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College Football Picks Week 3: Win-Win in College Station?

Either Miami is exposed or Jimbo loses again

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Texas A&M Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

What an awesome week two for college football!

App State is back to beating over-ranked, under-performing Power 5 programs. Speaking of Texas should’ve beaten Alabama but did the thing Clemson used to do. Kentucky exposed Florida. And double overtimes in Lubbock and Provo ruined our covers. What a time!

I went an ever impressive 5-5, bringing the season total to 16-15. We’re winning more than we’re losing which I guess is all I can ask for in this.

The comment section competition was fierce last week with 3 people — Jason Kuruvilla, DenverNoleFan and mr_britt — hitting 8-2 on the week. None of them missed the same combination of games either.

Comment Section Champions:

  • Week 0 — NoleOhana (8-3) yeah, we did 11 games that week
  • Week 1 — OhNoleHeDidnt (7-3)
  • Week 2 — Jason Kuruvilla, DenverNoleFan & mr_britt (8-2)

Could you be the next comment section champion? Leave your picks below.

If you’re new to the proceedings (which many of you probably are because I’ve only done this for one season), drop your picks in the comments with the spread provided. The following week, I’ll tally up the wins and losses, give a salute to whoever dominates the weekend and add you to our BRAND NEW BULLET LIST OF CHAMPIONS above. Remember, that I’m just a guy with a keyboard, not a gambling pro, so this isn’t advice. Just giving all of us a viewing guide and rooting interest as we watch the football season.

Reminder that I pull all the lines from because they make it easier for me to track my picks.

You can read my pick and the pick of all our TN staff members in this other article.

Brian’s Pick: Florida State -2.5

So long, Scott Frost. You will be missed (for at least a few weeks until he ends up on Alabama’s staff as an assistant to kickoff the image rehabilitation tour that inevitably lands him at South Carolina in a few years). If you missed it, Nebraska fired Frost on Sunday in the midst of the NFL buzz just a few weeks before his buyout was set to get cut in half. You’ve got to be pretty bad to get fired that quickly when patience would save literal millions. Now, Mickey Joseph takes the helm and there must be a feeling that the change has to right the ship in the one-score disasters because this line is confusing. I think Oklahoma is overrated and I know fading the home underdog is the No. 1 cause of losing picks, but here I am.

Brian’s Pick: Oklahoma -11.5

Here’s another surprising line! Last week, BYU beat Baylor, the best team in the Big 12, in an awesome game that went LAAAAAAATE into the night. This week, they’ll get an early afternoon kick in Oregon as they contend to get into the top-10. Last we saw Oregon play in a national spotlight, they were dismantled by Georgia. I don’t believe BYU is UGA, but I don’t believe Oregon is Baylor. Give me BYU to enter the early College Football Playoff chat.

Brian’s Pick: BYU +3.5

I’m going to politely ask you not to watch this football game. It feels like Iowa-Iowa State by another name. To me, Penn State is a program that should be a bit skiddish with Nebraska pushing out Scott Frost because they’ve dropped a lot of close games themselves in the last few years. James Franklin has a LARGE deal to stay there for a long time, but they lost every big game down the stretch last season. This program won’t put up with that forever. On the flip side is Auburn, who has a coach on the hot seat themselves. Bryan Harsin appeared destined to be fired this offseason, survived and now is leading what looks like a really bad football team. Quarterback TJ Finley doesn’t seem to have it as they’ve turned to backup Robby Ashford to make the big plays in the option game. Finley has a huge arm but throws a lot of interceptable passes with some bad decisions over and over again and Ashford is lightning fast but isn’t ready to run an offense. I’m not expecting beautiful football in this one.

For transparency, I’ll be in Jordan-Hare Stadium for this one as my wife is an Auburn grad so we’re making the trip with some friends. I don’t know what to do with the line. I don’t know what to do with two uninspiring coaching staffs. I do know my wife may leave me on the tarmac (USC-Lane Kiffin style) if I don’t pick Auburn. Give me the home dog so I can go home, dog.

Brian’s Pick: Auburn +3.5

Not a lot of great games this week so this is a dart throw hoping we catch lightning in a bottle here. Ole Miss doesn’t look as good as they did a year ago and Georgia Tech... well... you know Georgia Tech. I’ll take the athletes of Ole Miss running by Georgia Tech.

Brian’s Pick: Ole Miss -16.5

This is the weekend of home underdogs that I simply don’t know what to do with. As I’ve said countless other times, I’m an LSU grad so a night game in Tiger Stadium signals an purple and gold victory, but I do not have any faith in this secondary slowing down a Mississippi State passing attack after what Pokey did to them just 12 days ago. My best advice for this game is hammer the over. I’ll go with my gut that says LSU plus the points in a night game in Tiger Stadium and hope for the best.

Brian’s Pick: LSU +2.5

This one is simple to me. Texas Tech has been unimpressive with their backup QB through 2 games. He’s dynamic but not great at protecting the football. NC State struggled in a close one at ECU, but that was on the road. I expect them to take advantage of some turnovers and roll through this one.

Brian’s Pick: NC State -10.5

Did you have any idea that Michigan State was No. 12? I had no clue. I would’ve guessed they were unranked. Regardless, these are two teams that are really playing a Week 1 game because both teams have played some cupcakes so far that I’ll consider preseason games. Washington’s transfer QB Michael Penix Jr. was great for Indiana a few years ago and has shined so far at U-W. Michigan State is going to play on the back of a run game and defense. I think this will be fun, reminiscent of a B1G game so I’ll just take the points and hope for a field goal finish.

Brian’s Pick: Michigan State +3.5

We don’t have a lot of great games this week so I’m throwing darts and hoping we hit something fun here with SMU versus Baby Tua.

Brian’s Pick: SMU +2.5

We’ve talked about blueprint games a few times with Mike Norvell — a must-win to prove that his blueprint is working. Is it possible for Jimbo Fisher, this many years into his career and his tenure at Texas A&M, to face a blueprint game? I don’t think the Aggies will fire Jimbo, he’s owed like a billion dollars on his contract and every dollar is fully guaranteed. A&M got that oil money to pay for it, but I don’t know where they’d go from there. But this could go sideways quick in a year that A&M’s boosters empty the oil reserves to deliver Jimbo the greatest recruiting class ever constructed. They looked meh against Sam Houston State and were thoroughly dominated by App State mostly because this offense is truly terrible. They cannot move the ball. QB play is bad and play design is bad. They’ve got athletes but can’t get them the ball.

Their opponents almost have the opposite problem. The receivers look pretty meh, but we know the QB to be really good — or at least we think we do. Tyler Van Dyke was incredible last season, getting better each time out, but he’s been just fine so far this year. Not bad by any means, but we haven’t seen the step so far that I thought would make him one of the best QBs in the country. That might just be the time it takes to gel with a new coaching staff, but certainly something to watch on the road in front of 100,000+ people.

I expected this line to still have A&M as a small favorite this week because they are more talented, but 6.5 feels really big for a team that can’t score. I expect A&M to win, but I’m thinking 20-14 or even 17-10 could be the final so I’ll take the points and hope for the sooner.

Brian’s Pick: Miami +6.5

The TL;DR version of the picks:

  1. FSU -2.5
  2. Oklahoma -11.5
  3. BYU +3.5
  4. Auburn +3.5
  5. Ole Miss -16.5
  6. LSU +2.5
  7. NC State -10.5
  8. Michigan State +3.5
  9. SMU +2.5
  10. Miami +6.5