College Football Picks Week 3: Biggest Locks in Saturday's Top-25 Action

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2013

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - SEPTEMBER 7: Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks looks to throw a pass against the Virginia Cavaliers during the game at Scott Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

All eyes will be on defending national champion Alabama and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel on Saturday afternoon when the Crimson Tide and Aggies square off in a potential BCS national championship elimination game.

Texas A&M upset Nick Saban's top-ranked Tide last November in Tuscaloosa to set the stage for Week 3's can't-miss SEC battle. Alabama will be favored on the road, but not by much.

But what about the other top-ranked teams in action this weekend?

Below I'll predict every top-25 matchup in Week 3, highlighting the biggest locks to win on Saturday.

*Spread information according to



No. 8 LSU Over Kent State

Week 3 will be a walk in the park for LSU. Before the Tigers open up SEC play next weekend against Auburn, they'll play host to Kent State, which happens to be coming off a 19-point home loss to Bowling Green.

Unsurprisingly, the Golden Flashes will be 37-point underdogs in Baton Rouge.

Look for LSU to make mince meat of the Kent State defense, which is surrendering over 25 points per game through the first two games of the season. Senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger is off to a strong start (six touchdowns and zero interceptions). Plus, the Tigers boast a steady ground game led by Terrence Magee and Alfred Blue.

The final score of this matchup will likely look very similar to last week's LSU-UAB showdown, which the Tigers won 56-17.


No. 5 Stanford Over Army

The Cardinal will take to the road in Week 3 to battle Army, but don't expect Stanford to have a hiccup against the Black Knights.

David Shaw's squad is a 28.5-point favorite in this matchup and should have very little trouble racking up yards and putting up points at West Point. After all, Army is coming off a 26-point loss to Ball State in Week 2.

Ball State finished with 440 total yards and 40 points in the easy victory.

And if Army had trouble containing Ball State's offense last week, it's really going to struggle against Stanford's balanced attack on Saturday. Quarterback Kevin Hogan rarely makes a mistake while senior running backs Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson enter this matchup averaging a combined six yards per carry.

The Black Knights will be inspired playing at home, but it won't help them on the scoreboard.


No. 2 Oregon Over Tennessee

Oregon will take on Tennessee for the first time since 2010 in Week 3. But don't expect the final score to look much different than it did when these two programs last met three years ago.

The high-scoring Ducks won 48-13 in Knoxville in the previous matchup, and will be 27.5-point favorites this weekend.

Therefore, you can go ahead and pencil this one in. 

Sure, the Volunteers have looked strong in blowout wins over Austin Peay and Western Kentucky, but this is a matchup against a legitimate BCS national championship contender on the road in a hostile environment.

Not to mention Oregon ranks second in the nation in rushing offense (425 rushing yards per game) and third in scoring offense (62.5 points per game). 


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter