College Football Week 3 Picks and Predictions


The College Football Week 3 schedule doesn’t have the marquee Top-25 matchups we’ve seen the first couple of weeks, but it does have some interesting rivalry games and even more tempting lines. From No. 1 Clemson to the always-interesting Iowa vs Iowa State showdown, here’s who we like this week and how we’ve done so far.

Season Record: Koster: 12-8; Giuffra: 14-6; Phillips: 14-6; McKeone: 11-9

Washington State (-7) vs. Houston

Kyle Koster: Houston

The Cougars already went on the road and covered against an Oklahoma team that gets off the bus scoring 50 points. They’ll have a decided home-field advantage even if it’s not on their home field. D’Eriq King is a dual-threat monster playing in perfect conditions. Washington State 31, Houston 30

Liam McKeone: Houston

This will be a big-time shootout but D’Eriq King has the talent to pull this one out at home. Houston 56, Washington State 49 

Ryan Phillips: Washington State

This Cougars vs. Cougars matchup will tilt towards Washington State. The Wazzu has played two cupcakes and gets a real test from Houston on the road, but I’m riding with Mike Leach in a barn-burner. Washington State 52, Houston 41

Brian Giuffra: Houston

Sure, Washington State has hung 58 and 59 points in its first two games this season, but those were bad teams and this is their first road test. Houston’s offense hasn’t hit high gear yet, but will against Wazzu’s dreadful defense. Or at least enough to keep it close. Washington State 47, Houston 44

Iowa (+1) at Iowa State

Koster: Iowa

The Cyclones needed double overtime to take down Northern Iowa in its first game. The Hawkeyes are slightly better and Nate Stanley is trying to play himself into a high-first round draft pick. The Cyhawk is always worth dying for and this should be the game of the weekend.Iowa 27, Iowa State 24

McKeone: Iowa State

They didn’t look good in their first game, but Iowa State is coming off a week of rest and has spent that time getting energized for their big rivalry matchup. It’ll be a rock fight, but the rest will make a difference. Iowa State 17, Iowa 14

Phillips: Iowa State

I love Matt Campbell and think he’s going to net a big job after this season, so I’m sticking with the Cyclones at home in this one. Iowa State 31, Iowa  27

Giuffra: Iowa

Iowa has won four straight in this rivalry and three straight on the road. Iowa State barely beat Northern Iowa in their first game. Nuf said. Iowa: 20, Iowa State 10 

Ohio State (-14) at Indiana

Koster: Indiana

A lot of people from Indiana are worried that noted alum Ryan Phillips doesn’t believe in his boys. Brace yourself for the Michael Penix coming out party. Ohio State 38, Indiana 28

McKeone: Ohio State

No reason to think Justin Fields won’t continue his reign of terror on lesser programs. Ohio State 40, Indiana 21

Phillips: Ohio State

Despite a strong start, my alma mater is fixin’ to get crushed this week. Ohio State will hammer the Hoosiers in Bloomington. Again. Ohio State 49, Indiana 24

Giuffra: Ohio State

The Buckeyes are scoring at least 40 points. While Indiana is certainly tough to beat at home, I don’t think their offense can keep up. Especially not with their own alumni picking against them. Ohio State 45, Indiana 28

Arizona State (+11) at Michigan State

Koster: Michigan State

The Spartans are still allowing negative rushing yards on the season. Elijah Collins looks like a breakout running star for Michigan State, who shockingly opened up the offense against Western Michigan. Herm Edwards won a notoriously ugly matchup last season and this one will be ugly for an entirely different reason. Michigan State 37, Arizona State 11

McKeone: Michigan State

The defense is as expected and the offense better than expected for the Spartans, and they’re at home. They’ll walk away with a big win. Michigan State 28, Arizona State 17

Phillips: Michigan State

The Spartans are actually scoring points this season and Arizona State’s 2-0 start came over two awful opponents. The Sun Devils barely handled FCS Sacramento State in Week 2. Sparty rolls at home. Michigan State 38, Arizona State 13

Giuffra: Michigan State

A Pac-12 team on the road vs a Big Ten opponent team at home typically isn’t a recipe for success, especially with the way the Spartans have won at home so far this year. Michigan State 30, Arizona State 17

Clemson (-23.5) at Syracuse

Koster: Clemson

It’s going to be touch-and-go and not decided to the very end, but Dabo’s boys keep pushing and get a cover. If Maryland’s offense could put up over 60, what will the Tigers’ do? Clemson 55, Syracuse 25

McKeone: Clemson

Syracuse just got stomped by Maryland and Clemson didn’t have too much trouble with No. 12 Texas A&M. It’ll be ugly. Clemson 59, Syracuse 14

Phillips: Clemson

The Tigers have cruised for two weeks and that’s not stopping with a trip to Syracuse this week. Clemson 56, Syracuse 21

Giuffra: Clemson

Syracuse is a better team at home, is coming off a brutal loss (re: motivated) and surely wants to prove itself against the best team in the country. Clemson, meanwhile, just manhandled a tougher team than Syracuse. Clemson 49, Syracuse 20

Alabama (-25) at South Carolina

Koster: South Carolina

Alabama is already complaining about having to play at noon. They want to preserve Tua. Feeling an absolute dud coming on. Will probably be wrong. Alabama 20, South Carolina 6

McKeone: South Carolina

Alabama’s offense has looked good, even very good at times, but not quite the level of world-destroyer we’ve come to expect from Tua and Co. This still won’t be close, but a 25-point blowout doesn’t feel in the cards. Alabama 35, South Carolina 17

Phillips: South Carolina

While the Gamecocks aren’t great, an early road test for Alabama after facing two cupcakes could be a bit dangerous. South Carolina’s offense is rolling with Ryan Hilinski at quarterback. Alabama wins but that spread is enormous. Alabama 42, South Carolina 28

Giuffra: Alabama

Take the points, give me the better team, especially a motivated Alabama team that has done nothing but defend itself to the media against catcalls about an easy early-season schedule and complained about this noon kickoff. Alabama 55, South Carolina 28 

USC (-4) at BYU

Koster: USC

Slovis stepped into a tough spot and delivered. The Trojans curb-stomped a very tough Stanford side and are rolling with momentum. BYU is, if nothing else, a weird team that can just not show up. USC 29, BYU 17

McKeone: BYU

USC is coming off a big win against Stanford, and I think they’ll ultimately pull it out. But BYU isn’t going to roll over, especially not at home. USC 24, BYU 21

Phillips: USC

I’m wincing while typing this. True freshman Kedon Slovis was impressive against Stanford, but starting on the road against an already battle-tested BYU squad will be a different animal. I expect it to be close but I’m sticking with the Trojans. USC 34, BYU 28

Giuffra: USC

Am I getting suckered into this because I only watched the second half of USC’s comeback win over Stanford last week? You’re damn right. USC 38, BYU 30

Maryland (-7) at Temple

Koster: Maryland

Crabcakes and scoring enough points to fill the Chesapeake Bay, that’s what the Terrapins do. Maryland 50, Temple 34

McKeone: Maryland

Maryland’s offense has been one of the surprises of this young season. It’s still early, but they gotta be feeling good after two weeks of dominance, and Temple isn’t good enough to present a true challenge. Maryland 45, Temple 30

Phillips: Maryland

The Terps absolutely hammered Syracuse and should roll Temple in Week 2 as well. It’s on the road, but that shouldn’t matter much. Maryland 35, Temple 17

Giuffra: Maryland

I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t watch Temple’s 56-12 win over Bucknell to start the season. I did, however, watch Maryland’s 63-20 win over Syracuse (or at least the first half). Terps impressed me so I’m rolling with them. Maryland 42, Temple 20

Pittsburgh (+17) at Penn State

Koster: Pitt

The Nittany Lions had a tough time putting Buffalo away and its a rivalry game. Penn State 35, Pitt 20

McKeone: Pitt

Penn State hasn’t blown me away in their first few games, and it seems unlikely they’ll blow out Pitt. They’ll win at home regardless. Penn State 27, Pittsburgh 20

Phillips: Penn State

The Nittany Lions haven’t played anyone yet but this doesn’t seem like it will be much of a matchup. James Franklin’s squad has rolled the Panthers in back-to-back seasons and this one is in Happy Valley. Penn State 38, Pittsburgh 13

Giuffra: Penn State

Pitt’s offense has not been great this year (34 points total). Penn State’s defense has been (20 points total). Its offense has also been explosive at times. At home, that should keep going. Penn State 35, Pitt 10

Kansas State (-6) at Mississippi State

Koster: Mississippi State

All the numbers and common sense says to take the Wildcats here because the Bulldogs have been so bad early on. But betting is a weird thing and I cannot, in good conscience, ignore my gut. Mississippi State 28, Kansas State 21

McKeone: Mississippi State

Mississippi State has not looked good. I believe they turn it around at home as underdogs. Mississippi State 24, Kansas State 23

Phillips: Kansas State

The Wildcats are favored in this one for a good reason. Mississippi State has looked terrible to open the season. Meanwhile, Kansas State’s new offense looks incredible. Kansas State 45, Mississippi State 31

Giuffra: Kansas State

I don’t love Big 12 vs SEC at the SEC, but I do like K-State’s offense better than Mississippi State’s. It’s early in the season, but I think the line setters know what they’re doing. Kansas State 38, Mississippi State 31