I was hesitant to bring this back mostly because the Big Ten and MAC weren't playing. But, at least one of them are back, and i have decided to bring the NFL into the fun!
So we're clear, I understand that just about every NFL game will be better quality football compared to the college product. This list is more or less a top 5 of what games have the most implications on the season.
Let's Roll Along-Ay Ziggy- to number 5:
5. Las Vegas Raiders @ New England Patriots
I don't think there's a more interesting storyline this year than the Brady/Belichick break-up. We saw Brady and the Buccs bounce back from a terrible week 1 performance while Cam Newton just came up short from beating a very good Seattle team on the road. Whenever we see players with diva-like tendencies, the answer is always a well respected Head Coach to reel him in. Sure enough, the Evil Empire is still rolling, and the scariest part is there isn't a 19 yr old blueprint to blow up this death star. ALSO, ya boy John Gruden and the Raiders are undefeated after slapping the Saints around on Monday night! It seems like just yesterday we were collectively laughing at Gruden for trading away Khalil Mack and trying to dump Derek Carr. Now he looks to go 3-0 in New England, with the Pats favored by 6.
Frank's pick: Raiders +6
4. #24 Louisville @ #21 Pitt
I've spent 7 years covering the MAC and 4 years covering the Big Ten so I wouldn't exactly call myself an ACC "expert", but this should be a decent game given the weak lineup of action Saturday. Sure, the SEC returns, but they'll need to shake off a couple weeks of rust until I'm dialed in. The ACC is looking for a worthy contender against Dabo and Clemson, could Pitt actually pose a threat?
Frank's Pick: Pitt -3
3. #22 Army @ #14 Cincinnati
Yes, I know Bama opens up their season Saturday, but we know the Tide will wreck Mizzou. This game at least won't be a snoozer! I watched Army almost crush Michigan's playoff hopes 4 weeks early last year in overtime. Cincinnati and Army are both undefeated, with the Bearcats favored by 2 scores at home. The problem is, you can either stop the triple option, or you'll get carved up all day. Plus, Army's defense has looked spectacular only giving up an average of 3.5 pts. per game. Good. Luck.
Frank's Pick: Army +14
2. Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
Now we're cooking with gas. Saints are coming off a crushing loss against Gruden's Raiders in prime time, while Rodgers did what he does best; crush the hopes and dreams of Detroit. What's telling, is Rodgers didn't have to be superman to get the win. The run game was firing on all cylinders, with Aaron Jones exploding for 168 yds. and 2 scores. Rodgers ended the day with 2 passing touchdowns, but was hampered by some crucial drops from his receiving corps. Beating the Lions isn't rocket surgery, but they did it pretty handedly even with a spotty performance.
Frank's Pick: Packers +3
1. Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens
Boy are we spoiled. We get Rodgers against Brees Sunday night and Mahomes against Jackson for Monday night?!
God, I love having football back. This game is going to be an absolute treat. Mahomes and the Chiefs didn't cover last week against the Chargers, but they are still 2-0 and the reigning champs. Problem is, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens look like they haven't missed a beat since last season. With dual threat Quarterbacks, I like to see 2 consecutive seasons of brilliance before I'm sold on them. We've seen too many flashes in the pan: RG III, Baker, Cam* etc...
Lamar Jackson is rolling right along with a nifty 479 passing yds. and leads the Ravens with 99 yds. rushing. Mahomes on the other hand, has thrown for 513 yds. with 5 touchdowns in 2 games. Both Quarterbacks are brilliant, dual-threat athletes can adapt to beat you whichever way you'll let them. The smart bet would probably be Jackson and the Ravens at home, but as a personal policy, I don't bet against Patrick Mahomes.
Frank's Pick: Chiefs +3.5