Like week one, our voters selected Alabama as the most likely to cover the spread. Unlike week one, Alabama did not cover the spread. Alabama appeared to be well on the way to covering the spread early, but like several of the games where a large SEC school is donating around 1 million dollars to an FBS school, nothing really happened late in the game and Alabama's backups were unable to finish the game well enough to cover the spread. I went with Kentucky over South Carolina, and despite the onslaught Kentucky faced at the hands of walk on quarterback Perry Orth, Kentucky managed to win in the eastern Columbia. Our voters correctly predicted Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Kentucky and missed Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida.
Lock of the Week: 1-1
Overall Votes: 10-6
Week 3 (No FCS picks ever)
Nevada at Texas A&M (TAMU -33.5)
Texas A&M dominated Ball State in the first half. It is surprising that Speedy Noil is fourth in receptions for the Aggies. Nevada is supposed to have a good front seven and a bad secondary, but so far, their defense hasn't been good at all. The spread seems accurate, and could depend on how Sumlin decides to use both of his quarterbacks.
South Carolina at Georgia (UGA -16.5)
I am picking South Carolina to cover the spread. Perry Orth appeared to be a better passer than Conner Mitch. Mitch might have beat him out because 1) he is a better scrambler 2) Orth was a victim of walk on bias 3) Orth just had a good game and isn't actually a better passer. Despite these possibilities, USC should throw the ball well enough to keep this game somewhat close against Georgia. USC isn't a bad running team either. Georgia probably has the best running attack in the SEC East, but Grayson Lambert didn't throw the ball well in Georgia's home game against Vanderbilt in Nashville last week. Georgia should win, but not by 17 points or more.
Auburn at LSU (LSU -6.5)
It is really easy to harshly judge Auburn's scare against Jacksonville State, because that should have been at least a 3-4 touchdown victory. If Auburn does get Tray Matthews and Carl Lawson back, they will be much better this week on defense. Blake Countess getting ejected for targeting in the second quarter hurt Auburn a lot as well. With Jeremy Johnson's struggles and LSU not really throwing the ball much with Brandon Harris, this will be a running game battle, and LSU is certainly better at that aspect. This is a 2:30 game, so take note if you believe in the theory (that does have some statistical evidence) that LSU plays significantly worse during the day in Baton Rogue. I am leaning towards LSU on this one, but as hard as it is, don't overreact to Auburn's poor performance last week.
Mississippi at Alabama (UA -6.5)
This is the game where I'm most looking forward to seeing our voting results. Both teams haven't really shown big weak spots so far. I'm assuming that Laremy Tunsil is not getting cleared by Saturday, which is very bad for Chad Kelly. Saban hasn't been invincible in Tuscaloosa, but I don't remember any team that has beat him by running the ball right at his defense. This one is up to Chad Kelly, and if Tunsil was playing, I would probably pick Mississippi in this spread. Since that seems unlikely, I'm staying away from this one.
Texas Tech at Arkansas (UA -11.5)
Despite losing to Toledo in Little Rock, Arkansas is still heavily favored against the Red Raiders. Both teams put a beating on UTEP, but Texas Tech played FCS powerhouse Sam Houston State a little too close (seriously, they are one of the top FCS teams like Jacksonville State is). Brandon Allen threw the ball very well against Toledo considering that Arkansas lost, but Alex Collins wasn't an efficient runner. Whether that was his fault or his offensive line's, I have no idea. Texas Tech has a few good pass rushers, but they are vulnerable to the run. If Alex Collins can average around 5 yards per rushing attempt Arkansas should win, but this one could be close. I am slightly leaning towards Texas Tech on the spread.
Connecticut at Missouri (UM -21.5)
The advanced projection systems like Missouri's chances to cover the spread this week. UCONN is 2-0, but those are close wins over Villanova and Army. Russell Hansbrough isn't playing, and without Hansbrough, the rushing attack is basically quarterback Matty Mauk. This is an odd game to pick for reasons listed above, so I'm not picking this one.
Florida at Kentucky (UF -3.5)
This game should be a close one, but I'm picking Kentucky to win outright, so I might as well pick them to cover the spread. After Kentucky's bad second half against ULL, I thought it might be a one time thing. After a much better first half than second half at South Carolina last week, I'm starting to think there might be a reason for it. Part of Kentucky playing better against South Carolina early was because USC was better off with Perry Orth than Conner Mitch. This is one of the most underrated matchups in college football this week. Florida has played outstanding run defense so far, but Kentucky has good depth at runningback. Kentucky is also supposed to have a young but talented secondary, and you could say the same thing about Florida QB Will Grier. One very important note that is causing some doubt on this spread is that Vernon Hargreaves is back for Florida this week.
Northwestern State vs. Mississippi State
If you are looking for a silver lining from last week and enjoy the suffering of LSU fans, the LSU fans who bet on their team to cover the 4.5 point spread lost money last week. Hopefully Fitzgerald and Staley have ample opportunity to conduct their second string QB battle against the second quadrant of Louisiana.
Austin Peay vs. Vanderbilt
Unlike the Charleston Southern game last year, this should not be close. The Sagarin rankings have Austin Peay as being the worst team in the Ohio Valley Conference, by far.
Western Carolina vs. Tennessee
Runningback Alvin Kamara might be a good choice for a one day fantasy league, if the massive amount of DraftKings advertisements are getting to you.
South Carolina and Kentucky