#1-t Georgia at #23 Arizona State
(Saturday, 7 pm, ABC)
Some of the luster was worn off this game when Arizona State lost to UNLV last week – a classic case of the old look-ahead. Either way, Georgia should cruise in this one. The Bulldog defense is fast and aggressive, and they’ll look to pressure Rudy Carpenter all night. Carpenter wasn’t great under pressure last year - he was sacked a whopping 55 times - but the O-Line play has been a little better so far this year so the Sun Devils might stand a chance. I don’t see any way to slow down Knowshon Moreno though, so he’ll carry the Dawgs to 4-0.
J.Pike’s Pick: Georgia 27, Arizona State 17
#3 Oklahoma is Idle
#4 Florida at #24 Tennessee
(Saturday, 2:30 pm, CBS)
There’s obviously going to be bad blood in this series. Ever since Steve Spurrier started cracking on Tennessee (“Can’t spell Citrus without UT!”), the Vols have circled this game on the calendar. This year the fuel for the fire comes from last year’s 59-20 thrashing by the Gators, a game in which Tennessee players accused Urban Meyer of running up the score. Well, those players are probably right because that’s exactly what Meyer likes to do – and he’ll probably get a chance to do it again this year. Florida has waaaay too much speed for the Vols. Tennessee was held to 37 rushing yards in this game last season, and I don’t see any reason that won’t happen again.
J.Pike’s Pick: Florida 34, Tennessee 17
Buffalo at #5 Missouri
(Saturday, 6 pm, FSN PPV)
To say the Missouri offense is playing well right now would be an understatement. Chase Daniel has this offense clicking like few others in recent memory - to the tune of over 600 yards and almost 58 points per game! Buffalo is coming off a win over Temple that featured the play of the week when Drew Willy hit Naaman Roosevelt with a 35-yard game winning touchdown pass on the last play of the game. Turner Gill has the Bulls playing better than ever, but that’s still not enough to slow this juggernaut down. They might be the first team to hold Mizzou under 50 this year though.
J.Pike’s Pick: Missouri 49, Buffalo 23
Rice at #6 Texas
(Saturday, 6 pm, FSN)
Thanks to Hurricane Ike, Texas is coming off an unscheduled bye week and Rice’s home city of Houston suffered severe damages. This game has the look of a shootout. Both teams average 40+ points per game, and the Rice defense allows 33 points per game. Texas will probably be a bit rusty early on as they get back in the swing of things on the field. Don’t be surprised if this is a close ballgame at halftime. But don’t be surprised when Colt McCoy sparks a second half rally to put the feisty Owls away either.
J.Pike’s Pick: Texas 45, Rice 27
#7 LSU at #11 Auburn
(Saturday, 6:45 pm, ESPN)
Breakdown can be found here: [LINK]
J.Pike’s Pick: LSU 16, Auburn 6
Troy at #8 Ohio State
(Saturday, 11 am Big Ten Network)
After getting exposed by USC in prime time last Saturday, there’s no better antidote than getting to face a team from the Sun Belt, right? Well, maybe not. Troy is a perfect 2-0 (mostly because their contest with LSU in week two was postponed) and averaging 48 points per game. Neither of their games were in doubt much past halftime, and the Trojans posted an impressive rout over Oklahoma State a year ago. It’s even possible that Troy will field a faster team than Ohio State. Okay, maybe not, but if Ohio State is feeling too sorry for themselves after their trouncing last week, there is a very real possibility that they could lose this game.
J.Pike’s Pick: Ohio State 26, Troy 22
#9 Wisconsin is Idle
Temple at #10 Penn State
(Saturday, 11 am, Big Ten Network)
Penn State is playing like one of the best teams in the country right now. At 3-0, the Nittany Lions are outscoring their opponents by an average of 43 points per game. Temple comes into this game heartbroken after losing two games in a row on the last play. The Owls can take solace in knowing this one won’t end in a similar fashion because Penn State will win going away and continue their march up the polls.
J.Pike’s Pick: Penn State 37, Temple 10