And we’re back for Week 3! As a reminder, this is a weekly feature, publishing every Thursday during the season. Anyone is invited to pick with us in the comments and we’ll throw the standings of the peanut gallery up each week. If you finish first, you have our full support to walk up to the Notre Dame athletic office and start doing the chicken dance. (Note: you have our full support to do this anyway.) Let’s take a quick look back at Week 2 and then get to this week’s picks.
After a blistering Week 1 of intense, well-played action, it was good to see that trend continue in Week 2. We were continuously served with clean games with no ghastly mistakes causing fans to hide their face in their hands as everyone else pointed and laughed. What a nice slate of games and a great day for fans of college footb—wait, what the hell Florida?
Now let’s all have some fun and watch that one more time while playing the following song. Don’t worry, it’s the same length as the video.
Yeah, yeah, Jeff Driskel knee sprain, hostile road atmosphere, whatever excuses you want to make. I have just one thing to say: #ACC4Lyfe!!!!!! Y’all Gators can take your sister and your girlfriend and get on back to Gainsville. And the best news is you’ll only need a two-seater because they’re the same person! Yeehaw! I still haven’t recovered from the severe case of dehydration and severe sunburn I suffered due to the powers that be making this a noon start in early September in South Florida (Thanks, assholes!), but thankfully Miami (+3) sent the cousin-lovers back to Gainsville with a 1-1 record.
In other action, Illinois (+7.5) shocked everybody and took Cincinnati and their QB’s leg out back behind the woodshed in a 45-17 blowout. Georgia (-3) found a longsnapper and took care of business against South Carolina at home. Northwestern (-12) beat the snot out of Syracuse until they were orange in the face. Michigan (-3.5) handled the Fighting Chickens under the lights of the Big House.
The standings to date:
- Harry 7-3
- Bob 7-3
- Matt 6-4
Props to a handful of people who joined in on the fun last week. Here are the standings of the peanut gallery (with Michael W having a one-week head start):
- Michael W 8-2
- Creed Tucker 4-1
- mdrose16 3-2
- Thomas Bechtel 3-2
- Katy Weeks 2-3
- Nik Valdiserri 1-4
Let’s get to Week 3′s set of games. #15 Miami is off this week, so we will pick three national games. As a reminder, the lines come from Danny Sheridan and all game times are eastern.
#16 UCLA at #23 Nebraska (-4.5), Noon, ABC
Taylor Martinez will try to muster up some offense through the power of his duck-like throwing motion and get revenge on the Bruins for knocking off the Huskers out in Cali last year. Prepare for A LOT of points in this one, folks.
#1 Alabama (-7.5) at #7 Texas A&M, 3:30, CBS
The Bama Klan heads west for this huge conference showdown between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Johnny Manzeil. It’s going to be tough for one guy to knock off the two-time defending champs, but he’ll give it a sho—wait, you’re telling me the Aggies have players on the roster besides this guy? If you watched ESPN you’d surely know that’s false.
#19 Washington (-9.5) at Illinois, 6, Big Ten Network
Will the luck of the Illini run out under the shadows of the pillars at Soldier Field or can the Fightin’ Scheelhaases continue their improbable undefeated season? An even better question: will anybody care? [Edit from Matt: …Yes.]
Western Michigan at #17 Northwestern (-32), 9, Big Ten Network
Western Michigan continues their annual mission to play every single team in the Big Ten. If this one’s even a little close, I’ll eat a live goldfish.
#20 Wisconsin at Arizona State (-5), 10:30, ESPN
Yet another game we will stay up way too late watching for no apparent reason other than our mutual love of
a senselessly violent exercise resulting in serious and lasting medical complications for a large group of its participants after their playing days are over, ruining their personal, familial, and professional lives college football! Let’s get to the picks!
UCLA vs NEB I don’t know, man. Both of these teams have super high-powered offenses lead by dangerous dual-threat QB’s in UCLA’s Brett Hundley and Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez. Neither has much of a defense, but I trust UCLA’s a bit more after the Huskers got torched by newfound juggernaut Wyoming for 37 points in Week 1. Things were decidedly less exciting against Southern Miss, but my trust has been broken. I’ll take the points and the road ‘dog. UCLA +4.5
BAMA vs TAMU Ever since Johnny Goofus and his crew knocked off the Tide in Cousin-Humping Land last year, I’ve been eagerly anticipating Alabama’s return trip to College Station. Alabama’s offense looked shaky against Virginia Tech, but their defense was as dominant as ever and the whole team will be in complete “Eff-You Mode” (as Bill Simmons loves to call it) come game time. Here comes a (somewhat) bold proclamation: Bama will win by at least 14 points in a game that won’t even be as close as the score indicates and hold Johnny Can’t-Handle-Media-Attention to under 200 passing yards. Now all I need is for Manziel to sign off on this. Anybody have $7,500 laying around? Alabama -7.5
Washington vs Illinois I honestly have no idea what happened against Cincinnati last week, but it’s going to take at least one more performance like that for me to say that wasn’t a fluke. Maybe even two. Washington will roll, and if they don’t I just might buy in to the Illini getting to two wins in the Big Ten. Washington -9.5
WMU vs NW Typically I stay away from favorites of 30+ points, but Western Michigan lost at home to Nicholls State last week. Nope, that second L is not a typo. Getting back to the point, the ‘Cats should should keep soaring. Northwestern -32
WISC at ASU In typical Badger fashion, Wisconsin has played absolutely nobody that could even give the slightest of indications of how good this team is. Nevertheless, back to back shutouts over any two teams is pretty impressive. However, to complicate matters, ASU has played one game, also against a crap opponent, and also won in a shutout. I guess all I have to go one is last year’s performances by both teams. Wisconsin (undeservedly but whatever) reached the Rose Bowl and very nearly knocked off Pac-12 champ Stanford. ASU beat Navy in the…Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl? Let’s go with the Badgers. Wisconsin +5
This is definitely the least confident I’ve been in my picks since we started this exercise and there’s high potential for my currently shiny record to blow up in my face. If I don’t make it out of this week alive, tell
Duke Johnson my family I love them.
Last week: 3-2
UCLA vs NEB Just like last year’s matchup, this one should be a really interesting game. UCLA gained 653 yards of offense en route to a 36-30 victory in Pasadena last season. Unfortunately for the Huskers, their defense is looking even worse this year. It’s just hard for me to trust Nebraska after seeing how they barely handled Wyoming at home in week one, and I think UCLA may actually be the better overall team here, not to mention they’re getting the points. And oh yeah, this just happened. UCLA +4.5
BAMA vs TAMU It looks like Harry hasn’t heard of Jake Matthews, the Texas A&M offensive tackle whom I have never seen outside of the top five on a mock draft. The atmosphere in College Station this Saturday is going to be second to none and will definitely make it tough on the Crimson Tide. However, Alabama has played plenty of games in huge SEC stadiums, and more importantly, they have had almost a year to figure out what went wrong against A&M last year. The Tide mean business, and I think they will come away the winners in this one, but I don’t think I’m willing to give up such a large number of points. Texas Agriculture and Machinery +7.5
WASH vs ILL Illinois definitely won some respect with its performance against Cincinnati last week, and I now have faith that they can win some games against real teams this year. Unfortunately for the Illini, these Huskies proved that they are a force both offensively and defensively in their week one rout of Boise State. I would not be shocked if Illinois made it a game, but Washington is too strong a team and this line is too slim. Washington -9.5
WMU vs NW Northwestern is really good and killed Syracuse last week; Western Michigan is not very good this year and lost to FCS Nicholls State at home last week. Northwestern easily could have won by at least 30 last week, but Fitzgerald made the smart decision of playing his entire second-team defense and third-string QB for the length of the fourth quarter. I see this week’s game to play out similarly; I think the Wildcats destroy WMU, but I think they will take the foot off the gas a little bit. I don’t feel comfortable giving up so many points. Western Michigan +32
WISC vs ASU I can imagine it perfectly: a new coach leading the not-that-great Badgers against the swagged-out Sun Devils with the raucous fans excited to see a great matchup in the desert of Tempe for the late-night Pac-12 matchup– wait, Arizona State is favored in this game? Wisconsin is the more complete team, and it looks so far like the squad has not missed a beat under Gary Andersen. Wisconsin +5
After picking all favorites last week, I have now picked four ‘dogs. Let’s see how this goes.
Last week: 3-2
UCLA vs NEB While Nebraska’s defense has looked awful thus far, I believe their offense will be good enough to carry them in this game. Taylor Martinez remains one of the most inexplicably hated players in the Big Ten (by his own team’s fans, even), and he is certainly good enough to carry this team past UCLA. I personally don’t think Nebraska is as good as Northwestern and Michigan this year, but I have a gut feeling that they’ll be able to pull this one out against Jim Mora’s men in UCLA blue. Nebraska -4.5
BAMA vs TAMU
#ROLLTIDE. Texas A&M +7.5… Wait, what? I actually believe Alabama will win this game, and the Tide will roll and continue to be obnoxious, but Texas A&M and Johnny Football will be able to keep it close. Mark it down, the Aggies are going to lose this one by seven. 31-24 ‘Bama and okay I have to go throw up now. Texas A&M +7.5 I’ve gone back and forth on this pick nonstop. I finally decided on TAMU Wednesday night, wrote this, and then I was done…But I can’t do it. The game changer for me here is the Aggies having a completely new offensive coordinator after last year’s, Kliff Kingsbury, left to become head coach at Texas Tech. I just can’t quite believe in A&M to keep it within a TD. Alabama by 14-20. Alabama -7.5
WASH vs ILL Having watched the entire Illinois game against Cincinnati, I can definitively say that game was closer than it appeared from the final score (45-17 ILL). While the Illini offense dominated the Cincy D, the Bearcats had a couple opportunities on the Illinois side of the 50 which they were unable to convert into points. This game should’ve been a score or two closer than it was, so the Illini aren’t quite as good as that scoreline might indicate. Washington probably isn’t as good as their huge win over (at the time, #19) Boise State is leading many to believe either, but they’re a better team than the Illini and they’ll win by 2-3 scores. Washington -9.5
WMU vs NW OH GOD NO LOOK AT ALL THE BLOOD MAKE IT STOP Northwestern -32
WISC vs ASU Oof. This is a pretty tough one for me. Wisconsin has dominated their opponents this year, but their opponents were essentially zombies. Arizona State absolutely obliterated… the Sacramento State Hornets.
There’s really nothing we can learn from the three games these teams have played thus far, so this really comes down to a guess. I’m going to take Wisconsin, because I simply believe they are the more talented team. Gary Andersen’s good start continues, and Badger fans don’t really know how to react to a win over a good opponent on their non-conference schedule. Wisconsin +5
Let it be known that I’m extremely worried about my picks this week, and had a hard time with all of these games except WASH/ILL. I’m only saying that so that it doesn’t look quite as bad when I go 0-5.
Last week: 3-2