Week three is here and I'm not atop the leaderboard. This must change.
As a quick aside, if you didn't pick in week one, but did for week two---or didn't for week 2 and did for week one---you're not in the running anymore. With that in mind, if you haven't submitted picks for each of the first two weeks there's no need to do so this week as it just causes needless more work for me to delete your picks and collate everyone else's.
Alright, let's get to this week's games.
AP rankings used when appropriate.
No. 13 Virginia Tech (-10.5) at Pittsburgh
12:00 PM ET
Pick: Virginia Tech
Something doesn't seem right about this spread, which should normally big a caution. But I can't in good conscience pick Pitt after the way they've played so far this year. I'd probably take Va Tech if the spread was closer to 20 points.
Under Paul Chryst the Panthers are returning to a power-running game, but the only problem is their offensive line is terrible. And their QB is still Tino Sunseri. Even their defense is well below Pitt standards. I don't care what problems the Hokies may have right now, they have Logan Thomas and he's going to be awfully difficult to defend at Heinz Field.
Virginia (+9.5) at Georgia Tech
3:30 PM ET
Every once in a while a game pops up in the Big E picks in which I have no idea what to do. It often happens with these middle of the road ACC games too.
What I do know is that this spread feels a touch high, especially when MIKE LONDON IS DOING SOME GREAT THINGS IN CHARLOTTESVILE (obligatory caps, sorry). I think it's a wise move to take the underdog here.
No. 1 Alabama (-20.5) at Arkansas
3:30 PM ET
This spread has risen like crazy since the Hogs' loss last week and the injury to QB Tyler Wilson. All signs are pointing to Wilson not playing in this game because as of this writing he still hadn't practiced this week.
I wouldn't begrudge anyone for taking Arkansas though, Wilson or not, this is still a lot of points to lay down for a battle between two SEC teams. Add in the home field advantage, and it just might be a smart move. I'll stick with Saban, because he's likely to crush the dreams of whoever suits up behind center for the Hogs.
No. 18 Florida (+2.5) at No. 23 Tennessee
6:00 PM ET
This is a huge game for Tennessee. They've been wallowing in mediocrity for years and Derek Dooley hasn't done anything of note during his time in Knoxville. The Vols have also lost 7 straight to Florida.
I think that streak ends due to the arm of Tyler Bray. I don't have enough confidence in Florida's offense to keep up. Dooley will finally get his first win at Tennessee versus a ranked opponent.
Arizona State (+6.5) at Missouri
7:00 PM ET
Pick: Arizona State
Todd Graham may be (insert derogatory term here) but his offense is a pain to defend. I know Illinois may not be particularly good, but the Sun Devils did drop 45 points and 510 yards on the Illini last week.
I like Missouri to win this game, but ASU to generate enough offense for the underdog cover.
No. 2 USC (-9.5) at No. 21 Stanford
7:30 PM ET
Yes, the Trojans have lost 3 straight and 4 out of 5 to the Cardinal. Don't care...no more Andrew Luck.
I suspect this will be the game that finally turns the tide on Stanford from being an elite team to moving closer to their traditional roots. We'll find out quickly that Stanford doesn't have a very explosive offense. USC though, yeah they do. I like the Trojans big in this game by 15 or more.
No. 20 Notre Dame (+5.5) at No. 10 Michigan State
8:00 PM ET
Pick: Michigan State
See the article, Game Day Countdown: Notre Dame vs. Michigan State
Utah State (+13.5) at Wisconsin
8:00 PM ET
Is Utah State the most underrated team in the country? They nearly beat Auburn last year, had several close losses and generally beat the teams they should. This year they're 2-0 and have already defeated Utah. With Wiscy reeling after a road loss to Oregon State, the smart bet is on Utah State giving the Badgers everything can handle, right?
Yes and no. Utah State is going to stay in this game but I'll take Wisconsin getting some things straightened out at home in front of their rowdy crowd. The Badgers are going to be pissed off and I think they cover here, but just barely.
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