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The Picks, Week 3

First off, the scoring from last week. When you take a straight look at the up and down on the Top 25 games, I didn't do that poorly. To wit, I'm 15-3. Given all the games where the outcome was predetermined, that's not great. But at least it's better than a monkey throwing at a dartboard.


He still owns me at poker, though.

Against the score -- that is, coming within a touchdown of each team's score? Eh, go with the monkey. Among the 15 games I correctly called, I went 2-13, for a total against the score of 2-16. Ugh.

I blame this, by the way, at least partially on Ohio State. How, exactly, do you give up a safety to Akron? And how do you score only 20?

On to this week's picks. Again, these are for Saturday games involving teams in the BlogPoll Top 25.

Middle Tennessee State at No. 1 LSU
First of all, did the game between MTSU and Louisville ever end? Oh, it did? Good. LSU has put up 40+ against Mississippi State (though Michael Henig deserves almost as much credit as Matt Flynn) and Virginia Tech. But word comes down that Flynn might not play this week, leaving the start to Ryan "Casino" Perrilloux. So LSU slows down, meaning they'll only score about 40+ against Middle Tennessee. LSU 42, MTSU 14

Utah State at No. 2 Oklahoma
The Sooners blasted Miami. What makes you think Utah State has a prayer? Oklahoma 62, Utah State 3

No. 3 Southern Cal at No. 16 Nebraska
I would love to call the upset, mostly because I know it would cause Corso to weep uncontrollably. But I don't see it happening. It's going to be close, though the post-game comments will make sure that all those media and coach voters know it was "easier than the score might suggest," even if it isn't. Rant concluded. Southern Cal 21, Nebraska 13

No. 23 Tennessee at No. 4 Florida
I still don't trust that Evil Erik isn't going to re-emerge at some point, and the Swamp would be an inauspicious opportunity. Even if Good Erik shows up, Florida is the better team. Florida 24, Tennesse 21

No. 6 Texas at Central Florida
Texas' offense has been less than stellar so far, and they'll be going into the Golden Knights' stadium. It should be closer than you might think, but there's no upset alert here. Texas 28, Central Florida 13

Louisiana Tech at No. 7 Cal
La Tech held Hawaii close -- and, yes, I still believe Hawaii is a decent team -- but the team is probably going to experience the post-losing-OT slump. Even without that, they're not on Cal's level. Cal 48, Louisiana Tech 13

Buffalo at No. 8 Penn State
Why does Buffalo do this? Continuing to play teams that play for a quarter, put it on autopilot and still beat you by double digits simply means you have no pride. Or at least you only have $500,000 worth of pride. Penn State 35, Buffalo 6

The Citadel at No. 9 Wisconsin
Alas, the most shameless Big Ten program this week in the cupcake scheduling department is based in Wisconsin. Really? The Citadel. Who would ever play The ... what's that? Oh. Nevermind. Wisconsin 54, The Citadel 10

UPSET ALERT No. 10 Louisville at Kentucky
Defense? There's no defense in football. At least when these two teams get together. Kentucky will have a little bit more than Louisville. A little bit. I'll still be stunned if fewer than 100 points are scored. Kentucky 56, Louisville 48

No. 11 Ohio State at No. 22 Washington
Ohio State has to travel halfway across the country to play a better-than-expected foe. Since they screwed me up last week, I'll pick the quasi-upset. Washington 21, Ohio State 20

No. 12 UCLA at Utah
Utah's not very good. I think UCLA is, though there's really no way to tell at this point. UCLA 27, Utah 13

Norfolk State at No. 13 Rutgers
You would think that after years of being a favored Rent-a-Rout, the Scarlet Knights would be better than this. Apparently, they're not. Rutgers 45, Norfolk State 3

Fresno State at No. 14 Oregon
The Bulldogs aren't as bad as some might think. They're also not good enough to keep up with Oregon, at least not for very long. Oregon 45, Fresno State 28

No. 19 Boston College at No. 15 Georgia Tech
I'm allergic to picking any team coached by Chan Gailey. But it appears the offense is humming, the defense is as tough as expected and even a Sooper Genuis can't get in the way. The Jackets get the Eagles at home, and Atlanta will be happy. Georgia Tech 34, Boston College 21

No. 18 Arkansas at Alabama
I'm calling too many upsets, but I think the Nicktator has something up his sleeve that will give Bama enough of an edge to beat the University of Darren McFadden at Felix Jones Arkansas. Alabama 28, Arkansas 24

Furman at No. 20 Clemson
I hope Chip Limehouse is happy. If either of the BCS schools from South Carolina is on the fringe of a NC discussion any time in the next few years -- a stretch, I know -- it will be games like these that will keep them out if the other team has played all Bowl Subdivision teams. Clemson 62, Furman 0

Western Michigan at No. 24 Missouri
Western Michigan isn't a terrible MAC team, and Missouri is an okay Big XII team. In other words, this should be a pretty boring game. Missouri 24, Western Michigan 13

Ohio at No. 25 Virginia Tech
New QB for the Hokies. Frustration from the LSU game. So I'll go with a subpar performance for VT, but a win nonetheless. Virginia Tech 24, Ohio 3