Through three weeks HP is 17-13 while I’m middling at 11-12. Here are the 10 games that we see as the best plays of the week.
My picks first:
West Virginia -25.5 vs. Maryland — Geno Smith will leave this game with more incompletions than touchdowns but it will be close.
Mountaineers 48, Terrapins 14
Penn State -7 vs. Temple — A must win if Penn State hopes to get even five wins this season.
Nittany Lions 28, Owls 17
LSU -20 at Auburn — Auburn is going to have a tough time scoring against LSU’s defense. Frazier is going to have more than a hail mary in his arsenal against the Bayou Tigers.
LSU Tigers 35, Auburn Tigers 7
Georgia -14 vs. Vanderbilt — The Bulldogs have started games slowly but steamroll in the second half. Expect more of the same.
Bulldogs 41, Commodores 21
Kansas State +14.5 at Oklahoma — It will take a miracle for the Wildcats to win this game but it will only take Collin Klein to keep it close.
Sooners 38, Wildcats 28
Clemson +14.5 at FSU — Call it an upset if you want but I think Clemson wins this game outright and easily.
Tigers 38, Seminoles 28
Clemson at FSU OVER 55 — See above.
Syracuse -1 at Minnesota — Ryan Nassib throws all over the Gophers and finally matches his great numbers with a win over an FBS team.
Orange 31, Gophers 17
Tennessee -33 vs Akron — The Volunteers take out their Gator induced frustration on hapless Akron
Volunteers 53, Zips 17
Arkansas -9 vs Rutgers — The Razorbacks get back on track in Tyler Wilson’s return
Razorbacks 21, Scarlet Knights 10
Now HP’s picks:
Baylor (-8) vs. Louisiana-Monroe — The post-RG3 era continues to go smoothly as Nick Florence has another big game and the Bears keep the upset-minded Redhawks at bay.
Baylor 38, ULM 28
Clemson (+14) at Florida State — The Tigers beat FSU last year with pretty much the same personnel in place. This once comes down to coaching and I give Clemson the edge.
Clemson 22, Florida State 17
West Virginia vs. Maryland (OVER 59 points) — I think both teams should get their fair share of points and beat the total, with Geno Smith having another fine outing for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia 45, Maryland 21
Arizona at Oregon (OVER 79 points) — I’m expecting upwards of 170 total plays in this game. Enough of them will end up in touchdowns for the total to be easily surpassed.
Oregon 56, Arizona 31
LSU (-21) at Auburn — The Bayou Bengals should have no problem pounding Auburn relentlessly on the ground and I expect Kiehl Frazier to be worth at least two or three turnovers.
LSU 42, Auburn 17
Missouri (+10.5) at South Carolina — I think this ends up being an ugly game, but with Mizzou getting its first SEC win in an upset.
Missouri 24, South Carolina 17
Michigan (+6) at Notre Dame — Denard Robinson continues to torment the Irish and leads another late-game comeback and the Wolverines squeak by.
Michigan 31, Notre Dame 27
Syracuse (-1) at Minnesota — I think Ryan Nassib should have a field day while Minnesota will really miss Marqueis Gray.
Syracuse 35, Minnesota 23
Kansas State (+15.5) at Oklahoma — I don’t know if K-State will win, but I think this spread is too large. Collin Klein will find a way to keep it close and maybe pull off the upset.
Oklahoma 31, Kansas State 28
Nevada (-7) at Hawaii — The Warriors are in no position to stop the Pistol’s run game. The Wolfpack score early and often and run away with it.
Nevada 45, Hawaii 27