By Brad Carroll and Matt Straub
After a couple weeks full of gigantic college football matchups to start the season all over the country, the third week takes a bit of a step back in terms of mega-showdowns, but there are plenty of games and teams to get excited about watching. The big game is obviously No. 3 Clemson at No. 14 Louisville Saturday night, but there are solid games with playoff implications all over the schedule.
Below we preview and our four college football experts pick the biggest games of the day against the point spread. Here is our previews and picks for the early games Saturday and here are our previews and picks for the late games. Check out our Friday night preview and pick here.
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No. 9 Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh, 12, ESPN
The Spread: Oklahoma State -15
Matt's Breakdown: This one might come down to a single matchup: the Cowboys' passing attack against the Panthers' defense. Mason Rudolph, who is suddenly getting Heisman buzz, tore up Pitt's defense last year, but the Panthers were somewhat competitive against a Penn State team which figures to be much better than the Cowboys this year. Oklahoma State scores big and wins, but not by three scores.
Brad’s Final: Oklahoma State 35, Pittsburgh 21 (Pittsburgh)
Craig’s Final: Oklahoma State 42, Pittsburgh 21 (Oklahoma State)
Glenn’s Final: Oklahoma State 42, Pittsburgh 20 (Oklahoma State)
Matt's Final: Oklahoma State 34, Pittsburgh 28 (Pittsburgh)
No. 25 UCLA at Memphis, 12, ABC
The Spread: UCLA -3.5
Matt's Breakdown: Lost in the excitement of UCLA's miracle comeback two weeks ago was Josh Rosen throwing two touchdowns which easily could have been intercepted and that UCLA was down 34 to Texas A&M in the first place. Those things would scare me if the Bruins were playing someone good. Memphis, which barely beat Louisiana-Monroe, is not good. Rosen pads his stats in an easy win.
Brad’s Final: UCLA 38, Memphis 24 (UCLA)
Craig’s Final: UCLA 27, Memphis 20 (UCLA)
Glenn’s Final: UCLA 58, Memphis 31 (UCLA)
Matt's Final: UCLA 45, Memphis 28 (UCLA)
No. 10 Wisconsin at BYU, 3:30, ABC
The Spread: Wisconsin -18
Matt's Breakdown: You can't tell a ton about how the season is going to go after a couple of weeks, but there's one thing I'm already sure of for 2017. BYU's offense is awful. The LSU game can be excused, but the offense wasn't much better in its other games. Wisconsin has plenty of weapons to keep the Cougars off the field, too. There just isn't a reason to pick BYU to even stay close.
Brad’s Final: Wisconsin 42, BYU 14 (Wisconsin)
Craig’s Final: Wisconsin 38, BYU 14 (Wisconsin)
Glenn’s Final: Wisconsin 31, BYU 14 (BYU)
Matt's Final: Wisconsin 34, BYU 14 (Wisconsin)
No. 23 Tennessee at No. 24 Florida, 3:30, CBS
The Spread: Florida -5
Matt's Breakdown: Florida's offense might not be as bad as BYU's, but it's close. The Gators are worse than BYU offensively this year, and averaged less than a half-yard per carry against Michigan. Sure it was one game, but this team can't be counted on to score. The Vols haven't been world beaters this year either, but they can score, which is more than we can say for Florida.
Brad’s Final: Florida 23, Tennessee 20 (Tennessee)
Craig’s Final: Tennessee 21, Florida 20 (Tennessee)
Glenn’s Final: Tennessee 28, Florida 27 (Tennessee)
Matt's Final: Tennessee 31, Florida 17 (Tennessee)
Notre Dame at Boston College, 3:30, ESPN
The Spread: Notre Dame -14
Craig’s Breakdown: Boston College vs. Notre Dame used to be the marquee matchup on the Saturday it was played. The Holy War, as it’s known, has gone the way of the Irish the last five years. Don’t expect things to change, as Boston College is slated to start freshman quarterback Anthony Brown. It won’t be a good introduction in his first start in South Bend. Both teams come off losses. Notre Dame lost a tight one to a good Georgia team, while Boston College got thumped by Wake Forest. Games have been close over the years, but that won’t be the case this year. The Irish win with ease.
Matt's Breakdown: Notre Dame couldn't get a home win over Georgia last week, and continued to show its inability to win close games, a flaw which eventually will get its coach fired. Fortunately for the Irish, this won't be a close game. Notre Dame can score, and will against the Eagles, which scored 10 points against Wake Forest after barely beating Northern Illinois. The Eagles won't handle the step up in class.
Brad’s Final: Notre Dame 35, Boston College 13 (Notre Dame)
Craig’s Final: Notre Dame 37, Boston College 21 (Notre Dame)
Glenn’s Final: Notre Dame 42, Boston College 17 (Notre Dame)
Matt's Final: Notre Dame 45, Boston College 20 (Notre Dame)
Army at No. 8 Ohio State, 4:30, FOX
The Spread: Ohio State -30.5
Matt's Breakdown: There are few things scarier than a good, explosive team with something to prove. Ohio State couldn't do much against Oklahoma last week, and will look to take its frustrations out on Army. The Buckeyes need to figure out the passing game, and this will be a good chance for the offense to get going. Look for a fast start to lead to an easy win.
Brad’s Final: Ohio State 56, Army 7 (Ohio State)
Craig’s Final: Ohio State 38, Army 3 (Ohio State)
Glenn’s Final: Ohio State 56, Army 14 (Ohio State)
Matt's Final: Ohio State 56, Army 17 (Ohio State)