College Football Observations from Week 2

by Vegas Writer

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2023
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have opened the season 3-0 both SU and ATS.

But until they face a real opponent, the verdict remains out on whether or not they're worth entering the College Football Playoff (CFP) conversation.

The Irish rank 20th in the nation in averaging 485.7 yards per game, and seventh in the country in allowing 223 ypg. But that's after dominating wins over Navy (by 39), Tennessee State (53) and North Carolina State (21).

It's the last game that stands out. Was it a three-touchdown winner? Yes. But after blowouts of Navy and Tennessee State, that defense wilted a bit.

This week it's another patsy in Mid-American Conference foe Central Michigan, but next week when the Irish welcome Ohio State to South Bend, that's when I'll be ready to consider the Irish as a national contender.

After back-to-back road games at Duke and Louisville, and they welcome Caleb Williams and the USC Trojans to town, that's when I'll know more. Once they visit Clemson in November, the answers we will have.

Here are more College Football Observations after Week 2:

PRIMETIME BUFFS - It led my observations last week, and I'm not jumping off the money train with Colorado. After scoring six touchdowns in its season opener and four more against Nebraska, the Buffaloes have the 14th-best offense with 509.5 yards per game and the 27th-highest scoring offense with 40.5 points per contest.

As opposed to Notre Dame, here we're talking about a bonafide national power - for now - after the Buffs knocked off the reigning national runner-up TCU Horned Frogs, and the Big 10 Cornhuskers.

Quarterback Shedeur Sanders is leading a passing offense that ranks second in the nation with 453 yards passing per game.

The Buffaloes were double-digit dogs to TCU in Week 0, they laid a field goal to the Huskers in Week 1, and now they're more than 3-TD favorites in laying 23 to in-state rival Colorado State. The Buffaloes are now 2-0 ATS the last two times they were a favorite: a 34-0 win over Arizona laying -6 in 2021, and last week vs. Nebraska.

PAC 12 POWER - Talk about going out with a bang, the current make-up of the Pac-12 Conference has been quite impressive the last three weeks. Pac-12 members are now 20-3 in non-conference games, and we're not talking about a plethora of cupcake foes, either. How about teams like Baylor, Florida, Nebraska, TCU, Texas Tech and Wisconsin? At least three current members of the conference - all outgoing by the way - have CFP aspirations.

USC, Washington and Oregon must be talked about when discussing the playoff, for now. And to be quite honest, why not throw in the aforementioned Buffaloes at this point, considering the way this team performs on both sides of the ball? And let's not forget about two-time defending PAC-12 champ Utah, which is 2-0 without starting quarterback Cam Rising.

Now the important part, are the Pac-12 teams making us money? Well, to go along with an overall mark of 21-4 SU, teams from the Pac-12 are 18-5-2 ATS. As for the totals, are 10-15 with the under coming in more times than not.

Every team is in action this week, except USC. And of the 11 teams in action, only one has been installed as an underdog, Arizona State (+3) at home against Fresno State.

HOPSCOTCH - If you didn't read my College FB observations, I'll let you in on this weekly note, as I tag it after the old playground game of hopscotch. You remember, drawing a hopscotch court on the playground, right? Big pieces of chalk to create the court, and you had to make your way through the lined course without stepping on a line.

Sort of feels the same way when maneuvering your way through college football's hopscotch course of favorites - ahem, chalk - without stepping out of bounds with any of the lines.

Small-chalk teams got the money for bettors last week, as teams laying between 1 and 3 1/2 points went 7-3. But when the range climbed to 4 and 7 1/2 favorites were 5-8.

Every week I'll update you with regular board games (no FCS or added), broken down into different point-spread ranges. There were a few pushes this week and a pk'em game to consider, but through Week 2, favorites are 49-45 with the following breakdown:

1-3 1/2 ............ 10-6
4-7 1/2 ............ 9-12
8-10 1/2 ........... 4-4
11-14 1/2 ........... 7-6
15-19 1/2 ......... 4-4
20 and up ... 15-13

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

© 2023 Al McMordie's All Rights Reserved.