So I got off to a really rough start last week, but I am back and ready to turn around my fortunes. There are a ton of laughable games this week (i.e. Wisconsin vs. Austin Peay) but there is a nice collection of interesting match ups worth taking a look at.
Let’s jump right in.
Week 3: 6-12
NC State (+8) at Georgia Tech
Pick: NC State
I was lamenting in Whiskey’s weekend preview post how NC State seems to be on television all the time and I don’t know why. It’s not like I live anywhere near North Carolina.
Anyway, I really like Russell Wilson as a quarterback and I think he’s one of the more underrated players in the country. I was mildly surprised with the way the Wolfpack handled Cincinnati last week and I think they’ll give Georgia Tech a run for their money.
I really can’t get a good read on the Yellow Jackets right now but I don’t think they cover this spread as it is just a little too big for my liking.
Virginia Tech (-4) at Boston College
Pick: Virginia Tech
Notre Dame’s opponent for next week faces their first big challenge of the season. Virginia Tech hasn’t had an especially tremendous season so far but they should take care of business this week.
The thing with Boston College is that their offense is really anemic and I can’t see the Eagles scoring many points against the Hokies. Maybe it’s a close game for three quarters, but Virginia Tech will pull away late and win fairly comfortably.
USC (-22) at Washington State
Is this the week that USC finally puts together a truly dominant performance befitting their talent level? It should be when they are playing against lowly Washington State.
This will be an easy win for the Trojans and they will score more than enough points to cover this spread.
North Carolina (-2) at Rutgers
Rutger’s win over Florida International wasn’t very convincing but I’m taking the Scarlet Knights in this game. North Carolina disappointed me last week and I am through thinking that they will pull out these close games.
Rutgers usually plays really well at home and head coach Greg Schiano should have a nice game plan in place. If the Scarlet Knights are able to move the ball consistently and avoid back breaking turnovers, they will deliver an upset.
Wake Forest (+18) at Florida State
Pick: Florida State
Wake Forest is licking their wounds after Stanford piled 60+ points on them last week and now Florida State can smell the blood.
If Wake Forest’s offense wasn’t so one-dimensional I wouldn’t expect the Seminoles to cover here, but this should be an easy victory for Florida State who should assert their dominance in the ACC this week.
Stanford (-4.5) at Notre Dame
Pick: Notre Dame
There are a handful of people out there calling for the outright upset here and that gives me hope. I thought about evoking the "always bet against your team" clause for this year, but I can’t bring myself to do that.
Irish win a close one.
Temple (+14) at Penn State
What a battle of Pennsylvania this game is!
Despite my doubts last week, Temple destroyed UConn and proved that they are a team that cannot be taken lightly. I can’t imagine the Owls going into Happy Valley and winning, but I don’t think Penn State is really good enough or playing at a high enough level to cover this spread.
In a low scoring affair, Penn State will walk away with a ten point victory.
UCLA (+16) at Texas
A one-dimensional offense against this Texas defense? There’s no way this game is close. Texas took care of business last week against Texas Tech and this game should be much easier in almost every way.
It’s a home game for the Horns, it’s pay back time and UCLA is kind of a lame duck program right now. I smell a blowout along the lines of a 25 point victory.
Alabama (-7) at Arkansas
Arkansas is going to test that Crimson Tide defense and I bet this will be a very good game. I’m still not very happy that this game is on at the same time as the Notre Dame game.
I just can’t see a pass-happy team like Arkansas really beating this Alabama team. The Tide might have one of the most sound and efficient offenses we’ve seen in a long time and you know they are going to put up points. I’m not so sure Mallett can stay mistake-free and continue putting up big numbers, especially if they get down early.
This is a statement game for both teams, but Arkansas still hasn’t beat any good teams over the past two years and I don’t think they can run with the No. 1 team in the land right now.
Oklahoma (-13.5) at Cincinnati
Except for their blowout victory over Florida State, the Sooners have been winning ugly, but they’ve no one said you have to win pretty. Cincinnati just isn’t the same program without Brian Kelly and a big loss to NC State last week has taken a lot out of the Bearcats sails.
Cincinnati doesn’t have the athletes to stop Oklahoma from marching up and down the field, I’d except a lot of points in this one but a comfortable Sooner win.
Georgia (PK) at Mississippi State
There’s no way Georgia falls to 0-3 in the SEC, there’s just no way.
Somehow, someway Georgia will pulls this one out. If they don’t, Mark Richt better start updating his resume.
Kentucky (+14) at Florida
At some point the Florida offense is going to click and have a breakout game. It has to happen sometime soon. I’m betting this will be the game.
Florida hasn’t lost to Kentucky at the Swamp since 1979, do you smell an upset? Yeah me either. This one might be high scoring but Florida will cruise late in the game.
South Carolina (+3) at Auburn
Pick: South Carolina
This is probably the most interesting game this weekend if only because it will show us which SEC team is headed for top dog status in 2010.
I’m not sure I trust Cameron Newton throwing the ball, but at the same time, I don’t think South Carolina has a very stingy defense like we’ve seen in the past under Spurrier.
I’ll take the Gamecocks because they are more balanced offensively, they are getting points and Auburn’s defense still is not up to par with the other top SEC schools.
Oregon State (+17) at Boise State
Pick: Boise State
If this game was being played last year I think it would have been a bigger game, but after Oregon State was worked over nicely by TCU and put in a poor effort against Louisville, I think Boise State will roll in this.
This is the last statement game for Boise State and they will desperately need to win convincingly, so I’d watch out for the Broncos to pull out all the stops to win by 20 or more.
West Virginia (+10) at LSU
Pick: West Virginia
This is a fun little match up wouldn’t you agree?
West Virginia is probably just athletic enough to keep this game close, but LSU should keep things under control for all four quarters.
I was aghast at how West Virginia’s defense looked against Marshal a couple weeks ago, but I was impressed with the way they battled back to win. If LSU goes up by a couple scores the Mountaineers will summon enough power to at least cover this spread.
Oregon (-12) at Arizona State
This seems like a really small spread. Yeah I know Oregon has played two laughers and a downtrodden Tennessee team, but you know the Ducks can score points.
Is Arizona State really good enough to keep this game within two scores? I don’t think so. Oregon will win by 20 points and the Ducks will look forward to playing undefeated Stanford in week five.
No wait, Stanford is losing to Notre Dame on Saturday!
Enjoy the weekend.