Here are our Week 2 Picks - Good Luck to All - Gregg

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2017 Weekly Picks
Week 2
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Pat Steger

2017 Predictions

* Buckeye 50 Picks Champion
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Cory Steger
Brent Baver ***
Jason Harris
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Pete Quint *
Rick DeSutter ***
Vaughn Broadnax
Gregg Watson **
Joe Hylton *
Mark Triffon
Pat Steger
Steven Smith
Dave Culver *
Stefan Armintrout

Last Week: It was a slow start in the first half for the Buckeyes but the finish provides hope of the offense we want to see this year. The 49-21 victory over the Hoosiers was a solid road win and at the same time, will give OSU plenty to work on for week 2. Some of the positives included 596 yards of offense, no turnovers and 6-for-6 scoring in the red zone. We will need improvement from the Secondary, we have been spoiled with all the NFL talent that has come and gone they past few years. As for our weekly predictions, we had eight of us go 5-0 or 4-1, pretty good considering how a couple of those games ended. Brent, Cory, Jason and Josh start the year off with a perfect week, will see if they can do it again. We also want to congratulate Dave Culver, who was our Predictions champion last season.  
This Week: It appears that ESPN GameDay will be present for the Buckeyes game a second week in a row, their 16th trip to Columbus. OSU is 11-4 in the previous games. The Buckeyes should be able to put up points on the Sooners, the question will be how will the young secondary will perform against Baker Mayfield. The winner will have a huge leg up in the playoff race, but the loser can still play their way into one of the top four spots  ....  Last year, The Nittany Lions suffered an early season lose to the Pitt Panthers. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but that game probably kept Penn State out of the playoffs as they went on to win the Big Ten. There is no doubt the Lions will place a high priority on this contest, but can the Panthers pull off another upset?  ....  Does anyone remember when the Cornhuskers were a power in college football, me neither. Long gone are the years of dominance under Tom Osborne. This seems like a good year to challenge for the B1G West crown, but they need to grow with a game like they have this week against the Oregon Ducks.  But can they go into Autzen and secure a victory?  ....  Auburn and Clemson face-off in a huge week 2 contest.  Like the OSU-OU game., the winner will nave a stronghold on a playoff berth.  Which group will prevail in this one, the Clemson offense or the Auburn defense?  ....  Finally, we look at what may be the biggest game in the Pac-12 this year.  USC travels north to take on the Stanford Cardinal.  This will mark 10 years since Stanford upset the Trojans as 45 point underdogs.  The fate of these two programs have certainly reversed since that night.  Is this when USC and their Heisman hopefully QB put the Men of Troy back into the national picture?
Guest Buckeye: Once again we are pleased to have Vaughn Broadnax join us as a regular to our predictions page. Check out his comments and predictions where he shows he is STILL in touch with the college football landscape.  
 (6)Oklahoma  @  (2)Ohio State
(Favorite: Ohio State  -7 1/2)

Bbaver: The Pick OSU: Think this one will be much closer than last year, and a Sooner upset would not surprise me. I guess I will believe Mike Weber is playing when I actually see him play, but a 1-2 punch of Dobbins/Weber would really help I think. Downfield passing still a major concern, but I think the Bucks make enough big plays to get it done. Ohio State 35 Oklahoma 31  

Cory:  Games like this are always so hard for me to predict with any accuracy. I try to think as objectively as possible and do so without the homer googles on, but it's impossible to completely remove all bias. Oklahoma looked amazing last week under first year head coach Lincoln Riley, largely because of the play of quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield went 19-for-20 for 329 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, and he didn't even play in the second half. Ohio State had the tougher test in week one, having to go on the road against a feisty Indiana team. The Buckeyes need to more inconsistent in the passing game to live up to their potential. Oklahoma will be without the services of nickel corner Jordan Parker, who suffered a season-ending knee injury to UTEP last week. Oklahoma will want revenge for what the Buckeyes did in Norman last year, but the Buckeyes depth and defense should help them overcome a strong challenge from the Sooners.   Ohio State 38, Oklahoma 35  

Dave: OSU 42 - Oklahoma 21

Gregg:  Ohio State is one of the greatest football teams of all time and in particular, they have a great home record. But they are 0-5-1 at home against non-conference opponents, who are ranked in the top 5. They have not won a non-conference night game since 2003.  And in their series with the Sooners, the home team has NEVER won. I say it is about time we change all those trends! JT Barrett needs to have a great game and the receivers need to hold on to the ball and make some big catches (a la Noah Brown style). This will allow the running game to once again bloom, like it did in the second half of week 1. As for the defense, the back 7 need to give the D-line time to get to Mayfield.  One of these quarterbacks is going to jump to the top of the Heisman watch list Saturday. I am going to give the edge to the better coach in this one but it is going to be closer than most people think.   Ohio State 31  Oklahoma 24

Jason: What might be the last chance for the Big 12 to state their case for a playoff appearance takes place in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday night as 2 of college football’s blue blood programs get after it as Oklahoma invades Ohio Stadium to take on Ohio State. It needs the elite program to represent and be who most think they are. If they lose, they become a long shot to play in the playoff, win and they’re in the driver’s seat. 

Oklahoma boasts one of college football’s best quarterback’s in Baker Mayfield. He has the resume as a Heisman finalist a year ago, he is one of the favorites this season and he did not disappoint a week ago against UTEP, completing 19-of-20 passes for 329 yards and three TD’s. His outing a year ago at home against the Buckeyes did not go well and he’s looking for redemption this time around. He will have to get the ball out quick to elude the powerful Ohio State D Line, but if he can, the young Buckeye secondary will be challenged once again.  

For Ohio State, Mike Weber is back, joining freshman J.K. Dobbins, who broke out in his first game as a Buckeye to the tune of 184 yards on the ground. That duo has a chance to be the top backfield tandem in the country and with another Heisman candidate in J.T. Barrett running the show, the Oklahoma D will be tested. If Barrett is able to hit a deep throw or two, it could be a long day for the Sooners. I expect both QB’s to be very good, but the difference will be the running games. Oklahoma will struggle against the Buckeye front and become one dimensional, while the high powered Buckeye offense will dominate the line of scrimmage leading Ohio State to a win in their first big challenge of the year.  

Joe-S-U:  Ohio State  

John:  Fun fact: Ohio State has never beaten an out of conference opponent ranked in the top 5 in the polls in Columbus. Given that Pickerington Central HS would have given OU a better test that UTEP last week, it’s hard to gauge if OU’s D is really any better than the one JTB IV torched last year. Look for OSU to reap the benefit of playing a tougher week one opponent. Buck pull away late…Ohio State 38 Oklahoma 17  

Josh:  Oklahoma took care of business early the this past Saturday against UTEP, and Mayfield got to rest early for this game. They will want to seek revenge from last years home loss to the Buckeyes in a game that really wasn't as close as the final score seemed to have shone. Ohio State had a slow start for the first 2 and half quarters against Indiana, but once they opened it up, they piled it on, which at this time of year they needed to do. In November, people won't remember as much the Buckeyes struggled those quarters but the final score and the spread. Our secondary will be really tested against this strong passing offense, and hopefully they can correct the mistakes from Indiana, of course they were able to get two interceptions. I think the key to this game will be if the defensive line can get pressure fast enough and rattle Mayfield like they were able to last year, and if our offense can connect on the deep ball and not have to rely on the running game as much. GameDay will be here for this one and it should be electric for this 7:30pm kickoff in the 'Shoe! Buckeyes win again taking command in the first half and controlling possession in the second half.   Ohio State 52- Oklahoma 28  

Dr. Mark:   OSU 27-24,  still worried about D stopping large receivers- they need to be better  

PJSBuck: The Sooners will have revenge on their minds for this game. We better "fix" the pass defense very quickly or this will be an offensive slug-fest. Does anyone know why none of our secondary ever turns to see where the ball is??? Their offense returns many from last year so our defense will get SERIOUSLY tested Saturday night. It will be very interesting to see just how good Greg Schiano is at quick fixes and adjustments. His halftime adjustments against Indiana were very effective so I am optimistic until reason to worry. Prediction is Ohio State in a nail-biter by 3 perhaps even OT. 

Pia Pete:  The Buckeye defense wakes up and the Sooners go home with a loss.   OSU 34 – OU 24  

Coach Rick:  I am so happy that this game is a home game for OSU. There is a reason that Game Day will be here as this will be the best game of the week on paper. What I see is both come in with the same talent or better than last year. I see pretty much the same results as a year ago.   OSU by 21  

Steven:  I was actually a little worried about this one until I read Baker Mayfield's rushing stats. He's purely a pocket passer and that will be his undoing. He a REALLY GOOD pocket passer, so our secondary will need to play better than they did last week against Indiana. Oklahoma won't be able to match the quick passing tempo of Indiana, which should mean that the Buckeye's front 5 should be able to get to the QB often. They will be going up against the heart of the Sooner offense, and possibly the best O line in the nation. If they give Mayfield time to throw, he can pick a defense apart. The matchup will be won in the trenches, but if the line play comes to a stalemate, it may just be the most under-the-radar unit on the defense, the linebackers, who will make the difference in the game. Despite having outstanding talent in the line backing corps, we have not yet seen a player on the level of Raekwon McMillan or Darron Lee emerge. If the defense is forced to blitz to get pressure on Mayfield, it could be a long night for the Bucks. On the offensive side of the ball, the hill may not be as tough to climb. Even with arguably the best defense in the Big 12, Oklahoma still gave up 45 points in last year's tilt in Norman. With Freshman JK Dobbins adding a new wrinkle to the run game, the pressure may lessen a little for JT Barrett. If he can be as good as he was in Bloomington, the Bucks should win easily. Points will be scored in bunches, and it may take a 4th quarter comeback to seal the win, but the Bucks should finally break the streak and bring a win for the home team in the series.    OSU 42-28. 

Trout:  This game is going to be close. The Sooners will have revenge on their minds from last years beating from the Buckeyes. While, Ohio State should still have a chip on their shoulder from the ending of last season, and their lackluster start against Indiana. The Buckeyes will have a few thing in their favor. A big advantage is that the Bucks are the home team, and the fans will be out in full force. With players like Dobbins, and Campbell stepping up and making big plays, the OSU offense should be hard to stop once their get a rhythm going. There is an advantage for Oklahoma however. The secondary for OSU is still young and still trying to find its footing. And Oklahoma's experienced quarterback Baker Mayfield will take full advantage of that. I see it being a close, high scoring game, but in the end, the Bucks will do just enough to win.  (Ohio State, 42-38)  

Vaughn Broadnax:  I am going to go with the Buckeyes against Oklahoma. I think we are down early like last week, but we find a way to slow down Baker Mayfield in the second half and prevail. Buckeyes outscore the Sooners 45-35.

ESPN GameDay:  Desmond Howard and guest picker "Eddie Eddie" George selected Ohio State. Lee Corso once again selected the Brutus headgear once again.

​Final Score:  Oklahoma 31   Ohio State 16
                     (2-0)                 (1-1)
 (37)Pittsburgh  @  (4)Penn State
(Favorite: Penn State  -16 1/2)

Bbaver: The Pick: Penn State - Panthers no match for the Nits this year.  

Cory:  A lot of Penn State fans were crying last season when Ohio State got selected for the College Football Playoff instead of their team. What did the Nittany Lions in was their loss to Pitt, which really hurt their strength of schedule. Pitt should still be pretty strong, however, the Panthers are having to deal with new starters at quarterback and running back now that Nathan Peterman and James Conner are in the NFL. This showed in the Panthers' narrow 28-21 win over Youngstown State last week. Meanwhile, Penn State is rolling thanks to their quarterback and running back combination of Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley. I am convinced that Barkley is the best running back in the country right now. He is an absolute treat to watch. Barkley and McSorley give the Nittany Lions a big edge in the game this season so expect them to exact revenge on Pitt.   Penn State 28, Pitt 10  

Dave:  Penn State 38 - Pitt 21

Gregg:  Last year, Pittsburgh managed to beat both Clemson and Penn State, the only team in the country to knock off two Power 5 conference champions. Don't bet on them repeating that again this season.  Saquon Barkley has a huge day and I think he can go for over 200 yards in this one. At the end of the day it will be Saquon and JT on top the Heisman watch list.   Penn State 41  Pittsburgh 17 

Jason:  No one knew at the time, but the 42-39 loss by the Nits to the hands of the Panthers ultimately cost Penn State the opportunity to get whacked by Clemson in the College Football Playoff a year ago.

For the Panthers, another win wouldn’t mean they are a national contender but it would derail Penn State’s thoughts that they are officially back.

The Nits had no trouble rolling Akron to start the season while Pitt eased up on the throttle and needed overtime to get by the fighting Bo Pelini’s of Youngstown State.

The Panther secondary was awful a year ago, and it didn’t look much better last week, giving up 311 yards and two touchdowns. While Penn State’s bread and butter is running back Saquon Barkley, they should be able to throw the ball early and often behind quarterback Trace McSorley. Pittsburgh on the other hand had a big first half against Youngstown State, led by Quadree Ollison and Quadree Henderson and should challenge the Penn State defensive front. USC transfer Max Browne will provide a bit of trouble as well for the Nittany Lion defense and make it a game for a while. However, ultimately, the porous Pitt secondary will rear its ugly head and the Lions will be able to pull away behind the arm of McSorley which will open up things on the ground for Barkley. Penn State wins this edition of the rivalry.   Penn State 37 Pitt 20

Joe-S-U:  Penn State  

John:  Guarantee that PSU has this one circled in red on the calendar after the Panthers pulled the upset last year. I don’t think there is any way Pitt even covers this week, let alone wins.   Penn St 45 Pitt 10  

Josh:  This is not the same Pitt team that beat Penn State last year, and this is not the same Penn State team who was still developing their identity. I think Penn State will want to make a statement with this rematch game and Barkley will have another 200+ all purpose yards in this one. I think the Pitt defense will have a bit more challenge than Akron gave the Nittney Lions, and I expect them to get at least one interception, but I think Penn State pulls away in the second half to start 2-0.   Penn State 38 - Pitt 17  

Dr. Mark:  PSU 40-17. No comment here but ill be hoping the ghosts of Dan Marino and Tony Dorsett rise up and Beat the happy valley boys  

PJSBuck:  This will be a good game - for 5 minutes then a rout.  Penn State by 28 or more 

Pia Pete:  Penn State is back.   Lions 28 – Panthers 17  

Coach Rick:  This is the battle for the top team in the state. I guess I should have said this "game" will be instead of battle.  I have PSU winning 42 - 10.  

Steven:  Pittsburgh stinks. Mark May is a troll. Nothing to see here. Move along.   PSU 45-12. 

Trout:   Penn State is going to crush Pittsburgh. The Nittany Lions are clearly a great team and will continue to be in the mix for the playoffs. While the Pitt Panthers struggled with Youngstown State. A Power 5 team should not have to take a FCS to overtime, just to beat them. I see PSU scoring early and often, with very little resistance. Penn State wins big.   (Penn State, 56-3)

Vaughn:  After surviving the mighty Penguins last week in overtime, I think Penn State exacts it’s revenge from last year’s loss. Penn State destroys Pittsburgh 45-14  

ESPN GameDay:  Desmond Howard selected Pittsburgh in the upset. Guest picker Eddie George, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit selected Penn State.​ 

​Final Score:  Penn State 33   Pittsburgh 14
                     (2-0)                 (1-1)
 (34)Nebraska  @  (31)Oregon
(Favorite: Oregon  -9 1/2)

Bbaver: The Pick: Oregon - Vegas line looks too large, gotta take the Ducks in Eugene  

Cory:  This game has my attention because of what happened between the two teams last season. Nebraska upset Oregon 35-32 in Lincoln, one of many games which contributed to the firing of Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich. First-year Oregon head coach Willie Taggart saw his team cruise to a 77-21 win over Southern Utah last week. On the other hand, Nebraska struggled to put away Arkansas State, holding on for a 43-36 win. Considering the game is in Autzen Stadium, and that the Cornhuskers are still struggling to find an identity under head coach Mike Riley, the edge goes to the Ducks in this one.   Oregon 42, Nebraska 17  

Dave:  Oregon 42 - Nebraska 17

Gregg:  Both of these schools are trying to get back to being a national power. The Cornhuskers were there for years, Oregon had a few good years under Coach Kelly.  Both teams have had several coaching changes trying to right the ship. Both teams think they can compete for their division title this year. This will be a good test for both getting ready for conference play.  I think they are close to each other skill-wise but neither team will do better than 3rd place.  But hey, 3rd is good (right Coach Harbaugh).  I will give the edge to the home team.  Oregon  44  Nebraska 38

Jason:  It’s not a traditional Big Ten/Pac 12 battle but an interesting one nonetheless. If the Huskers can get a win at the Autzen Zoo, the schedule lightens up for a while before heading to Wisconsin in game 5. 

The much criticized Duck D looked decent in the opener against Southern Utah after a rough first half but this will be a bigger challenge to prove they are improved from a horrendous 2016. Nebraska has the quarterback in Tanner Lee that has the ability to challenge the Ducks from the outset and for the Cornhuskers to get where they aspire to be this season, Lee must be exceptional. Running Back Tre Bryant had a big day last week against a very good Arkansas State team, rushing for 192 yards and a TD.  

Oregon may have one of the nation’s best rushing attacks, led by Royce Freeman who ran fro 150 yards and four TD’s, and Kani Benoit running for 107 yards on three touchdowns a week ago.

Nebraska’s problem defensively won’t be stopping the run. Their secondary was torched by Arkansas State last week, surrendering 415 yards and three TD’s through the air, while Oregon QB Justin Hebert was hittingt on 17-of-21 passes for 281 yards and a TD.

This one has the makings of a shootout, and neither defense is exceptional, but Oregon has too much on the offensive side of the football and will pull away from the Huskers at home.   Oregon 50 Nebraska 34  

Joe-S-U:  Nebraska  

John:  Truly amazing how far Nebraska football fortunes have fallen. From once being a CFB blue blood that could compete for a national championship every year to being just a name from the past and little more than a speed bump for today’s power teams. Sad.   Oregon 49 Nebraska 13  

Josh:  Nebraska gave up a lot of yards in their victory in a game that might have been too close for comfort for Cornhusker fans. Oregon seems to be the old Oregon team of late 2000's with a big win in their opener. I think this one will be a "check your defense at the door" type of game, but I think that with this game being in Autzen will be tough for the Cornhuskers to hear their fans and find momentum. Oregon will win this game in a shoot out until the 4th quarter.   Oregon - 49 - Nebraska 42  

Dr. Mark:  ​Oregon 35-21, agree with everyone’s comments about Huskers D

PJSBuck:  Should be a GREAT GAME to watch! Unfortunately I think the Ducks will be too tough at home.  Oregon by 17 or more 

Pia Pete Nebraska is still a few years away from winning this kind of game.   Ducks 27 – Huskers 14  

Coach Rick:  Prior to last week I would have said this should be a good game. But when your head coach really likes the direction of the defense when it allows 36 points and 497 yards of offense, I am not sure we saw the same game. This is a rare occurrence that I am against Nebraska, but I think Oregon wins by at least 24 points.  

Steven:   Both Oregon and Nebraska won their openers, handily beating up Southern Utah and Arkansas State respectively. The Husker's defense will need to play much better than they did last week as it looks like the Ducks can score at will, (and Bob and Tommy and whomever they throw out there). Of course, scoring basketball numbers against Southern Utah may not be so much telling as the fact that scoring 77 against anyone is a feat. Add to that Nebraska's is on the road, and while heading west isn't as bad as coming east, being on the road is never easy. This one could get ugly quickly.  Quack Attack 44-23, and Nebraska's Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco is gone before Thanksgiving. 

Trout:  I don't think either team is going to great this year. Clearly both teams have talent and can rack up points, but neither screams playoff contender to me. It may be the Big ten homer in me, but I have a feeling that the Cornhuskers might pull off the upset. Oregon is still finding its footing after the dismal 4-9 season last year. and while Nebraska hasn't been great since the Osborne era, they have averaged 9 win seasons the past few years. It will be close however. With highs scoring offenses and truly terrible defenses on both sides. In the end, however, the Cornhuskers upset the Ducks.   (Nebraska, 33-31) 

Vaughn: Nebraska struggled with a high scoring Arkansas State team last weekend and that leaves me with little confidence in them. Oregon lights up Nebraska 45-10.  

ESPN GameDay:  Desmond Howard and Lee Corso are going with Oregon and their new jerseys.  Guest picker Eddie George and Kirk Herbstreit selected Nebraska.​ 

​Final Score:  Oregon 42   Nebraska 35
                    (2-0)             (1-1)
 (13)Auburn  @  (3)Clemson
(Favorite: Clemson  -6 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Clemson - Should be a good one & Clemson certainly isn't going to fade into the sunset after losing Watson  

Cory:  Deshaun Watson isn't at Clemson any more, and yet, that doesn't seem to have fazed the Tigers. Watson was a three-year starter who led Clemson to the national championship last season, and filling his shoes would be a difficult test for anybody. New starting quarterback Kelly Bryant looks up to the task. Bryant went 16-for-22 for 216 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a blowout win over Ken State last week. He was poised in the pocket, and accurate on his throws. Auburn has a good quarterback as well in Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham. Stidham had 185 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns in his team's big win over Georgia Southern last week. With the injury to Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois, Clemson could easily find itself back in the playoff again this season assuming they can hold off Auburn first. Auburn's defense present a big challenge for Bryant, but playing in Death Valley is a huge boon for Clemson.   Clemson 31, Auburn 24  

Dave:  Clemson 42 - Auburn 28

Gregg:  Another great early match-up between the SEC and ACC. This will be a better test Clemson than week one, but it will be a victory once again.  I still think the SEC is down.  Auburn may be one of the top teams but I think this week is going to show that outside of the Tide, the conference does not stack on nationally.  Another opportunity for the young Clemson quarterback to grow.   Clemson 30  Auburn 14 

Jason:  I will put my house on the Tigers to win this one as Auburn invades Clemson with both teams looking to cement themselves in the CFP conversation. 

Clemson had no trouble airing it out against a poor Kent State team a week ago, but they will be pressured much more from a stingy Auburn D. On the other side, Jarrett Stidham was solid last week, hitting on 14-of-24 passes for 185 yards and two TD’s but the run game really shined, rushing for 351 yards and three scores.

Replacing the school’s all-time best signal caller is no easy task, but Kelly Bryant is the real deal, ripping off a 77 yard TD run while completing 16 of 22 passes for 236 yards and another TD last week. Clemson’s offense is very good but the defensive front that is the story. If Bryant can take care of the football, the defense is aggressive and fast and should be to get Auburn off the field quickly.

I expect both defenses to have dominant stretches but playing at home, Clemson will be able to do enough to pull out the win and keep its name in the CFP hunt.   Clemson 24 Auburn 21 .

Joe-S-U:  Clemson

John:  While I’d love for someone to knock Dabo and the Kitties down a notch, the wrong team from Alabama is playing in Death Valley to get that done this week. I don’t think Auburn has the ponies to hang with Clemson.  Clemson 35 Auburn 24  

Josh:  I am not sure why Auburn is still ranked high as they are. Clemson is still a good team and Kelly Bryant did not seem to miss a step in their rout over Kent State. I wonder though if their band got the memo about Kent State and Ohio State being two different teams. I know they knew they were going to get noticed and their 31-0 formation at half time would be spread over social media, but now I want to play them and take them down. The might be my next least favorite team. I digress. Auburn will have a defense that will try and slow down the smooth Clemson offense, but will not be enough, especially with this game in Death Valley.  Clemson 35 - Auburn 14

Dr. Mark:  Auburn 35-31 upset pick of the week.  Clemson has won last three – not sure if the miniature golf putting green at Clemson’s facility gives them an edge.  

PJSBuck:  My first official, "Who gives a sh**%$^t game of the week."  Clemson by 21 or more 

Pia Pete Clemson continues to roll.   Clemson 45 – Auburn 27 

Coach Rick:  Clemson looked for in their scrimmage last week. Now it is time for their season to begin. I think this will be a game in the 1st half and then Clemson will take over and win by 17 points.  

Steven:  Who to root for? Well, we know that Clemson is now in the driver's seat in the ACC with Florida State and Deondre Francois going down. So I'll pick the Tigers to root against, even though it means rooting for an SEC team. I'm pretty sure it won't make a lick of difference though, as Clemson looks to have reloaded very well, and as much as it may pain Buckeye fans, Dabo Swinney is the real deal when it comes to elite coaches. He's top 5 if not top 3 right now. The Tigers should win this easily at home.   Clemson 37-21. 

Trout:  I would like nothing more than to see the Auburn tigers crush Clemson. However, Clemson is the clearly the better team. Auburn hasn't had much success since the Cam Newton season, and has struggled to maintain any relevancy. Clemson on the other had, has been a powerhouse College Football. Making it to the National Championship 2 years in a row, and winning it last year. I think Auburn puts up a fight, and keeps the game relatively close, but Clemson will be too much for them. Clemson Tigers win.   (Clemson, 35-24)  

Vaughn:  Although I’ll be rooting for Auburn and praying they blast Clemson, I have to be a realist. Clemson runs away from Auburn 35-7.  
ESPN GameDay:  Desmond Howard, guest picker Eddie George, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit all choose Clemson for this one.​ 

​Final Score:  Clemson 14   Auburn 6
                       (2-0)           (1-1)
(5)USC  @  (14)Stanford
(Favorite: USC  -6 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Stanford - I like Stanford to pull the upset here; still not sold on Clay Helton as a head coach of a big time program

Cory:  Should USC be concerned about Sam Darnold? The quarterback and Heisman favorite struggled mightily at home against Western Michigan last week, throwing two interceptions with no touchdowns. The Trojans ended up winning 49-31 but it was 35-31 with four minutes left, and the Trojans final two scores came on a big run and an interception return. It will be even more difficult for Darnold this week when the Trojans travel to Stanford. The Cardinal must replace running back Christian McCaffrey, and so far his replacement, Bryce Love, looks up to the task. Love ran for 180 yards and a touchdown in the team's blowout win over Rice last week. It seems as if there is a lot in favor of Stanford pulling off the upset this week, and yet I am going to predict USC to come away with a big road victory. The Trojans are better than they looked last week, that is obvious, and they will use last week's struggles as motivation this week. Adding to the motivation is that the Cardinal have won the last three matchups between the teams.   USC 42, Stanford 28  

Dave:  Stanford 32 - USC 28

Gregg:  If Sam Darnold wants to make himself a leading Heisman candidate, this is the game to do it. The country will be flipping between this game and the OSU game wanting to see who the front runner might be for the conference.  I don't feel like I have seen enough from either one of these teams but I just believe Stanford has more weapons and will win this going away.   Stanford 35  USC 28    

Jason:  The Pac 12 looks very strong this season and this may be a match-up of the conference’s best two teams. Stanford made the trip halfway around the world, rolling Rice in Australia, while USC struggled but survived a decent Western Michigan squad.  

The Trojans will be facing a stout Stanford’s defensive front but the Trojan’s were very balanced offensively a week ago. They will have to be much of the same and need a big day from RB Ronald Jones to give QB Sam Darnold time to throw. Darnold struggled out of the gate against the Broncos, throwing 2 picks and not being able to find the end zone, but he is too talented to sleep on. 

The Cardinal offense can run the football. Led by big time back Bryce Love, who ran for 180 and a touch against Rice and QB Keller Chryst who threw for 253 and two TD’s, the offense looks the part. But Rice was a far inferior team and this is Stanford’s chance to prove they are back.  

Stanford will have the ability to control the clock with its running game and with Chryst hitting the intermediate throw, they should be able to control the game in terms of tempo.

USC is fast and talented and will test Stanford, but the Cardinal are rested and will come out swinging and will just have a little too much for Darnold and the Trojans frustrating him with pressure and keeping him off the field with ball control. Look for a big win for the home crowd as Stanford turns away USC.   Stanford 31 USC 21  

Joe-S-U:  USC  

John:  This is the game I’ll be switching to at half time of OSU/OU and again once it’s over. Should be a good one.   USC 24 Stanford 21

Josh:  Based on the eye test, Stanford looks poised to win this game easily. I think Western Michigan was still a good team, but Stanford's defense will be a notch above for Darnold to try and pass against. I think he will have a better game and this game will be closer than the spread, but I think Stanford will win this game at home. This might be USC's toughest game, and the game they need to win in order to be in control of the PAC-12 South. The Cardinal win this game though with their solid defense and ball control ground game.'   Stanford 28 - USC 24

Dr. Mark:  USC 34-17,  always a good game recently but USC size will wear them down in the 4th  

PJSBuck:  USC by 7 

Pia Pete:  Stanford derails the Trojans.   Stanford 24 – USC 17

Coach Rick:  USC did not look that good their season opener as to where Stanford played a real good game. I think at this time of the season I believe that Stanford has the better team at this time and will win by 10 points.  

Steven:  Sam Darnold was underwhelming to say the least in USC's opener against Western Michigan. For the prohibitive favorite for the number one overall pick in next year's NFL draft, he was downright disappointing. Now USC heads up north to Palo Alto. Stanford hasn't played since partying it up in Sydney where they curb-stomped the hapless Rice Owls 62-7. Little knowledge can be gained from that other than Rice is awful and Stanford would have gotten more of a game from the lowly Brisbane Lions, the bottom dwellers of the AFL. So, another year goes by and the talking heads seem to fall all over themselves talking up USC. As Flavor Flav once said, "Don't Believe the Hype". Sam Darnold can throw for however much he wants, but the truth is, he doesn't play defense, and USC probably wouldn't be much better if he did.   Stanford 38-28.

Trout:  I think the Cardinal win this game. The Trojans struggled with Western Michigan. granted, Western Michigan is a good team, but they are still a Mac team. A team touted to win the PAC-12, and compete for a National Championship, should not be in an offensive struggle with a MAC school. I think it will be a shootout. As much as I harped on USC, the still put up some points on WMU. As did Stanford on Rice. The game will be competitive for 3 quarters, but the Cardinal will eventually pull away and win comfortably.   (Stanford, 49-28)  

Vaughn:  This is a tough one as opening games can be very misleading. However, this is Stanford at home and a chance to place their hat in the discussion to represent the Pac 12 in this year’s playoff ring. Western Michigan is either a juggernaut tamed or USC is not that good. I will go with the latter. Stanford edges USC 24-21.  

ESPN GameDay:  Desmond Howard, guest picker Eddie George and Kirk Herbstreit all go with Stanford.  Lee Corso picks USC.

​Final Score:  USC 42   Stanford 24
                  (2-0)         (1-1)
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