Week 3 featured several almost upsets in the Top-10, with Alabama, Oklahoma, and Clemson barely crossing the winner’s finish line. Week 4 only has two ranked versus ranked on the docket but similar to last week’s lookout for the games flying under the radar, which could result in a few surprise upsets. After a mediocre Week 2 picks article, I had a great week 3, getting 7 out of my nine predictions correct.
#7 Texas A&M vs. #16 Arkansas: The Aggies haven’t earned their high rankings, especially in an almost no-show appearance against Colorado squeaking by 10-7. On the other side is Arkansas, who had a rough start against Rice but responded in that game and carried it over to blow out Texas. Texas A&M is in the midst of an 11-game winning streak and 9 in a row over Arkansas. Both defenses have been sturdy thus far. Of course, the Razorbacks have at least faced a good team in Texas. This game won’t appear in my against the spread area, but keep in mind Vegas is giving the Hogs 4.5-points as home dogs. A relatively low-scoring affair will likely unfold so that it will come down to turnovers and red-zone efficiency.
#12 Notre Dame vs. #18 Wisconsin: The Irish have used their “luck” to slide by early in this season; at 3-0, Notre Dame has been underwhelming to this point. The Badgers squandered three separate scoring opportunities in a close loss to Penn State Week 1. Former Wisconsin QB Jack Coan will face his old squad in a QB battle with the guy that forced him out of a starting job Graham Mertz. Wisconsin’s defense has played well per usually something that can’t be said about Notre Dame’s “D.” This game will be played at a neutral site, Soldier Field, and should be a grind-it-out type defensive battle. Not sure I agree with the Badgers being a 6.5-point favorite regardless; I lean Wisconsin in a close one coming down to a late score.
Texas vs. Texas Tech: On the surface, this game should go in favor of the Longhorns. Texas got out to a solid start in Week 1 in a victory over the ranked Ragin Cajuns, then turned right around and got beat handily by Arkansas. Texas Tech has yet to face a good team, so their stats on paper may look better than reality. Texas averages 245 rushing yards per game while the Red Raiders only give up 55 yards, so something’s got to give. Not calling for a straight-up win for Texas Tech, but they could make this one interesting in the second half. Ultimately, the home crowd of 100,000+ and Texas in need of a bounce-back performance will be enough to win.
San Jose State in a minor upset over Western Michigan.
Miami (Ohio) upsets Army as a 7.5-point dog.
#25 Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys found a way to defeat Boise State on the road, and the Wildcats bread and butter is ball control. OKST strengths are similar, making for a bit of a chess match.
#24 UCLA vs. Stanford: Stanford shocked USC two weeks ago, and the Bruins had a letdown losing to a quality Fresno State club, meaning this is a relatively crucial Pac-12 matchup in late September.
West Virginia will lose this game but not by the 17-points #4 Oklahoma is favored by.
#19 Michigan has looked good this year, no doubt, but taking Rutgers with the 21-points could pay off. Last year this game went to triple overtime.
Louisville covers as a 1.5-point favorite over Florida State, although I must confess I’ve had a horrible few weeks in this category.
-Ole Miss QB Matt Corral threw for 335-yards and three touchdowns plus rushed for 4TD’s in a record-setting Saturday, becoming the 1st ever player in SEC history to throw for 3 TD’s, and rush for 4 TD’s in a single game.
-Including facing #18 Wisconsin on Saturday, Notre Dame will also take on #8 Cincinnati and Virginia Tech over the next three contests.
-Florida outrushed Alabama 245-yards to 91, falling short in a 31-29 loss.
-BYU’s upset of Arizona State extended their streak of home victories to 12.
-With a comeback 33-31 victory over Utah, San Diego State has now gone 7-2 versus the PAC-12 dating back to 2016.
-The Minnesota Gophers added to their 21 wins in a row over non-conference opponents, good enough for 5th best streak in the FBS since 1990.
-Florida State is off to a 0-3 start for the first time since 1976.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio and TheGruelingTruth.Com
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