GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. WE ARE PLEASED WITH YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN OUR TEST. YOUR INPUT, YOU SHOULD KNOW, IS OF YOUR OWN FREE WILL, AS THE DATA WE GAIN FROM IT IS...... USEFUL, AND TO FORCE YOU TO DO SO WOULD UNDERMINE ITS ENTIRE PURPOSE.
ON TO THE NEXT PHASE. FOR YEARS YOU HAVE CRIED OUT OVER THE APPARENT POOR QUALITY OF CONTESTS IN THE SECOND PHASE, YET YOU CONTINUE TO SHOW EXCITEMENT FOR ONE YOUR KIND REFERS TO PEJORATIVELY AS “EL ASSICO”. THIS CONTRADICTION AMUSES US, AS ITS ILLOGIC SERVES AS FURTHER ASSURANCE YOU WILL NEVER SUBSUME US. ENJOY YOUR FILTH.
Jacksonville State Gamecocks @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (I don't know, let's say -24)
Whooooooo’s excited to play an FCS playoff-quality team on four days of rest after double overtime! Raise your hand if you’re excited! You. You there, in the back, with your hand up. Put your damn hand down. Way back in 2010 Virginia Tech lost a Labor Day opener to Boise State, and rebounded by losing at home to James Madison. Sure, they rebounded from that by going 8-0 in conference play and winning the ACC, but, hey, focus. They lost to FCS James Madison. There is precedence for this.
Clinton Lynch is back, though. So that’s cool.
Illuminati pick: Georgia Tech
Iowa Hawkeyes (-2.5) @ Iowa State Cyclones
Everyone’s favorite week 2 rivalry game is back! That’s right, it’s time for the 2017 El Assico! You’ll never believe how much ass has been packed into this edition? Actually, both Iowas are 1-0 after victories over....... Northern Iowa and Wyoming, respectively. So even I don’t know how much ass is being brought to the table. Otherwise, I could say something like “so much ass, it should be on pay-per-view!” Imagine paying $9.99 to see that!
Illuminati pick: Iowa State, because, sure, why not?
Pittsburgh Panthers @ #4 Penn State Nittany Lions (-22)
As we all know, Pitt is definitely not Penn State’s rival. After all, they went fifteen years without playing each other before renewing the series last year. And, sure, Pitt may have pulled off a shocking victory over Penn State last year in the Steel City, beating the future Big Ten champions and probably ultimately costing them a spot in the playoff, but Nittany Lions fans? It’s whatever, man. They totally don’t care about beating Pitt and exacting revenge this year. Not a rival, guys. Totally.
Illuminati pick: Pitt
#13 Auburn Tigers @ #3 Clemson Tigers (-3.5)
Nothing like a good ol’ Tiger Fight. I mean, other than all the other Tiger fights. With three “Tiger” teams, the SEC has a lot of those. And then Auburn has to go out of conference for another one. Do they not get sick of all these Tigers?
Speaking of, it really feels like Clemson and Auburn have played each other a bunch recently, right? This will be the fifth time in eight years they’ve met, and none of them have been bowl games. That’s good for you if you like tigers and the color orange. If you don’t.... well, Clemson and Auburn are both really good, so that just sucks, don’t it?
Illuminati pick: Clemson
#5 Oklahoma Sooners @ #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (-7)
There’s not much history between these two superpowers (Ohio State leads 2-1 all time after last year’s win in Norman). What there is is a lot of beef: Baker Mayfield is back for his senior season at OU, and he’s got a lot of playmakers behind him that will pose a challenge for Ohio State’s mighty defense. Another thing these two have in common: they’ve both been destroyed by Clemson in playoff games the past couple seasons.
Illuminati pick: OU
#15 Georgia Bulldogs @ #24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-4.5)
One of the offseason’s most highly anticipated matchups got an extra wrinkle added to it after week 1’s play: Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason sprained his knee and will be out for the foreseeable future. His replacement? True freshman Jake Fromm State Farm. Damn it, I did the thing. I told myself I wasn’t going to do the thing! Speaking of being out 4-8 weeks, Notre Dame is back, and after a week one thrashing of Temple, might be good again this year? Or at least good enough to make a bowl game where they won’t get walloped. We’ll find out soon enough!
Illuminati Pick: Notre Dame
New Mexico State Aggies vs. New Mexico Lobos (-7)
The Aggies have one final year in the Sun Belt before wandering the wastelands of independence. Which shouldn’t feel too unfamiliar to them, being located in Las Cruces. Fortunately, they’ll always have the Rio Grande Rivalry with the Lobos. The Fighting Bob Davies are on an upswing as of late, sharing the MWC West division crown and winning a bowl game. They also play in Dreamstyle Stadium, which is extra cool because Dreamstyle is my current favorite genre of dance music. New Mexico State...... well, at least they have pistachios.
Illuminati pick: New Mexico
#14 Stanford Cardinal @ #6 USC Trojans (-6.5)
A decade and some change ago, USC was on top of the college football world, and Stanford sucked. Just completely, totally, objectively sucked. So, in that context, it’s pretty weird to look back and see the Cardinal is 7-3 against the Trojans in the past decade, winning multiple conference championships and major bowls in that span, whereas USC hadn’t won any such thing since 2008 until winning the Rose Bowl last season. The Trojans enter week 2 after eventually overcoming a slow start against the revamped and now boat-less Western Michigan Broncos (which is fine, really, because who has a boat in Kalamazoo?), while you may remember Stanford pasting Rice in Australia, like, a million years ago. This’ll be fun, just watch it.
Illuminati pick: Stanford
Utah Utes (-1.5) @ BYU Cougars
Yes, it’s the Holy War and it’s the big instate rivalry in Utah, but when BYU left the Mountain West for independence and Utah moved up to the Pac-12 in 2011, both schools said “nah, we’re gonna take a break after 2013”. Then they got pitted against each other in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl anyway. Look, guys, just get it together and figure out if you want to keep playing each other or if you don’t. I hope you do, because I really want to see Kyle Whittingham and Kelani Sitake go at it in the middle of the field.
Illuminati pick: Utah
Boise State Broncos @ #20 Washington State Cougars (-10)
With the Battle of the Palouse looking to be on its way out with Idaho’s exit from FBS, Wazzu needs a new rivalry to take its place, and hey there, Boise, aren’t you looking good? This series lacks the history so far, with just five games played to the Palouse’s 91, but hey, everything’s gotta start somewhere. Boise has won only once - last year, in Boise - with Wazzu sweeping a four game set from 1997-2000. That’s way before the Broncos’ current heyday, with their coach at the beginning of that series being..... Houston Nutt??
Illuminati pick: Boise
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