Buell's Eye: Week 3's College Football Picks
Ah, yes, the resurgence of certain College Football programs is upon us:
Michigan takes down the Fighting Irish in Ann Arbor to crack the Top 25 poll at #25 after their 3-9 season in 2008.
The #20 Miami Hurricanes try to prove they're back after defeating Florida State in Week 1 with a Thursday night match-up against the (2-0) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, a game that already has ACC Championship implications in only the third week of the 2009 season.
#19 Nebraska travels to Blacksburg, Virginia to try and add to their (2-0) start against the #13 (1-1) Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Top 10 has some new names so far this season and Week 3 is a huge step in continuing this year's new found success for many schools that are on the rise and in the polls.
Last week brought home a 20-3 record in my second week's picks, as I sit at 38-6 overall, missing the Wolverines winning at home against Notre Dame, not even thinking about Houston showing up to beat Oklahoma State, and watching Vanderbilt fall pretty short in my upset pick against LSU.
In Week 3, bring on the upsets!
USA Today Poll #25 Missouri Tigers (2-0) vs. Furman Paladins (2-0)
I have no idea what a Paladin is, nor do I care, because it will not come close to mattering in this game against Missouri. The Furman Paladins fall to the Missouri Tigers, 51-9.
#25 Michigan Wolverines (2-0) vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-2)
Eastern Michigan actually showed up last week against Northwestern University, only losing by 3, 27-24. This week, the Eagles won't fair so well as they take on the rising Michigan Wolverines at the Big House. The Eagles fall to the Wolverines, 35-13.
#24 North Carolina Tar Heels (2-0) vs. East Carolina Pirates (1-1)
It's not very often a team wins a game and then falls 5 places in the rankings. North Carolina pulled off that feat this week after barely beating Connecticut 12-10 in Week 2.
This week, however, the Tar Heels show up a little better as they take on the Pirates from East Carolina. North Carolina wins, 27-14.
#23 Georgia Bulldogs (1-1) @ Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0)
I don't know about you, but I love those Saturday upsets that are just waiting to happen. Look no further than Georgia taking on Arkansas, in Arkansas.
Georgia's stock is falling, and Arkansas is trying to return to their dominant ways. There is no better way to accomplish that than winning at home against a ranked opponent.
This week the Hogs get their wish, defeating the Bulldogs in upset fashion, 20-14.
#22 Kansas Jayhawks vs. Duke Blue Devils (1-1)
So far, Kansas hasn't exactly been tested, leading to a quick 2-0 record and moving up a couple spots in the rankings.
That trend continues this week as the Jayhawks take on the Blue Devils from Duke. Kansas rolls 42-17.
#21 Houston Cougars (2-0) - Bye Week
Take it from me, because it happens every year. An unforeseen team pulls an upset of a ranked opponent, leading to their own appearance on the Top 25 scene, just in time for their Bye Week.
So, two weeks later, we finally have a chance to see if this newly ranked team is actually legitimate, or just a fluke.
The Houston Cougars fit that mold this season, after defeating the #5 Oklahoma State Cowboys 45-35 last week.
Their next matchup lies in Week 4 at home against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, which should certainly give us a better idea as to how serious these Cougars really are.
#18 Utah Utes (2-0) @ Oregon Ducks (1-1)
I mentioned earlier about loving those upsets that are like a ticking time bomb, just waiting to go off. I smell this one from a mile away, as well.
We all know what happened to Oregon in their opening loss against Boise State; they looked downright awful and pathetic.
But, after beating a decent Purdue team last week by putting 38 points on the scoreboard, Oregon may very well be starting to play up to their potential.
I'm not sold on Utah yet either, and with the Utes traveling to Oregon, I see them falling just short to the Ducks in their home pond.
Oregon wins by 1, 28-27, over Utah.
#17 Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0) @ USA Today Poll #24 Oregon State Beavers (2-0)
Has anyone been more impressive in the first two games this season than Cincinnati?
Even so, I'm picking the Oregon teams to show up in Week 3 and pull the upsets.
At home, Oregon State takes down #17 Cincinnati, 37-31.
#16 Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-1) vs. Rice Owls (0-2)
Oklahoma State obviously needs to bounce back strong after losing in a stunning upset to Houston.
That won't be too hard to do as they take on the Owls from Rice, who are looking for their first victory of the season.
The Cowboys get back to their winning ways after a 35-3 de-feathering of the Owls.
#15 Texas Christian Horned Frogs (1-0) vs. Texas State Bobcats (1-0)
In a game that might mean something in Texas, the Frog will be mightier than the Bobcat in Week 3.
#15 Texas Christian has an outside chance of being a BCS spoiler this season, with Brigham Young and Boise State already a few miles ahead of them on that difficult road.
To help their cause, the Horned Frogs leap over the Bobcats, 38-6.
#13 Virginia Tech Hokies (1-1) vs. #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0)
In one of the most intriguing games of the week, Nebraska travels to Blacksburg, Virginia to take on Virginia Tech.
The Hokies' only stain on this new season is their loss to the very dominant Alabama Crimson Tide, who were just the better team all around in their Week 1 match-up.
On the other side, Nebraska is trying to return to their glory days, but haven't faced a true test yet this season.
That changes at 3:30pm, Eastern Time, this Saturday, as both schools find a little bit more about what they're made of.
The Hokies shuck the Cornhuskers, 23-10.
#12 Oklahoma Sooners (1-1) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2-0)
The Sooners got back on track last week with that dominating, blow-out, shutout, 64-0 win over Idaho State.
Yes, it was Idaho State, but that victory may have been more important to Oklahoma this season after what happened in Week 1 than what most people say.
This week, Oklahoma welcomes Tulsa to their place, and hope to stifle Tulsa's high power offense.
The Sooners weather the storm, beating the Golden Hurricane, 45-28.
#11 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1) @ Toledo Rockets (1-1)
Are there any sports fans more frustrated right now than Buckeye fans?
One minute away from proving themselves to the nation after too many big time losses to the opponents that matter, Ohio State was well on their way to show that those days were over. And, just like that, they take it on the chin again with that 18-15 loss against their nemesis, USC.
Yet, after only falling to #11, Ohio State's season is far from over.
This week, they travel to Toledo to take on the Rockets, who prove to be a dangerous opponent at times.
Ohio State avoids the blast and wins by 17, 31-14.
#10 Boise State Broncos (2-0) @ Fresno State Bulldogs (1-1)
I wouldn't be shocked at all to see BCS hopeful Boise State trip up and fall to Fresno State, at their place, in this Friday night game.
But, I just can't call it.
Instead, I'll take the Broncos by 15, 38-23, over the Bulldogs from Fresno State.
#9 LSU Tigers (2-0) vs. Lousiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (2-0)
The Battle of the Bayou, featuring one of the coolest nicknames in all of sports, the Ragin' Cajuns.
It's just a shame that Louisiana-Lafayette has no chance to win, whatsoever.
LSU wins this intrastate battle, 42-24.
#8 California Golden Bears (2-0) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0)
California gets their money's worth this week, as they look to show the nation there are two teams worth talking about this season in the Pac 10.
This Saturday, the Golden Bears travel to Minnesota to take on the undefeated Golden Gophers.
California passes their test and gets their name tossed around a little more, 39-28.
#7 Brigham Young Cougars (2-0) vs. Florida State Semionoles (1-1)
I'm not calling it, but I do hope BYU is ready to welcome in the Seminoles from Florida State, who, after last week's embarrassing effort against Jacksonville State, desperately needs to find some swagger in Week 3 before they let the 2009 season slip away from them.
The Cougars prove to be too strong at home, however, and beat the Seminoles by 10, 34-24.
#5 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0) vs. Temple Owls (0-1)
Penn State is taking advantage of an easy schedule in their first 3 games, and rightfully so. At least they're winning the way they need to be against these unfortunate opponents.
This week is number 3 of those opponents, the Temple Owls. The Nittany Lions take down the Owls, 41-6.
#5 Mississippi Rebels (1-0) vs. Southeastern Louisiana Lions (2-0)
You can't tell a lot about a team in one game.
You also won't be able to tell much about Mississippi yet, either, after two games because they're playing the Lions from Southeastern Louisiana in Week 3.
The Rebels win easily against the Lions, 35-10.
#4 Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) vs. North Texas Mean Green (1-1)
Alabama is enjoying a great start to their 2009 season and things won't change for them in Week 3 as they take on the Mean Green from North Texas.
The Tide rolls again, 44-14.
#3 USC Trojans (2-0) @ Washington Huskies (1-1)
Straight off yet another win against Ohio State, USC takes on a much-improved Washington Huskies team in Week 3, in Washington.
As much as I would love to pick this as an upset special, I don't see Washington that ready yet to take down the Trojans.
USC wins 37-28.
#2 Texas Longhorns (2-0) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0)
I may feel very sorry for the Red Raiders after the final whistle blows in this one, because Colt McCoy and the Longhorns are certainly seeking their revenge from last year's loss at the hands of Texas Tech that kept them on the outside looking in to the BCS National Championship game.
However, Texas Tech still shows up in this one, losing by 11. The Longhorns win 45-34.
#1 Florida Gators (2-0) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (1-1)
The verbal war may be raging, and this rivalry has seen its share of headlines, upsets, and major highlights over the past several years.
But, the Gators are still a 28 1/2 point favorite over the Volunteers, and new coach, Lane Kiffin, is going to see his Tennessee team fall to the Gators by even more than that spread.
Florida wins again, 52-20, over Tennessee.
Game of the Week: #14 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-0) @ #20 Miami Hurricanes (1-0)
In Week 3's Game of the Week, it involves the first game of the weekend, Thursday night's matchup of ACC opponents, Georgia Tech versus Miami.
Miami appears to be back and Georgia Tech shows signs of a nationally-dominant team, as long as they play all four quarters.
In just the third week of the season, this marquee match-up holds National Title implications, and could easily shadow how the rest of the season for both programs will play out.
In the end, the Yellow Jackets prevail over Miami, in Miami, 34-31.