Oh, they’re coming. Prepare your livers.
With one week (technically two) of college football in the books many fans may be feeling confident. This week’s slate will have you reaching for the Tums. Or Fireball.
Pigskin Grind has five—count ’em, five—games that will have the favorites going down in flames. Let the little guys (and the Big Boys, in some cases) celebrate.
There is redemption for all in college football.
New Mexico (-17) vs Boise State
The New Mexico Lobos are calling for a red out in tonight’s game against Boise State. They may have valid reasons for why they can steal this game from Boise State.
Quarterback Hank Bachmeier look rattled against Oregon State last week. Reserve Taylen Green came in and scored on a long touchdown but the Beavers’ defense was just too good and the Broncos went down 34-17.
New Mexico pitched a 41-0 shutout to Maine. Sure, the Black Bears are an FCS team, but it was still a rout. The Lobos looked good in their season opener and Boise State is 0-1 on the road.
Pittsburgh +6 vs Tennessee
Pitt had a tough time putting West Virginia away in the Backyard Brawl last week, surviving 38-31. Head coach Pat Narduzzi is an underrated coach who will have the team laser focused on the Vols. The Panthers are battle-tested. If quarterback Kedon Slovis can look off his receivers instead of telegraphing his passes, Pitt should upset the Vols.
Tennessee drilled Ball State at home 59-10 and looked good against a mid-tier MAC team. Last year Tennessee lost to Pitt 41-34 at home, despite “Rocky Top” serenades from its fans. This year Heinz Field will be “touching me, touching you” throughout the game.
UNLV +13 at Cal
This is nothing personal against Cal, but the Golden Bears looked terrible in their 34-13 victory against UC Davis. With only eight starters returning, the Bears are in total rebuilding mode and UNLV will be taking advantage of the inexperience and youth.
The Rebels beat Idaho State 52-21 last week. So while both teams played FCS teams, one team did not have a problem routing its opponent and another one did. We’re not betting on UNLV, we’re betting against Cal.
Vanderbilt +13.5 vs Wake Forest
The Commodores (2-10 last year) travelled all day to Hawai’i in week zero and beat the Warriors senseless, 63-10. Last week they beat Elon 42-31. Vanderbilt is currently in first place in the SEC East. How pumped up is Vanderbilt right now?
Meanwhile, Wake Forest has to travel to SEC Country and take on the Commodores, a team it is probably not taking too seriously. Oh yeah, this one is going to be fun to watch.
Baylor +3 at BYU
This could be the Game of the Week. It should be very close (which is why you should take the points) but I like Baylor to eke out a win here. BYU has a veteran team (19 returning starters) and the weather forecast looks perfect for an air show.
Baylor beat No. 19 BYU last year 38-24 (the spread was Baylor-5) so head coach Dave Aranda has the formula to beat BYU. This game will be played in a hostile environment and unlike last year, the Cougars are relatively healthy.
The Hunger Games
There are an additional two games you should consider for all the wrong reasons.
Kentucky +6.5 at Florida is an interesting game just because the Gators are feeling super cocky and Kentucky just loves to rain on everyone’s parade as an underdog.
Appalachian State +19.5 at Texas A&M does not need much explanation here. The Mountaineers almost pulled off a huge upset against North Carolina, losing 63-61. If their defense can figure out how to cut points allowed by 50 percent, they have a shot of humiliating Jimbo Fisher at home.