Before we get started on week 3, I want to pass along thoughts and prayers to the people in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and everybody who will be affected by Hurricane Florence.
CNN, of course, is predicting the worst outcome, but I’m hopeful that the storm will weaken, everybody will be safe and there is minimal damage in those states.The only positive out of a hurricane is it brings people together. The awesome J.J. Watt raised $41 million for hurricane relief for the people from Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The Texans star defensive end is some kind of class act. Tragedy does bring people together. So that’s a positive. Hopeful for a weakening and no casualties.
Onto week 3 in college football. South Carolina’s game with Marshall is cancelled.
Last week: 18-5
Overall: 47-11 (81%)
The Crimson Tide heads into Oxford with an explosive offense led by the great Tua Tagovailoa and a group of awesome skilled players which include running backs Damien Harris, Najee Harris, Josh Jacobs, and wide receivers DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III along with a physical offensive line led by the great left tackle Jonah Williams.
The Auburn Tigers host the LSU Tigers in a clash on the Plains. Expecting a highly physical contest in Jordan-Hare on Saturday.
Huge matchup in South Bend as the Vanderbilt Commodores take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The Commodores are looking for a program changing upset against the No.9 Irish.
Another tremendous national matchup features the No.4 Ohio State Buckeyes squaring off with the No.15 TCU Horned Frogs in Jerry World. ESPN Gameday will be in Fort Worth Saturday morning. My daughter is hyped up for her Horned Frogs in this game. Should be an epic.
Some other national clashes, USC@Texas and Washington @ Utah, should be riveting games.
So we’ve got quite a week 3 on tap. Here’s a look at all the electricity of this week in college football.
All Times CT. All games Saturday unless otherwise noted.
No.1 Alabama @ Ole Miss
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford (64,038)
Sean McDonough, Todd, Holly
Crimson Tide by 21 1/2
I am high on this Crimson Tide offense. They put up yards and points in massive amounts. Tua is a phenomenal quarterback and the skilled players are off the charts good. The offensive line is dominating, and you can’t discount this Alabama defense. They’ve been very strong in the early season, not only allowing minimal rushing yards, but getting interceptions for TDs and scoring 3 non-offensive touchdowns. The Rebels have a solid quarterback in senior Jordan Ta’amu, and their receivers, A.J. Brown, DeKaylin Metcalf and DeMarkus Lodge, are serious weapons.
Ole Miss might be able to score some points on the Crimson Tide, the Tide secondary will be tested, but their defense can’t stop this offensive juggernaut. The Crimson Tide heads into the Grove and lights up the scoreboard and keeps their impressive season charging along.
Alabama 56, Ole Miss 21
No. 12 LSU @ No. 7 Auburn
Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)
Brad, Gary, Jamie Erdahl
Auburn by 10 1/2
I don’t see quarterback Joe Burrow and the LSU offense scoring many points on the Auburn defense. The Auburn Tigers defense looks dominating and gives them a chance to play into January if Jarrett Stidham and the offense can keep playing well. Anthony Schwartz emerged last week at wide receiver. A world class sprinter, he posted a 57 yard TD reception and a 23 yard TD run.He’s another big play receiver and now the Tigers have Eli Stove and Will Hastings back, amazingly, from ACL injuries they suffered 4 1/2 months ago. I like these Auburn Tigers to keep progressing on offense and dominate on defense. The Tigers will have to go through a rigorous schedule which includes games @ Mississippi State (10-6), @ Ole Miss (10-20), vs. A&M (11-3), @Georgia (11-10) and @Alabama (11-24), so they have their work cut out for themselves. But with this defense, Auburn will have a shot to win every one of those major games this season.
Auburn 31, LSU 14
Vanderbilt @ No. 8 Notre Dame
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN. (80,795)
Tirico, Flutie, Kathryn Tappen
Notre Dame by 13 1/2
This will be a battle of 2 terrific quarterbacks. The Commodores’ Kyle Shurmur is one of the most underrated signal callers in the country. His father, Pat, is the head coach of a little outfit called the New York Giants, and his grandfather, Fritz, was a longtime defensive coordinator in the National Football League for the Lions, the Patriots, the LA Rams, the Phoenix Cardinals and the Packers from 1977-1998. Kyle’s got high football IQ in his genes. He’s smart, a leader, has a cannon, and is extremely accurate. The Irish’s Brandon Wimbush is a playmaker with his arm and with his wheels. Wimbush did throw 3 interceptions last Saturday in a surprisingly close 24-16 victory over Ball State.
The Commodores got a little overly hyped last year after going 3-0 and doing the absolute worst thing a team can do, challenging the Crimson Tide. That worked out to a 59-0 annihilation. Coach Derek Mason and his Commodores have learned their lesson from that disaster, and that is to be humble heading into a major challenge.
KIrk Herbstreit has a Notre Dame on upset alert. I agree with Herbie.
Vanderbilt 28, Notre Dame 27
NO.4 Ohio State @ No.15 TCU
AT&T Stadium, Dallas (100,000)
Chris, Kirk, Maria
Buckeyes by 12 1/2
TCU has an explosive offense commandeered by quarterback Shawn Robinson and several game changing skilled players. But Ohio State has even a more explosive offense led by terrific quarterback Dwayne Haskins, running backs MIke Webber Jr. and J. K. Dobbins and super wide receiver Paris Campbell. The Horned Frogs will be able to score points on the Buckeyes and Jerry World will be rockin, but the Buckeyes will score a few more and they “Will get by,” as the other Jerry so artfully sang. This will be a classic.
Ohio State 38, TCU 35
Middle Tennessee @No.3 Georgia
Georgia by 34
This game is being played earlier due to the potential hurricane fallout. Georgia took South Carolina to the woodshed last Saturday, and are a phenomenal football team. Georgia and Alabama look like the best teams in the country at present. D’Andre Swift is a spectacular running back and the guys behind him are pretty sensational also. Georgia has got all the tools to win it all. Alabama will have a big say in that. So will Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Auburn. But this is an impressive group.
Georgia 45, Middle Tennessee 3
No. 16 Mississippi State 48, Louisiana 10
State played well at Kansas State last Saturday winning 31-10. Nick Fitzgerald is explosive but struggles with his passing accuracy. Running back Kylin Hill ran for 211 yards and a couple of TDs against the Wildcats and looks to be a star in the making. If Fitzgerald can find more accuracy, this team will be in the hunt in November.
Missouri 42, Purdue 38
Big Ten Network
Drew Lock and the Tigers offense are lighting up the scoreboards. They’ll keep the offense cookin in West Lafayette but will be tested.
Texas A&M 34, UL Monroe 7
After a heckuva’n effort against Clemson last Saturday in College Station in which they barely lost, 28-26, that included controversy on a fumble by an A&M wide receiver with A&M down 28-21. The ball looked to go out of bounds at the Clemson 1 but was called out of the end zone which resulted in a touchback and Clemson’s ball on the 20. A touchdown would have led to a tie game and given A&M all the momentum in the electric Kyle Field and the ability to pull off the upset. It was a tough way for the Aggies to lose. They played their hearts out. The Aggies plod their way through this game after a hard fought battle last Saturday. Kellen Mond is looking like an elite quarterback.
Florida 27, Colorado State 24
The Gators looked pathetic on offense last week as Kentucky went into the Swamp and pulled off the 27-16 upset, the Wildcats first victory over the Gators since 1986, 32 years. The Gators barely get by the Rams. The Rams pulled off the upset of Arkansas 34-27 last Saturday at Colorado Springs.
Kentucky 34, Murray State 14
The Wildcats have a bit of a hangover after a massive victory over the Gators last week. Benny Snell is one of the elite running backs in the country and ran for a buck 75 against Florida last Saturday. Quarterback Terry Wilson played very well against the Gators also completing 11 of 16 passes for 151 yards and 2 TDs. Kentucky could be asserting themselves as the second best team in the East though that’s still very much to be determined.
Tennessee 48, UTEP 10
SEC Network Alternate Channel
Jeremy Pruitt is in an all out rebuild in Knoxville. They’ll have an easier time this Saturday but the brutality of conference play is coming up, and Pruitt and his Vols will really be tested severely then.
North Texas 31, Arkansas 30
SEC Alternate Network
Chad Morris is in the same situation as Jeremy Pruitt. North Texas defeated SMU 46-23 at home in their opener, so they’re a good team. The Hogs drop another one after losing to Colorado State last Saturday.
No. 10 Washington 34, Utah 28
Utah can hang with the Huskies for a while, but their quarterback play isn’t good enough for them to win the Pac 12. Jake Browning and his Huskies team survives Salt Lake Citry.
Texas 34, No. 22 USC 14
I’m not really clear on why the Trojans are even ranked. Their starting quarterback is out for the game and they’ve looked dismal so far this season.
No.2 Clemson 42, Georgia Southern 14
The Tigers looked vulnerable last week at College Station. I like the freshman, Trevor Lawrence, to be their quarterback. He gives them a chance to make the playoff and win it. Kelly Bryant can possibly get them to the playoff, but won’t take them past the semifinals.
Iowa State 31, No.5 Oklahoma 30
The Sooners get their sternest test of the season in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State can be a giant killer, and I see them doing that this Saturday. The Sooners spectacular running back, Rodney Anderson, is out for the season with a knee injury. The great young coach Matt Campbell gets his Cyclones over the top.
No.6 Wisconsin 45, BYU 20
The Badgers Jonathan Taylor ran for 253 yards and 3 TDs last Saturday in a 45-14 victory over New Mexico. I don’t like to say this so early in the season, but he’s right up there at the top of the Heisman conversation.
No. 11 Penn State 48, Kent State 10
Fox Sports 1
Penn State starts clicking on all cylinders heading into the Big Ten Conference schedule.
Arizona State 34, San Diego State 28
CBS Sports Network
I would have predicted an upset if Aztecs’ quarterback Christian Chapman wasn’t out indefinitely with a knee injury.
No. 17 Boise State 38, No. 24 Ok State 35
The Broncos are a 2 1/2 point underdog despite being ranked higher. They are on the road in Stillwater, so that explains why the Cowboys are favored. Like the slight upset here.
Duke 31, Baylor 30
Fox Sports 1
Duke lost their star quarterback Daniel Jones for the season to a broken collarbone in their 21-7 upset victory over Northwestern last week @ Northwestern. That’s a shame because they have a really good football team. But David Cutcliffe will keep his quarterback play solid with Quentin Harris under center now. I like Duke to pull off another upset, this week in Waco.
Boston College 35, Wake Forest 28
I’m bullish on this Golden Eagles squad. Quarterback Anthony Brown has completed 17 of 23 passes for 322 yards and 4 TDs against 0 interceptions in his first 2 games. He’s a stud. Like BC to take the conference victory in Winston-Salem and be threat to Clemson in the Atlantic Division of the ACC.