"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 3 PICKS

Way too many upset picks last week that knocked my record down to 19 - 8. I plan on being more selective with the underdogs this time around. There are not too many compelling match-ups this week, with only one game involving two ranked teams. My Hokies have to erase the upset victory over Ohio State as they face an always dangerous East Carolina team.

Thursday:

Houston (1 - 1) 20 @ (25) BYU (2 - 0) 27 : The Cougars went into Austin last week and thumped Texas. They finally get a home game after two road wins to start the season. A favorable schedule could result in BYU going undefeated, perhaps giving the college football playoff committee something to think about. But it's too early for that.

Friday:

(8) Baylor (2 - 0) 47  @ Buffalo (1 - 1) 20: Baylor goes on the road to take on a competitive, but in this case overmatched Bull squad. The Bears might not be as explosive on offense as they were last season, but should still be able to take care of Buffalo, a team they scored 70 on in last year's meeting.

Saturday:

Kent State (0 - 2) 13 @ (22) Ohio State (1 - 1) 30: The Buckeyes will probably be in a foul mood following their loss to Virginia Tech (man, that sounds good). After a couple of losses, I doubt the Golden Flashes will be any match for Ohio State.

East Carolina (1 - 1) 20 @ (17) Virginia Tech (2 - 0) 27: There's no better way for the Hokies to come back down to earth after defeating Ohio State and entering the national rankings than to play old nemesis East Carolina. The Pirates have made a habit of upsetting the Virginia Tech and ruining more than a couple of seasons for the home standing Hokies. But they'll need to solve a pretty good defense to do it Saturday.

UCF (0 - 1) 24 @ (20) Missouri (2 - 0) 27 : I'm still not totally sold on the Tigers, but they went a long way in making me a believer by going into Toledo and crushing the Rockets. UCF lost a last second heartbreaker in Ireland to Penn State and have had a couple of weeks to lick their wounds and get over their jet lag. This is a tough call.

(21) Louisville (2 - 0) 24 @ Virginia (1 - 1) 19: The Cavaliers gave UCLA a good fight in week one, so they may be vastly improved over last season. Louisville spanked Miami to start the season and head to Charlottesville as a possible contender to Florida State in the ACC Atlantic.This one might be closer than expected.

Wyoming (2 - 0) 16 @ (2) Oregon (2 - 0) 38: The Ducks jumped over Alabama to number 2 after running away from Michigan State in the second half last week. Wyoming is undefeated, but haven't scored more than 17 points in either game. It will take a lot more than that to overcome Oregon.

(6) Georgia (1 - 0) 30 @ (24) South Carolina (1 - 1) 27: The Bulldogs have been sitting since putting a hurting on Clemson in the first game. The Gamecocks rebounded from their drubbing by Texas A&M with a win over East Carolina. A Georgia win could solidify them as the favorite in the SEC East with a South Carolina loss ending any hopes for the Gamecocks. I'm not sold yet on South Carolina's defense, so I'll go with the Bulldogs.

La. - Lafayette (1 - 1) 17 @ (14)  Mississippi (2 - 0) 37: Ole Miss has been impressive while the Ragin' Caguns got manhandled by La. Tech last week. I like the Rebels to stay on a roll.

Army (1 - 0) 18 @ (15) Stanford (1 - 1) 31 : Despite a close loss to USC, Stanford didn't fall very far in the rankings. Army defeated Buffalo, but takes a big step up in class when they travel to Palo Alto. I look for the Cardinal to bounce back, but it won't be a walkover.

Southern Mississippi (1 -1) 10 @ (3) Alabama 38: The Tide fell a spot in the rankings, but they have plenty of opportunities against quality opponents to move back up. The Golden Eagles were scorched by Mississippi St. in week one and don't look to fare significantly better this week.

La. Monroe (2 - 0) 13 @ LSU (2 - 0) 30: LSU appears to have reloaded quite nicely after sending another crop to the NFL. The Warhawks have a couple of wins under their belt, but seven point victories against Wake Forest and Idaho hardly put them in the same class as the Bayou Bengals.

Purdue (1 - 1) 10 @ (11) Notre Dame 34: I'm not sure I've ever felt this way before, but I believe the Fighting Irish might actually be underrated. Purdue was one of the Big Ten teams that led what was really an embarrassing collective performance by league teams last week. Look for the Irish to continue their good play.

(9) USC (2 - 0) 27 @ Boston College (1 - 1) 17: Having to travel coast to coast following a big victory over Stanford hardly seems fair, but it is what it is. The Trojans will be facing a Boston College team that will be trying to avenge last year's 35 - 7 to USC loss in Los Angeles. Despite BC's bowl appearance last year, I think USC will have enough firepower to win this one on the road.

(12) UCLA (2 - 0) 27 @ Texas (1 -1) 23: This is a match-up of two teams that have been disappointing so far early in the season. The Bruins have managed close wins over a couple of schools that many thought they could win handily. Texas was embarrassed at home by BYU last week, surfacing doubts about how far along their rebuilding program has come.

Tennessee (2 - 0) 17 @ (4) Oklahoma 34:Butch Jones' Volunteers have put up two victories, but heading into Norman to face a top-5 Sooner team is definitely a step up. Oklahoma hasn't really been challenged, so it's tough to know how they'll respond if Tennessee poses some problems. I don't think they will, though.

Rice (0 -1) 16 @ (7) Texas A&M (2 - 0) 41: The Owls face Notre Dame in week one, then got a week to prepare for the Aggies. I'm not sure a month of preparation would help.

(16) Arizona State (2 - 0) 30 @ Colorado (1 -1) 28: The high flying Sun Devils face UCLA, USC, Stanford and Washington in their next four games...I mean after this one, of course. Yeah, you get my point. If I'm thinking it, perhaps they are too. A classic trap game on the road against an opponent with absolutely nothing to lose.

Kansas (1 - 0) 24 @ Duke (2 - 0) 34; Wait...this is football. I was about to predict a 84 - 79 Duke victory. Well, this one will be played outside at a facility that's hardly worthy of a Power Five conference school. But I digress. Duke is just better.

Arkansas (1 - 1)  31@ Texas Tech (2 - 0)  27: The Red Raiders have two close wins over less than impressive opponents. The Razorbacks are still trying to dig out of the dismal hole of the last two seasons. If Arkansas can play 60 minutes the way they played in the first half at Auburn, this one should go their way.

West Virginia (1 - 1) 30 @ Maryland (2 - 0) 28: These two teams are pretty even in my book. Maryland got some early season notoriety by knocking off the Mountaineers last season, but this year I like West Virginia.

Nevada (2 - 0)  27 @ Arizona (2 - 0) 24: This is another close contest. You can't accuse me of choosing easy picks with my choices of games outside of the top 25. I have to lean toward Nevada, even if they're on the road against the bigger conference foe.