RotoWire Partners

College Capper: Picking Games for Week 3

Greg Vara

Greg Vara

Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the 2013 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. In addition to producing the weekly preview and the bulk of the draft kit content, Vara participates in Yahoo!'s "Experts Picks" where he routinely dominates. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.

Week 3 of the college football season is here and a big match-up with national title implications is on the docket.

Oklahoma visits Florida State on Saturday night, and this game will give us a clear picture on just how far the Seminoles have come.

I am a little skeptical myself, but the 'Noles have looked pretty good. Of course, the same could have been said last year at this time, and the Sooners annihilated the 'Noles in Norman.

This time around, the game is in Tallahassee, but will that be enough to turn the tide?

Check out my PASSing thoughts section to see my take.

Two weeks into the season and we're hanging in there. Week 2 was not as profitable as Week 1, but every section came in at least .500 last week. Can't complain about that.

WEEK 3

Cream of the Crop:
Week: 3-3-0/Season: 6-6-0

Friday

Iowa State at Connecticut:
I realize Iowa State beat Iowa last week, but the Cyclones are still in for a long year. The rough patch starts this week as they go into a tough environment on a Friday night in front of a national audience. The Cyclones are likely still celebrating their win last week and simply won't be ready for this game.

Side: Connecticut -4.5

Saturday

Auburn at Clemson:
Auburn barely escaped a Week 1 loss against Utah State, then went onto beat a pretty good MSU team last week and now reality sets in as the Tigers start to play to their level. This is a bad spot for a young Auburn team that is still working out the kinks.

Side: Clemson -3

Pittsburgh at Iowa:
Maybe I've overrated Iowa, or maybe the Hawkeyes simply had a letdown last week. Whatever the case, this is a tough spot for Pittsburgh as it will face a team that's been steaming all week. The Hawkeyes need to regroup if they plan to make anything out of this season, and the healing starts this week.

Side: Iowa -3

Michigan State at Notre Dame:
Everyone expects the Fighting Irish to put it all together soon, but it might not happen this week as they face what looks to be their toughest test to date. I can't say whether the Irish can work out all the kinks this week, but what I can say is, they are going to score points. Similar to last week, there will be plenty of points scored and surrendered by the Irish.

Total: Over 51

Ohio State at Miami:
For all the problems the Hurricanes went through leading up to their first game, they actually played pretty well. Ohio State enters this week 2-0, but I'm not impressed. The Buckeyes barely hung on to beat Toledo last week, and if they bring a similar effort this week, they'll get run out of the building. Expect an electric atmosphere in Miami this week as the Hurricanes get back on track.

Side: Miami -3

Oklahoma State at Tulsa:
Got burned trying to fade the Cowboys last week, but that was last week in front of their home crowd. Now they travel down the road to Tulsa, and I dare say they might have a hard time getting up for this one. The offense will be fine, but I expect a lackluster effort from the defense this week, which will lead to a lot of points on the board.

Total:
Over 69.5

Best of the Rest:
Week: 5-4-0/Season: 11-5-0

Thursday

LSU at Mississippi State:
As someone who's bullish on MSU this season, I was disappointed to see how Auburn came out of the gate in Week 1. The Tigers' poor performance completely messed up the line for their match-up vs. the Bulldogs last week, and MSU was certainly none the better for it. Now the 'Dogs are back in a good spot as home underdogs. LSU might be the SEC's best team this year, but the Tigers are in for a tough one this week. I'm not sure the 'Dogs pull off the upset, but I think they can stay within the number.

Side: MSU +3.5

Friday

Boise State at Toledo:
Boise State started its undefeated run two weeks ago in Atlanta, and it's not about to slip up here. But the Broncos are laying a rather large chunk, and Toledo can hang with them long enough to stay within the number. The Broncos might suffer a bit of a letdown as well after their big win over Georgia two weeks back.

Side: Toledo +20

Total:
Over 58.5

Saturday

Kansas at Georgia Tech:
A little payback for last year's upset? Kansas is coming off a nice win last week, and it looks like the program might be on its way back, but the Yellow Jackets have revenge in mind this week. This one could get ugly.

Side: Georgia Tech -14

Texas at UCLA:
Texas looks like a mess, and I don't think rotating quarterbacks is the answer. UCLA did not look very good in its opening week loss to Houston, but the Bruins will be up for this game and should give a strong effort. Texas will continue to struggle on offense as the Bruins find a way to keep this one close.

Side: UCLA +3.5

Northwestern at Army:
Army played San Diego State tough down to the wire last week. Expect a similar effort this week.

Side: Army +9

Washington State at San Diego State:
WSU surprised the heck out of me last week when they laid a beatdown on UNLV, but let's be honest, the Cougars have yet to play any real competition this season. That changes this week as they visit the Aztecs who look to remain undefeated on the young season. SDSU has a solid team this year; don't expect the Aztecs to slip up.

Side: SDSU -5.5

Houston at Louisiana Tech:
It looks like Vegas has caught up with Houston already, but I'm willing to stick with the over until it fails me.

Total:
Over 70.5

PASSing thoughts:
Week: 2-1-1/Season: 8-3-2

Saturday

Wisconsin at Northern Illinois:
Finally a somewhat-real test for the Badgers. The Huskies will hang with the Badgers for while this week, just long enough to pull off the cover.

Side: NIU +16.5

Miami, Ohio, at Minnesota:
I was at the Minnesota game last week and let me tell you, the Gophers looked awful. There was never a moment when it looked like they would cover, let alone win that game. Is it possible that a team such as the Gophers failed to get up for a home game because of the opponent? If so, that's just plain pathetic. Considering the coach, however, I don't think that was the case. I think this team just isn't very good. As such, I'll take the points this week.

Side: Miami Ohio +4.5

Washington at Nebraska:
The Cornhuskers are probably thinking payback after the beating they took at the hands of the Huskies in the Holiday Bowl last year. For the Huskies, it's a bad time to visit Lincoln as the 'Huskers are coming off an uninspiring win at home last week against Fresno State.

Side: Nebraska -16.5

Arizona State at Illinois:
Very intriguing match-up. ASU failed to cover the number against Missouri last week, but I liked what I saw. The Sun Devils look like a complete team, a team that can go into Big-Ten territory and pull off an upset.

Side: ASU +1.5

Oklahoma at Florida State:
I'm having a hard time getting last year's game out of my head. It wasn't just a loss for FSU, it was spiritual depantsing. If things go poorly for the Seminoles early, you can bet that memories of last year's game will creep into their head as well. I simply have to see that the Seminoles can hang with a team like Oklahoma before I can believe it.

Side: Oklahoma -3