Week Three Predictions
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In my mind, there is little question that the games of week three are going to be tougher to correctly pick than the ones of the previous two weeks. And while there are still a few inter-conference games going on this week, most of these games see conference mates going head to head. At 28-2 on the year, my confidence should be high. But these games are tough! Here are my choices for week three.
(All times Eastern, all rankings AP)
#12 Arkansas at Georgia - Noon - ESPN - To me, this game is all about UGA Head Coach Mark Richt. I have to believe that those in Athens are starting to put pressure on the man who has led the Dawg program the last nine years with no national title contention. Win, and Richt can still rally for a big season. Lose, and his seat is hotter than that Georgia asphalt. When your back is against the wall, you play your best. Georgia, 33-28.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina - Noon - ESPN3 - Both teams already have a loss - albeit UNC's (to LSU) was without half of their team. With the defense back assembled, UNC has a good chance at slowing down the Tech offense. The only problem is that the Heels will have to score some points of their own. I believe they will. UNC, 28-24.
Maryland at #21 West Virginia - Noon - ESPNU - Maryland is one of those teams that I just don't care for. Not sure why. West Virginia, on the other hand, is a team I really like. On top of that, I think West Virginia will win because they are a better team. See where I am going with this? West Virginia, 31-21.
Vanderbilt at Mississippi - 12:21 - ESPN3 - In a battle of maybe the worst two teams in the SEC, I will simply take the home team. Vandy had a nice run with Bobby Johnson as head coach, but when he was pushed out, I think he took Vandy's soul with him. While Ole Miss isn't all that, I still think they beat the Commodores at home. Mississippi, 31-20.
BYU at Florida State - 3:30 - ESPNU - Yes, I know FSU got blasted by Oklahoma last week. And yes, I know BYU is capable of throwing it around and scoring 50 every now and again. But I have yet to see a BYU team play defense in my life, and FSU is going to be major focused in need of a win. FSU, 35-27.
#8 Nebraska at Washington - 3:30 - ABC regional - Ok, Huskers, let's see that defense tighten up and really do a number this week. This game is scary, and strong defense is what wins these kind. NU is much better than the Huskies, but a long road trip and an unfamilar opponent can be tricky. Nebraska, 23-17.
Arizona State at #11 Wisconsin - 3:30 - ABC regional - Here is a chance for Wisconsin to make some noise and try to move up the polls. All around a strong team, I just see the Badgers making quick work of the Sun Devils in this game. A strong running attack will pave the way. Wisconsin, 35-10.
#10 Florida at Tennessee - 3:30 - CBS - I would love to see a great game here, and think it might be for about a half. Eventually though, I see the Gators just being too strong of an opponent for a Tennessee team that has a lot of rebuilding to do. The Gators are a true top 10 program, and we saw what one of those did to UT last week. Florida, 31-17.
Louisville at #25 Oregon State - 5:30 - Talk about a team that has fallen off of the face of the map! A few seasons ago, Louisville was a hot program. Now, they are struggling to get back into the national scene. I like Head Coach Charlie Strong, but Oregon State is much better - and at home. Oregon State, 42-24.
Mississippi State at #15 LSU - 7:00 - ESPNU - The Bulldogs looked promising against Auburn a week ago, and I think Dan Mullen definitely has this program heading in the right direction. But winning at LSU at night is a lot to ask of any team. LSU may not be as strong as they usually are, but they are still LSU at home at night. LSU, 28-20.
Clemson at #16 Auburn - 7:00 - ESPN - I (along with IB1989, Pilot1003 and RiverRat) will be in attendance at Jordan-Hare for ESPN's game of the week, and I cannot wait! My heart says Clemson, but my head says Auburn. Auburn is extremely tough to beat at home, and Clemson has not won a huge road game in years. It will be a battle royale, but until CU shows me they can seal the deal, I have to pick the home team. Auburn, 34-30.
Notre Dame at Michigan State - 8:00 - ABC (half the nation) - No matter what happens here, I still believe the Brian Kelly era is going to be a good one. But Michigan State is a tough place to play, and Notre Dame just isn't there quite yet. This is a tough pick, but I'm going green. MSU, 28-20.
#6 Texas at Texas Tech - 8:00 - ABC (half the nation) - Tommy Tuberville has all the respect in the world from me as a head coach. He already has TTU at 2-0 as they have scored 87 points already in just two games - 52 on the road last week. I have tossed and turned over this Big 12 battle for quite a while this evening! Texas, 38-32.
#9 Iowa at #24 Arizona - 10:30 - ESPN - I am tempted to take this as my upset special, but I am going to hold back. Iowa is a better team, but when you throw in the intangibles of a long road trip and what will be a hostile crowd, you just never know what may happen! QB Ricky Stanzi must not turn the ball over. Man, what a tough game to pick! Iowa, 28-24.
Wake Forest at #19 Stanford - 11:15 - ESPN2 - A year ago, the Deacons upset the visiting Cardinal in Winston Salem. This year, I see them getting the favor returned. As I have said before, the coaching of Jim Harbaugh and the skills of quarterback Andrew Luck are a lethal combo. This one will be Stanford all the way. Stanford, 38-21.
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