Week 3 picks: Watch out, Garrett Gilbert 

September, 16, 2010

I'm coming off a dismal week, going five under against the line (putting me four under .500 against the number on the season). The good: predicting UF to eventually rout USF. The bad: predicting Miss State to beat Auburn. The ugly: expecting FSU to keep it close against OU. Here are this week's guesses:

Thursday and Friday games

Cincinnati Bearcats at North Carolina State Wolfpack
(7:30 p.m. ET Thursday, ESPN)

The last time the Bearcats went on the road, it didn't work out so well, with UC losing at Fresno 28-14. I like the young NC State RBs and I think playing at home on a Thursday night, Tom O'Brien's team will respond well although they did really struggle when UCF put in dynamic freshman Jeff Godfrey at QB last week. Since 2009, Russell Wilson has a 27-5 TD-INT ratio in home games. NC State 31-27.

Kansas Jayhawks at Southern Miss Golden Eagles
(8:00 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN)

Two really inconsistent teams meeting up in Hattiesburg, where you just feel like some bizarre stuff is bound to happen. USM's secondary is really shaky. But I'm not sure freshman Jordan Webb can come up big two weeks in a row, especially on the road here. USM 34-27.

California Golden Bears at Nevada Wolf Pack
(10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)

I've been very impressed by Cal so far. In WR Keenan Allen, the Bears have added a dynamic weapon to the attack. This could be a shootout because Nevada was won its two games by a combined score of 100-30 and QB Colin Kaepernick is a really explosive triggerman of their "Pistol" scheme offense. However, I think Cal has enough horses in the front seven to be the difference here -- and Nevada has lost eight straight from the AQ conferences. Cal 44-35.