College Football Week 3: Predictions and Rants

Jon EllsworthContributor ISeptember 16, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 5:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies runs with the ball for yardage against the LSU Tigers during their game on September 5, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The LSU Tigers defeated the Washington Huskies 31-23. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Is it fitting that Jake Locker is striking the pose in this picture?

With a win over USC, which will require Locker to play a lights-out, Heisman-clinching game, it wouldn't be far from reality.

In this weekly column, I'll break down the top games and offer my predictions and two or three reasons why I picked them the way I did.

On to the picks:

Game of the Week

Florida State (-7.5) at No. 7 Brigham Young

FSU 13, BYU 27

1) Is BYU a legit BCS contender?

2) Can FSU salvage their season?

3) Heisman implications for Max Hall

Second Best

USC (+19.5) at Washington

USC 23, WASH 34

1) USC: Matt Barkley is probably out (shoulder), Taylor Mays is questionable (MCL), Havili is not part of the offense (coaching): neither is the downfield pass, or the short pass.

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2) Sark and Holt know USC down to their socks.

3) Two Words: Jake Locker

Other Good Ones:

No. 14 Georgia Tech (+4.5) at No. 20 Miami

GT 31, Miami 20

1) Miami has been flashy, but generally not very impressive.

2) I put my money on the team dedicated to a system that has been working for them.

No. 10 Boise State (+7.5) at Fresno State

Boise 44, Fresno 13

1) Boise sophomore QB Kellen Moore needs to be on the Heisman watch.

2) Fresno was impressive vs. Wisconsin, and I expect a drop in performance after that heartbreaker.

3) If I was a betting man...

Tennessee (-29.5) at (arbitrarily ranked) No. 1 Florida

Tennessee 0, Florida 1,543 (or 56)

1) I'll check in from time to time to see just how biblical Tebow is getting on the Vols.

2) Is anyone else sick of Tebow and, most of all, Urban Meyer? There have been more stories of Urban opening his big mouth: from making promises he wouldn't keep to dogging on NFL coaching. 

It could only be the highest form of poetic justice if Tennessee upsets Florida. I won't hold my breath, though. He and Kiffin are like the "Odd Couple", I think.

No. 17 Cincinnati (-1) at Oregon State

Cincinnati 28, Oregon St 34 (OT)

1) This should be an entertaining game.  The teams match up well in style and talent.

2) A proving game for both teams to push into the rankings.

3) I take the Rodgers in this one, but it's a close one.

No. 19 Nebraska (-3) at No. 13 Virginia Tech

Huskers 16, VT 23

1) Big proving game for the Huskers

2) VT is proof that an excellent defensive scheme will always make you a top team (Yes, that's a rhyme.  Little known fact: Frank Beamer actually wrote a similar haiku about defense and special teams).

In other Games

Besides Florida, the entire SEC and much of the Top 25 are taking the week off from competitive football. Don't tell Nick Saban, though. He respects every team he plays:

North Texas at No. 4 Alabama: Respect the Mean Green (0-100 in one season, if that's even possible)

Texas State at No. 15 TCU: I can respect the idea of trying to beat every team in the state, but I think they made this school up.

Southeastern Louisiana at No. 5 Mississippi: Come on

Temple at No. 5 Penn State: Maybe JoePa can shout Temple off the field like he does cameramen.

Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 9 LSU: I wonder if the first team will suit up for the Tigers.

No. 11 Ohio State at Toledo: Navy all over again?

Tulsa at No. 12 Oklahoma: BYU all over again?

With half of the BCS contenders taking a break this week, it will be good to see some of the fringe challengers play and make their case.  Should be a fun weekend for non-BCS college football.