Top 25 Predictor Week Three

Alex Scheer, College Football Analyst

While this week should be easy to pick the winners in each game, (surprisingly, there are no match-ups between ranked opponents this week… say what?!?) there are definitely teams on upset alert. Below are this week’s Top 25 matches up predictions.

#20 Washington State at Houston: In a match-up between similar mascots, the final score should be anything but. WSU should have little to no trouble putting away Houston after starting the season 1-1, their win coming against Prairie View, in a game that was closer than the score indicated. Final Score: WSU- 35, Houston- 17

Arkansas State at #3 Georgia: Georgia should have no problem with the Red Wolves, although they need to make sure they aren’t looking ahead to their match-up against CFP hopeful , #7 Notre Dame. This game shouldn’t be a cause for concern if ASU plays them close; it’s if the upset happens that Bulldogs fans need to start worrying. Final Score: Georgia- 42, ASU- 14

#6 Ohio State at Indiana:

Indiana LOVES to play Ohio State close at home. Last time these teams met in Bloomington, it took a strong second half effort from the Buckeyes to pull away and secure the W. Expect more of the same. Indiana is playing at home, with a perfect record on the line, and they would love nothing more than to send Ryan Day home with a loss in his first conference game coaching debut. Indiana will come out strong in the first half, and then Ohio State cruises to victory in the second half, as they should. Final Score: Ohio State- 42, Indiana- 20

Pittsburgh at #13 Penn State: An in state rivalry that was renewed back in 2016, Penn State looks to add another check mark in the Win column before the series once again gets put on ice. The Nittany Lions are hosting, and the Panthers are reeling, Penn State completes the 3 game sweep of the renewal and it won’t be close. Final Score: Penn State- 38, Pitt- 10

#21 Maryland at Temple: Temple enters this game after a season opening win over Bucknell, and Maryland comes in with a huge blow out win over then ranked Syracuse in Week Two. This one isn’t really worth writing home about, and Owls fans can spend the afternoon doing some mid September yard work to get ready for the fall ahead. Final Score: Maryland- 60, Temple- 7

New Mexico at #7 Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish don’t have a test in this game, but they should make sure they are focused for this match-up and not overlooking New Mexico. Home crowd advantage will definitely play in favor of the Irish hopefuls, who look to get back to their first National Championship game since 2013. The Lobos should be no match for the Irish down the stretch, but Notre Dame should coast on to victory. Final Score: Notre Dame- 35, New Mexico- 7

#2 Alabama at South Carolina: Alabama is looking to get their conference slate stared on the right foot, and they plan on making the Gamecocks their first victim of the SEC schedule. As 25 point favorites, this should seem like a no brainer, but South Carolina never seems to makes sense on the football field. Their first two games are little indication to what this team might do, and we don’t expect them to figure it out as Alabama improves to 12-1 in SEC openers under Nick Saban. Alabama- 42, South Carolina- 7

Stanford at #17 UCF:

UCF had the chance to knock off a Top 25 opponent this week, if it weren’t for Stanford getting smashed by USC. Nonetheless, a statement win over a Power 5 Conference foe would really boost this team towards their ultimate goal: breaking into the College Football Playoff. UCF wins a closer contest than it should be, but they earn the win to help their case. Final Score: UCF- 24, Stanford- 17

#24 USC at BYU: BYU has a nasty habit of upsetting teams they have no reason beating. Both them and USC enter this game coming off of emotional wins, so this game will be about who can keep the hangover from coming into play for four quarters. This is the upset alert USC needs to be wary of as this BYU team can hang around just long enough to force some critical mistakes. Calling this one now, USC is too high on breaking the Top 25 and falls on the road to a tough BYU team. BYU- 31, USC- 24

Arizona State at #18 Michigan State: Michigan State welcomes a unique Arizona State team who isn’t playing like a Power 5 school. Lackluster wins over Kent State and Sacramento State brings their record to 2-0, however, they needed strong defense to secure the win over Sac. St, escaping with a 19-7 win. ASU can’t hang with Big Ten contender Michigan State, and the Spartans roll over the Sun Devils in East Lansing. Final Score: Michigan State- 30, Arizona State- 13

#19 Iowa at Iowa State: Iowa State coach Matt Campbell knows a thing or two about preparing for a big game against a ranked opponent. With a big early test coming to Ames, the Cyclones will have the nation watching, as College GameDay picked the in-state rivalry game their stop of the week. Vegas Odds separate these teams by less than three points, as this games looks to be a close battle until the final gun. Final Score: Iowa State- 31, Iowa- 28

Idaho State at #11 Utah: I have to admit, I wasn’t aware Idaho State was a thing until I saw this match-up. Sorry, Bengals fans. Even though Idaho State looked impressive in their season opener, the Utes defense will be far too much for them to handle, and Utah blows this one open early, cruising to an easy victory. Final Score: Utah- 42, ISU- 7

Kent State at #8 Auburn: The good news for the Golden Flashes is that these non-conference blowouts don’t remove them from MAC Championship contention. The Kent State defense has been extremely porous in its attempts to stop the opposition from scoring and that scoring barrage will continue, as Auburn rolls over the far inferior opponent. Bo Nix is going to have a field day. Final Score: Auburn- 55, KSU- 3

#9 Florida at Kentucky: Florida is on a mission, and that mission is to avenge the loss to the Wildcats from a season ago. Florida is being gifted a strong chance in this game with key injuries to this Kentucky team. Florida continues its resurgence and rise to national relevance as it opens up its conference opener, winning in a big way. Final Score: Florida- 28, Kentucky- 17

Lamar at #16 Texas A&M: Coming off a tough loss to Clemson, A&M looks to bounce back against Lamar. TAMU knows that they can’t let the bad taste of losing a week ago derail them. They have plenty to play for, and the best way to bounce back from defeat is to look forward to the next game. Aggies win this one by a landslide. Final Score: Texas A&M- 55, Lamar- 10

#1 Clemson at Syracuse: Maryland decimated Syracuse just a week ago, promptly sending the Orangemen toppling out of the Top 25, a shame as this top 25 match up may have been far more exciting. Clemson, fresh off an emotional win over a tough Texas A&M will look to avoid the hangover. Clemson will be far too much for Syracuse to handle, even at home. Final Score: Clemson- 48, Syracuse- 17

Northwestern State at #4 LSU: Don’t look now LSU fans, but Joe Burrow might be a legitimate Heisman candidate. He has the chance to add more mouths to the discussion, although a blowout over an FCS opponent won’t exactly make too many heads turn. This is the last “practice game” for LSU before beginning the SEC schedule, and they will make the most of it. Final Score: LSU- 49, Northwestern State- 7

Hawaii at #23 Washington: Hawaii is looking halfway decent, knocking off Arizona and Oregon State. Washington is coming off a 20-19 loss (which, while it looks bad, they had to wait the entire length of a game just to finish out, it was a rough night) and they look to bounce back against the Warriors. Tune in as Hawaii makes it a game early, just to be buried in the second half, as the Huskies take control. Final Score: Washington- 38, Hawaii- 20

Florida State at #25 Virginia: The spread has this marked at 7.5 points, but honestly, that’s too close. FSU struggled against UL-Monroe, and they are allowing over 500 yards a game to opponents… including UL-Monroe, you know, from the Sun Belt. Virginia is playing some good football early on, and their defense will stiffen against a struggling Seminoles team. Final Score: Virginia- 34, Florida State- 16

#5 Oklahoma at UCLA:

The fact that the Bruins are a turnover machine doesn’t bode well for their matchup against the Sooners. Expect more of the same from UCLA as they fall to 0-3 to start the year. Oklahoma wins this in dominating fashion. Final Score: Oklahoma- 55, UCLA- 24

Rice at #12 Texas: Oh man. The Longhorns are living with the sting of a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the LSU Tigers a week ago. Fortunately, they get an easy week to gear up for Big 12 action. Rice is falling hard, with only one passing touchdown combined for their quarterback staff. Texas blows out Rice in a game that was over before it began. Final Score: Texas- 42, Rice- 10

Portland State at #22 Boise State: Boise State has the same challenge ahead of itself that every Group of Five school does: stay undefeated, and you might crack the Top 10. The Broncos should have no problem with maintaining their winning ways against Portland State, a team that is the 31.5 point underdog going into this game, and honestly, that feels generous. Boise State controls all aspects of this game at home. Final Score: Boise State- 56, Portland State- 7

Montana at #15 Oregon: Oregon bounced back from the late collapse against Oregon in week one and throttled Nevada. The loss to Auburn at the beginning of the season doesn’t hurt their playoff hopes too much, but they need to keep the machine rolling. The Grizzlies don’t have a chance in this match up and Oregon runs away with it before halftime. Final Score: Oregon- 58, Montana- 10

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