Fearless Rick's 2016 College Football Picks - Week 2 early games

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NCAA Week 2 Late Games


WEEK 2 NCAA Football Picks

All times Eastern

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Last week (ATS):
Coin Flip: 5-10
Fearless Rick: 8-7

Friday, September 9

7:30 pm Maryland (-10 1/2, 56 1/2) at Florida International - The Terrapins pounded little Howard last week, 52-13, to open their 2016 campaign. If anything, the Terps look absolutely set offensively, and settled in new head coach, DJ Durkin, with style.

FIU didn't help itself any, losing to Indiana, 34-13, after going just 5-7 last season. Maryland should make hay before fighting their Big Ten foes.

Coin Flip: Maryland

Prediction: Terrapins 38 Golden Panthers 20

8:00 pm Louisville (-14 1/2, 69) at Syracuse - Not much to take away from both teams' lopsided wins last week, but they do employ similar offenses in a hurry-up style. Louisville obviously has had more practice at and comes in ranked in the mid-teems, while the Orange need to establish themselves as a true ACC contender.

This game may go a long way in convincing the doubters that SU football may be making a comeback. Not necessarily a win, but a battle until the final gun.

Coin Flip: Louisville

Prediction: Cardinals 44 Orange 36

Saturday, September 10

12:00 pm NC State (-4 1/2, 57) at East Carolina - Last season was a down year for the Pirates and their 5-7 mark, but they may have turned a corner with a 52-7 win over Western Carolina in their season opener last week.

As for the Wolfpack, it's always "this is they year," until about November 1, when the team realizes it just doesn't have it. They beat William and Mary pretty badly last week in their first game of 2016, but that isn't impressive nor instructive. Look for the Pirates to upend their brassier, ACC opponent.

Coin Flip: NC State

Prediction: Pirates 28 Wolfpack 23

12:00 pm Penn State at Pittsburgh (-6, 48 1/2) - Pitt had a solid, 8-5 season in 2015, but finished with a loss to Navy in the Military Bowl, 44-28. Still, they are on the cusp of making serious noise in the ACC, while the Nittany Lions are still a few players away from making a bid for a serious bowl, and, they are not very good on the road.

Coin Flip: Pittsburgh

Prediction: Panthers 33 Nittany Lions 20

3:30 pm Tulsa at Ohio State (-28 1/2, 73) - While Tulsa fans may be making projections based on the Golden Hurricanes' 45-10 rout over San Jose State last week, they must keep in mind a few items: 10 they are on the road; 2) Ohio State is loaded; 3) Tulsa was only 6-7 last season.

While Tulsa can score in bunches, don't expect them to do so against what may be one of the top ten defenses in the country. Ohio State should dominate with shut down defense.

Coin Flip: Tulas

Prediction: Buckeyes 47 Golden Hurricanes 13

3:30 pm Nevada at Notre Dame (-28, 60) - The Irish have to be totally spent after their marathon loss at Texas last week, a double-overtime, 50-47 classic. Having said that, the Irish should be more comfortable at home, though their defense leaves much to be desired.

Nevada isn't a bad team, finishing 7-6 in 2015. Starting this season with a 30-27 win over Cal Poly in OT was a good start and gives them some momentum. They may be fired up enough against a flat Irish squad to make something of this.

Coin Flip: Notre Dame

Prediction: Wolf Pack 31 Fighting Irish 30

3:30 pm Kentucky at Florida (-16, 47 1/2) - The Gators chewed up U Mass last week, 24-7, but it could have been much worse. They are the real deal. Kentucky won only two SEC games all of last season, and played these very Gators to a 14-9 loss.

Don't expect a similar outcome in terms of Florida's margin of victory this time around.

Coin Flip: Florida

Prediction: Gators 42 Wildcats 17

3:30 pm Western Kentucky at Alabama (-29, 61) - Despite the earliness of the season, this is a huge game for both schools. Alabama needs to maintain the momentum they gained in their 52-6 plundering of USC last week, while the Hilltoppers must realize that they are in a different league altogether after their satisfying, 46-14, win over Rice.

Alabama has an incredible machine-like team, but the Hilltoppers aren't about to back off from anybody. They won't likely turn the Tide, but they may tone it down a bit.

Coin Flip: Western Kentucky

Prediction: Crimson Tide 45 Hilltoppers 24

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