Looking back to our predictions from last week, it appears everyone drank a little too much Kool-aid in the off-season. Going into this weekend's game, it looks like almost everyone stopped cold-turkey.
A quick refresher on our format: members of our writing team will each give their prediction for our game this weekend, and then I will predict some other games of interest (usually Big 12 and/or Top 25 games).
Kansas (1-0) @ Duke (2-0) Saturday 2:30pm CT TV:ESPN3/ESPNGameplan
dnoll5: I don’t want to think it, but I can’t help but think that Duke will beat KU on Saturday. After a first quarter against SEMO where the offense was flourishing and the defense was making plays, I was brimming with confidence, and I thought we’d go down to Durham and challenge the Blue Devils. But after a fourth quarter where I wondered aloud if we’d actually hold on to win, I just don’t see the Jayhawks breaking that ridiculous road losing streak this weekend. I think it’ll be close, but I give the edge to Duke. Duke 35, KU 24.
KU Grad 08: I think Kansas completely steals a win a la the Georgia Tech game a couple years ago. Stop laughing, I’m serious. Duke’s defense is simply not good. Our running game should be productive, and I think this week Cozart hits a couple downfield throws off play action for a big play or two. I don’t think we’ll keep them off the scoreboard, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the secondary came up with a few more picks. Throw in some wacky magic, and I’m going with the upset. Kansas 31, Duke 28
mikeville: Back in December, I predicted a 24-17 win by Dook. Although I’m still pretty buzzed on the kool-aid so far this year, I’m still sober enough to drive. I’m honestly not sure what to think - I think we’ll see points from both offenses, more than I originally predicted. I DO believe in the KU defense, but Duke put up points last year and is doing so again this year. I’ll have to stick with the home team I suppose, if for no other reason than this: It’s KU and they’re on the road. KU’s last road victory of any kind? 2009 @ UTEP. While I think we’re better than we have been the last four years, I don’t think we’re good enough to stroll into someone else’s stadium and take a win - especially a defending champ of a major conference division (insert joke about ACC football). My updated prediction: Duke 35, Kansas 34.
PenHawk: I'm not a believer in Duke, and I think their success last year was due in part to some good fortune and a mediocre schedule. Having said that, they were able to get to double digits in the win column, something Kansas would never have done with the same schedule. Even if Duke is worse this year and Kansas is improved, there's no way I can reasonably pick a road win for the Jayhawks. The line on this game has been moving in the right direction all week, so maybe we put up enough points to keep it respectable, but Duke has a solid offense, and ours is still a question mark. I don't think our defense is at the point where we can shut them down to get a win. Duke 34, Kansas 23
Jim Hammen: Ugh, if only last week’s game had ended after the 1st quarter, how pumped would everybody be right now? Instead, it’s another dicey result against an FCS school, and tempered expectations for the first real test of the season. It would’ve been fun to predict a 2010 Georgia Tech-style upset here, but that second half of Kyle Snyder throwing the ball all over KU’s defense is more fresh in my mind than the fantastic first quarter is, which is just enough to make me take Duke, 35-24.
Jvaughn 11: I am going to chalk up last weeks terrible finish to a bunch of guys not knowing how to finish a win yet. Lately there haven't been many times where KU has jumped on an opponent early and had to finish a game with the lead. This team and staff desperately want to prove themselves and show us all that they are heading in the right direction. Because of this I predict a KU win 27-14. Its going to be hard to watch a KU vs. Duke matchup and not wish for basketball.
misterbrain: I’m going to have to agree with Grad on this one. Duke has a few deep threats that scare me on their offense, but our defense can handle them if they keep their heads on straight. Add in the issues they have on their offensive line, and it could be a long day for the Duke offense. On offense, we should be able to take advantage of a linebacker core still trying to recover from preseason injuries, and as long as Cozart doesn’t get too excited, he should be about to lead an efficient attack.
Duke has a bad habit of starting slow, and we seem to have a bit of a problem finishing games, but while I think we get up early, we won’t ever get up enough to completely let off the gas. KU leads wire-to-wire and wins, sealing it with an interception on Duke’s final drive. KU 27, Duke 24
Let’s take a look at some of the other games around College Football.
Houston (1-1) @ Brigham Young (2-0) Thursday 8:00pm CT TV:ESPN
Coming off a waxing of Texas, I expect BYU to keep the momentum going at home. Houston lost at home to UT-San Antonio, and I don’t really expect them to come close to the Cougars. BYU 48, Houston 17
#8 Baylor (2-0) @ Buffalo (1-1) Friday 7:00pm CT TV:ESPN
A little surprised to see Baylor go on the road to Buffalo, but I get the feeling this game was scheduled back when Baylor was still on the rise. Either way, this won’t be much of a game now. Baylor 66, Buffalo 10
UCF (0-1) @ #20 Missouri (2-0) Saturday 11:00am CT TV:SEC Network A heartbreaking loss to Penn State overseas was a rough way to start the year for UCF, but they look to turn things around with a trip to last year's SEC East Champions. The Tigers have been fairly impressive in their first two games, but the level of competition has been fairly poor. UCF shows that they weren't a flash in the pan last year and pulls out the road victory. UCF 27, Missouri 21
UCF (0-1) @ #20 Missouri (2-0) Saturday 11:00am CT TV:SEC Network
A heartbreaking loss to Penn State overseas was a rough way to start the year for UCF, but they look to turn things around with a trip to last year's SEC East Champions. The Tigers have been fairly impressive in their first two games, but the level of competition has been fairly poor. UCF shows that they weren't a flash in the pan last year and pulls out the road victory. UCF 27, Missouri 21
West Virginia (1-1) @ Maryland (2-0) Saturday 11:00am CT TV:BTN
Maryland is slightly favored in this one, but I’m having a tough time seeing why. While they easily defeated James Madison, they had a lot of trouble with a South Florida team that just isn’t very good. Meanwhile, West Virginia hung tough with Alabama in the opener and then blanked Towson. Overall, I’m a bit more impressed by what West Virginia has been able to do. I have West Virginia in a squeaker. WVU 30, Maryland 27
Arkansas (1-1) @ Texas Tech (2-0) Saturday 2:30pm CT TV:ABC
This is pretty much the same as the last game, but for the opposite reason. I’m not sure what to make of Arkansas, which has a prolific passing game, but lost handily at Auburn while absolutely killing Nicholls State. Meanwhile, Texas Tech needed a late scoring drive and last minute stand to defeat UTEP. Tech is favored, but I have the feeling that the road team pulls it off. Arkansas 34, Texas Tech 30
Iowa State (0-2) @ Iowa (2-0) Saturday 2:30pm CT TV:ESPN
Iowa State hung tough with Kansas State last weekend, but I think that has more to do with Kansas State underachieving than ISU being any good. Iowa has a decent chance to make some noise this year in the Big Ten, especially with a Kansas-circa-2007-type schedule. Iowa wins going away. Iowa 31, Iowa State 13.
Minnesota (2-0) @ TCU (1-0) Saturday 3:00pm CT TV:Fox Sports 1
TCU is heavily favored here, but I just don’t see them being that much improved from last year. Minnesota looks like a trendy upset pick this week. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can pull the trigger, but they should easily cover the spread. TCU 28, Minnesota 27
UT-San Antonio (1-1) @ Oklahoma State (1-1) Saturday 6:00pm CT TV:None
Another week, another inferior opponent. Oklahoma State shouldn't have any trouble here. Oklahoma State 42, UTSA 17
#12 UCLA (2-0) @ Texas (1-1) Saturday 7:00pm CT TV:Fox
Texas looked absolutely atrocious last week, and with Ash likely out for the season, they could stay that way for quite a while (hopefully at least through when they play KU). UCLA has played too close games against decent opponents, and look to make a statement here against another "big-name" school. The line seems fairly small to me, as I think UCLA rolls. UCLA 52, Texas 16
Tennessee (2-0) @ #4 Oklahoma (2-0) Saturday 7:00pm CT TV:ABC
This looks to be the marquee game involving the Big 12 this week, although that is likely only because it is Oklahoma against a decent SEC team, not because the game will be particularly close. Oklahoma is favored by 21. I think that is being too generous. Tennessee keeps it close at halftime, but Oklahoma puts it away early in the 3rd quarter. Oklahoma 62, Tennessee 24