Empire Picks-Week Three

The overall quality of opponents increases in the third week, as conference members with a full belly of sweets move closer to league play. Four Pac 12 programs will be paired with members from other BCS conferences. Two will square off against each other, and one will play a rivalry game to determine state bragging rights.

Pac 12

Washington @ #11 Nebraska
Line: Nebraska -17
Prediction: The teams are meeting for a third time in two seasons, and so far it’s been a tale of two cities. The Huskers destroyed the Huskies in Seattle last September. A change of venue saw the Dogs walking away victorious in San Diego’s Holiday Bowl. Both programs are now missing key players from a year ago, but it’s Washington’s loss at quarterback that makes this another Nebraska victory to gain.
Nebraska 40, Washington 20

Missouri State @ #12 Oregon
Line: Oregon -47
Prediction: This isn’t a matter of who will win. It’s more a question of whether or not the Ducks will cover the spread.
Oregon 55, Missouri State 10

#23 Texas @ UCLA
Line: Texas -3.5
Prediction: The Bruins stunned the Horns in Austin last year, and at the time, it was sold as an indication of greatness. By season’s end, we realized UCLA beat a bad football team, and was just as bad itself. Texas now goes on the road with its quarterback troubles to face a Bruins team troubled through and through.
Texas 19, UCLA 12

Presbyterian @ California
Line: Cal -42.5
Prediction: When you attend Sunday services this week, pay close attention to those among you. At the podium is the minister, and the first three rows of pews are lined with gray-haired women in worship of their beliefs. Well, yeah, Cal is playing them on Saturday, and unless granny is an All-American candidate, the Blue Hose can only hope Jeff Tedford remembers “thou shall not kill”.
Cal 50, Presbyterian 3

Washington State @ San Diego State
Line: SDSU -5
Prediction: The Cougars are on the verge of starting a season 3-0. Even more reason to celebrate is the team outscoring season opponents 123-28 so far, with a great opportunity to keep it rolling against the Aztecs. Despite recent success in the MWC, SDSU is a woeful 0-24 versus BCS automatic qualifying opponents since 2000.
WSU 29, SDSU 21

#22 Arizona State @ Illinois
Line: Illinois -2
Prediction: This is a potential trap game for an ASU team that does most of the damage to itself.
Illinois 20, ASU 19

Syracuse @ USC
Line: USC -15
Prediction: This game is played between two of college football’s all-time winningest programs. The Orange have spent more time losing in the past 10 years, but can trumpet a revival with a victory over the Trojans. Full game preview HERE.
USC 28, Syracuse 14

Utah @ BYU
Line: BYU -3.5
Prediction: The ‘Holy War’ has been adjusted. Both teams left the MWC, resulting in a separation of church and state. The offseason moves place the rivalry game earlier on the calendar, with the Utes now having a Pac 12 slate, as the Cougars independently go about their business.
Utah 27, BYU 21

#6 Stanford @ Arizona
Line: Stanford -9
Prediction: The Wildcats were embarrassed on national television last week. ESPN will also televise the game on Saturday. The only thing worse than a rough couple of weeks is having the whole world watching you fail.
Stanford 42, Arizona 17

Colorado State @ Colorado
Line: Colorado -7
Prediction: 2-0 meets 0-2 in this state rivalry. The Buffs will use little brother to record their first victory of the season.
Colorado 32, CSU, 28

Bye Week: Oregon State (and believe me, they need it)

Landscaping

#1 Oklahoma @ #5 Florida State
Line: Oklahoma -3
Prediction: The Sooners won this game by 30 in the comfort of their own home. Things are different on the road, where both losses occurred in 2010. The question is whether that difference will be enough for the Noles to narrow the gap or even notch the win, or if it’s just another statistic that we like to throw out, and will mean absolutely nothing at game’s end.
Oklahoma 36, FSU 30

#4 Boise State @ Toledo
Line: Boise -20
Prediction: This has been a popular upset pick this week, because of Toledo’s performance against Ohio State last weekend. Truth is, the Broncos may be better than the Buckeyes, and can prove it (at least by comparative score) tonight.
Boise State 40, Toledo 21

Upset Alert

Michigan State @ Notre Dame
Line: Notre Dame -5
Prediction: The Irish are favored against the ranked Spartans (#15), just as it was in each of the first two games. But after this week, I think those in denial will finally conclude that Notre Dame isn’t nearly as good as advertised. Bottom line is, the Domer defense stinks.
Michigan State 28, Notre Dame 24

Season Scoreboard

Pac 10: 18-3
Landscape: 2-1
Upset: 2-0
Total: 22-4

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~ by Anthony on September 16, 2011.

One Response to “Empire Picks-Week Three”

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