Week 2 picks: Miami vs. OSU may be epic 

September, 9, 2010

I had a decent opening week against the line, going 8-7. The good: picking Oregon to blast New Mexico. The bad: picking LSU to roll over UNC. The ugly: picking Va. Tech to handle Boise State. Here are this week's guesses:

Thursday and Friday games

Auburn Tigers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
(7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

After a spectacular debut for the Tigers, Cam Newton now gets his first SEC road test and faces former UF coach Dan Mullen's team -- where many figured he might end up transferring to a while back. I suspect MSU will have a few answers for Newton to try to get him off balance. History is on Auburn's side, having won eight of nine meetings with Mississippi State, including four straight on the road. Still, the Tigers have been shaky of late on the road, dropping seven of their last eight games, and I think the trend continues. MSU, 27-24.

West Virginia Mountaineers at Marshall Thundering Herd
(7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

New Marshall coach Doc Holliday hosts his old school WVU, which is a program he thought he had a good chance to coach before Bill Stewart led the Mountaineers to a bowl win in the wake of Rich Rodriguez's departure. The Herd is reeling, coming off getting thumped at Ohio State. West Virginia has won the previous four meetings by a combined 141-43 and I expect more of the same as Noel Devine runs wild against a defense still trying to get acclimated to a new scheme. WVU, 42-17.

UTEP Miners at Houston Cougars
(10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

The Cougars won't miss UTEP star RB Donald Buckram if he can't play in this one. Buckram, who rushed for 262 yards in a 58-41 victory vs. UH in 2009, sat out the Miners' season opener with a bruised knee. With or without Buckram playing, I think this UH D, now a 3-4 unit, will hold up better against the run. And I don't see the Miners keeping up with the explosive UH offense. UH, 49-24.