NCAA College Football Week 3 Picks - Early Games

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NCAA College Football Week 3 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 2 results: Rick: 5-4; Coin: 5-4
Cumulative: Rick: 7-11; Coin: 8-10

Saturday, September 19

12:00 pm Tulsa at #11 Oklahoma State (-23, 66) - Last season, at Tulsa, the Cowboys dispatched the Golden Hurricane, 40-21. A similar result should be expected in this season opener for both teams as Tulsa was 4-8 last season while the Cowboys had a solid 8-4 season.

Oklahoma State returns QB Spencer Sanders, WR Tylan Wallace, and RB Chuba Hubbard, a trio that's a nightmare for opposing defenses.

Coin Flip: Tulsa

Prediction: Cowboys 49 Golden Hurricane 17

12:00 pm Austin Peay at #13 Cincinnati (-33 1/2, 52 1/2) - The Governors of Austin Peay must have thought their offense was in lockdown, as Pitt smothered them, 55-0, in their second game of the season, both losses. On the road again, they meet a Bearcat team that went 11-3 last season, their only losses to Ohio State and AAC champion Memphis (twice).

Cincinnati topped Boston College, 38-6, in the Birmingham Bowl and is looking for a powerful start to their 2020 campaign.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Bearcats 45 Governors 9

12:00 pm #19 Louisiana (-17, 58 1/2) at Georgia State - Shocking Iowa State on their home turf, 31-14, last week, the Rain' Cajuns looked like a solid choice to take the Sun Belt and they'll get a chance to notch a conference win on the road.

Georgia State's Panthers look to improve upon a respectable 7-6 mark from 2019 in their seasonal opener. There's still work to be done on defense, which may pose a problem, but if they have any success, they may be able to keep the Cajuns within shouting distance. The Panthers stunned Tennessee in their opener last season, 38-30, and the offensive firepower is still there.

Coin Flip: Louisiana

Prediction: Ragin' Cajuns 32 Panthers 24

12:00 pm Syracuse at #25 Pittsburgh (-21, 50) - Looking roughly like the same team that finished 2019 with a 5-7 record, the Orange fell at North Carolina, 31-6, last week to open the 2020 season. They're on the road for a second straight week, facing a panthers team that mercilessly disposed of Austin Peay, 55-0, in their first game.

Last season, Pitt won, 27-20, at Syracuse. With QB Kenny Pickett back for his senior year, this year's result may be far worse.

Coin Flip: Pittsburgh

Prediction: Panthers 38 Orange 7

12:00 pm Navy at Tulane (-7, 48) - This one gets a national audience on ABC, but the Middies better figure out what went wrong in their 55-3 loss to BYU last week. Nothing worked on either side of the ball and Navy suffered a horrible loss after going 11-2 last season. Their defeat was worse than the 42-0 beating by Cincinnati in 2018 when they went 3-10, and a 50-10 defeat by Notre Dame in 2012 when they ended up 8-5 on the season.

Tulane's Green Wave already has a win, nicking South Alabama, 27-24, last week to open their season on the road and has the potential to create some turbulence in the American Athletic conference this season behind QB Keon Howard.

Coin Flip: Tulane

Prediction: Green Wave 34 Midshipmen 17

12:00 pm Houston at Baylor (-4 1/2, 63) - A couple of Mike Leach disciples meet here as Baylor's Dave Aranda's Bears host Dana Holgorsen's Cougars, so get ready for plenty of scoring and big plays.

A powerhouse last season, Baylor looks to improve upon an 11-3 mark from a year ago, when their only losses were to Oklahoma (twice) and to Georgia, 26-14, in the Sugar Bowl. Baylor's 8-1 conference record earned them a second shot at the Sooners in the conference championship, which they almost won, falling, 30-23, in OT. Their regular season meeting against Oklahoma was a 34-31 defeat. QB Charlie Brewer returns for his senior year. He's passed for more than 3000 yards each of the last two seasons, so Baylor's offense should be fine.

Houston has had two games already postponed (Rice and at Memphis) by coronavirus complications and will want to make amends for a 4-8 record from 2019, but this is a very tough place to start. If the line drifts upward to 6 or 6 1/2, it wouldn't be a shock, because Baylor may be in position to vie for a national championship this year.

Coin Flip: Baylor

Prediction: Bears 42 Cougars 31

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