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Article:College Football Week 3 Predictions

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Week 3 NCAA Predictions Scores from every upcoming game By Paul Bessire, September 8, 2008

Each Monday morning will preview every college football DI FBS game of the upcoming week. Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of Monday morning before the week. All of our college football content, including our most recent power rankings and links to the pre-season preview are located here. If you want to take WhatIfSports weekly college football and/or NFL picks with you (to your MySpace, Facebook or personal homepage), please see the widget below on the right or at this page.

The inputs to the 201 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position. This may be relatively obvious for some examples (i.e. LSU vs. Appalachian State), but non-FBS rosters and ratings are not maintained individually due to lack of data. In other words, right or wrong, all non-FBS teams are treated equally.

Games of the Week: #2 Ohio State 20 @ #4 USC 17 We will have a lot more on this game, including a boxscore and play-by-play, later in the week and the results may even change the more we learn about the health of Chris Wells. For now, we say he plays at full strength and the Buckeyes come out on top just 52.2% of the time and by an average score of 20-17. This highly anticipated matchup should live up to its billing.

  1. 10 Kansas 36 @ #17 South Florida 32

This should be an extremely close game involving two ranked teams that will likely go under the radar a bit with the game above. The visiting (a theme this week) Jayhawks edge the USF Bulls only 51.7% of the time and by an average score of 36-32. Each of these teams lost a corner to the first round of the NFL draft and each team has an experienced, play-making quarterback, so expect a shootout.

  1. 11 Wisconsin 38 @ #35 Fresno State 25

This is a much bigger game for Fresno State than it is to Wisconsin. Credit the Badgers for pulling a Pat Hill and playing "anybody, anywhere." After starting off slowly against Marshall, Wisconsin dropped 51 unanswered points on the Herd. With tight end Travis Beckum back in the mix and the running game clicking, Wisconsin's offense looks strong heading into this game. That being said, Fresno State is a lot better than Marshall (like 60 spots in our power rankings better), so the Badgers can't afford another slow start. 74.6% of the time Wisconsin avoids that issue and wins the game.

  1. 49 Michigan 23 @ #87 Notre Dame 11

Unfortunately for football fans, this game has all the makings of a Bengals-Ravens-esque clash of offensive ineptitude. The winner of this game may not be catapulted into national relevance, but the loser will likely do the opposite: fall off the college football scene completely for 2008. We say Michigan prevails 73.1% of the time and Irish struggle through the year again. A .500 record appears to be a best-case-scenario goal for Notre Dame (and it's probably about right for Michigan as well).

  1. 14 Oregon 30 @ #31 Purdue 25

Hey look, another road team wins a pivotal non-conference game! Oregon has the slight edge in both offense and defense (both offenses are great and neither defense appears all that good) so it gets the nod in this projection 55.7% of the time. In one of the few games where the Boilermakers will likely trail, and potentially by a wide margin, watch for Curtis Painter to approach, if not exceed, his career high of 60 pass attempts in a game than he set last season against Ohio State.

Week 2 Scores for Every FBS Game

Matchup Home Win% Avg Score

Alcorn State @ Troy 95 4-37

North Texas @ LSU 95 4-56

NC St. @ Clemson 95 9-33

Mid Tenn @ Kentucky 95 8-33

UAB @ Tennessee 95 12-36

Western Kentucky @ Alabama 95 7-36

Montana State @ Minn. 95 6-42

Southern Illinois @ Northwestern 95 5-37

Samford @ Mississippi 95 5-42

Missouri State @ Oklahoma State 95 5-48

SMU @ Texas Tech 95 15-35

North Dakota State @ Wyoming 95 4-37

Delaware State @ Kent St. 95 7-32

Charleston Southern @ Miami (OH) 95 5-36

Chattanooga @ Florida State 95 4-44

Arkansas @ Texas 95 17-35

Alabama A&M @ LA-Monroe 95 5-35

LA-Laf @ Illinois 95 16-35

Iowa State @ Iowa 95 10-31

UNLV @ Arizona St. 95 18-40

Stanford @ TCU 94 10-31

Washington St. @ Baylor 94 14-33

New Mexico State @ Nebraska 94 18-39

Nevada @ Missouri 93 32-39

Virginia @ Connecticut 91 9-24

Bowling Green @ Boise State 87.6 19-34

Florida Atlantic @ Michigan State 85.1 21-34

UCLA @ Brigham Young 77.1 20-30

Rice @ Vanderbilt 74.1 21-29

Memphis @ Marshall 73.1 24-32

Hawaii @ Oregon State 72.6 19-28

Air Force @ Houston 68.2 25-32

Navy @ Duke 67.2 21-28

San Diego State @ San Jose State 67.2 15-20

North Carolina @ Rutgers 64.7 26-32

Temple @ Buffalo 59.2 24-26

GA Tech @ Virginia Tech 54.2 16-18

S. Miss @ Arkansas St. 53.2 27-29

C. Michigan @ Ohio 51.2 28-30

Kansas @ South Florida 48.3 36-32

Ohio State @ USC 47.8 20-17

Toledo @ E. Michigan 47.8 29-25

Oregon @ Purdue 44.3 30-25

W. Michigan @ Idaho 37.3 27-21

Michigan @ Notre Dame 26.9 23-11

Wisconsin @ Fresno State 25.4 38-25

Ball State @ Akron 24.9 34-23

Auburn @ Mississippi State 22.4 19-8

Arizona @ New Mexico 10 33-15

California @ Maryland 8.5 38-18

East Carolina @ Tulane 5 33-13

Georgia @ S. Carolina 5 36-9

Penn State @ Syracuse 5 35-11

Utah @ Utah State 5 35-8

Oklahoma @ Washington 5 41-17

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