College football: Joe vs. the Pro, Week 2

Serious consideration was given to the idea of shuttering the doors on Joe vs. the Pro for good after Week 1 of the college football season. For the first time since this feature’s inception five years ago, Joe Goodman of the Miami Herald is actually beating the Pro. Unbelievable but true, Joe went 6-1 straight up and 4-3 against the spread last week while Lee Sterling of went 6-1 and 3-4. The universe will correct itself soon enough, but for at least one week of his miserable existence as a picker of college football games, Joe beamed with pride. To the picks!

Pittsburgh at Boston College, Pitt by 4.5

Joe’s pick: Pitt running back James Connor might be new favorite player in college football. At 6-2, 250 pounds, this sophomore obliterated Delaware’s defense last week, and Boston College is next. Pitt 35, Boston College 20

Pro’s pick: Former Gators quarterback Tyler Murphy running Urban Meyer’s old offense to perfection under the Eagles’ second-year coach Steve Addazio. Boston College 23, Pittsburgh 20

FAU at Alabama, Alabama by 40.5

Joe’s pick: This line is so ridiculous. It’s why I love picking college football games. I’ll tune in just to see if Alabama can cover. Alabama 52, FAU 3

Pro’s pick: Owls are battered and bruised after getting thumped by the Cornhuskers last week. The defense was on the field for 91 plays last week. This week, they face a more talented and angry Bama squad. Alabama 52, FAU 3

Eastern Michigan at Florida, Florida by 37.5

Joe’s pick: Another absurd line, especially considering the Gators ended last season with a seven-game losing streak. Of course, Morgan State did almost gain 500 yards of offense against Eastern Michigan’s cinderblock defense last week. Florida 45, Eastern Michigan 7

Pro’s pick: I asked myself why Chris Creighton would accept the Eastern Michigan coaching position. Then I watched the botched entrance of his team using sledgehammers to break the brick wall opening week and my question was answered. Florida 62, Eastern Michigan 7

Michigan State at Oregon, Oregon by 12

Joe’s pick: Here’s to hoping this matchup of title contenders convinces future powerhouses to regularly play high-profile games. Would love one of these teams (or both) to get a playoff bid over an SEC team. Oregon 33, Michigan State 28

Pro’s pick: Spartan ‘D’ lost the top four of six tacklers from last season. They prefer slug-it-out football and not the brand of ‘O’ that the Ducks run using the edges and running misdirection plays. Oregon 41, Michigan State 21

Maryland at South Florida, Maryland by 12.5

Joe’s pick: The Bulls have a standout in Marlon Mack, who broke off three touchdown runs last week of at least 56 yards. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it. Maryland 42, South Florida 21

Pro’s pick: Super freshman RB Marlon Mack and a special teams unit returning its kicker, punter and both returners might be enough to keep the game tight. Maryland 28, South Florida 20

Michigan at Notre Dame, Notre Dame by 4.5

Joe’s pick: Michigan makes the most of it with one last hurrah before a conference realignment robs us of yet another natural rivalry. Michigan 45, Notre Dame 42

Pro’s pick: The Irish are a different team with Everett Golson back at QB. He’s a Heisman hopeful, as he was always a good running QB, but now he is a top-shelf passer. Notre Dame 41, Michigan 31

BYU at Texas, Texas by 1

Joe’s pick: A nondescript schedule for BYU this season could leave this matchup as the Cougars’ game of the year. Suspended players return for BYU and help deliver the upset. BYU 28, Texas 25

Pro’s pick: Revenge for last year’s 40-21 loss looked like a good angle for backing the Longhorns before they lost their three-year starting center and only capable quarterback. BYU 24, Texas 10

Virginia Tech at Ohio State, Ohio State by 11.5

Joe’s pick: Relying on freshmen is great against William & Mary. It doesn’t work as well against a team with Ohio State’s depth. Ohio State 28, Virginia Tech 18

Pro’s pick: Hokies add former Texas Tech QB Michael Brewer, who went 23-30 with 2 TDs last week and appears to be a huge upgrade over departed scatter-arm Logan Thomas. Wrong team favored. Hokies outright! Virginia Tech 27, Ohio State 21

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