Hopefully none of you are actually putting any money down based on my bets. Last week I was 3-4, which drops me to 13-15 for the year.
No doubt this is the week that things turn around. Probably not. Either way, hopefully I’ll have no idea after having my mind blown to pieces by Outkast on Friday night.
No. 11 UCLA (3-0) at No. 15 Arizona State (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12)- Thursday 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1: Nothing like a pair of ranked conference opponents kicking off the week with their back-up quarterbacks.
Well maybe it will be with their back-up signal callers. UCLA hasn’t said whether or not Brett Hundley will play after injuring his elbow two weeks ago against Texas.
The Sun Devils are going with Mike Bercovici as Taylor Kelly sits with a foot injury.
Bercovici has played in all three games this season, completing 9 of his 17 pass attempts for 79 yards and TD. Bruins’ No. 2 signal caller Jerry Neuheisel lead UCLA to a 20-17 win over the Longhorns, as he threw for 178 yards and two TDs.
Inexperience may show up early with the two QBs, but the key to the game will come down to Arizona State’s ability to run the ball. UCLA is giving up just 3.8 yards per carry on the ground, and has allowed only three rushing TDs all year. Junior Arizona State tailback D.J. Foster has fun for 510 yards and five TDs, which ranks eighth in the country.
Prediction: Even with all the will he or won’t he regarding Hundley, UCLA is favored by four points on the road. I think this is the week that the Bruins’ struggling offensive line finally costs them. I’m going with Arizona State 20-14.
Tennessee (2-1) at No. 12 Georgia (2-1, 0-1 SEC)- Saturday Noon ET on ESPN: It’s the SEC opener for the Vols, while Georgia looks to stay in contention in the East division after losing to South Carolina two weeks ago.
After two straight wins to open the year, Tennessee was shredded by Oklahoma two weeks ago. The Sooners racked up 454 yards of total offense, including 308 yards passing.
Justin Worley looks much-improved under center this season. He’s completed 58.3 percent of his passes this season, and already thrown for 721 yards (after tallying up just 1,239 all last year).
Even with an improved offense, I’m just not sure Tennessee has the defensive personnel to slow Georgia’s offensive attack. Georgia is averaging 471 yards per game, and Todd Gurley has racked up 402 yards rushing.
Prediction: Georgia is a 17-point favorite at home in this one. I think Georgia runs wild against the Volunteers 42-23.
Arkansas (3-1, 0-1 SEC) at No. 6 Texas A&M (4-0, 1-0 SEC)- Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS: Here’s what we know about these two teams- Arkansas is going to run the ball. Texas A&M is going to throw it.
The Hogs average 324.5 yards per game on the ground (seventh best in the nation), and the Aggies average 405 yards passing.
In Kenny Hill TAMU has another quarterback that could end the season in New York. The trillest signal caller in all the land is completing 69.8 percent of his passes with 13 TDs and an interception.
Arkansas should have a blue print to follow on defense for how to slow down the Aggies spread offense. The Hogs have already faced Auburn and Texas Tech this season. Auburn did rack up 595 yards, but the Red Raiders and Kevin Sumlin protege Kliff Kingsbury were held to just 353 yards in a 49-28 Arkansas win.
Prediction: Texas A&M is favored by nine points. I think Arkansas’ rushing attack will be tough enough for the Aggies to stop that they cover. I’m going Texas A&M 38-31.
No. 1 Florida State (3-0, 1-0 ACC) at North Carolina State (4-0)- Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN 2: After escaping Clemson 23-17 in over time with a back-up quarterback, Florida State looks to make it 20-straight wins this weekend in a place they’ve struggled over the years.
Jameis Winston will return to the huddle after watching from the sidelines last weekend following his suspension for lacking self-awareness.
After a slow start, N.C. State has looked much better the last two weeks in wins over South Florida and Presbyterian. Former Florida QB Jacoby Brissett is completing 69.7 percent of his passes for 10 TDs and one interception. N.C. State is averaging 248.8 yards per game rushing, good for 24th best in the country.
The Seminoles’ defense still needs better play from its linebackers, and it may need to adjust some of the roles the secondary is playing, but they looked pretty darn good against Clemson. Eddie Goldman played his best game in garnet and gold, and Mario Edwards continues to hold the edge.
Prediction: Florida State is favored by 19 points on the road. I think Winston and the Seminoles go scorched earth on N.C. State 42-17.
Missouri (3-1) at No. 13 South Carolina (3-1, 2-1 SEC)- Saturday 7 p.m. ET on ESPN: Both teams enter Saturday following a disappointing performance last weekend.
Missouri brought shame to the whole SEC with a 31-27 loss to Indiana, and South Carolina needed 21-fourth quarter points to put away lowly Vanderbilt. A Tigers’ win could really throw a wrench into an already chaotic division race.
Despite being ranked 13th in the polls, South Carolina is giving up an average of 480 yards per game this year. Missouri’s offense is averaging 430 yards per game. Maty Mauk has thrown 14 touchdown passes and 978 yards.
Dylan Thompson had his first turnover free game of the year against Vanderbilt last weekend. The Senior QB is completing 62% of his passes, has 11 touchdowns and just three picks.
Prediction: South Carolina is favored by six points at home. I’m still not sure how the Hoosier beat the Tigers last weekend, but I’m going to overlook and go with Missouri. The Tigers beat South Carolina 24-17.
Duke (4-0) at Miami (2-2, 0-1 ACC): Through four games, Duke has been flat-out dominant (albeit it against Elon, Troy, Kansas and Tulane). The Blue Devils are giving up just an average of 11.5 points per game, while putting up 43.5.
Jamison Crowder has 22 grabs for 296 yards and two scores to pace the offense.
Due to injuries and off-the-field issues Miami has been forced to play true freshman Brad Kaaya earlier than expected. The Californian has thrown for 1,052 yards with 10 TDs, but he’s been intercepted seven times.
The Hurricanes real issues have been on the defensive side of the ball. Opponents are averaging 308 yards per game, and 24.8 points. Last week Nebraska reeled off 343 yards rushing in a 41-31 victory. The Blue Devils are averaging 261 yards per game, and 6.4 yards per attempt.
Prediction: For some reason Miami is a seven-point favorite in this one. I think Duke opens up conference play with a 35-24 win.
Oregon State (3-0) at No. 18 Southern Cal (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12)- Saturday 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN: This is a pretty good way to cap off the college football weekend.
The Trojans are looking to bounce back from a 37-31 upset loss at Boston College, while Oregon State is undefeated with weak schedule thus far.
USC allowed 452 yards rushing to the Eagles two weeks ago. The Beavers top two rushers are averaging more than five yards per carry, but the passing game is what makes the offense go. Quarterback Sean Mannion has completed over 70 percent of his pass attempts in his last two games, and racked up 903 yards passing already this year.
Mannion will be without his top target on Saturday as Victor Bolden (18 grabs for 192 yards) is out with a dislocated pinkie finger.
The Beavers defense is giving up just 113 yards per game on the ground (30th best in the country), but USC is running for an average of 151 yards per game. Buck Allen is leading the way with 318 yards, but had just 31 against BC.
Prediction: USC is a nine-point favorite at home. With a week to lick their wounds, I think USC bounces back with a 35-21 win.