Week Three: CFB Top 25 Picks
Writers: Aaron Hendon & Andrew Martin
Friday, September 15, 2017
#22 USF Vs. Illinois
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Time: 7 PM ET on ESPN
Line: USF -17
In his 1st season, Charlie Strong has jumped out to a 2-0 record, and will try to keep the streak alive against the also undefeated illini at home. Led by QB Quinton Flowers, USF should let him do what he does best, make plays.
Aaron: USF Andrew: USF
Saturday, September 16, 2017
#1 Alabama Vs. Colorado St.
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
Time: 7 PM ET, on ESPN 2
Line: Bama -28.5
The #1 ranked Crimson Tide should roll once again as they take on Mountain West foe Colorado St., averaging 32.5 points per game, Alabama should have zero issues this week.
Aaron: Alabama Andrew: Alabama
#2 Oklahoma Vs. Tulane
Where: Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Time: 6 PM ET
Line: Oklahoma -33.5
After exposing the Ohio St. Buckeyes a week ago, Baker Mayfield and the Sooners of Oklahoma, square up against the 1-1 Green Wave in Norman. After putting on an Offensive clinic last Saturday, Oklahoma will have no problem this week.
Aaron: Oklahoma Andrew: Oklahoma
#3 Clemson @#14 Louisville
Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
Time: 8 PM ET, on ABC
Line: Clemson -3
In the most intriguing game of the week, reigning Heisman winner Lamar jackson seeks revenge from a 42-36 defeat, against the defending national champs. Just like a year ago, both come into the game undefeated, with playoff hopes in mind.
Aaron: Louisville Andrew:
#4 USC Vs. Texas
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 8:30 PM ET, on FOX
Line: USC -15.5
Another rematch, although this is long overdue. The 1st rematch of the 2006 National Title game. Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns steal a win in the final seconds. A sold out crowd will be at the coliseum for the 1st time since 2013.
Aaron: USC Andrew: USC
#5 Penn St. Vs. Georgia St.
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Time: 7:30 PM ET, on Big 10 Network
Line: Penn St. -37
Smashing everyone in sight, the Nittany Lions should do just the same this week, at home against the Eagles. Led by RB Saquon Barkley, look for the back to once again have huge game.
Aaron: Penn St. Andrew: Penn St.
#6 Washington Vs. Fresno St.
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle WA
Time: 9:30 PM ET, on Pac 12 Network
Line: Washington -33.5
Jake Browning and the undefeated Huskies plan to stay that way when the Bulldogs of Fresno St. Come to town Saturday night.
Aaron: Washington Andrew: Washington
#7 Michigan Vs. Air Force
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Time: 12 PM ET, on Big 10 Network
Line: Michigan -23.5
After Struggling, and still winning by 20 last week at home against Cincinnati, the Wolverines will have to gameplan against the oh so difficult triple option. With a defense that gives up 40 yards per game in rushing, this game could be over by halftime.
Aaron: Michigan Andrew: Michigan
#8 Ohio St. Vs. Army
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Time: 4:30 PM ET
Line: Ohio St. -30.5
Coming off an embarrassing loss to Oklahoma last week where JT Barrett and the Buckeyes put together a season low 350 yards of total offense. Although they will face a disciplined triple option attack from Army, this is a favorable matchup to bounce back.
Aaron: Ohio St. Andrew: Ohio St.
#9 Oklahoma St. @ Pitt
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 12 PM ET, on ESPN
Line: Oklahoma St. -12.5
Heisman hopeful Mason Rudolph and the Oklahoma St. Cowboys are off to a solid start in 2017, and looking to keep it that way when they travel to Pittsburgh. Pitt is coming off a loss to Penn St. where they could not contain Saquon Barkley. Won’t get any easier this week against the Cowboys high powered offense.
Aaron: Oklahoma St. Andrew: Oklahoma St.
#10 Wisconsin @ BYU
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
Time: 3:30 PM ET, on ABC
Line: Wisconsin -16
The Badgers head to Provo on Saturday to take on BYU, coming off another win last week against FAU. The cougars have struggled to score points so far this year, only averaging 11 points per game. They’ll need to get creative or this one will get out of hand.
Aaron: Wisconsin Andrew: Wisconsin
#11 Florida St. Vs. #17 Miami
#12 LSU @ Mississippi St.
Where: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS
Time: 7 PM ET, on ESPN
Line: LSU -7.5
A solid SEC showdown in Starkville Saturday, both come in undefeated, and should be an exciting game. Albeit they haven't played any great competition, the Bulldogs are averaging 53 points per game in the 1st two weeks. Just like Mississippi St., LSU hasn't played solid competition, only allowing 5 points per game.
Aaron: LSU Andrew: LSU
#13 Georgia Vs. Samford
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Time: 7:30 PM ET, on SEC Network
Coming off an impressive win on the road at Notre Dame last week, freshman QB Jake Fromm will try to build on that this week with a lesser opponent, Samford.
Aaron: Georgia Andrew: Georgia
#15 Auburn Vs. Mercer
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL
Time: 4 PM ET, SEC Network
Clemson got the best of the Auburn O-line last week sacking QB Jarrett Stidham 11 times on their way to a gritty 14-6 win. The Tigers will seek to rejuvenate the offense that was nonexistent a week ago; luckily FCS Mercer is an easy team to pick on.
Aaron: Auburn Andrew: Auburn
#16 Virginia Tech @ East Carolina
Where: Dowdy- Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC
Time: 3:30 PM ET, on CBSSN
Line: Virginia Tech -23
Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson has been electric in his 1st two collegiate games combining for 238 yards and 4 Td’s in weeks 1 and 2. Matching up against an East Carolina team that has been outscored 90-34 in the early season, Jackson could have another big day.
Aaron: Virginia Tech Andrew: Virginia Tech
#18 Kansas St. @ Vanderbilt
Where: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN
Time: 7:30 PM ET, on ESPNU
Line: Kansas St -4
This is an interesting matchup, neither have played solid competition, and both have a good passing game. A solid game on the ground could be the deciding factor of a game with 2 evenly matched teams.
Aaron: Kansas St. Andrew: Kansas St.
#19 Stanford @ San Diego St.
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Time: 10:30 PM ET, on CBSSN
Line: Stanford -9
Stanford struggled last week at the Coliseum, giving up 42 and 4 TD’s through the air, from USC QB Sam Darnold. They’ll get some help, but not a ton against SDSU, who even without Donnell Humphries has still been able to find their identity on offense
Aaron: Stanford Andrew: Stanford
#20 TCU Vs. SMU
Where: Amon G Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Time: 3:30 PM ET, on ESPNU
Line: TCU -19
A shootout this will be: Whoever can give up less than 40 should take the cake here. A rivalry for years, playing just down the road from each other, Kenny Hill and the Frogs would like to stay unbeaten when the Mustangs come to town.
Aaron: TCU Andrew: TCU
#21 Washington St. Vs. Oregon St.
Where: Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA
Time: 5:30 PM ET, on PAC 12 Network
Line: Washington St -21
The Mike Leach Air Raid will be in full effect Saturday night up against an Oregon St defense that gives up 238 passing yards a game. Luke Falk ought to have a field day picking apart the Beavers.
Aaron: Washington St. Andrew: Washington St.
#23 Tennessee @ #24 Florida
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
Time: 3:30 PM ET, on CBS
Line: Florida -4.5
One of the few ranked matchups this week, with 2 SEC squads squaring off in Gainesville, Florida, struggled mightily on offense week 1 against Michigan, only putting together 192 yards being outscore on O by their defense who returned 2 interceptions to the house.
Aaron: Tennessee Andrew: Florida
#25 UCLA @ Memphis
Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Time: 12 PM ET, on ABC
Line: UCLA -3
Holy Offense, both teams come into week 3 averaging lllover 35 points and 415 yards per game. UCLA QB Josh Rosen has been on fire so far throwing for 820 yards and 9 TD’s with 0 INT’s. Wow. Memphis will have to keep the scoring up if they want a shot.
Aaron: UCLA Andrew: UCLA
Aaron: My cover team this week is UNT, +21.5 @ Iowa. The Mean Green are going to spread out and move the ball quickly. Iowa is clearly more talented on both sides of the ball but can they stop UNT QB Mason Fine?
Andrew: I’m going with SMU +19.5 to cover @ TCU, as mentioned earlier, this rivalry runs deep, and is always a shootout. Playing down the road in Fort Worth, the Mustangs are going to score some points, they should cover if they can contain Kenny Hill.