Friday Football Picks, Week #3

Well, The Diner is on an pretty good roll against the line this year! 7-3 in week one, and last week we went 8-2. That’s 15-5 against the point spread, which for the uninitiated, is excellent! So, with all that momentum, we’re heading into week three…

Auburn at Mississippi State (+10.5): Auburn has finally settled on a quarterback, even if it’s the one fans didn’t want. Their defense is stout and the Bulldogs have already lost to a lesser opponent. While giving that many points to an SEC home team is rarely a good thing, I think Auburn’s got revenge on their minds after last year’s upset at home. AU begins a five-game SEC stretch in impressive fasion. Diner Prediction: Auburn 28, Mississippi State 17

U.C.L.A. (+8) at Brigham Young: Rick Neuheisel sent a message with their home upset of Tennessee. It’s the same message that got headlines in L.A. when he said that the dynasty “across town” was officially over with his arrival. He’s a good coach and can get the best out of his team. If U.C.L.A.’s quarterback plays at all like he played in the 2nd half against the Vols, they win going away. If he plays like he played the first half, they lose by three touchdowns. I think it’ll be the former. Diner Prediction: U.C.L.A. 37, Brigham Young 21

Georgia at South Carolina (+7): Okay, in the nutso world of the SEC, South Carolina loses to Vandy. Yet, they’re only a one touchdown underdog to a team many feel like is the best team in the nation. So, what is being said is that the Gamecocks at home have a shot against the Dogs. I don’t buy it. I think Georgia is for real and Matthew Stafford is surrounded by talent. Diner Prediction: Georgia 31, South Carolina 20

Georgia Tech (+6.5) at Virginia Tech: For some reason, I love the old-school triple option. And, I can’t get VaTech’s loss to East Carolina out of my head. It just doesn’t compute that the Pirates are really that good. I’m trying to balance that out with the fact that the Hokies are at home in an ACC battle and they’ll be more focused. But my head tells me that Paul Johnson’s option threat can beat Boston College on the road, then they’re for real. Diner Prediction: Georgia Tech 23, Virginia Tech 20.

Michigan at Notre Dame (+1.5): Remember when this would’ve been a good game to watch? The only question is which program has fallen the farthest. My guess is that it’s the Irish. Diner Prediction: Michigan 26, Notre Dame 23.

Stanford (+13.5) at T.C.U.: The Horned Frogs are usually underrated because they play in the Mountain West, but they’re the true class of that conference. TCU has the rep of being a place where gifted young coaches get their start, but Gary Patterson is finishing there. He can win, espcially against a lower-tier Pac-10 team with the talent at-hand, and I think the only issue is whether or not Hurrican Ike will make things nasty enough to keep them from covering the spread. I don’t think it will. Diner Prediction: T.C.U. 31, Stanford 16.

Oklahoma at Washington (+20): Again, I think Stoops is going to do everything he can to cover so he can get his Sooners some poll positioning. They beat a better-than-average Cincinnati team last week and they did what they could to dismantle the Bearcats. I think they’ll try again, and while 20 points is a lot to give Ty Willingham at home, I think Oklahoma will walk. Diner Prediction: Oklahoma 42, Washington 21.

S.M.U. (+36.5) at Texas Tech: Oh, man. Tech can light it up like a pinball machine when they want to. S.M.U. is really a bad football team, too. To me, the defense at Tech is better than in the past…but more than 5-TD’s? I’m not to sure about laying that far out. I think Tech will actually use this game to play some younger guys and while they’ll coast, I don’t think they’ll cover. Diner Prediction: Texas Tech 45, S.M.U. 10.

Iowa State (+13.5) at Iowa: I like rivalry games early in the season. And the Hurricanes are a scrappy bunch under Gene Chizik. They play SERIOUS defense in Ames, and even though they’re on the road this week, I think it’ll be low scoring. I like taking these road points. Diner Prediction: Iowa 17, Iowa State 13.

Ohio State (+10.5) at U.S.C.: Again, this is one where you try to get it out of your head how the Buckeyes have been taken apart by the cream of the SEC these last couple of years. But, when you look at how much they’ve struggled against lesser teams (needing special teams to bail them ou against cream puffs) thus far this season…and how the Trojans looked fantastic on the road in week 1, well, I think the Buckeyes are in for a very long day. In fact, I’ll double the line and feel pretty good about taking U.S.C. Diner Prediction: U.S.C. 34, Ohio State 13.

There you have it, kids. What do you think will happen this weekend?