Free College Football Picks Week 3 2005

College Football Pick’em

This is Lucky Lester here, challenging myself to a college football week of pick ’em. I’ve decided to pump-up my overall stats by attempting an undefeated Saturday in the college ranks. This week I’ve picked 11 games that either intrigue me, or seemingly promise me free money. Either way, I’ve got 11 games for you to feast your eyes on. These are the games for saturday the 17th. Next week I’m leaving it up to my readers to choose the games they want me to analyze. If you have a game you are interested in, and you want to have my opinion, just e-mail me with the match-up or match-ups. I’ll take all my e-mails and choose the topesd ten most common games. Make sure to send your e-mails early, as it takes time to write my article. This week my 11 games come from all over the US. Just to let you know, I’m a college pick genius, so don’t be amazed when I blow the competition out of the water. Here we go, go, go….

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – To begin with, the Maryland Terrapins are always tough at home. Head coach Ralph Friedgen has built a high-powered offense in Maryland that will always put points on the score board. Maryland had a tough Clemson Tiger team on the ropes last week, up 24-14 late in the game. The youth in Maryland (72 first and second year players) lost control of the game, and a good Clemson team finished the on top of the Terps 28-24. Vernon Davis is the next great Maryland receiver. Last week in Clemson, Davis had 6 receptions for 140 yards and a TD. Quarterback Sam Hollenbach had a good game, and he’s improving every week. If Maryland can get their rushing attack going against West Virginia, this game won’t even be close. West Virginia is 2-0 but that’s nothing anything to write home about. The Mountaineers hardly had their way against an average Syracuse team in week 1. In fact, in their 15-7 victory, West Virginia didn’t produce one offensive touchdown. The inability to put points on the board will kill their chances against Maryland. West Virginia’s second win came over Wofford. Yes, the Wofford Terriers of the Southern Conference. Nice. A quarterback controversy in West Virginia doesn’t help their chances. Look for the Mountaineers to be outplayed offensively by a decent Terrapins squad. Lucky’s fearless prediction: West Virginia Mountaineers 20 – Maryland Terrapins 31.

Toledo (-29) @ Temple – In my mind Temple is the worst Division 1 team in college football. They’ve played two tough teams, Wisconsin and Arizona State, but that’s no reason to give up over 120 points in two games. They couldn’t stop an option attack ran by Drew Bledsoe. Temple is not going to be able to slow down Toledo either. In two games the Toledo Rockets have scored almost as many points as Temple has given up. They won 62-14 against Western Illinois and 56-23 against Western Michigan. All signs point to more of the same against the Temple Owls on Saturday. The Temple Owls might accidentally find themselves in the end zone on Saturday, but no more than a couple times. Toledo will be all over the field, toying with the struggling Owls. The 29 point spread should be eclipsed in the first half. Lucky’s fearless prediction; Toledo Rockets 49 – Temple Owls 10.

Idaho (+14) @ Washington – This is a match-up of two winless teams, and if it wasn’t for overtime rules, and the scheduling gods who put this game together, I’m sure both teams would find themselves at 0-3 after this Saturday. Washington is just bad, and Idaho is awesome at finding ways to lose games. Fortunately, for each of them, and their respective colleges, this game will give one team their first victory of the year. Idaho hasn’t been too far behind a victory, and Washington almost ended up on top in their first game against Air force. Idaho has had two close games, and this won’t be any different. The Washington Husky offensive attack is led by Isaiah Stanback. Isaiah has shown he can complete passes, but not enough to get the Husky’s a win. Their leading rusher, Louis Rankin has totaled 150+ yards on the ground, though most came against Air Force in week 1. Idaho can score points and play good defense, this balanced attack should counter the Husky’s athletic ability advantage. Expect less than a touchdown to separate these two squads, and come down to the wire. This being said, Idaho should easily play better than the 14 points spread. Bottom line; the Washington Huskies shouldn’t be 14 point favorites against any team in the Nation. Lucky’s fearless prediction: Idaho Vandals 24 – Washington Huskies 28.

Miami @ Clemson (+7) – The Clemson Tigers are a good football team, much better than anyone seems to give them credit for. The Miami Hurricanes aren’t a good football team. This game is being played in Clemson, where the Tigers will get their first win against Miami in some time. Miami got kicked in the chin by Florida State, as quarterback Kyle Wright ended up getting sacked nine times by an average Florida State team. State’s defense is stout, but 9 sacks? Think Clemson will blitz from time to time on Saturday? I think so. Miami managed only one touch down against the Seminoles accounting for their only points on the night. Clemson has played two good games early, taking Texas A&M at home and Maryland on the road. Clemson has climbed into the top 25 polls. Led by quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, the Tigers should give Miami more than they can handle in a tough road environment. The Tigers confidence will be sky high. They’ve obviously been believers all week that they can beat this Miami team. Charlie doesn’t make mistakes throwing the ball, completing over 80% of his passes last week. Take the Tigers in this one, in what has the makings of a big upset. Can you say Miami out of the top 25? I sure can. Miami out of the top 25. Oh yes, it sounds nice. Lucky’s fearless prediction: Miami Hurricanes 17 – Clemson Tigers 24.

Connecticut @ Georgia Tech (-15) – Watch out for UCONN, they’ve only given up a total of 270 yards in two games. In those two games they’re outscoring their opponents 97-0. There isn’t a better college team in the world. Wait, they didn’t start off against USC and the Cal Bears, their first two games were against Buffalo and D1-AA Liberty College. It’s becoming clearer. Connecticut has put up some great numbers against inferior competition, but will they be able to corral an offensively explosive Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket team? I think not. Will their offense be allowed to trot down the field against Tech? Not so likely. In fact, I fully expect Tech to switch the script on the Huskies. Quarterback Reggie Ball threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns in last Saturday’s victory over the Tar Heels of North Carolina. The best thing for the Jackets, sensational sophomore Calvin Johnson (ACC Rookie of the Year in ’04) hasn’t led the team in receiving yet. That means, if you double team Calvin there will be receivers on the other side of the field picking you apart. Pick your poison. Tech has already taken Auburn and NC. Their third game should give them their third win in as many weeks. Tech started off the year underrated, but they’ve proven their worth in wins and a 16th ranking. Look for Ball to find Calvin Johnson for big plays as Calvin leads the team in receiving for the first week this year. Lucky’s fearless prediction; Connecticut 17 – Georgia Tech 38.

Rice @ Texas (-41) – Rice lost to UCLA by 42 points. Texas is much better than UCLA on both sides of the ball. Texas is playing at home and coming off of their biggest win in sometime (beating Ohio State in Ohio last week). Vince Young is one of if not the best player in the country. Last week Vine proved he could fire the pig skin through the air, and he’ll be practicing his touch this week against a weak Owl secondary. Rice won’t score more than 10 accidental points and Texas should be up around or over the 60 point plateau. I usually don’t like taking teams with huge spreads against them, because anything can happen on any given Saturday, but I have to believe this point differential will be greater than 41. Lucky’s fearless prediction: Texas Longhorns 65 – Rice Owls 7.

Wisconsin (-3) @ North Carolina – The Tar Heels might be much better than people give than most people give them credit for. But they’re not better than the oddsmakers give them credit for. NC played a tough game at Georgia Tech in their season opener, but Wisconsin’s big play ability will lead the Badgers to victory in North Carolina. Carolina’s quarterback Matt Baker had big numbers through the air against a tough Tech team, and he should produce again vs. the Badger defense that has gave up 42 points to Bowling Green. They looked better last week, but who doesn’t look better against Temple? As for the offense, no Badger team has ever scored as many points as this Wisconsin club has in their first two games. This should be a good test for the Badgers, but they’ll come out more than a touchdown ahead. Lucky’s fearless prediction: Wisconsin Badgers 38 North Carolina Tar Heels 27.

Florida State @ Boston College (+1) – Boston College has put a stomping on their first two opponents, giving up 10 points combined to Army and BYU. Boston College seems to be a team full of monsters. Absolutely dominating opponents and getting praise from opposing coaches, “They’re as big as any team I’ve coached against, and that includes my 13 years in the National Football League. They’re really big.” (Army Coach, Bobby Ross) Florida State has played Miami and The Citadel. The Seminoles squeaked out a win against Miami and despite a slow start the pummeled The Citadel. Boston College will be their best opponent until they trot over the University of Florida November 26th. Boston College is much better than their 17th ranking, and much better than the Florida State Seminoles. FSU no longer has a quarterback controversy with Drew Weatherford taking the reigns at QB. But it won’t matter, the balanced Eagle assault should leave FSU with their first loss of the season. Quinton Porter will lead his Eagles to an upset at home against Florida State. What will the score be? Lucky’s fearless prediction; Florida State Seminoles 13 – Boston College Eagles 24.

Tennessee @ Florida (-6.5) – The Gators are one of my picks to surprise and get a chance at a National Championship. This is there biggest test thus far, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Chris Leak has done well learning Urban Meyer’s offensive schemes, and he’s shown his ability to throw the ball with velocity, accuracy, and touch. Tennessee looked blah in their first game against UAB. In fact, if it wasn’t for a dropped pass in the end zone by a UAB receiver, the Volunteers would have gone to overtime in their first game of the season. In other words, this isn’t a good time to be playing the Gators and The LSU Tigers back to back. Because back to back loses are never good for a team ranked 5th in the country. You dig? Chris Leak and his team full of speed should find plenty of holes in the Volunteers defense. On the other hand starting quarterback Casey Clausen and back up Erik Ainge will both take their fair share of lumps against a defense that returns 8 starters from a year ago. Florida is good on both sides of the ball, and although Meyer “Isn’t convinced” yet, he’ll be closer come Saturday night. Lucky’s fearless prediction: Tennessee Volunteers 14 – Florida Gators 24.

Purdue (-7.5) @ Arizona – Arizona isn’t a top tier football team. The Wildcats traveled down to Utah and lost to an Urban Meyer-less Utes team 27-24. Arizona won their next game, but it was no surprise, as they played Northern Arizona. This week the Wildcats play 12th ranked Purdue Boilermakers. Boilermakers quarterback Brandon Kirsch threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns and his backfield mate, running back Jerrod Void had 101 yards on a mere 10 carries. Purdue is always solid on the defensive side of the ball and that should be no different against a sub par Arizona offense. Plus, Arizona is a Pac-10 school, and they’re never ready to play top rated Big-10 schools early in the season. Take Purdue on the road in a laugher. Lucky’s fearless prediction: Purdue Boilermakers 41 – Arizona Wildcats 14.

Oklahoma (+6.5) @ UCLA – The Bruins are favored because Oklahoma has played so poorly in their first two games and conversely UCLA won each quite decisively. The difference in this contest will be the fact that Oklahoma is still much better than UCLA. Mark my words, Oklahoma takes out UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Southern California. Adrian Peterson will find no troubles sprinting by an average Bruin defense. Oklahoma should hold UCLA to their lowest scoring output of the year. UCLA rsunning back Maurice Drew will find his yardage, but the Oklahoma defense will tighten when they have to. Drew is one of the nations best running backs, but he’ll be outdrawn in the dual between fellow top back Adrian Peterson. Oklahoma will finally realize what they have to do to win without Jason White at quarterback, feed Peterson the ball in every situation. Oklahoma takes out UCLA in a big pointspread upset, but many will predict this same outcome. Lucky’s fearless prediction; Oklahoma 35 – UCLA 24.

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