Saturday, 17 September 2011

NCAA College Football Picks Week 3

Surprises were thin on the ground last week as most teams were still taste testing cupckes but now we're getting into the emat of the schedule with one marquee matchup in particular this week. Last week it was all about three games which went down to the final seconds. In the early afternoon, Auburn edged out Miss. State as I expected. The Bulldogs were favored in that game and Dan Mullen ahs done a great job pulling them this far in such a short time. Of course, now you have people declaring that he is winning with Sylvester Croom's recruits, and trying to give him undue credit. I just don't think it's valid. Would Croom with the same players get the same kind of results from the offense? I seem to remember in the corresponding fixture a few years ago, a final scoreline of 3-2. I don't think it's fair either to credit Ty Willingham with Charlie Weis's early success at Notre Dame, or Ron Zook for doing anything at Florida. You have to win the games. That's something that Mark Richt hasn't done of late. Although most credit the team for outplaying South Carolina in a 45-42 loss, Georgia is 0-2 and already in grave danger of being out of contention in the SEC East. A division title is a must for him to keep his job, at least in my eyes. You can go around the SEC and ask other head coaches off the record and they will tell they do not fear Georgia and that is a terrible indictment.

I'll mention that other game last Saturday night with my picks after the jump.

Week Three
Home Team listed second in CAPS
vs = Neutral Site game
(*) = Line Differential
[*] = National Ranking

[3] LSU (-3.5) at [25] Mississippi State
Auburn (+3) at Clemson
[15] Michigan State (+4.5) at Notre Dame
Tennessee (+9.5) at [16] Florida
Washington (+16.5) at [11] Nebraska
[23] Texas (-3.5) at UCLA
[22] Arizona State (+1) at Illinois
[17] Ohio State (+3) at Miami
[1] Oklahoma (-3) at [5] Florida State
Utah (+5) at BYU

Chris picks: Mississippi State, Clemson, Michigan State, Florida, Nebraska, Texas, Arizona State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Utah
 I Pick: LSU, Auburn, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Nebraska, Texas, Arizona State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Utah

LSU is always strong on defense (theoretically) so I was confident they could handle Relf and co., especially on the evidence of last years turnover riddled matchup. Auburn is on the road but I still like them over Clemson who never quite seem to get it together. They're a never-never team much like Michigan State who've started the season hot blowing out Creampuff U and Minnow State. On the other hand they're up against Notre Dame who have screwed me twice in a row now. Last week's debacle in the Big House was bizarre and inexcusable. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... Fool me three times? At some point, beating yourself is a trend that ends, right? Right?

I would feel a lot better about my pick of Tennessee to stay within 9 if Bray didn't have his own name tattooed on his back, but I'll still take with my eyes behind my hands. I think they are getting back to level ground for the moment and 9.5 is too much. My friend called the Holiday Bowl, the "Matchup that noone wanted to see", especially Nebraska apparently. Washington has struggled to play rhythmically in their first two games and are ripe for a blow out by a competent team, even one that is disappointing themselves. Texas and UCLA have also flattered to deceive but UCLA are really awful and shouldn't be taken under any circumstances.

The dominating headline of the Ohio State-Miami game are of course the respective scandals. The suspended players for the Buckeyes are still out but it seems as though Miami is getting guys back, including Jacory Harris who has reclaimed the starting QB position. That's enough for me to pick Ohio State - it's a baffling change to make, Harris has always underachieved and the Buckeyes have a good defense. The biggest game of the day starts at 8:00 pm EST in Tallahassee and I like the Sooners to pull away late - it feels like they have a little more big game experience at this point, particularly at the QB position where this is EJ Manuel's first full year starting whereas Landry Jones has been in since he was a freshman. The last game of the day, the Holy War is a tough one. My heart says BYU but my head says Utah. Heaps hasn't picked up the pace at all yet and this would be a tough though appropriate place to start.

Last Week:
Chris: 1-8-1
Me: 5-4-1

Chris: 4-15-1
Me: 10-9-1

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