Scott Van Pelt's 'Winners' for CFB Week 2: The 'dog days are not over

ByScott Van Pelt ESPN logo
Friday, September 8, 2023

5-3 start in Week 1, very nearly saw all five underdogs win the games outright. Toledo lost on a late FG -- we will take it and run. Now, I have to warn you all, if I ever told you before I have never written down more names on the card ... well, I lied. Because this is an unprecedented list.

16 ... SIXTEEN teams are written down. But I needed to be a bit more discerning -- more judicious. In saying that, what if I cross off a winner? Welcome to my special little corner of hell. Shall we begin?

Saturday's picks

No. 12Utah Utes (-8, 47) at Baylor Bears

Noon ET on ESPN, McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas

Van Pelt's pick: Baylor +8

Baylor was last seen getting obliterated by Texas State; Utah was beating Florida. Bears need to stiffen their backs in a hurry and show some fight. 11 a.m. Central kick in the heat, we are on the home team.

SVP: 9-1 all-time when picking Baylor

Nebraska Cornhuskers at No. 22Colorado Buffaloes (-3, 59)

Noon ET, Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado

Van Pelt's pick: Nebraska +3

Here we go ... the story of Week 1 was Colorado. Everyone saw what they did. They head home to play Nebraska and are giving only 3. The world is on the Buffs -- line hasn't budged. Ya don't say. I don't need Coach Prime putting me on his long-ass list of receipts, but I'm on Nebraska. I'm not saying Colorado will lose, but this is as textbook a spot as there is to take the points and Go Big Red.

SVP: 3-1 all-time when picking against Colorado

Troy Trojans at No. 15Kansas State Wildcats (-16.5, 51.5)

Noon ET, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas

Van Pelt's pick: Troy +16.5

I am America's premier Sun Belt tout no more -- 0-2 there last week. But we like the league and like Troy getting a bunch from Kansas State in the Little Apple. Trojans can hang here.

SVP: 4-1 all-time when picking against K-State

No. 10Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7.5, 50.5) at NC State Wolfpack

Noon ET on ABC/ESPN3, Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, North Carolina

Van Pelt's pick: NC State +7.5

Notre Dame has looked great out of the gate -- laying more than a TD on the road in a pseudo conference game feels a touch steep. Wolfpack plus the points.

SVP: 5-2 all-time when picking NC State

No. 20Ole Miss Rebels (-7.5, 66) at No. 24Tulane Green Wave

3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, Yulman Stadium, New Orleans

Van Pelt's pick: Tulane +7.5

We are just warming up, people. Faded Tulane last week -- that was dumb -- they're good. Not, "oh aren't they cute good." Good good. Green Waves with Early Cuyler on the helmet plus the points against Ole Miss.

SVP: 4-3 all-time when picking Tulane

Houston Cougars (-9.5, 52.5) at Rice Owls

7 p.m. ET, Rice Stadium, Houston

Van Pelt's pick: Rice +9.5

I do this once a year, and it doesn't ever work when I do it. But I'm doing it again. That thing where I say ... why not say Rice on national TV? OK ... Rice ... getting some points from Houston off an impressive win.

SVP: 0-5 all-time when picking Rice

No. 13Oregon Ducks (-6.5, 69) at Texas Tech Red Raiders

7 p.m. ET, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas

Van Pelt's pick: Texas Tech +6.5

Texas Tech got taken to the deep end of the pool by Wyoming. Oregon scored about 100 in a win. It gets weird in Laramie, where the Red Raiders lost. Let me tell you where it gets weirder: Lubbock. Red Raiders at home to battle with the Ducks.

SVP: 6-3 all-time when picking Texas Tech

Eastern Michigan Eagles at Minnesota Golden Gophers (-20.5, 48)

7:30 p.m. ET, Huntington Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

Van Pelt's pick: Eastern Michigan +20.5

What if I told you after seven picks -- there are five more? MACtion ... Ypsi-Gypsies from Eastern Michigan getting a pile from Minnesota ... too many. EMU.

SVP: 2-6 all-time when picking MAC team vs. Big Ten team

Southern Miss Golden Eagles at No. 4Florida State Seminoles (-31, 53)

8:30 p.m. ET on ACCN, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida

Van Pelt's pick: Southern Miss +31

Anytime you can back up one directional school getting double digits with another, you do it. Southern Miss getting 31 from FSU. Short week for Noles, who smoked LSU and have a couple of conference roadies on deck. Hattiesburg -- you're not playing in the rock -- but don't GET rocked, ya hear?

SVP: 0-7 all-time when getting at least 30 points

No. 19Wisconsin Badgers (-6, 58) at Washington State Cougars

7:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN3, Martin Stadium, Pullman, Washington

Van Pelt's pick: Washington State +6

You know another place it gets weird -- Steve does -- the Paloose. Washington State at home against a Wisconsin team it beat in Madison last year. Getting some candy -- trick or treat. Conference of Champions going out with a bang.

SVP: 2-2 all-time when picking Washington State

Arizona Wildcats at Mississippi State Bulldogs (-9, 60.5)

7:30 p.m. ET on SECN, Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Mississippi

Van Pelt's pick: Arizona +9

We are taking them and TWO MORE 'dogs in the Pac-12 ... what am I doing here? Cats -- actually -- from Arizona in a trip to Stark Vegas. Bulldogs pounded them in Tucson last year.

SVP: 7-4 all-time when picking Arizona

Auburn Tigers (-6.5, 55) at California Golden Bears

10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California

Van Pelt's pick: Cal +6.5

Finally ... Cal getting a few from Auburn at home. Both won in blowouts last week.

SVP: 8-5 all-time when picking Cal

Didn't have the guts to go Bill Swerski -- baker's dozen. Capped it at 12. 12-pack. Unserious behavior outta me. The days of me giving out a disciplined five picks per week -- dead. Let's win some games.

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