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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.