Week 3 Predictions
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags:
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As we head into the games of week three, I sit at 22-3 on the season with many good pickers right on my heels. The games get a little tougher to pick now as we get into the conference slates. Georgia Tech and Notre Dame will tangle in South Bend in what is probably the biggest game of the weekend. Two SEC West matchups also are very intriguing and will shake up the polls: Auburn vs LSU and Ole Miss at Alabama. Northwestern and Duke play an inter-regional OOC game from Durham featuring two teams that are pretty darned good, but get little respect. Here are my icks for the games of week three....
Clemson (2-0) at Louisville (0-2) - The Thursday game this week is from Louisville where the desperate Cards look to get off to a 1-0 ACC start and send the league favorite Tigers home with an L. This will be a very tough early on for Clemson as UL seeks revenge from a close loss a year ago, and the crowd will be hyped up. I see this as a battle in the first half. In the second half, I look for Clemson to make some plays (Artavis Scott comes to mind) and grab a close win. Clemson, 30-20.
FSU (2-0) at BC (2-0) - In a rare Friday night game, could the Eagles pull off another upset? BC is known over the years as a team that can pull the home upset (they beat #9 USC at Alumni Stadium a year ago). FSU is still trying to find itself and get things really going. I see this as a low-scoring contest - they usually are when BC is involved. It will be close, but I'm going 'Noles. FSU, 26-17.
Northwestern (2-0) at Duke (2-0) - Two pretty good nerd schools go at it here as David Cutcliffe's unbeaten Devils host Pat Fitzgerald's perfect-so-far Wildcats. Northwestern has already had a big win this year in beating Stanford. Can they get to 3-0? I say no. Many have under estimated Cutcliffe and Duke the last few years and paid the price. Duke, 31-24.
GT (2-0) at ND (2-0) - This is the game of the week in the ACC as half-member Notre Dame hosts Georgia Tech in a battle of Top 15 teams. ND is looking to a new QB after losing Malik Zaire a week ago in a win at Virginia. Tech has scored over 60 on their first two opponents. I usually always take the home team when I cannot decide, but in this case I am going to go with the Yellow Jackets on the road. GT, 28-23.
Nebraska (1-1) at Miami (2-0) - 20 years ago this game right here would likely be a top 5 matchup and the Goodyear Blimp would be floating over head. Now, both programs are in rebuilding mode and are craving big wins. The Huskers have a new coach in Mike Riley, and after just 2 games, I have no idea what he will do eventually in Corn Country. But in Miami, I know the coach stinks. Al Golden has done very little in 4 seasons (30-22 and no ACC Coastal Division crowns), and it looks like more of the same this year as the 'Canes are nowhere near the top 25. They may pull this one out against a Nebraska team that is still learning Riley's ways, but the "U" needs major steps taken to get back to the top 5. Miami, 27-21.
Auburn (2-0) at LSU (1-0) - The Tigers of Auburn have struggled in their first two games - but alas - they are 2-0! The Tigers of LSU had game 1 washed out and won their second game on the road at Mississippi State. So what happens here? Does Auburn find offensive life? Does LSU run wild at home? This is annually one of the hardest games to pick. I know Auburn has some issues to work out, but they tend to rise up against LSU. This will be a good game. LSU, 30-27.
South Carolina (1-1) at Georgia (2-0) - Usually, I mull over this game for hours, thinking about how tight it has been for two and a half decades now. But this year, the pick is a little easier. UGA has a struggling Steve Spurrier squad at home and they have the weapons to send the Head Visor home with a loss. The Dawgs will enjoy getting a win over spurrier here, as the HBC has beaten UGA at a 75% rate over his career at Florida and South Carolina. Georgia, 31-14.
Texas Tech (2-0) at Arkansas (1-1) - Two teams that could do a little better. Arkansas lost to Toledo for goodness sake two weeks ago. TTU has leveled off under Kliff Kingsbury (14-13 after 2 seasons) after looking in 2013 like they were on the up and up. Both teams have played UTEP, and both teams won by 30+ over the Miners. I will take the Hogs at home. Arkansas, 35-30.
Florida (2-0) at Kentucky (2-0) - This is actually a very tough game to pick. The Gators have found a bit of a spark under first-year coach Jim McElwein. But Kentucky is also playing good ball, beating South Carolina on the road a week ago. Enthusiasm for UK football is at a high point right now, and the crowd at Commonwealth Stadium will be jacked for Florida. I am going to go with the home guys here to look to make noise in the SEC East. Kentucky, 30-24.
Cal (2-0) at Texas (1-1) - The Bears are averaging 54 points through their first two games, albeit the opponents sucked. Texas is averaging 22, with Notre Dame nearly pitching a shutout on the 'Horns. Texas is in major need of a respectable win and this might be a chance at that - even though people will yawn when they see it is against Cal. Regardless, I am going with UT to get a much needed win. Texas, 38-27.
Pitt (2-0) at Iowa (2-0) - Pitt has beaten Akron and Youngstown State. Iowa has beaten Iowa State and Illinois State. Not exactly a murderer's row for either squad. So this week both of these programs will find out a lot more about themselves as they actually play some decent competition. I can usually always count on Pitt for losing an an ACC OOC game. So there you have it. Iowa, 30-20.
Stanford (1-1) at USC (2-0) - Many eyes will be focused on USC freshmen phenom running back Ronald Jones II in this one. The dude is a flat out flyer and is already drawing comparisons to a guy named Reggie Bush. Stanford won't be an easy out, but I expect USC to get the W. USC, 40-27.
SMU (1-1) at TCU (2-0) - The first year coach of the Mustangs, Chad Morris, wasn't exactly treated to the easiest schedule as he opens his tenure at SMU. Morris' team will have faced Baylor and TCU in the first 3 weeks. But that said, if he can get by this one, I see 8 games in a row he could win. TCU is really good They will win here. TCU, 45-24.
Ole Miss (2-0) at Alabama(2-0) - Many are saying that Ole Miss is going to go into Tuscaloosa and give the Tide all that they want. I don't know about that. The Tide have looked pretty darned good so far against Wisconsin and Middle Tennessee. yes, the Rebels hung 70 on both Fresno State and Tennessee-Martin, but those teams don't exactly have defenses like Bama's, and this game is in Bryant-Denny Stadium - not Oxford. Hot head QB Chad Kelly will lead Ole Miss to a few scores, but the home team wins. Alabama, 38-24.
BYU (2-0) at UCLA (2-0) - Credit BYU for scheduling strong teams to open up. How does Nebraska, Boise State, UCLA and Michigan sound to you? That's a nice lineup to start with and the Cougars are going to do their best to go 4-0 in that stretch. I hate very much that QB Taysom Hill is hurt because he could spark this team to a big road win here. But with him out, I have to think UCLA will pull this one out at home. UCLA, 36-24.
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