After three weeks in College Pick’Em, things are getting interesting across college football as top teams fall, new teams rise up, and seasons are made or broken each week. This week ESPN has selected ten more top games including two matchups of top 20 teams, a matchup of Pac 12 undefeated teams, and a big early-season ACC showdown.
Last week, my entry took a couple big hits with losses by BYU and USC costing me. I had the Fighting Irish getting their big road win, but missed Florida doing the same two weeks in a row. I ended up with 34 which was still one point above average and good enough to keep me in the top 9% of entries in the game. I’m tied atop our 12-person Fantasy CPR league (for info to join, click here) with JCarr345 who had the best week in the league last week with 39.
This week, there’s some great games lined up and here’s who I’m picking:
1 point-Syracuse over Minnesota: The Orange visit Minneapolis to take on the Golden Gophers, but Minnesota will be short-handed with starting QB MarQueis Gray out due to injury. They’ll go with Max Shortell under center in what could quickly become a shootout with Ryan Nassib the second-leading passer in the country. I think Syracuse can get the mild upset here and deal Minnesota its first loss of the year.
2 points-Arkansas over Rutgers: The unbeaten Scarlet Knights head to Fayetville to take on the Razorbacks. Arkansas got word that Tyler Wilson has been cleared to play, and the upset here has become too trendy of a pick for me to go with it here. The Razorbacks got crushed 52-0 by ‘Bama last week a week after falling to Louisiana-Monroe. At the same time the Razorbacks have been sliding, Rutgers has surged to a 3-0 but have struggled with penalties and have only beaten Tulane, Howard, and USF. I think the Arkansas receivers on the Rutgers cornerbacks is a size mismatch that, with Wilson, Arkansas can exploit for some big pays down the field.
3 points-Notre Dame over Michigan: The Fighting Irish defense dominated Michigan State last week but will face a stiffer test against Denard Robinson and the Wolverines. The game is in South Bend, so I think Notre Dame will stay unbeaten, but it will be a close and fascinating game to watch.
4 points- Florida State over Clemson: The Seminoles have allowed exactly three points in their three games this year as they’ve dominated Wake Forest, Savannah State, and Murray State all at home. This week they’ll get a much stiffer test as undefeated and 10th rank Clemson rolls into town. I think the ‘Noles get the win here, but they’re still an untested commodity so I’m not going to put too many points on them.
5 points-Wake Forest over Army: Army lost a tough one last week against Northern Illinois and now has to visit Wake who is looking to bounce back after getting wasted by Florida State. Before last week’s debacle, the Demon Deacons had defeated Liberty and UNC at home. Since they host this weekend’s matchup, I’m fairly confident they’ll pull out the win over the Black Knights this Saturday.
6 points-UCONN over Western Michigan: UCONN is 2-1 as they visit Kalamazoo to take on the Broncos. The Husky defense is vastly improved over last year and they’ll look to avenge their loss last year to Western Michigan after winning at Maryland last week. Wester Michigan is off to a 1-2 start beating up on Eastern Illinois but losing to Illinois and Minnesota.
7 points-South Carolina over Missouri: Mizzou hung in with Georgia in their first SEC game, but now has to face another top 10 team in their first road test. South Carolina is off to a good start and has cruised in it’s first two home games after opening with a tough road win at Vandy. Both teams have quarterback questions, but at home I feel confident that the Gamecocks can rely on Marcus Lattimore and their defense to win this game if they need to.
8 points-Georgia Tech over Miami: The Yellow Jackets host Miami in an ACC matchup of 2-1 teams. Geogia Tech took Virginia Tech into overtime the first weke of the year and then thumped Presbyterian and Virginia to move to 2-1. They can put up points in a hurry and rank third in the nation in rushing yards. Miami has started well under Al Golden but I just don’t think they have the firepower to hang with Georgia Tech. I expect a game alot like the one the Hurricanes played on the road at K-State which ended up in a 52-13 Wildcats win. Miami may keep this one a bit closer, but I think Georgia Tech is a pretty safe pick at home.
9 points-UCLA over Oregon State: The Beavers one game so far this season was an impressive win over Wisconsin but now they’ll have to travel south to take on the Bruins in LA. UCLA is off to a great start behind a potent rushing attack that’s fifth in the nation averaging 311.3 yards per game. They took down then-#16 Nebraska two weeks ago at home and will look to rush RB Johnathan Franklin and QB Brett Hundley past the Oregon State defense. If this game was at Oregon, I’d be less confident, but I don’t see OSU coming to the Rose Bowl and getting the upset.
10 points-Georgia over Vanderbilt: The game is at Georgia and should be a physical defensive focused game. Expect all the hard-hitting SEC action to be turned up even one notch further after last year’s altercation after the Bulldogs win. Georgia comes in flying high after laying out their first three opponents scoring 47.3 points a game. Vandy meanwhile has struggled a bit going 1-2 with their only victory coming last week in a 58-0 thumping of Presbyterian. I can’t see a team that lost at Northwestern going in between the hedges and pulling off the upset in Athens. George will be fired up and ready to crush the Commodores in this one