BDN staff picks week 2 college football games against Blue Devil Greats

The Blue Devils got off to a great start to the 2012 season with a big win over FIU in week 1. BDN's college football picks were equally impressive, as Thad Lewis, Andrew Slater, and Patrick Cacchio all posted perfect weeks. Overall, the BDN Staff are even with the BDN Greats with both teams knotted at 36 points heading into week 2 action.

Here are this week's standings:







Week 2 has another tough set of games, headlined by Duke's west coast trip to take on the #21 Stanford Cardinal. The Blue Devils posted a convincing win over FIU while Stanford struggled with San Jose State in their respective openers. The Blue Devil Greats are confident that Duke is ready to pull off the upset in Palo Alto. In another pairing of top academic schools, James Franklin will take his Vanderbilt squad north to take on Pat Fitzgerald's Northwestern team. The ACC will take on teams from the Big 10, Big 12, Big East, and PAC-12 this week. UNC travels to Winston-Salem for their ACC opener against in-state rival Wake Forest. And finally, Texas A&M and Missouri will make their SEC debuts against Florida and Georgia, respectively. It should all shape up to be another exciting weekend of college football!

Here are this week's picks:

Patrick Cacchio: The Cardinal no longer boast an offensive juggernaut led by Andrew Luck, but Stepfan Taylor still will prove a tough test for the Duke front six. Stanford's defense held the Blue Devils in check in 2011 and will be every bit as physical in 2012. Stanford is more vulnerable than a year ago and Sean Renfree leads a more confident Duke team, but the Cardinal program remain a year or two ahead of the Blue Devils in overall talent. Stanford 28, Duke 20.

Bob Green: The last time Duke traveled to the West Coast to face Stanford, in 1971, they came home with a 9-3 victory. Last season, Stanford traveled to Durham and beat down Duke 44-14. This week's game will not feature the 1971 Duke team or the 2011 Stanford team. It is a new season and I expect this game to be competitive for four quarters. In the end, it will come down to turnovers, penalties and mistakes. The team that limits those items will win. In the final analysis, I believe the home field advantage will be enough to push Stanford to a win. Stanford 35, Duke 31.

Andrew Slater: It will be a challenging chess match between Duke Coach David Cutcliffe, who will look to exploit his veteran passing tandem of Conner Vernon and Sean Renfree with an improved offensive line against Stanford Coach David Shaw's vaunted defensive front seven of Stanford with a relatively weak secondary. It will be interesting to see if the Blue Devils can contain WR Ty Montgomery, who had a great second half last season, and minimize the damage of Stanford's TE corps. Duke has closed the gap between the two programs, but I still think Stanford will correct the mental lapses that they suffered in the third quarter against San Jose St. Stanford 34, Duke 20

Mark Watson: The Blue Devils can win this game if they keep mistakes to a minumum, but Stanford will be tough after reading about their lack luster performance all week long against San Jose State. Ask any college football expert and they'll tell you it is tough to win against a Pac 12 team in intersectional games on their home turf. But I sure hope the Blue Devils win! Stanford 31, Duke 23

Bob Harris: Duke 28 - Stanford 24. Need I say more??? Duke builds off the 20 point win to open the season. Stanford had trouble with former Duke Asst Mike MacIntyre's team, San Jose St., 20-17.

Matt Daniels: Coming off of a huge victory vs the Panthers the Blue Devils look to take that momentum out West to face the Stanford Cardinals. The offense seems to have things clicking with the WR tandem of Conner Vernon and Jamison Crowder; look for those two to have big games and for the Duke defense to heavily pressure the new starting Cardinal QB. Duke wins 27-21 in a thriller.

Thad Lewis: Duke over Stanford with the experience on offense that Duke has and the continual development of this defense that has shown us what they can do, Duke will upset Stanford. Duke 35, Stanford 17

Vinny Rey: Coming off of an impressive start, Duke keeps things rolling with a consistent offensive, and big plays from the defense. In their travel to the opposite side of the country, they stay poised and have earned the right to win during their week of practice. Duke 27, Stanford 20