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Week 2 Pickoff: South Carolina-Georgia, Notre Dame-Michigan; more

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After beating Georgia 35-7 last fall, Connor Shaw and South Carolina will look for a similar result on Saturday.

After a thrilling opening to the college football season, Week 2 should offer plenty more excitement. Can Aaron Murray and Georgia turn their season around against South Carolina? Can Tommy Rees lead Notre Dame to victory at Michigan? Which team will emerge triumphant from the last Florida-Miami game for the foreseeable future?

My picks for all of this week's top games are below. For more Week 2 walk-up coverage, check out the Mailbag, Andy Staples' Walkthrough and Martin Rickman's breakdown of the Gators-Hurricanes matchup.

Friday, Sept. 6
 
8 p.m. ET (ESPN2) Wake Forest (1-0) at Boston College (1-0)
It's hard to read too much into Wake's 31-7 win over Presbyterian, but the Deacs have talent on offense with quarterback Tanner Price, tailback Josh Harris and receiver Michael Campanaro, as well as a solid defense led by nose guard Nikita Whitlock. BC, by contrast, barely escaped Villanova and suffered a huge talent drop-off under ex-coach Frank Spaziani. The Eagles keep it close early, but can't prevail.
 
Saturday, Sept. 7
 
Noon ET (ESPN) No. 12 Florida (1-0) at Miami (1-0)
If the old Orange Bowl was still around, it would be rocking for this one. DT Dominique Easley and the Gators' defense have their work cut out for them against QB Stephen Morris, RB Duke Johnson and Miami's offense. Florida's D will be OK if it minimizes big plays. Gators coach Will Muschamp's attack is still far from elite, but QB Jeff Driskel looked sharp against Toledo. A few 'Canes defensive mistakes could be the difference.
 
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN2) No. 2 Oregon (1-0) at Virginia (1-0)
Virginia's weather-delayed opener against BYU took five-plus hours to complete. This one may be over in less than an hour. While cross-country travel may disrupt the Ducks' usually precise rhythm, quarterback Marcus Mariota will not be fazed by playing on the road. The Cavaliers' defense, impressive against BYU, may get some stops early, but it lacks the athletes to stay competitive against Oregon for a full 60 minutes.
 
4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 6 South Carolina (1-0) at No. 11 Georgia (0-1)
Lost in the fuss over the state of Jadeveon Clowney's conditioning in the win over North Carolina was the fact that the Gamecocks' defense held the Tar Heels' up-tempo offense (led by a veteran quarterback) to 10 points and 293 yards. Georgia presents problems, particularly with formidable running back Todd Gurley, but the Bulldogs' offensive line showed too many cracks in the loss to Clemson -- not a good omen before the unit faces Clowney.
 
8 p.m. ET (ESPN) No. 14 Notre Dame (1-0) at No. 17 Michigan (1-0)
The Wolverines have recruited magnificently under Brady Hoke, but as of now, the talent of the Fighting Irish's starting 22 is slightly better than the talent in Ann Arbor. That might not matter on Saturday night. The atmosphere for 2011's "Under the Lights" game at the Big House was incredible; this year's scene could be even more electric. Like last year's matchup, this one should go right down to the final snap.
 
Noon ET (ESPN2) Cincinnati (1-0) at Illinois (1-0)
The Bearcats already crushed one Big Ten foe in Purdue. The Illini, led by quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (416 passing yards in Week 1), are more talented than the Boilermakers, and they are also presumably more comfortable playing for coach Tim Beckman, who's now in his second season. But Cincinnati is brimming with speed on both sides of the ball. Its offense may not roll, but its D will get ample pressure on Scheelhaase.
 
7 p.m. ET (ESPN2) No. 15 Texas (1-0) at BYU (0-1)
Longhorns defensive coordinator Manny Diaz this week likened the Cougars to a "wounded animal" that figures to play better than it did in the "quagmire" of Virginia's rain-soaked field. Certainly, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and the rest of the BYU defense are capable of slowing down the Texas offense, but Cougars' quarterback Taysom Hill, coming off knee surgery, seems ill-equipped to handle the pressure from Diaz's defense.
 
7 p.m. ET (FOX) West Virginia (1-0) at No. 16 Oklahoma (1-0)
The Sooners have an eight-game Big 12 winning streak dating back to last season. The Mountaineers came darn close to cutting it short in a 50-49 defeat last year, a game in which they racked up a staggering 778 yards. This year's contest will be a different story. Oklahoma's overhauled D shut out Louisiana-Monroe in Week 1, while West Virginia's rebuilding offense struggled against William & Mary.
 
11 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network) San Jose State (1-0) at No. 5 Stanford (0-0)
San Jose State gave the Cardinal a scare in last year's opener before falling 20-17 in star quarterback David Fales' first game with the Spartans. The nation's most accurate passer last season will pose a nice test for a veteran Stanford defense expected to be among the nation's best. But second-year Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan is poised for a breakout season. He should get off to a nice start against the SJSU defense.
 
*UPSET SPECIAL*
 
Saturday, 8 p.m. ET Central Arkansas (1-0) at Colorado (1-0)
It's probably bonkers to predict a second straight FCS-over-FBS upset ... but let's do it anyway. The Buffaloes enjoyed a cathartic opening win against Colorado State, but coach Mike MacIntyre still has plenty of rebuilding ahead. The Bears, an FCS playoff team last year with a talented, veteran quarterback in Wynrick Smothers are capable of sneaking up on Colorado -- especially if the Buffs spent too much time celebrating.
 
Record Last Week: 12-1               Record This Season: 12-1
 

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