Another week of college football has come and gone. Hard to believe we’re already at week three of it all, but here were are. With it, we’re back with another round of the Friday Forecast. Hail Varsity’s Brandon Vogel, Erin Sorensen, Mike Babcock and Chris Schmidt, alongside Opendorse’s Blake Lawrence, have hedged their bets once again on another slate of college football games.
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Florida State at Louisville
BV: The Seminoles are the more well rounded team, but Louisville can score with just about anybody and the home crowd — GameDay in Louisville? — should provide a boost. PICK: Florida St 28, Louisville 27
ES: I personally want Louisville to win but I think Florida State gets the win. Life’s not fair sometimes. PICK: Florida State 27, Louisville 24
CS: Great game to kick off week three. FSU’s pass rush will be the difference versus the other Lamar Jackson and Cook runs wild too. PICK: Florida State 31, Louisville 20
MB: The Seminole defense will be challenged; Jackson’s the real deal. And “at” will be a factor. But Florida State is probably a playoff team. PICK: Florida State 35, Louisville 31
BL: The last time Louisville beat Florida State, Heisman hopeful Lamar Jackson was only 5 years old. FSU fans will be wishing he was still a toddler when he tears through their defense on Saturday. PICK: Louisville 45, FSU 38
Alabama at Ole Miss
BV: Saban’s not happy about the Tide puttering around against Western Kentucky and I suspect he hasn’t forgotten that he hasn’t beaten the Rebels since 2013. PICK: Alabama 31, Ole Mississippi 17
ES: Nothing worries me more than an upset Nick Saban and I don’t think Saban’s happy right now. God speed to Ole Miss. PICK: Alabama 31, Ole Miss 17
CS: Lane Kiffin gets out of “time out” from Saban after being told all week to pack the run game and D for The Grove. That’s how Alabama wins this and end a two game skid to Ole Miss. Tide secondary will be the undoing of Mr. Kelly. PICK: Alabama 28, Ole Mississippi 17
MB: Another “at” and Ole Miss has won the last two, with the help of five ‘Bama turnovers last season. The Tide was penalized 12 times last week. Saban will get those things cleaned up, or else. No three in a row. PICK: Alabama 42, Ole Miss 17
BL: Ole Miss has stopped the Crimson Tide each of the past two years — Alabama knows this, and will want to take down the Rebels quickly. Bama is going to get a big lead at half and not look back. PICK: Alabama 38, Ole Miss 13
Michigan State at Notre Dame
BV: The Spartans better play well in this game given that they used up their bye week in week two. That might keep things close but it won’t be quite enough for an outright win. PICK: Notre Dame 34, Michigan State 28
ES: I have no idea what to make of this Spartans team yet. They struggled a bit against Furman but they’ve hopefully used the bye week to regroup. I guess my uncertainty is what makes it hard to pick them. PICK: Notre Dame 34, Michigan State 27
CS: This is a big game for Notre Dame. Kaiser is for real, as is the offense. MSU is good but too much to replace on offense from last year. PICK: Notre Dame 34, Michigan State 21
MB: Notre Dame did give up 50 points and 500 yards to Texas in a double-overtime loss. But the game’s in South Bend. I still haven’t gotten over Parseghian’s willingness to settle for a 10-10 in 1966, though. So my inclination is to pick the Spartans, who had an extra week to prepare – after 28-13 over Furman? OK. PICK: Notre Dame 31, Michigan State 20
BL: Michigan State has had this game circled for a long time — perhaps this is why they struggled against Furman in week one. Well, they’re coming off a bye week and should be fully prepped to take down Notre Dame. It won’t be easy, as Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish know they need this W to keep playoff hopes alive. PICK: Michigan State 27, Notre Dame 24
Ohio State at Oklahoma
BV: I’m nervous about this one because the Sooners’ season is basically on the line and they’re playing at home, but I’m still going to take the Buckeyes. That’s how much faith I have in Urban Meyer. PICK: THE Ohio State University 24, Oklahoma 20
ES: Ah, Nebraska’s former rival versus Urban Meyer. Good ol’ Big 12 versus the Big Ten. It’s going to be close, but I’ll give it to Meyer and the Buckeyes. Only if they can stop ‘Boomer Sooner’ from being played every other moment of the game, that is. PICK: Ohio State 34, Oklahoma 27
CS: Must have for Boomer Sooner and the Big 12. Based on Houston’s success and the similarities on offense with tOSU, I don’t think the Sooners have the horses to stop Barrett and company, but can tOSU hold down Baker? Tight game and the Sooner offense gets it done. PICK: Oklahoma 35, Ohio State 28
MB: Yet another “at” for a playoff contender, with a chance to represent the Big Ten. Houston coach Tom Herman was Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator, so Meyer and Herman have talked. PICK: Ohio State 31, Oklahoma 28
BL: I’m a huge fan of Baker Mayfield, but Oklahoma is going to need more than Mayfield to beat Ohio State, the Big Ten’s best weapon against national critics. The fighting Urban Meyers win a close one. PICK: Ohio State 34, Oklahoma 28
Oregon at Nebraska
BV: I think there’s a pretty clear path to victory here for Nebraska — run the ball, dominate the clock — but I’m still not quite ready to trust the Huskers enough to get out of their own way to call for a win. PICK: Oregon 42, Nebraska 35
ES: I was called the eternal optimist this week, which is probably a fair assessment. I often pick Nebraska against my better judgement, which is sort of what’s happening this week. Honestly, Saturday could go either way for either team. It’s a toss-up and a shootout. PICK: Nebraska 45, Oregon 42
CS: Who steps up and who has to re-group after week three? I don’t feel great about the Nebraska offensive line yet. Nebraska’s communication on D will be key versus the tempo. Are they ready? And speed is the difference for Oregon. Good showing for Nebraska but the Ducks tack on another late score for more comfort. PICK: Oregon 41, Nebraska 28
MB: Oregon’s offense won’t surprise Mike Riley and staff. The Huskers need to clean up things over which they have control. Somebody needs to pick Nebraska, and I did, after all, pick Illinois last week. PICK: Nebraska 48, Oregon 45
BL: Through two weeks, neither Oregon nor Nebraska has proven worthy of national attention — that’ll change on Saturday. The Huskers will bend, but not break, on defense — Tommy Armstrong will use his legs to beat Brady Hoke’s re-built Ducks defense. PICK: Nebraska 38, Oregon 31
Our picks today are for entertainment purposes only. Between 6 and 8 million Americans meet the criteria for gambling addiction, and many more are affected by another individual’s gambling problem. Don’t gamble more than you can afford and if it stops being fun seek help.
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Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.