The second week of the college football season has a lot to live up to because Week 1 had some amazing finishes. This Saturday, there are four matchups featuring ranked teams facing off.
With a 7:00pm ET kickoff from Death Valley, defending national champion and third-ranked Clemson hosts No. 13 Auburn in a potential College Football Playoff elimination game with both Tigers still having very tough foes yet to play. It’s also the second game as the starting quarterback for both Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, a Baylor transfer, and Clemson’s Kelly Bryant.
Clemson is set as a 5.5-point betting favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Bryant is trying to fill the huge shoes of Deshaun Watson, the best player in Clemson history and a two-time Heisman finalist. Bryant looked the part in Week 1 by throwing for 236 yards and a score and rushing for 77 yards and a touchdown in a 56-3 rout of MAC school Kent State.
Stidham, meanwhile, threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a TD in a 41-7 victory over Georgia Southern. Auburn played that game without star running back Kamryn Pettway and big-play WR Kyle Davis due to suspension but both will be on the field vs. Clemson. These schools met Week 1 last year in Auburn and Clemson escaped with a 19-13 victory.
At 7:30pm ET it’s No. 5 Oklahoma, the favorite to win the Big 12, visiting No. 2 Ohio State, the betting leader to win the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are -7.5 at the sportsbooks. Both quarterbacks in this one, the Sooners’ Baker Mayfield and the Buckeyes’ J.T. Barrett, are Heisman candidates, and Mayfield was a finalist for the award the previous two years. He looked Heisman-worthy in a Week 1 56-7 win over UTEP by completing 19 of 20 passes for 329 yards and three TDs.
Ohio State has the benefit of two extra days of rest/preparation after winning at Indiana 49-21 last Thursday. Barrett totaled 365 yards of offense and four TDs. OSU went to Norman and routed the Sooners 45-24 last year in Week 2. Oklahoma has won 11 in a row since, the longest streak in the FBS.
Also at 7:30pm ET, No. 15 Georgia visits No. 24 Notre Dame, with the Irish a 4.5-point favorite. That line likely would have been shorter, but the Dawgs will be without starting quarterback Jacob Eason after he left their Week 1 31-10 win over Appalachian State early with a knee injury. Freshman Jake Fromm threw for 143 yards and a TD in his place and will make his first career start. Amazingly, this is Georgia’s first trip north of the Mason-Dixon line since 1965.
The Irish jumped into the Top 25 following a 49-16 rout of Temple. Notre Dame rushed for 422 yards, and this game likely will be very run-heavy as Georgia has two excellent tailbacks in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.
Finally, at 8:30pm ET, No. 14 Stanford visits No. 6 USC in the Pac-12 opener for both. The
Cardinal haven’t played since destroying Rice 62-7 in Australia on August 26. The Trojans were sloppy last week in beating Western Michigan 49-31. QB Sam Darnold, the preseason Heisman favorite, didn’t have a TD pass and threw two picks. The Cardinal have won three in a row in this series, each by at least 10 points. But USC is -6.5 this time.
For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.