College Football Odds: Most Interesting Matchups for Week 3
by Trevor Whenham - 9/12/2011
We are heading into the third week of what has already been a thrilling, surprising, and satisfying college football season. Some things we were sure we knew have been proven false, and some things that seemed impossible have happened. This coming weekend promises to be just as exciting as the ones that have come before it. Here are 10 games that stand out as interesting from a betting perspective, with college football odds included:
LSU (-3.5) at Mississippi State (Thursday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m. ET) - LSU stood up to a massive early test against Oregon. Now they get another chance to show what they are capable of against a conference rival that was highly-touted coming into the season. The Bulldogs have been disappointing so far this season, though. A win here could really salvage their season and make people believers again.
Kansas (-14) at Georgia Tech (Saturday, Sept. 17, 12:30 p.m. ET) - Turner Gill is a coach I really believe in. He faces a massive rebuilding task at Kansas, but he is clearly taking steps in the right direction. In two games this year the offense has been better than expected and the team has shown a whole lot of heart and tenacity. Now they are getting little respect as they head into a tough building and a tough matchup. This will help us get a sense of how far the Jayhawks have really come.
Michigan State (-5.5) at Notre Dame (Saturday, Sept. 17, 3:30 p.m. ET) - The Irish were a popular BCS pick heading into the season. Now they have a real chance of dropping to 0-3. They have played well in many ways, but 10 turnovers in two games is not something most teams can overcome. Michigan State will be hungry for revenge here — in 2009 they had a shot at beating the Irish in South Bend, but a late Kirk Cousins interception destroyed their hope. They are a much better team now, and they will be looking to prove it.
Miami (Ohio) (-3.5) at Minnesota (Saturday, Sept. 17, 3:30 p.m. ET) - The Gophers have yet to win, but they have showed some improvement -- especially in the opener against USC. New Coach Jerry Kill has real skills, and he is the right man for the job. Late in the game on Saturday, though, Kill had a serious seizure. It has happened to him before, and he is on medication to deal with it, but circumstances conspired to create problems. He’ll be out of action until at least Wednesday, and perhaps longer. What impact will that have on the team in what is a very winnable game for them?
Tennessee (-9.5) at Florida (Saturday, Sept. 17, 3:30 p.m. ET) - Before Lane Kiffin bolted from Tennessee he recruited QB Tyler Bray. That move is now paying major dividends. Bray has been spectacular in his two games so far this year. Last time out against Cincinnati he broke Peyton Manning’s record for best completion percentage by a Vols’ QB. Now he gets a chance to shine — and prove he is for real — against a major conference rival. The Gators have been inconsistent so far and could really use a defining win of their own.
Ohio State at Miami (Saturday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m. ET) - This is the anticipated showdown of teams that had very rough offseasons. The Buckeyes are coming off a very concerning effort against Toledo last week — a game that they were lucky to win. They should be able to win this one handily, but only if they play at their very best — something we don’t really yet know they are capable of this year. Al Golden would love nothing more than to win here, but he’ll have to pull off a coaching miracle to come out on top here.
North Texas (-46.5) at Alabama (Saturday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m. ET) - The Mean Green are not a good team. They have allowed 89 points in two games, and made Case Keenum look like Superman last time out. Alabama will win this one in a landslide. What I’ll be interested in seeing, though, is how A.J. McCarron can perform here. He seems to have established himself as the starting QB, and this is a perfect chance for him to establish himself and really get his mojo going in this glorified scrimmage. This team can’t win a National Championship with a QB controversy raging, so that controversy needs to end once and for all here.
Oklahoma (-3.5) at Florida State (Saturday, Sept. 17, 8:00 p.m. ET) - Surely I don’t need to tell you why this one is worth watching. The winner of this one will have a legitimate claim to being the best team in the country. The loser probably isn’t winning the National Championship. The game couldn’t be bigger.
Utah (+6) at BYU (Saturday, Sept. 17, 9:15 p.m. ET) - The Holy War is always a game to watch. These teams really, really hate each other, and they bring that hatred to the field in a game that is almost always a classic. To add to the drama both teams are coming off of very frustrating losses, so they will be looking to salvage the season before the hole becomes too deep.
Stanford (-10) at Arizona (Saturday, Sept. 17, 10:45 p.m. ET) - Watching the Andrew Luck show is always worthwhile, and every NFL scout in the country will see this game and every game he plays live or on tape. The Cardinal have looked very good so far, but this is a big step up in class. They will want to make an early statement in conference play, and they should be able to do it against an Arizona team that was disappointing — yet again — in their last game.
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