My College Football Upset Watch did not get off to a grand start in Week 1. It’s hard zeroing in on upsets, for sure, but I was 0-6 straight up and my Week One underdogs were a paltry 2-4 ATS (Toledo, Georgia Tech). There were upsets in Week One with Pittsburgh falling at home to Youngstown St. 31-17, Ohio winning an emotionally charged game over Penn St. 24-14, and Texas St. blowing out future Big East member Houston 30-13. With nowhere to go but up, the Upset Watch sets its sights on Week Two.
Big Ten. Upsets (Week One): Ohio 24, Penn St. 14. Week Two Call: UMass over Indiana. Kevin Wilson’s squad did win in Week One, but there was a not to lot like in a 24-17 squeaker over FCS opponent Indiana State. For Hoosier fans, the question is still where are the Hoosiers currently at? In 2011, they lost a neutral field game vs. Ball St. and at North Texas. Massachusetts is in their first season as an FBS school, having taken Temple’s place in the MAC. The Minutemen didn’t get their inaugural FBS season started on the right foot with a 37-0 loss at UConn.
ACC. Upsets (Week One): None, the ACC won all their non-conference games but Maryland did need a touchdown in the fourth to beat William & Mary 7-6. Week Two Call: Wake Forest over North Carolina. North Carolina started the Larry Fedora era with a bang smashing Elon 62-0. They’ll find the competition is much stiffer in conference foe Wake Forest in their first road test. North Carolina was 0-4 in road conference games last season, but they were heads and shoulders about Wake Forest in their 2011 meeting in Chapel Hill (49-24). Wake Forest does have a lot of new faces offensively, but they return seven from a defense that went to a bowl last season. They were also much better home team last season with wins over Florida St. and N.C. St, and a seven point loss to Notre Dame.
Big 12. Upsets (Week One): None, no Big 12 team even lost last weekend. Week Two Call: Miami, FL over (21) Kansas St. Al Golden’s squad has already won one road test this season, defeating Boston College 41-32. The Hurricanes will try to make it two in a row as they take on a ranked Wildcat team in Manhattan. Kansas St. announced their presence as a Big 12 contender last season by winning in Miami 28-24. Kansas St. was up 16-9 on Missouri St. before a huge fourth quarter made it a runaway (51-9). The Wildcats don’t want to let the Hurricanes hang around, or it may be a long day in Manhattan.
Big East. Upsets (Week One): Youngstown St. 31, Pittsburgh 17. Week Two Call: Pittsburgh over Cincinnati. The Paul Chryst era got off to a surprising start when Youngstown St. went into Pittsburgh and won 31-17. Working for the Panthers here is that it’ll be a short week when they face Cincinnati tomorrow night. It’ll be a long season for Pitt, a possible Big East front runner with the exit of West Virginia, if they go 0-2 on the 6thof September. We don’t know what we’ll see from the Bearcats, who didn’t play opening weekend. Cincinnati was a quiet 10-3 last season, and they won at Pittsburgh 26-23.
Pac 12. Upsets (Week One): Nevada 31, Cal 24. Colorado St. 22, Colorado 17. Week Two Call: Illinois over Arizona St. I picked against the Illini in Week One, but they came out with guns blazing and handled a good Western Michigan team 24-7. I’ll go with the Illini this time, who are looking to duplicate the fast start that they got out to in 2011. They defeated the Sun Devils in Champaign last season 17-14. Like Illinois, Arizona St. is breaking in a new coach, the well-traveled Todd Graham. Another similarity, the Sun Devils dropped their last five games in 2011 (Illinois dropped six, before defeating UCLA in a bowl). Arizona St. crushed FCS opponent Northern Arizona in their home opener, 63-6.
SEC: Upsets (Week One): None. Week Two Call: Missouri over (7) Georgia. The Bulldogs were disappointing in their opener over Buffalo 45-23. Sure, Georgia won easily, but defense was supposed to be their strong suit, and Buffalo put up 23, down a mere 24-16 at half. Against 3 BCS opponents last season, the Bulls combined to put up 29 points. And now, Georgia will travel to Missouri to face the Tigers’ potent offense. It’s quite an SEC opener for the Tigers, who face their division’s front runner in Week 2. Missouri cruised in their opener over SE Louisiana 62-10.