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Fearless Rick's 2012-13 College Football Week 3 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | September 13-15, 2012

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 13

7:30 pm Rutgers at South Florida (-9, 46) - Another Big East treat for a Thursday night features a couple of 2-0 teams, the winner a recipient of a leg up in the conference standings (Louisville is 2-0, Cincinnati, 1-0, all others have at least one loss).

The homers of South Florida sport the big line and are deserving of it after toughing out a 32-31 road win over a good Nevada team last week.

Rutgers has wins over Tulane and Howard, though the offense struggled in both games, though the defense was stout. If the Bulls' QB, B.J. Daniels gets hot, this could turn into a rout.

Prediction: Bulls 31 Knights 14

Friday, September 14

9:00 pm Washington State (-11, 55 1/2) at UNLV - Kind of a stinker for a prime time Friday night contest as the Cougars lost their opener at Brigham Young, 30-6, and rebounded for a narrow escape at home over Eastern Michigan, 24-20.

The Runnin' Rebels haven't been doing much runnin' but their fans may be a bit rebellious should they start the season 0-3. Even though the losses by UNLV have both been by three points - to Minnesota and Northern Arizona - they were both winnable games that the Rebs simply did not have enough manpower in crunch time.

The Cougars are a level better than the prior competition and the PAC-12 has proven to be a powerful football force already this season. Expect a lopsided affair as the Cougars get their offense rolling.

Prediction: Cougars 35 Rebels 21


Saturday, September 15

12:00 pm Wake Forest at Florida State (-26 1/2, 54) - The Seminoles have absolutely stomped Murray State (69-3) and Savannah State (55-0), with a defense second only to TCU (0 points allowed, 70 ypg in just one outing).

The enormous line tells exactly what the Vegas boys think of Florida State and Wake Forest, upset winners over North Carolina last week.

The history of this particular matchup strongly favors the home team, to say nothing of this current crop of hard-hitting, lightning-quick Florida State players who seem intent on not only winning the ACC, but making a run into the upper echelons of the BCS. Ought to be a blowout.

Prediction: Seminoles 45 Demon Deacons 10


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12:00 pm California at Ohio State (-17 1/2, 52 1/2) - Despite being 2-0 and ineligible for a bowl game due to violations, the Buckeyes are a young, bright team with a purpose and have dominated the opposition in their two wins.

1-1 Cal was not expected to be much of anything this season and so far have proven the skeptics correct. The Horseshoe in Columbus is one of the toughest places to play on the road and the crowd will be raucous for this early afternoon tilt.

Ohio State can qualify as division winners and receive a trophy from the Big Ten, though they will be barred from a championship game if they reach that status. Still, the squad is firmly behind head coach Urban Meyer's philosophy and should burn Cal early and often.

Prediction: Buckeyes 34 Golden Bears 10


12:00 pm Virginia Tech (-10, 43) at Pittsburgh - After whipping Georgia Tech, 20-17 in their opener, the Hokies had a five-day rest before turning it on against Austin Peay in a 42-7 romp.

With a full week of rest and practice, the line makes little sense even though the game is at Pitt, because the Panthers are a shadow of their former self (which wasn't very good to begin with) after an 0-2 start to the season and a thorough, 34-10 beating at the hands of Cincinnati.

The Hokies look as good as just about any team in the country and stand a good chance of winning the ACC. This non-conference game should provide a strong confidence boost.

Prediction: Hokies 34 Panthers 13


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3:30 pm Texas A&M (-13, 56 1/2) at SMU - The Aggies had their season opener at Louisiana Tech postponed by Hurricane Isaac and then came up flat against Florida last week in their first game in the SEC, losing 20-17, at home.

The Mustangs go routed at Baylor in their opener, 59-24, and, even though they're not noted as a defensive powerhouse, managed to shut out Stephen F. Austin, 52-0, last Saturday.

That was a good stepping stone for SMU and they will use that momentum to carry over into this game against a Texas A&M team still searching for identity. The Mustangs may pull of the upset, and will certainly keep it close enough to cover the generous line.

Prediction: Mustangs 37 Aggies 34


3:30 pm North Carolina at Louisville (-3 1/2, 51) - The Tar Heels lost a tough one at Wake Forest, 28-27, last week and now have to travel into enemy territory again to meet the Cardinals who are 2-0, though their one-sided wins over Kentucky and Missouri State haven't proven much.

This will be the toughest foe to date for Louisville, but the team is brimming with enthusiasm and talent, the defense making plays all over the field while the offense gathers momentum.

A favorite to win the Big east outright, Louisville should manage to prevail at home, go to 3-0 and continue to rise in the rankings.

Prediction: Cardinals 24 Tar Heels 14


3:30 pm Alabama (-19, 54) at Arkansas - It's going to be an ugly day in Arkansas as nobody knows how to kick an opponent when they're down like Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

Almost no analysis is necessary in what is almost certain to be one of the bigger routs in the SEC this season.

The Tide will absolutely roll over a Razorback team that has been wracked by scandal and controversy, to say nothing of their ignominious defeat by Louisiana-Monroe last week. A slaughter.

Prediction: Crimson Tide 48 Razorbacks 20

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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