Fade Material: College Football Week 3 Predictions

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell (C) runs onto the field prior to their NCAA football game against the University of Akron in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Well, go figure. I change the name of this column to “Fade Material” and then I start handing out winning picks. If I knew that was all I had to do, I would have changed the title years ago and avoided all the years of .500 or below predictions.

After a 3-1 performance in Week 1, I finished 3-0-1 with my Week 2 picks. Georgia was a push against South Carolina but TCU, Alabama and BYU had no problems covering. I’m still looking for my first sweep of the season, so let’s see if we can’t nail it this week. (Although I admit to having reservations about “Road Test Weekend.” There are some tough games on the board…)

Auburn @ Clemson, 12:00PM ET
Everyone keeps waiting for Auburn to lose and all they’ve done the past two weeks is pull wins out of their backsides. The No. 19 Tigers find themselves once again as underdogs, this time against an unranked Clemson team. Nobody can ever quite figure out Clemson, which either plays the game of its life or sinks to the level of its competition. They’re 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 versus the SEC, while Auburn is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. Auburn is also 6-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in their last four games an underdog. I think the Tigers of Auburn keeps this within a field goal, making that 3.5-point spread highly attractive.

Ohio State @ Miami, 7:30PM ET
The Buckeyes face their first road test under new head coach Luke Fickell and while they didn’t look particularly sharp against Toledo last week at home, I like OSU to win outright tonight. They’ll face a quarterback in Jacory Harris, who is coming off a one-game suspension and who was unimpressive against Oho State last year. He threw four interceptions, including three in the first half alone. Granted, that was a different Buckeyes team last season but the defense is still solid and I expect them to give Harris trouble again this time around. The Buckeyes are 11-3 against the number in all games over the last two seasons and 14-4 ATS in road games in September since 1992.

Northwestern @ Army, 3:30PM ET
The Wildcats are just 2-10 against the spread as a favorite over the last three seasons and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Army, meanwhile, is 4-2 against the number coming off a home loss and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games following a straight up loss. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa may be out for this game, which means it’ll be dual threat versus dual threat when Kain Colter battles Army’s Trent Steelman. I like the Black Knights to keep things close and get a big cover at home.

Stanford @ Arizona, 10:45PM ET
Despite starting slow against Duke last week on the road, Stanford eventually got its offense going and cruised to a 44-14 victory (and an easy cover). The line keeps dropping in Arizona’s favor in this one and I’m not sure why (outside of the fact that they’re home). The Wildcats are 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games against Stanford and 2-6 ATS in their last eight overall meetings with the Cardinal. Meanwhile, Stanford is 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight games overall and 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games as a road favorite.

Last Week: 3-0-1
Season: 6-1-1

For a complete list of odds for Week 3 in College Football, check out Bullz-Eye.com.

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