Well college football fans, we made it. Week 3 is here and everyone is ready for the game of the year or game of the decade between Alabama and Texas A&M. Last week I went 4-1 bringing my season total to 9-2 picking straight up. This week features a couple big matchups and a handful of games that could go either way. Lets jump right in.
5) #20 Wisconsin Badgers at Arizona State Sun Devils
So far this season neither of these teams have allowed a point. Wisconsin has outscored its lowly opponents 93-0 and ASU beat Sacramento State 48-0. Something tells me there won’t be a shutout in this one though. The Badgers have a potent rushing attack led by James White and Melvin Gordon and they will need to lean on them with sophomore QB Joel Stave leading this team on the road. Todd Graham’s Sun Devils will have their hands full on defense but their spread offense will move the ball against Wisconsin. QB Taylor Kelly will step up and have a good game for the Sun Devils. ASU is pumped for a primetime night game and they are doing a “blackout” hoping to turn the crowd into a sea of black. I am calling for the upset special in this one. Arizona State takes it in a close game.
4) #24 TCU Horned Frogs at Texas Tech Red Raiders
This game is our Thursday night special and should be a good one. TCU comes into the game having just lost their staring QB Casey Pachall. They had to play without him last year so they should be able to handle it with Trevone Boykin taking the reigns of the offense. However, TCU is running into one of the best kept secrets in college football right now: Kliff Kingsbury is already building a monster at Texas Tech. Walk-on freshman QB Baker Mayfield has already thrown for 780 yards with 7 TDs and 0 INTs, completing 71% of his passes. I don’t care who you are playing, it’s hard to do that. Things will be a little bumpier for Mayfield and the Tech offense because Gary Patterson can coach defense, but I am calling for another (slight) upset in this one. Texas Tech wins this one by at least 7.
3) #25 Ole Miss Rebels at Texas Longhorns
Who would have ever guessed that when these two teams met, Ole Miss would be the team rising and Texas would be reeling? Texas is a a mess right now that is only equal to whats going on in Southern California right now. Coming off a game where they gave up 550 yards rushing to BYU, they fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and brought back Mack Brown’s buddy Greg Robinson.Ole Miss and it’s talented young team will be out for blood in this one since UT beat them 66-31 last year in Oxford. Add in the fact that the Rebels are perfectly suited to exploit the Texas defense like BYU did with underrated dual threat Qb Bo Wallace and you got yourself a winner. Ole Miss by 10 and the fire Mack Brown crowd will get larger.
2) #16 UCLA Bruins at #23 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Last year, Nebraska’s defense gave up 653 yards in a 36-30 loss at UCLA. We all have heard how bad the Nebraska defense has been under Bo Pelini who is supposed to be a defense guru. Saturday’s game will be interesting since the Huskers have revenge on their minds and the Bruins will play with heavy hearts after WR Nick Pasquale was killed last weekend. UCLA QB Brett Hundley is in the same mold of a Braxton Miller or Marcus Mariota and will give the Huskers nightmares like he did last year when he accounted for 358 yards and 4 TDs. The Huskers will be fueled by the home crowd and revenge but until I see that defense make stops against a quality opponent, I will not pick them. UCLA wins by double digits and let the whispers begin calling for Pelini’s job.
1) #1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs #6 Texas A&M Aggies
Speaking of revenge, this one will have plenty of it. Nick Saban and his team will travel to College Station to take on the most talked about man in college football, Johnny Manziel. Everyone knows that last year A&M’s victory over Bama fueled Johnny’s Heisman run. We also know that Bama played highlights of that game on a loop in it’s weight room all summer. Alabama had last week off giving them extra time to prepare for A&M team that has been shaky on defense to start the season. Manziel is going to put up numbers and get a couple highlight plays against the Tide defense. However, AJ McCarron threw for 300+ on A&M last year when they had a better defense and Bama has weapons galore. Expect A&M to get off to a fast start at home but there is a reason why we all consider Nick Saban the best coach going right now. He will not let the Tide lose again to A&M. Bama wins this one in a back and forth game.