Notre Dame -28.5 over Purdue
If you thought Michigan sucked against Notre Dame last week, wait until you see Purdue. If football operated like soccer, the Boilermakers would have been relegated to the FCS after last week’s 21-point loss to Central Michigan.
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East Carolina +11 over VA Tech
Virginia Tech had its biggest win of the past few years last weekend at Ohio State. This is a classic letdown game, against a tough East Carolina team no less. The Pirates gave Steve Spurrier all he could handle last week, and they won’t be intimidated by the Hokies. My only issue with this game is that VA Tech quarterback Michael Brewer looks like the Devil. Not the red horned version, but the Al Pacino version. You can’t trust a guy like that, you never know what he’s capable of.
Texas A&M -31.5 over Rice
This is a lot of points, but I really like the way Kenny Trill and A&M are playing so far this season. It’s not just the fact that they’re winning big. They also appear able to score at will. If Rice got blown away by Notre Dame, I doubt they’ll fare well against the Aggies firepower and the 12th Man. By the way, I noticed with the whole Ray Rice situation, websites and analysts liked to make rice-based puns, like “Rice is Cooked: Ray Rice Banned From NFL.” Because after all, what’s more hilarious than bad puns about domestic abuse? Anyway, I know this trend will eventually trickle down to the University of Rice, especially if they suffer a big loss to Texas A&M. So let’s try to be a little more clever. For example, how about “Kevin Sumlin Makes Sushi Out of Rice,” or “Two Hours After Defeating Rice, Kenny Hill is Hungry For His Next Game.”
Central Michigan +7 over Syracuse
You gotta love Terrel Hunt, who is back after throwing a punch at a Villanova defender and being kicked out of that game. Back when I used to play lacrosse, it would always make me laugh when guys got mad, took off their gloves, and tried to punch another guy in the metal facemask. Dude, that’s not going to have the effect you’re hoping for. In fairness, it’s not like anyone ever accused athletes of being geniuses. To quote an Ohio State legend, “We came to play football, we ain’t come to play school.”* Anyway, Central Michigan beat Purdue. Purdue may be awful but I’m pretty sure they could beat Villanova in regulation. SU struggled against the Wildcats in week 1, and in week 3, they’re going to lose to the Chippewas. The transitive property doesn’t always work in sports, but considering I’m getting 7 points, I feel pretty good about this one.
*That’s the great Cardale Jones, current Buckeye backup who was third-string, yes, third-string quarterback, when he made that comment. I feel obligated to mention that he was being sarcastic, but the fact that people couldn’t tell says all you need to know about Ohio State football.
Boise State -16 at UConn
If you watched UConn’s game against the Stony Brook Seawolves last week, first off, congratulations on owning your own bootleg television network. Seriously, even UConn’s campus network was like, “No thanks, we’re good with this one.” Secondly, you know how important QB Casey Cochran was to this team. With Cochran at the helm, the Huskies won their final 3 games of last season, and gave BYU more than expected in week 1. Without Cochran, UConn was in serious danger of losing to a non-FBS school. I’m not even sure Stony Brook is FCS, I think they may be FDS. I was saddened when Cochran, a Connecticut high school standout with lots of potential, retired from the sport earlier this week due to multiple concussions. He’s a bright young man who inspired hope in UConn fans and also had the best haircut/mustache combo in the nation. I’m not exaggerating when I say that UConn could go 1-11 without him. But they say the Chinese word for “crisis” is the same word for “opportunity,” and this is your opportunity to turn a sad moment into an overinflated wallet. Boise State is favored by 16, but they could win by 100. Grant Hedrick is starting to find his groove, and Jay Ajayi, whose parents weren’t even trying with that name, should have a big night. Lay the points and thank me later.
Arkansas +2 at Texas Tech
Upset special. Texas Tech has struggled in the first two games. REALLY struggled. Arkansas isn’t the best, but they’ve got SEC bodies and a strong running game. Hogs win, straight up.
UMass +16.5 at Vandy
I don’t have a pick here. I just want to point out that these are two of the worst teams you’ll see in CFB this year, and they’ve been chosen to play against each other in week 3. To quote Homer Simpson, “This is like that time when Haley’s Comet collided with the moon.” If you care about your children or yourself, you should look this game up on your TV guide, and put parental locks on that channel right now.
North Dakota State -infinity over University of the Incarnate Word
College GameDay visits North Dakota State this weekend, which I think is a cool move. NDSU is playing better than many FBS teams out there. If they were playing Purdue the line would be -18 in favor of the Bison. I’m not even joking. I’m glad Kirk, Chris, Lee, Desmond, and the rest of the gang are paying homage to a great program. This week North Dakota State squares off against the University of the Incarnate Word. Here are some fun facts about UotIW: They’re a Catholic Liberal Arts school; they’re located in San Antonio, TX; they have 3 coffee shops and a Chick-Fil-A on campus, and their football team is 0-2 this season with blowout losses to Sacramento State and Stephen F. Austin. Jesus may have been able to turn water into wine, but he can’t turn a red zone possession into 6 points. This game will be a rout. You’ll struggle to find a line on this game, but if you do happen to be part of some shady underworld that encourages betting against football subdivision religious schools, then hey, enjoy.
Oregon -27 first half line over Wyoming
This is a tough one. Oregon, Auburn, and Baylor first half lines against bad teams are some of my favorite bets. These three teams come out on fire, blow opponents away, and then lay off the gas in the second half.
For example, tonight you can get Baylor -20.5 in the first half against Buffalo. The Bears will likely lead the Bulls 35-7 at halftime, then pull Bryce Petty and coast to a 49-21 win. It may sound extreme to some of you NFL or SEC fans, who are used to competitive teams fighting for every yard. Laying three touchdowns in just 30 minutes of play is a tough mental wall to climb. But if you’ve followed Oregon/Baylor/Auburn the past couple years, a 35-point first half outburst is simply the norm. It’s like, to your average couple, having a three-way is a huge deal. But if you’re Wilt Chamberlain, it makes you yawn. Wilt’s not making the trip for less than 7 girls. I know it’s been said a thousand times before, but Oregon is the Wilt Chamberlain of first half covers.
Boston College +18.5 over USC
There are a lot of things going against the Trojans in this one. First and foremost, it’s a letdown game, after that hard-fought win against Stanford last week. Secondly, it’s their last non-conference game before getting into the thick of the PAC-12 schedule, with Oregon State, Arizona State, and Arizona all coming up in the next month. Thirdly, it’s a cross-country trip; we saw what happened to UCLA when they traveled to Virginia.* Fourthly, Boston College has been a traditionally difficult place to play. The Eagles played a tough game last Friday night against a very good Pitt team. That game shouldn’t have been close, but it was. And last year, who was the only team to give Florida State problems in the regular season? Not Clemson, or Miami, or Florida. That’s right, Boston College. Why is it so difficult for opposing teams to come into Alumni Stadium?** My opinion, it’s intense glare coming off the overwhelming surplus of white people. That’s just a guess, though.
*Granted, after two weeks it appears UCLA isn’t as good as USC.
**Alumni Stadium sounds like the name of a stadium in a bad football movie, where they couldn’t afford the rights to use a real name. Like when Zac Efron plays quarterback for “State University.”
UCLA (-8) at Texas – STAY AWAY
The slogan for this game should be, “UCLA vs. Texas: Who Sucks More?” The answer, of course, is Texas, who had a pitiful showing against BYU. That game was so one-sided that people are now projecting BYU, who struggled against UConn, to go undefeated. (It’s not gonna happen, Cougar fans.) But if you plan to wager on UCLA, who struggled against known doormats Memphis and Virginia, you’re crazy. You can’t stay far enough away from this game. Like, if this game is in Dallas, and you’re in Sri Lanka, that’s still not far enough away. You actually have to go to Sri Lanka and bury yourself 10 feet underground. Which, now that I think about it, actually puts you closer to Texas. New plan: Fly to Bandaranaike International Airport, climb up their flagpole, and listen to a sitar-based cover of that Harvey Danger song on a loop until this game is over.
Tennessee +20.5 over Oklahoma
According to College GameDay, Tennessee has held its last four opponents under 20 points. That’s the longest streak in college football.
The streak ends this Saturday.
No offense to Tennessee, who is much improved under Butch Jones, but they can’t match up with the Sooners. I’m not convinced Oklahoma is a playoff-caliber team, but they’re definitely top ten-worthy, and they’re vastly more experienced than the young Volunteers. Trevor Knight and Oklahoma’s offense should give Tennessee’s all-new defensive line a hostile welcome to big-time college football. Tennessee is on the right path, but this is Oklahoma’s time. OU 42, UT 23. Just below the line. Take the points.
South Carolina +6.5 over Georgia
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Georgia and South Carolina are a tale of two mid-level cities. The Bulldogs are on top of the world after gashing the Clemson defense for 8,700 rushing yards (estimate). Meanwhile South Carolina got blown out in week 1, and barely escaped a feisty East Carolina squad in week 2.
But as Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friend.
Clemson’s D is notoriously suspect, and furthermore, that game was competitive until Georgia finally blew it open in the second half. And what’s more, it’s one game! Regardless of how well they played, you can’t base your opinion of a team on one random showing.
South Carolina, on the other hand, lost to a very good Kevin Sumlin team on the road. There’s no shame in that. Alright, there was a little shame, after all they got beat down worse than, well, umm, in light of recent news events I’m going to end that simile right there. But whatever. They lost a game. And East Carolina is no slouch. In fact, the Pirates are one of my favorite non power teams this year (and every year).
To say Georgia should dominate South Carolina is premature. In Columbia, in a nationally televised CBS game, with Mark Richt still at coach — he’s still the coach, right? Yep, check — the Dawgs should have their hands full. This ain’t Clemson. This is SEC ball. Georgia 30, SC 27. You know the motto.