Full disclosure: besides the last two minutes of the Buckeyes game and overhearing a guy talking about Washington beating USC at the Cincinnati Oktoberfest, I did not have a lot of exposure to college football this weekend. I missed the Thursday and Friday night games due to work, and then missed all of Saturday's actions (including highlights) due to some debauchery in the Queen City. Therefore, all of my comments are based on box scores, so if you saw a game and the numbers don't really tell the whole story, let me know that I'm full of it. Also, I'm going to rip off Bill Simmons (more?) and start a new section where I predict the lines for game involving the top 25. If you don't like it (or even if you do), let me know, and I'll adjust accordingly.
#1 Florida (3-0) 23 Tennessee (1-2) 13
Spread: Florida (-29.5)
I guess Urban Meyer wasn't that upset about Lane Kiffin's shit-talking. Or maybe Tennessee's defense is just that good. And despite what the ESPN recap would have you believe, Tim Tebow's numbers (14-19, 115 yards, 1 INT, 76 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD) aren't all that impressive.
#2 Texas (3-0) 34 Texas Tech (2-1) 24
Spread: Texas (-17.5)
Texas Tech actually were within seven in the 4th quarter before the Longhorns pulled away. Taylor Potts (46-62, 420 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) proves that when it comes to Red Raider quarterbacks' gaudy numbers, it is indeed the system.
Washington 16 (2-1) #3 USC 13 (2-1)
Spread: USC (-20)
The Huskies won their second consecutive game for the first time since they followed up their 2007 season opening win vs. Syracuse with a 24-10 win over Boise State, and beat the Trojans for the first time since 2001. The Trojans, on the other hand, extended their streak of following wins over Ohio State with losses to unranked Pacific Northwest schools to 2.
#4 Alabama (3-0) 53 North Texas (1-2) 7
Spread: Alabama (-38)
The Crimson Tide outgained the Mean Green 523-187, including 260-61 on the ground. Given the score, those stats aren't that surprising. But how about this one: North Texas controlled the ball for only 86 seconds less than Alabama.
#5 Penn State (3-0) 31 Temple (0-2) 6
Spread: Penn State (-30)
Good news for Temple: there are no more schools from Pennsylvania on the schedule. (The bad news for the Owls, of course, is that they are still Temple.)
Florida State (2-1) 54 #7 BYU 28
Spread: BYU (-7.5)
Apparently, the Jackson State game was just an aberration for the Seminoles. Also, if you use A>B, B>C, therefore A>C logic, Oklahoma should be very worried about their trip to Miami on October 3.*
*If you didn't follow, the logic works like this: BYU beat Oklahoma, Miami beat Florida State, Florida State beat BYU, therefore, Miami should beat Oklahoma.
#8 California (3-0) 35 Minnesota (2-1) 21
Spread: California (-14)
With Colt McCoy's and Tim Tebow's relatively tepid performances this weekend, does Jahvid Best's 131 yards and 5 TDs put him in the Heisman lead? Also, how will Cal handle being the team to beat in the PAC-10? We'll find out next week, as the Bears travel to Eugene to take on the Ducks.
#9 LSU (3-0) 31 Louisiana-Lafayette (2-1) 3
Spread: LSU (-26.5)
Despite the 29 point differential, the Tigers only outgained the Ragin' Cajuns by 58 yards. Even when they're blowing out a Sun Belt school, LSU still found a way to make it ugly.
#10 Boise State (3-0) 51 Fresno State (1-2) 34
Spread: Boise State (-7)
Boise State only led in this game 41-34 with just over 11 minutes left before they pulled away with two late touchdowns. You could say the Broncos should be concerned about their defense, but I think more credit has to go to the Fresno State offense that put up 34 points and 507 yards of offense (including 320 on the ground) against a Boise State team that only allowed 8 total points in their first two games.
#11 Ohio State (2-1) 38 Toledo (1-2) 0
Spread: Ohio State (-20.5)
Even though it was only Toledo, this win actually impressed me (which says a lot about the current state of the Ohio State program). I never thought I'd see this team put up 522 yards of offense, and the defense looked great in limiting a previously explosive Toledo offense to 210 yards and zero points. The Buckeyes needed a game like this to clear the USC collapse out of their heads before the Big Ten season starts.
#12 Oklahoma (2-1) 45 Tulsa (2-1) 0
Spread: Oklahoma (-16.5)
The Sooners follow the Buckeyes lead by trouncing an in-state school to help wash the taste of a bitter early-season defeat out of their mouths. OU quarterback Landry Jones threw 6 TDs, which has to at least make you think that maybe Sam Bradford is the Graham Harrell of the Sooners system.
#13 Virginia Tech (2-1) 16 #19 Nebraska (2-1) 15
Spread: Virginia Tech (-5)
A game in which a team scores only on field goals loses by one point after the other team scores with under 30 seconds left just doesn't sound like a game worth watch. The highlight of Virginia Tech's last two big plays, though, are definitely worth a gander.
#20 Miami (2-0) 33 #14 Georgia Tech (2-1) 14
Spread: Miami (-5)
Miami's speedy defense and 24-3 3rd quarter lead rendering the triple option ineffective (95 yards on 39 rushing attempts for the Yellow Jackets), Georgia Tech QB Josh Nesbitt proved he can't carry the offense with his arm, struggling through a 6-15, 133 yard day (he did get a late 56-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, but even Brady Quinn threw a touchdown pass in garbage time this year). Miami looks like their back, and I can't imagine anyone's happier than Michael Irvin.
#16 Oklahoma State (2-1) 41 Rice (0-3) 24
Spread: Oklahoma State (-32.5)
How do you bounce back from a loss to an unranked team from Houston that saw you score 35 points and still lose? Play a much, much worse team from Houston that will still be able to score on you but won't be able to score enough.
#17 Cincinnati (3-0) 28 Oregon State (2-1) 18
Spread: Cincinnati (-1)
When I was in the 'Natti on Saturday, not one person talked about this game, reacted to any highlights that may have been shown at the bar I was at, or even wore any Bearcats paraphernalia (other than the dance team that was selling beer at Oktoberfest and one dude who had a 2009 Orange Bowl shirt on who didn't seem like a football fan but a free shirt fan). Too bad, since Cincinnati seems very much for real.
Oregon (2-1) 31 #18 Utah (2-1) 24
Spread: Oregon (-4.5)
The Ducks proved that--despite their season being "over" following the Boise State loss--they are still a dangerous team at home. Oregon fans have to be concerned with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, however, as through 3 games he has yet to throw a touchdown and is completing only 45.3% of his passes.
#22 Kansas (3-0) 44 Duke (1-2) 16
Spread: Kansas (-22.5)
Kansas gets revenge for the 1991 men's national championship game, as Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner are nowhere to be found for the Blue Devils.
#23 Georgia (2-1) 52 Arkansas (1-1) 41
Spread: Arkansas (-1.5)
With each passing week, Oklahoma State's 24-10 win over Georgia looks stranger and stranger. The Bulldogs have scored 41 and 52 points in their last two games, while their opponents have put up a staggering 37 and 41. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, has scored 35 and 41 points in their two games since, while their defense has allowed 45 and 24 points to Houston and Rice, respectively. Arkansas got to within 3 at 41-38 heading into the 4th quarter before the Bulldogs pulled away.
#24 North Carolina (3-0) 31 East Carolina 17
Spread: North Carolina (-7.5)
There will be one huge Yellow Jackets fan in Washington Court House next week when the Tar Heels visit Bobby Dodd Stadium.
#25 Michigan (3-0) 45 Eastern Michigan (0-3) 17
Spread: Michigan (-24)
Since I don't really have anything to say about this game, here's a startling statistic: Eastern Michigan has beaten Central Michigan 4 out of the past 5 years, including 2 straight (when the Eagles were a combined 5-17 against everybody else while the Chippewas were 16-9 vs. other opponents). I don't know why I find that so fascinating, but I do.
Auburn (3-0) 41 West Virginia (2-1) 30
Syracuse (1-2) 37 Northwestern (2-1) 34
Greg Paulus has a big game for the Orange (346 yards passing, 2 TD), which leads me to believe Northwestern has the worst pass defense in the country.
WEEK 4 LINE PREDICTIONS
#1 Florida at Kentucky
Florida by 28
UTEP at #2 Texas
Texas by 32.5
Arkansas at #3 Alabama
Alabama by 7.5
#4 Ole Miss at South Carolina
Ole Miss by 4.5
Iowa at #5 Penn State
Penn State by 7
#6 California at Oregon
Oregon by 1.5
#7 LSU at Mississippi State
LSU by 12
#8 Boise State at Bowling Green
Boise State by 18
#9 Miami at #11 Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech by 1
Washington State at #12 USC
USC by 24
Illinois at #13 Ohio State
Ohio State by 11
Fresno State at #14 Cincinnati
Cincinnati by 9
#15 TCU at Clemson
Clemson by 2.5
Texas Tech at #17 Houston
Texas Tech by 2.5
South Florida at #18 Florida State
Florida State by 5
Colorado State at #19 BYU
BYU by 15
Southern Miss at #20 Kansas
Kansas by 11
Arizona State at #21 Georgia
Georgia by 4
#22 North Carolina at Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech by 4.5
Indiana at #23 Michigan
Michigan by 13
#24 Washington at Stanford
Stanford by 1.5
Louisiana-Lafayette at #25 Nebraska
Nebraska by 17.5