Clear Your Schedule | Week 2, 2023

By Brian Wilmer -

Greetings, citizens.

We’re now through the first week of what feels like 61 — and will have felt like 6 when we’re done — of the 2023 college football season. Let’s simultaneously look back and forward at college football, shall we?

Sunday Stories

It’s time for the four biggest stories from the week prior in college football. I’ll apologize early for the virtual guarantee that I get derailed.

Buffaloed: I mentioned in last week’s space that Colorado-TCU was one of the storylines last week — not exactly breaking news, but just reiterating — and man, it turned into exactly that. Colorado claimed a 45-42 victory from the Horned Frogs, and instead of focusing on Travis Hunter — who had one of the best games we’ve seen from a P5 player in recent memory — and his own son — the camera ended up back on Deion. Again.

I get it. Deion is a newsworthy figure. Fine.

That said, this is going to become a tired act really quickly. You’re wanting to “keep receipts” — whatever motivates you and your team. Taking shots at media types from the podium after games is only going to win over the major network “take factories” in the long run. You had one of the most historic wins in recent history for a program that had all but died. Your own kid and the five-star you got to go to an HBCU played key roles. Focus on that instead of putting writers on Front Street.

Daniels does it again:  Long-time college quarterback JT Daniels suited up — again — for a different school last Saturday. The ex-Georgia, USC, and West Virginia signal-caller took the snaps for Rice against Texas, completing 14-of-26 throws for 149 yards and a touchdown alongside two picks. Rice fell to the Longhorns, 37-10. Daniels has now played in 33 games in parts of six seasons, completing 603-of-963 tosses for 7096 yards and 46 scores against 27 picks.

Good job, G.J.:  G.J. Kinne’s first game as Texas State’s head coach was a rousing success, as the Bobcats grabbed a 42-31 victory at Baylor. T.J. Finley had a big day, connecting on 22-of-30 for 298 yards and three scores. Kinne, in his first year in San Marcos after a 12-2 season at Incarnate Word that ended with a playoff berth, is a rising star in the coaching business and is a name worth watching as the Bobcats’ season unfolds. Texas State plays a really interesting game this weekend at UTSA.

Bedeviled:  Clemson did the thing Monday that we have completely overused over the last few years. You know the word; it has an -ing suffix. The game was bad enough. This is worse, courtesy of our great friend Matt Connolly:

The combination of that — whatever you want to call it — and D.J. Uiagalelei absolutely roasting San Jose State Sunday — made for about the worst possible opening weekend for Clemson.

Bad Bets

And now for the time that I show off my complete lack of handicapping skills. I make no claims to the contrary. With that, here’s what you’ll read every week:

I’ll pick four games each week, with many not in the huge P5 windows, because I tend to color outside those lines a bit. I’ll just pick straight lines as they are listed on the day I pick them — no money lines, no teasing, nothing else.  I’ll keep track of my record as the season goes along, and you can trash me in the comments each week for my lack of prediction prowess.

NOTE:  None of the text within is meant to serve as gambling advice. This is largely meant for parody and light-hearted review. At no point should any of the picks in this article be construed as gambling advice offered by or me.

Week 1
 (-7.5) at Georgia Tech
WHAT HAPPENED:  Louisville 39, Georgia Tech 34. The Cardinals trailed by 15 at the half and scored 26 over the final two quarters to win — though not by enough.

Virginia vs. Tennessee (-28.5)
WHAT HAPPENED:  Tennessee 49, Virginia 13. Oof. The Cavaliers are in trouble.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina (+2.5) (game in Charlotte)
WHAT HAPPENED:  North Carolina 31, South Carolina 17. The Gamecocks couldn’t block or run. Spencer Rattler looked good — really good — but it’s tough when you have .03 seconds to throw.

Speaking of bad looks:

Clemson (-13) at Duke
WHAT HAPPENED:  Duke 28, Clemson 7. Hahahahahaha if we hadn’t made a couple mistakes we totally could’ve won.

Let’s move on…

Week 2 (1-3 last week, 1-3 this season)

JMU (-6) at Virginia (noon, ESPNU)
Nebraska at #22 Colorado (-3) (noon, FOX)
#20 Ole Miss at #24 Tulane (+7.5) (3:30pm, ESPN2)
#11 Texas at #3 Alabama (-7) (7pm, ESPN)

And finally, here are the four “under-the-radar” games I’ll be watching this week and how to watch them. I’ll also include lines if there are any — for informational purposes only, naturally, as outlined in the above disclaimer. I don’t yet have a name for this section. All times are Eastern.

#2 Montana State (1-0) at #1 South Dakota State (1-0) (7:00, ESPN+):  Numbers 1 and 2 in the FCS? I realize there’s a lot of football going on at that time — including that Texas-Alabama game — but this is where your eyes need to be. This Big Sky/MVFC matchup is Frisco-quality, and we get it in Week 2.
LINE:  NA as of press time.

Texas State (1-0) at UTSA (0-1) (3:30, ESPN+):  I mentioned this game earlier, and the win over Baylor makes this all the more interesting. The storyline that intrigues me here is the up-and-comer in Texas coaching circles (G.J. Kinne) facing off with the Texas high school legend who has translated that success to the collegiate level (Jeff Traylor).
LINE:  UTSA -13.5.

Jacksonville State (2-0) at Coastal Carolina (0-1) (7pm, ESPN+):  The Gamecocks hit the road for the first time as D1 members, traveling to the Surf Turf in Conway. Coastal looked really good at UCLA — and then Dante Moore happened. The odds aren’t great — you’ll see that in a minute — that Rich Rod’s club will go 3-0 and pick up its first D1 road victory, but the matchup is one you should watch if you’re looking for something outside the P5 realm.
LINE:  Coastal -14.

SMU (1-0) at #18 Oklahoma (1-0) (6pm, ESPN+):  This game should be fun enough when watching a future ACC vs. SEC matchup.

Let’s be honest, though — this game really gives me an excuse to share this:

LINE:  Oklahoma -15.5.

I’m still working out the kinks on the return of this thing, so please keep letting me know what works and what doesn’t. Drop me a comment if you feel so inclined, won’t you?

Until we meet again…

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