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Staff Week 3 Picks

The staff makes their Week 3 picks.

NCAA Football: UC - Davis at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacific Takes staff gives their take on the big time games in Week 3 of the 2016 college football season.

Last Week's Record 5-2 5-2 5-2 3-4 3-4 5-2 5-2 3-4 3-4 4-3 3-4
Season Record 10-4 9-5 9-5 6-8 7-7 9-5 6-8 8-6 6-8 6-8 3-11
Name Taylor Henry Ryan Larson Jose Bouquett Gabey Lucas Eli Boettger Jack Follman Owen Dillion Simeon Moses David Colangelo Travis King Andrew Burnett
#2 Florida State at #10 Louisville Florida State- I think Petrino is a great coach, and they have a heck of a QB. I just think FSU's defense will slow them enough, and I really liked FSU's mental toughness against Ole Miss. Florida State- Some say a Cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. In this case, the thing that will have passed is Louisville's hope of winning this game. Florida State- As a program I don't believe Louisville is ready for the big time. FSU is an established super power with one of the best RB's in the nation, a stellar defense, and young QB ready to shine. Louisville- After watching both teams play, Louisville looks more dynamic and explosive. Lamar Jackson will make plays with his legs, and his arm against a injured FSU secondary. Louisville- No one in the college football universe has been as hot as Louisville QB Lamar Jackson. He has more TD's than some teams with 13 scores in 2 games. Florida State- Louisville is #10? Okay. FSU always loses and ACC game or two, but they usually lose the less obvious ones, so I think they show up and outclass Louisville. Florida State- Lousiville has been playing great so far this season, and their offense has been setting records left and right. They haven't played anyone FSU's caliber, and they will struggle. Florida State- the Noles are heating up, and Louisville hasn't played FSU level competition yet. Louisville- At this point, you'd be crazy not to go with Action Jackson. Florida State- I like FSU in this game. This will be Dalvin Cook's breakout performance of the year. Louisville- Lamar Jackson is a darkhorse for the Heisman, and this game could make or break his hopes. Also, Jameis Winston has already used up the "we ain't puppies, we dawgs" halftime speech. Cards pull the upset at home.
#1 Alabama at #19 Ole Miss Alabama- The last time Saban lost to the same team 3 times in a row was 1997-1999. Kelly will keep it close in front of a fired up crowd at The Grove, but too much Crimson Tide Defense. Alabama- Let's imagine a world where Darth Vader (Saban) has the Death Star manned by elephants instead of Stormtroopers. Do the Rebels win? Heck no! and "Roll Tide" is a much better catchphrase than "Use the Force" Ole Miss- One of the biggest tests Bama will face the entire season traveling to Ole Miss. The Rebels play them well every year, and the trend continues to another victory. Chad Kelly is the difference maker. Alabama- The Tide break the two year streak and beat Ole Miss 38-28. Alabama-This is going to be a very entertaining game. Ole Miss hangs with Bama for 50 minutes until the Crimson Tide close it out late. Alabama- Ole Miss doesn't have the talent and experience to upset Alabama. They might give them a game, but the Crimson Tide looks too strong and focused to let this slip away. Ole Miss- CHAD KELLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alabama- Ole Miss already lost to Florida State, how are they're going to beat Bama? Alabama- I just don't think it's possible to beat Bama three times in a row at this point. Alabama- Preseason I had this game circled as Bama's first loss. After Ole Miss folded against FSU, I don't see how the Rebels can get it done. Roll Tide. Alabama- Saban is frothing at the mouth at this game because of back to back losses to the Rebels. Also worth noting, Sark has been beer-free for almost a year now! The Tide will roll over a very talented Ole Miss team.
#22 Oregon at Nebraska Oregon- Nebraska always hammers the PAC-12 when they're not supposed to, check UCLA in the bowl last year. For the last 2 weeks I've told everyone I'm picking Nebraska in this game. I heard Tommy Armstrong is not liked in that Nebraska locker room, and I HATE the Huskers because I bleed CU Black and Gold. I'll take the Ducks, and I'm hoping big. 60-0. Oregon- This is like football's version of "Duck Hunt" from the original Nintendo, except these Ducks are sprinting at you wearing brand new Nike cleats. The thoughts is offly terrifying. Oregon- The PAC-12 is a weird conference. No one ever knows if they're good or not. Oregon will give the whole conference hope and beat Nebraska on the road. I have never been less confident in a pick in my entire life though. Nebraska- Dakota Prukop has shown so far that he's a legit athlete and more than capable of distributing the ball to the Ducks weapons. Oregon's defense has shown they are no less of a liability than they were last year. Nebraska's offense isn't good, but if they don't turn the ball over that could be the deciding factor. I wouldn't be surprised if the team with the ball last wins. Before any Oregon fans blast me, know I spent 45 minutes pacing my office trying to figure out my opinion. Oregon- Nebraska has yet to be tested this season, with easy wins against Mountain West Conference opponents Fresno State and Wyoming. Facing Oregon is a completely different animal. Oregon- The Ducks have a killer offense, Dakota Prukop has looked good so far, and the Huskers don't have the offense to outscore the Ducks. Sorry Mike Riley. Oregon- Oregon isn't really all that good this year, but Nebraska is even worse so I'm going with the Ducks in this one. Read options forever. Nebraska- The Death of punter Sam Foltz has brought the team together for a cause. I had the pleasure of knowing Curtis Williams who play for Washington in 1999. He could have been a comedian, and had the skills to go to the NFL. In 2000, Williams was paralyzed from the neck down due to a football injury. The team rallied around him, and won the 2000 Rose Bowl. He died 2 years later from complications. I'm still troubled by what happened, but Nebraska wins it for Foltz. Oregon- Big road win for Oregon. Maybe Prukop is enough for the Ducks to contend in the PAC-12 North. Oregon- Nebraska likes to get blown out at home against ranked teams. Maybe this time they won't get blown out. But maybe they will. Ducks by 2 scores. Oregon- Big Red. Black Shirts. Mike Riley. One of these just still doesn't seem to belong. Oregon wins against the former Beaver coach.
#12 Michigan State at #18 Notre Dame Notre Dame- Now that Brian Kelly has figured out that Deshone Kizer is his guy, I think the Irish roll. MSU doesn't have the fire power to score with Notre Dame. Notre Dame- I strongly believe that if you replace Spartans from the movie 300 with a bunch of Fighting Irish that the movie instantly becomes 10 times better. "THIS! IS! DUBLIN!" Notre Dame- Kelly has to win a big game this year right? Michigan State's youth will be their downfall as Notre Dame wins by double digits. Notre Dame- Mmmmmm Notre Dame. 34-28. Notre Dame- Notre Dame losing two games in September? Yeah, didn't think so. Irish get it done. Notre Dame- The Irish can't afford a 1-2 start so they'll be on fire for this one. I expect and incredibly tight game, but I think ND can out Midwest ugle MSU this year. MSU- The Spartans are always criminally underrated, even when they're good, and UND is always criminally overrated. I'm going with the Spartans in this one. Notre Dame- Michigan State's bye week won't help them after their subpar performance against Furman. Notre Dame- Michigan State has accomplished nothing so far. Can't expect them to win AT Notre Dame. Notre Dame- I like UND to upset in this matchup. They lost a tough game to Texas, but will bounce back and get a nice top 15 win. Notre Dame- Usually I'm against all things Brian Kelly, but I don't see how MSU can be successful running the ball. I am also taking the over on # of times Kelly berates a player on national TV.
#3 Ohio State at #14 Oklahoma Ohio State- I've went back and forth all week on this. It comes down to toughness. OU got pushed around by Houston, and Ohio State is way bigger and stronger. Plus, I give the edge to Urban Meyer. Ohio State- Y'all ever think about why no one outside of Ohio knows what a Buckeye is? Because those who have had one thrown at their head haven't lived to tell the tale. Ohio State- The Buckeye's fans rented out OU's basketball court for a pep rally before the game. The mind games began and OSU is gonna punch OU in the mouth. Buckeye's by 2 TD's. Oklahoma- OSU has done what they're supposed in destroying bad teams. But they didn't look overly impresive last week against Tulsa. Oklahaoma has a balanced offense that needs to not get greedy. Either way, this is going to be a really fun football game. Oklahoma- OU is another team that can't risk a 2nd loss in a very young season. Perine has a breakout game for the Sooners in the victory. Oklahoma- The Sooners have their backs against the wall, but can jump right back into the playoff fray with a win here. They have something to prove and are playing at home. Ohio State- Urban Meyer knows how to win these big games. Baker Mayfield always brings the excitement, but Ohio State is so experienced they'll take this one. Ohio State- Urban Meyer wants to dethrone Nick Saban as the #1 coach in the country. Ohio State- OU bounced back nicely last week and never loses non-conference games at home. Except against Ohio State. Ohio State- Urban Meyer is one of the all time greats. Bob Stoops is a great recruiter, but he's outmatched in this game vs. Meyer. Buckeyes win a close one in Norman. Ohio State- Urban Meyer. Bob Stoops. Big Brands. Big Game. So of course Stoops is going to choke this one away. Buckeyes by 7.
USC at #7 Stanford Stanford- USC has questions at QB, and Clay Helton isn't close to the coach that Davif Shaw is. Not to mention the Cardinal have the most exlosive player in the country in McCaffery. Stanford- Sure the ancient Trojans won a war. But you know what the Trojan Horse was made out of? Wood. From a tree. Trees actually won the war. Stanford's mascot is a tree. Ever think about that? Stanford- Another USC beating is going to look terrible for their season, but it's going to happen/ McCaffery is going to have a big game and score in multiple ways. Stanford by more than 20. Stanford- USC has more stars but until they learn to play like it that's irrelevant. Stanford is tougher, smarter, more disciplined, more physical, etc. Stanford wins 28-21. Stanford- I envision a low-scoring game, but one that Stanford is still capable of winning by 10 or more points. Stanford- USC isn't going to Palo Alto and grabbing an upset as questionable as they are at QB. It should be close, but I think the Cardinal have the system and the coaching edge here. Stanford- Like seemingly all USC- Stanford games, this one will be a great game. However, Stanford is just a far better team than the Trojans, and #WildCaff will run wild. Stanford- USC is still not good enough to take down a quietly confident Stanford. Stanford- USC has the talent to keep it lose, but they don't have Christian McCaffery. USC- The Trojans are fighting for their season in this game. Nothing on paper says they should get a W, but somehow, someway, they sneak away with a W in Palo Alto. Stanford- It's been 2 weeks since Bama obliterated USC. Have the Trojans figured out how to stop the run? Doubt it. Over/under on McCaffery- Bush comparisons is 50. Stanford wins by 2 TD's.
UCLA at BYU UCLA- I think Rosen struggles a little bit with BYU's defense, but in the end the depth of UCLA makes the difference. UCLA in a close one in Provo. BYU- There's a video on YouTube of a Cougar staring down a Bruin then chasing it away while attacking it. It's incredible, and it reminds me that if I even look outside, nature will probably kill me. UCLA- As a Bruin writer, this game really scares me. One loss looks bad enough on their record and they can't afford a 2nd. The running game will give UCLA a late lead that their D will somehow hold. UCLA by les than 3. UCLA- Bruins haven't played at the level we've expected so far, but BYU also couldn't win with 6 turnovers. UCLA is the better team talent wise. Josh Rosen needs to make smarter decisions, and his skill players need to help him out. UCLA- After BYU blew nearly every opportunity to take down Utah in a sloppy Holy War last weekend, UCLA pounds the Cougars in blowout fashion. UCLA- BYU has the defense to realy frustrate the Bruins, but UCLA knows they have to win this game and are much more balanced than BYU. UCLA- ROSEN!!!!!!! UCLA- Josh Rosen I overdue for a breakout game. UCLA- BYU has a stingy defense and a feisty running game. Expect this game to be close late into the 4th quarter, with Rosen pulling off the road win this time, unlike at A&M UCLA- BYU is not a bad team, but UCLA should win with little trouble. Rosen leads the Bruins to a victory. BYU- Coming off the emotional loss to Utah, BYU could easily lay down for this game. I think Kalani Sitake will bounce back rather well this week. Also, Josh Rosen better bring a cup.