Season Record vs. the Line: 16-11 (59.25%)
Upset Alert: 2-0
No. 24 TCU at Texas Tech 6:30 pm CST ESPN
Red Raiders move with Mayfield but can’t stop anybody
Prediction: TCU 42 Texas Tech 34
Line: TCU (-3)
It looks like Trevone Boykin will be taking the snaps this week when TCU goes to Lubbock. Casey Pachall had surgery on his left arm and will not play for the foreseeable future. Devonte Fields, however, is back for TCU and should help generate a strong pass rush against the high-scoring Red Raider offense.
Tech’s Baker Mayfield passed for over 350 yards in his first two games this season. The usual problem for Texas Tech is their defense. I doubt the Red Raiders are able to contain the TCU offense even when led by the backup quarterback, Boykin.
The TCU defense will expose Mayfield’s youth and generate a few turnovers in the process. TCU should cover the 3 ½ points in this one.
THE PLAY: TCU
Air Force at Boise State 7:00 pm ESPN
Falcons at least can make a game of it
Prediction: Boise State 45, Air Force 31
Line: Boise State (-24)
This is a matchup of two opposite teams. Boise State loves to throw the ball, while Air Force is a smash mouth football team to the fullest extent. Boise returns senior QB Joe Southwick who had a less than admirable performance against Washington on opening weekend. The Broncos have made a name for themselves by beating up on the “little guys” the last few seasons, and I don’t regard Air Force as one of those teams.
I think Air Force will be able to control the clock with their running attack and keep this game close until the end
THE PLAY: Air Force
No. 7 Louisville at Kentucky 11:00 am ESPN
Louisville will keep Teddy in the Heisman hunt
Prediction: Louisville 42, Kentucky 17
Line: Louisville (-13.5)
After what we have seen from Teddy Bridgewater thus far, I cannot comprehend why the line on this game is so low. Kentucky has not gotten any better than their 2-10 record from 2012, not to mention their season opener loss to Western Kentucky two weeks ago. Bridgewater has thrown for a total of nine touchdowns in his first two games and is backed by a defense that has only yielded 14 points this season. The Cardinals will cover the spread in this one without much trouble.
THE PLAY (BEST BET): Louisville
Tulsa at No. 14 Oklahoma 11:00 am ESPN 2
One-way rivalry: Game means a lot more to Tulsa than to OU
Prediction: Oklahoma 24, Tulsa 10
Line: Oklahoma (-24)
This could be a trap game for Oklahoma. I would be willing to bet that the team is more focused on playing Notre Dame in two weeks than beating Tulsa on Saturday.
Bob Stoops has benched Trevor Knight and will start Blake Bell on Saturday. Either way, Oklahoma will be without a passing game. This one-dimensional, run style of offense will cost them at some point this season. Last week OU beat West Virginia by a mere nine points. The quarterbacking flip-flop will cause problems early in the game.
Tulsa, well coached by Bill Blankenship, will see this as an opportunity for changing the balance of power in the state. The Hurricane can cover.
THE PLAY: Tulsa
No. 16 UCLA at No. 23, Nebraska 11:00 am ABC
Upset Alert: Bruins will honor the memory of Nick Pasquale
Prediction: UCLA 33 Nebraska 30
Line: Nebraska (-4.5)
UCLA, unlike Nebraska, brings a well-balanced offense to this matchup, but the outcome goes far beyond matchups. The Bruins will want to honor the family and the memory of one of their best-liked teammates: 20-year-old wide receiver Nick Pasquale, who died this week when struck by a car.
Tragedies like that tend to have a bonding moment for football teams, and you can bet on that.
Besides the motivational factors, there are other reasons UCLA should be the favorite here and not the underdog. UCLA looks like a rising power under coach Jim Mora, who was 9-5 in his first season with a berth in the Pac-12 Championship game.
Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley is a sophomore who led a 36-30 victory over Nebraska last season.
Nebraska has nine starters returning to their offense this year, among them senior QB Taylor Martinez. But even with all this experience the Huskers have developed a fumbling tendency. After the Cornhuskers barely escaped Wyoming in weak one, I doubt their ability to get the job done here against a team they lost to last season.
THE PLAY: UCLA
No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Texas A&M 2:30 pm CBS
Johnny Football Will Score and Score, can A&M D Slow Tide?
Prediction: Alabama 42, Texas A&M 34
Line: Alabama (-8)
Right out of the gate there are a few key factors that bode well for the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban has had this game circled on his calendar ever since the Tide lost to the Aggies last season. He wants to win this game more than any other on his schedule this season. He also has had an extra week to prepare his defense for the dynamic Johnny Football. Lastly, Alabama will come into this game undefeated since November 6, 2010 while on the road against an SEC team.
Still, A&M cannot be counted out, playing at home with the Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel as their quarterback. This game probably will determine the outcome of the SEC West. Look for Johnny Football to put up a good fight until the fourth quarter as he turns it into a shoot-out. Even though Alabama is by far the stronger team, it might not be smart to bet against Manziel. Better to bet the Over at 62.
THE PLAY: The OVER.
Tennessee at No. 2 Oregon 2:30 pm ABC
Oregon will romp over the Volunteers
Prediction: Oregon 52, Tennessee 18
Line: Oregon (-27.5)
Oregon is going to win this game and blow out Tennessee. The question is whether or not the Vols can put up some points in the process. Seven turnovers decided their second game against Western Kentucky. That score may be a little bloated at 52-20. I still like Oregon to overcome a deficit of 27.5. The Ducks are too hot on offense to bet against.
THE PLAY: Oregon.
Nevada at No. 10 Florida State 2:30 pm ESPN
Seminoles find it easy to cover against Nevada
Prediction: Florida State 52, Nevada 13
Line: Florida State (-33.5)
My thinking here is simple. In week one UCLA beat Nevada 58-20. Also in week one Florida State held Pitt to 13. I think Pitt is a better team than Nevada. I also think Florida State’s offense is better than UCLA’s. Florida State should cruise to a big win.
THE PLAY: Florida State.
Vanderbilt at No. 13 South Carolina 6:00 pm ESPN
Gamecocks come back after being clipped between the hedges
Prediction: South Carolina 38, Vanderbilt 17
Line: South Carolina (-13.5)
Don’t kick a dog while he’s down. I’m looking for South Carolina to rebound from their loss to Georgia at home this Saturday. The Gamecocks shouldn’t have trouble taking care of the Commodores in Columbus.
THE PLAY: South Carolina
No. 4 Ohio State at California 6:00 pm FOX
Buckeyes run away from Golden Bears
Prediction: Ohio State 41, California 20
Line: Ohio State -16
With Braxton Miller out, this line will probably be closer than it should. Kenny Guiton stepped in Saturday and looked fully capable of carrying the Buckeye’s offense. Look for Ohio State to win in this one by a bigger margin than most think.
THE PLAY: Ohio State
No. 21 Notre Dame at Purdue 7:00 pm ABC
Irish plus Boilermakers won’t make many points
Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Purdue 14
Line: Notre Dame (-20.5)
Notre Dame is only averaging 29 points per game, and to be favored to win by 21 is a little bit of a stretch. I think the Irish will win by a good amount, but not enough to cover the spread. On the other hand, Purdue has only scored two offensive touchdowns so far this season. I like the Irish to hold the Boilermakers to almost nothing while scoring very little themselves.
THE PLAY: Take the UNDER at 52.
No. 25 Ole Miss at Texas 7:00 pm LHN
Longhorns will try to win one for Mack
Prediction: Texas 38, Ole Miss 27
Line: Texas -2 1/2
After the firing of Manny Diaz, expect the Longhorns to make adjustments on defense. Ole Miss is still young and made several youthful mistakes against Vanderbilt two weeks ago.
The Horns are looking for a rebound victory and Mack Brown is now feeling more pressure than ever after the 40-21 loss to BYU last weekend. In short, the Longhorns cannot afford to lose this one.
THE PLAY: Texas
No. 20 Wisconsin at Arizona State 9:30 pm ESPN
Wisconsin and Arizona State will shoot it out in the desert
Prediction: Wisconsin 45, Arizona State 38
Line: Arizona State (-5.5)
Wisconsin has it all on offense. Senior James White and sophomore Melvin Gordon pack a solid one two punch on the ground. Quarterback Joel Stave completed 24/29 passes last game for a completion rate topping 80%.
Arizona State can bring it through the air. Taylor Kelly loves to spread the ball around as 11 different receivers had receptions in the Sun Devil’s first game this season. The serious lack of rushing is what I worry about.
I have no doubt this will be a high scoring shootout, but I am taking the offense with the more experience here.
THE PLAY: Wisconsin.