Moving into the third week of the season, things have been moderately calm. There have been no wild upsets and things seem to be moving according to pre-season projections. But you know what they say, there is always a calm before the storm. This isn’t just a metaphor, it is reality. Hurricane Florence is set to hit the Carolinas and games have been canceled and other games have switched up start times. The unpredictability of hurricane season is starting to rear its head. With this, comes unpredictability on the gridiron. Unlikely upsets will start happening, unforeseen key injuries will occur, and sloppy play and coaching mistakes will be commonplace. Key intra-conference matchups are on the horizon that could impact the landscape of the Top 10. Who will survive the storm and who will be left behind to pick up the pieces? Let’s take a look at this week’s key matchups and pick some winners.
Boise State +2 at Oklahoma State – This might be a bit of a shootout, per usual, but the Broncos have 10 returning players on defense. This, coupled with QB Brett Rypien, Boise State pulls the mild upset and stays the course for an undefeated season.
Bosie State 34 Oklahoma State 31
Auburn -9.5 vs. LSU – The last two years have been exciting, tight games. While I think LSU will hang in there for awhile with their stellar defense, they don’t have what it takes yet to pull this game out from an offensive perspective. Auburn is battle tested with a win against Washington. I expect them to do the same against LSU. Jarrett Stidham outplays Joe Burrow.
Auburn 28 LSU 17
Texas -3.5 vs. USC – Two big name teams going through early season struggles. I have a feeling Texas is more ready for a turnaround. JT Daniels and the Trojans are at least a year away and Tom Herman needs a big win really, really badly. USC couldn’t move the ball against a tough Stanford defense. I think they put up some more points against Texas, but not enough to win or cover.
Texas 27 USC 23
Army -6.5 vs. Hawaii – Hawaii has been super impressive this year. So, why are they a touchdown dog against Army? Because they are crossing multiple time zones to play a noon game against a run heavy Army team who is going to wear them down.
Army 35 Hawaii 27
Oregon -41 vs. San Jose State – Oregon has been quietly lighting people up, scoring about 60 points per game. San Jose State got shutout by Washington State, 31-0. The Ducks are working to get their swag back and they won’t shy away from running up the score.
Oregon 56 San Jose State 10
Michigan -35 vs. SMU – Harbaugh is beating up on some cupcakes to keep their name on the national radar….until he chokes on their next primetime matchup. Until then, everything will look great.
Michigan 45 SMU 7
TCU +13 vs. Ohio State – This is a showcase game for the Horned Frogs. They feel like they have something to prove here. This is where the absence of Urban Meyer might play a factor. I look at this game to be similar to the close game A&M played against Clemson last week. They keep it close enough to put a scare into the Buckeyes.
Ohio State 31 TCU 27
UCLA +2.5 vs. Fresno State – Chip Kelly is off to an inauspicious start. My take on this game is that he finally gets the ship headed in the right direction with a solid win against a pesky Fresno State team.
UCLA 24 Fresno State 23
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