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By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Week 3 is here, and it’s clear there are a lot of pretenders out there!
WEEK THREE – NOW, WHO’S FOR REAL?
The slate of Saturday dramatics did not disappoint unless you were a top 10-ranked team, that is. While Alabama snuck past Texas as we predicted, and the other powerhouses cruised into week 3, the pretenders towards the bottom of the top 10 fell and made themselves look stupid. The #6 Texas A&M Aggies laid an egg of all eggs against App State, #8 Notre Dame looked lifeless against Marshall, and #9 Baylor got snuffed out in OT by BYU. This was that first sign of the season that showed quite bluntly who is for real and who is not.
While the week 3 card doesn’t have an overabundance of top 25 matchups or compelling duels in the conference, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity on the card. I’m stalking some foul lines and games that should be dramatically tighter than the line so let’s dive into the spreads.
TUNE-IN GAME OF THE WEEK
The main tune-in Saturday night is a tale of one program possibly starting to go on reverse and another blue-chip program from the past in full revival mode. The 13th-ranked Miami Hurricanes head to College Station to play the 24th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, just a week after the Aggies were stunned in a home loss to Appalachian State. On the flip side, Miami is getting all sorts of “we’re BACK” vibes, QB Tyler Van Dyke has early Heisman buzz, and the U is feeling the mojo again. This is their first actual test of the season in what should be a loud (and angry) home field environment for A&M. The line of A&M -5.5 is a tight call, but what I’m more confident in is points in this game (Over 48), as the Aggies offense + Van Dyke on the other side will yield fireworks.
THE NIGHTCAP GET-IT-BACK GAME
You must tip your cap to Fresno State – they will play anybody. The Pat Hill legacy rolls on; they head to LA to play the #7 ranked USC Trojans in the night capper at 10:30 pm ET. If you keep your eyes open for this one, you could be rewarded with some late-night scenes. Fresno has a knack for throwing the kitchen sink at opponents in these spots, so USC better be wide awake to avoid a trap.
WEIRD VIBE PREDICTION OF THE WEEK
We’re officially 3 for 3 on picking weird vibes in College Football. I’m not sure how that adds to my gambling acumen, but I least I can predict something consistently. Last week Pitt kept it tight and pushed on the +7 line in their close loss to the Tennessee Vols. This week, the strange vibes are taking us to Atlanta, where I’m seeing an Ole Miss Rebels team favored by…16 points on the road against Georgia Tech? I know Tech’s QB Jeff Sims has work to be done as the leader on offense, but they’ve already seen a stern test in Clemson, and I’m not sure Ole Miss comes in and wrecks shop as the line suggests. Georgia Tech +16 could be a fun ticket to hold on to Saturday afternoon.
WEEK 2 RECAP – HOLDING ON
Texas +20 was an excellent way to start, if only the Horns could have pulled off the upset. From there, Wake Forest cruised to cover -8 over an under-matched Vandy squad, and BYU got it done in OT for the three winners. The two losses were Houston/Texas Tech missing the over by a field goal and Arizona State missing out on covering +11.5 by a score. We take 3-2 all day, every day around here.
Week Two: 3-2 ATS, Season Overall: 7-8 ATS
EARLY WEEK 3 PLAYS FOR ALEX
I’m rolling up I-35 to Waco to snag a quick over to get the card going. Baylor will certainly bust out, and the Texas State Bobcats will be up to score points against their in-state rival and will break out trick plays to do so. This game goes Over 53 points, even if Baylor has to supply 40 on their own.
Later in the evening, Michigan State +3.5 at Washington is usually a trap spot, I wouldn’t bet. East coast team goes west, unfamiliar grounds, and no matchup history. I’m riding with Mel Tucker and Sparty mainly because I think UW’s 2-0 start is slightly fraudulent, and their QB has not fared well vs. Michigan State defenses in his time at Indiana. Give me Michigan State +3.5.
After seeing what I saw from Oregon against Georgia and BYU against Baylor, I’m having a hard time believing that game is a shootout in Eugene. I’ll go against the grain on this one with Under 58 points.
For the second week in a row, I find myself backing the Longhorns; this time, Texas is -10.5, hosting UTSA. Coming off of an impressive performance on D, it’s time for Hudson Card to find a rhythm against a defense that will yield more opportunity. Bijan Robinson goes off, and Texas wins by two scores.
I can’t resist – I’m actively choosing insomnia this weekend, and frankly, I would have a knot in my stomach if I were a USC Trojan fan. I’ve seen this script before; Fresno State +12.5 is worth staying up for.
Here are some other diamonds I’m leaning on early this week:
Texas A&M/Miami Over 48, Uconn +46, Oklahoma/Nebraska Under 66, Western Michigan + 10
EATS AND DEETS
The teleport game: Let’s join Phil Knight in Eugene for BYU @ Oregon – I’m sure the uniforms will be on point as always and a lovely fall afternoon in the PNW never hurt anyone.
Goofiest line: Tennessee -47.5 hosting Akron.
Simultaneous screen count: It’s just a two-screener this week. The big games are spread across the day nicely!Tailgate pick of the week: This week, it’s nachos. If you haven’t had them in the air fryer you got for your wedding gift, now is the time to try it.