Here were our Week 3 college football predictions… let’s see how we did!
[First of all, we got both of our AFL predictions right – Melbourne over Hawthorn, and Collingwood over GWS. Next week the winners travel to West Coast and Richmond, respectively, for the right to go to the Grand Final in two weeks. For the record, we’re taking the two home teams – the top two seeds who earned the right to play these games at home! – to win and meet for the title on September 29, although neither team will have a walkover.]
(Anything in RED is left over from Thursday’s column on purpose. Black is new.)
ACC – Boston College @ Wake Forest (Thursday). We chose the Eagles correctly, but the Vegas spread was closer.
Florida State @ Syracuse – “Seminoles by nine? Vegas says 3.5, and they may be right – I won’t be surprised if the Orange wins.” Well, they did – and they won big. 30-7, and the Seminoles’ only score came late after the game was decided. Things are getting ugly in Tallahassee.
Georgia Tech @ Pitt – We has GT by one…which was about right until Pitt score late to win it, 24-19
Miami FL @ Toledo – Nine point Hurricane favorites. (Vegas says 10.5; Sagarin says seven.) Miami says 25. Strong win for the strong Christian coach, Mark Richt.
BIG TEN – Ohio State @ TCU – the big game of the weekend, IMO. We have the Buckeyes by five, but the pros think it’s going to be two TDs or so. Split the diff. TCU led into the third, but eventually OSU won 40-28
Rutgers @ Kansas – As predicted, Kansas is now on a two-game winning streak – except they won by a LOT MORE than three! 55 points for the Jayhawks, and not in basketball!
Troy @ Nebraska – “hard to know how much trouble the Cornhuskers’ issues really are, but we have them as seven point favorites over a pretty good Trojan club. Vegas is even more bullish, saying 11 points. We’ll see…” Well, we found out. Troy won handily, and the Husker Nation is more discontent than anyone outside Florida.
South Florida @ Illinois – We hit it about right: we said nine, it was USF by six.
BIG TWELVE – Oklahoma @ Iowa State – Sooners are expected to roll, even on the road, by thirteen. Iowa State looked good, but it was ten in the end.
USC @ Texas – we have this game DEAD EVEN. So did everyone else. Texas whomped USC 37-14. Trojan-sized issues in SoCal as well.
Houston @ Texas Tech – was supposed to be close. It was, but in the end TT pulled away.
Boise State @ Oklahoma State – We had Boise as slight favorites. Nobody had a 23-point beatdown, and statistically it wasn’t one – except that the Broncs lost 17 of those points in the kicking game (bad FG miss early and two punt blocks resulting in TDs).
PAC-12 – Washington @ Utah – Supposed to be close for UW, and the 21-7 score belies its tenseness. But UW’s defense outshone Utah’s offense when it mattered.
Oregon State @ Nevada… we think Nevada upsets the Beavers by four. Oregon State had a FG attempt to win it late and missed.
California, Oregon, and Stanford… by 35, 43, and 38, respectively. All won, but none as handily as expected. The Ducks in particular should be concerned.
SEC – LSU @ Auburn – maybe one of the most interesting SEC games of the year! Auburn by six, half of that because of the stadium. (LV says ten.) Just like last year, Auburn came from ahead to lose late. So what if we were closer to the final spread? Almost all of our misses were like that.
Alabama @ Ole Miss – The Rebels are one of the Top 25 teams playing at home, and almost invincible at home. So far they’ve routed a top FCS team by sixty and defeated Power Five power Kansas State by three TDs last week. Despite all that, they are eighteen point underdogs at home. (And it’s 21 in Vegas, and 25 on Sagarin.) So they must be playing Alabama. HO-ly MO-ley. Given all that, you wouldn’t expect to be losing 49-7 at the HALF. But they were. 62-7 at the end. Bama’s current rating is NEGATIVE-TWO. We’ve never had a negative before…
Vanderbilt @ Notre Dame – After last week’s close call against Ball State, where they only won by eight, nobody can be more than an eight-point favorite against the Irish. So Vanderbilt are eight-point underdogs. And could have won in the end. ND is not a powerhouse this year.
Group Of Five – Arkansas State @ Tulsa – Dead Even. Big win for stAte, 29-20.
Tulane @ Alabama-Birmingham – The Green Wave are eight-point favorites in Alabama. (Four in Vegas.) UAB came up with the win, 31-24, in a game we found on Facebook, of all places.
Eastern Michigan @ Buffalo – Buffalo’s a two-point favorite. And won by seven. That’s a good team.
New Mexico State @ New Mexico – four points towards the visitors in the in-state rivalry. About right – UNM won by a TD.
San Diego State @ Arizona State – our numbers point to SDSU (by two), and they won by seven. Trust the numbers!
Wofford @ Wyoming – It’s not that we particularly think that the Cowboys being two-point favorites is that big a deal. It’s that we’ll hardly ever get to see another game when “Wofford” is the first team listed alphabetically in a game. The forecast was near perfect – 17-14, Wyoming.
FCS – Rhode Island @ U Conn – U Conn restored our faith in the superiority of the AAC over the FCS Colonial upstarts… kind of. 56-49, UConn.
Montana @ Western Illinois – Montana’s a one-point favorite but lost to a late TD, 31-27
South Dakota @ Weber State – Weber State’s good. They beat one of the top-tier Missouri Valley teams handily, 27-10. Our prediction was a five-pt win.
Samford @ Mercer – After the Bulldogs’ stellar performance against Florida State last week, you’d think conference rival Mercer should be a fifteen-point piece of cake.You’d be wrong. Mercer won, 30-24. The SoCon is going to be tough again this year!
Nicholls @ McNeese – Here’s a great battle in the Southland Conference for two teams near the top. McNeese is a touchdown favorite, and maybe the conference favorite after a 20-10 win here and Sam Houston’s upset loss to North Dakota, 24-23.
San Diego @ Harvard – We were impressed by how easily Harvard upset (in our book) San Diego, even in their first game against the fourth for the Toreros.
North Carolina Central @ South Carolina State – one of fourteen games not played in Division 1 this weekend due to hurricane Florence.
Overall, we didn’t do so fabulous this weekend – 75 out of 100 correct (discounting games postponed or cancelled, of course), for an even 75%, lowering our season average to 80.7%. (For comparison, Vegas went down to 82% for the first four weeks, and Sagarin’s into the 77’s for the season after also going 75/100 in Week 3.) We did come closest of the three forecasts in 37 of our predictions to keep our overall lead there (111 to 94 for Sagarin and 92 for Vegas, though with fewer predictions.)