College Football Picks Week 3: Predictions, Schedule, Rankings for Top 25

With Week 2 of the college football season in the books, it’s time to look forward to Week 3. Thankfully for college football fans, the week is loaded with premier matchups in a slate of games that should dramatically alter the landscape early in the season.

Below, we’ll take a look at the Associated Press and Bleacher Report polls, the schedule for the Top 25 teams, make predictions for each of those games and analyze some of the top matchups on tap.

    

 

 

    

Analysis

It’s tough to bet against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Head coach Nick Saban simply won’t let them get too full of themselves, as he lambasted his team after its 38-10 victory on Saturday over Western Kentucky.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever been this disappointed after winning a game, maybe ever,” he told Dieter Kurtenbach of Fox Sports.

Again, this came after a win.

And maybe it’s just the kick in the butt the Crimson Tide need considering they lost to Ole Miss at home a year ago, 43-37. Of course, they recovered last season and won a national championship, but it certainly makes for convincing bulletin-board material. 

Especially considering Ole Miss also beat them in 2014. So maybe coach Hugh Freeze and the Rebels have Alabama’s number. But it’s hard to imagine Alabama allowing Ole Miss to beat them three years in a row given how loaded they are across the board and how thoroughly they spanked USC to open the season.

The game might come down to whether Ole Miss can slow down the receiving duo of ArDarius Stewart and Calvin Ridley. Don’t bank on it.  

Meanwhile, No. 2 Florida State will have its hands full with No. 10 Louisville and explosive quarterback Lamar Jackson. In just two games, Jackson has 1,015 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns.

That has Eric Adelson of Yahoo Sports spinning:

And it has to be a major concern for a Seminoles defense that gave up 313 passing yards and four passing touchdowns to Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly in the team’s opening win. 

Can the Seminoles slow down the dual-threat Jackson and Louisville’s explosive offense? 

Jackson probably doesn’t think so.

“I feel like I can score, get my team in the end zone, on any play,” he said, per Bud Poliquin of Syracuse.com. “That’s what my job is. When we don’t score, all of us get mad at ourselves.”

He wasn’t kidding. When asked how he would grade his 610-yard, five-touchdown performance and the offense in general against Syracuse in Week 2, he was a harsh critic.

“I’d give it a ‘C’,” he replied, per Poliquin. “I didn’t like it because we had too many mistakes. We’re not supposed to have that. Dropped passes. Fumbles. The interception. It was a ‘C.’ Average. Average.”

It’s scary to think of what Louisville might look like when the offense plays well (at least by Jackson’s standards). And for that reason, this game has “upset” written all over it.

Louisville is red-hot and at home, and Jackson is the type of talent who gives any defense issues. Last year, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson threw for 297 yards and a score and rushed for another 107 yards against the Seminoles defense. While it might be a tad premature to compare Jackson to Watson, he’s the sort of versatile quarterback who will give the Florida State defense issues.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame will be looking to avoid its second loss of the season at home against Michigan State.

That may not be as tall a task as once thought—the Spartans were not convincing in their opening-week win over Furman, though they’ve had a week to prepare for Notre Dame. It’s tough to bet against a desperate Notre Dame team at home, however, especially with DeShone Kizer playing excellent football early in the season for the Fighting Irish.

And then there’s Ohio State traveling to face Oklahoma, which, like Notre Dame, is desperately trying to avoid its second loss. Unlike Notre Dame, however, the Sooners have to face an Ohio State team that is brimming with young talent, led by quarterback J.T. Barrett. Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel are dynamic playmakers, while Dontre Wilson and Noah Brown give the team weapons outside. 

Oklahoma couldn’t slow down Houston. It’s hard to imagine it stifling the Buckeyes.

    

You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com


Source: Bleacher Report-CFB News

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