it short and sweet:

  • Wisconsin’s passing game is worrisome.
  • Wisconsin’s running game is phenomenal.
  • Washington State’s QB, Cam Ward, was awesome last week. Wisco’s defense should be on high alert.
  • Washington State won this game in Mad Town last year. Revenge Game?

Second TV:
11 Texas at 3 Alabama (-7)

The game of the year. Quin Ewers vs. Jalen Milroe (yeah, not the same ring as Bryce Young).

The actual matchup is Nick Saban vs. Steve Sarkisian – Master vs. Apprentice.

If Bama wins: Nick’s still got it, the Tide are thinking playoffs, and Sark has a lot of angry boosters to deal with back in Austin.

If Texas wins: Texas is BACK, Saban is finally declining, and Quin Ewers is a top 3 Heisman candidate.

For football nerds, the best part of the game will be watching Texas’ receiving core go against the Alabama secondary. Both are top 3 units in the country, and I’m probably selling them short. It will be basically all NFL dudes at Texas Wide Receiver, Texas Tight End, Bama Cornerback, and Bama Safety.

Upset Watch:
13 Oregon at Texas Tech (+6.5)

Texas Tech was upset by Wyoming last week. But that was a weird game. It was at Wyoming, there was a long weather delay, and it went to double overtime. Texas Tech is not a bad team, they just played a bad game.

Oregon is on top of the world after dropping 81 on Portland State. Now they have to go to Lubbock, Texas to play a real team. How many Oregon players can point to Lubbock on an unmarked map of Texas?

9:30 PM CST:

I’ll have it on – maybe:
Auburn at Cal (+6.5)

This is just a super weird matchup. SEC vs. Pac-12. Both teams are expected to be bottom feeders in their conferences, but not the very bottom. 

I’m curious how Michigan State transfer QB Payton Thorne does at Auburn.

Spread Picks*:

Below are the only games I would actually consider betting myself. Anything mentioned above that isn’t listed below, I think the spread is well placed and I wouldn’t go near for gambling purposes. I’ll track my record for these picks all season so we can see if I actually know anything. 

Illinois (+3) – Illinois Moneyline (Upset)
I know they barely got by Toledo. But Toledo is a good football team. Bielema continues to be underrated at Illinois and the Illini get the upset in Lawrence. 

Vanderbilt (+10)
Vandy isn’t garbage anymore. They probably won’t win, but 10 points is a lot. They keep it close against the Demon Deacons. 

Colorado (-2.5) – Favorite Pick
Deion is for real. They here.

Utah (-7.5)
Baylor’s starting QB is out with injury, and Utah has proven it doesn’t matter who they start. Utah pummels Baylor.

Notre Dame (-7.5)
Sam Hartman is what ND needed to fix their offense. They score relentlessly and NC State just can’t keep up.

Purdue (+3) – Purdue Moneyline (Upset)
Purdue was an embarrassment last week. Now they redeem themselves. That, and Virginia Tech is bad, really bad.

Iowa (-3.5)
Hopefully enough Iowa players bet on themselves to make this one cover. Iowa State lost too many players to gambling suspensions to keep up.

Tulane (+7.5) 
This is Tulane’s Super Bowl, and they are at home. The best G5 should be able to keep up with a middle-of-the-road SEC team.

Texas (+7) – Texas Moneyline (Upset)
Texas is Back. The Saban Dynasty is Over. 

How I’ve Done so far this Season:

Upset Picks must be +3 or greater to be “Upsets”

Favorite Picks: 1-0 (Mertz Bad)
Upset Picks: 1-0 (Go Duke)
Total Record ATS: 5-3 (could be worse)

*These picks are to express my opinion on games from a point spread perspective. I am not advocating for you, the reader, to gamble on any of these games. Please bet responsibly.

Pac-12 QB Show (The real Heisman list)

Most conferences have 3-4 QBs you believe in. The Pac-12 has at least 8. If you want a Heisman list, just look at the starting Pac-12 signal callers – and throw in Travis Hunter.

Ranking the Pac-12 QBs:

  1. Caleb Williams – The reigning Heisman winner has done nothing to lose his top spot. He can’t help his suspect defense, he just scores more than they give up.
  1. Michael Penix Jr. – 5 TDs vs. Boise State. Penix can keep up with Williams on the stat sheet.
  1. Bo Nix – The QB3 in the Pac-12 would be QB1 in the B1G or SEC.
  1. Shedeur Sanders – 510 yards in week 1. A school record on his debut. Is that going to be every week? If so, he will be moving up shortly.
  1. DJ Uiagalelei – Clemson’s 5* washout. I bet they wish they had him back after that Duke game. 
  1. Cam Rising – Just the 2 time defending Pac-12 champion. No big deal.
  1. Cam Ward – He was the entire offense in week 1. Wisconsin should be concerned for week 2.
  1. Dante Moore – 5* true freshman. Looks like he earned the starting job for week 2. Over half the country would take this kid over who they currently have. 

Want more Walk On Fan? 

Check out our prediction for every P5 championship game, and who makes the College Football Playoff here.

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This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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