Pick Six: Trying to bounce back with Clemson-Louisville and Tennessee-Florida
Trust the Process as Tom Fornelli leads you toward his best bets in Week 3 of the season
Week 2 wasn't as kind to Pick Six as Week 1 was, as I came back down to Earth a bit. After a 5-1 start to the season, I only managed to go 3-3 last week thanks to Oklahoma beating Ohio State, and New Mexico and Arizona State soiling the bed.
I can't be mad at Ohio State, but I won't be trusting either New Mexico and Arizona State for a while.
As for this week, it's never fun to go 3-3, but I'm not discouraged. It's time to get back on the winning track.
Games of the Week
No. 3 Clemson (-3) at No. 14 Louisville: I approached this game from every angle I could, trying to get a read on how things are going to play out. What I learned is that I don't know. Louisville nearly pulled off the upset of Clemson in Death Valley last season, and that was against a Clemson team with Deshaun Watson.
This year the game is in Louisville, and there's no Watson. That's not a knock on Kelly Bryant; it's just a statement of fact.
Still, despite all of this, I have watched Lamar Jackson continue to be amazing this season, and I've seen him do it because he had to. Louisville's offensive line still terrifies me when I think of having to rely on it, and there's just no way I want to trust it against this Clemson defensive line that has been playing out of its mind. All that said, I do have legitimate concerns with this pick. Even if I think Clemson's defensive line will overpower Louisville, Lamar Jackson is still going to pull off some Lamar Jackson stuff and put points on the board. I can't say with full confidence that this Clemson offense can score enough to cover this game on the road, especially in light of what I saw from it last week. At the end of the day, though, I still believe a Clemson cover is the most likely outcome here. Clemson 24, Louisville 20
No. 23 Tennessee (+5.5) at No. 24 Florida: Why couldn't there have been another big game this weekend so I could avoid including this in Pick Six? I'm not going to lie to you; I don't have a great feeling about this one.
Florida's offense has legitimate concerns, and it's tough to believe in it. The problem is that Tennessee's offense hasn't done much to gain my confidence, either. Sorry, but scoring 42 points against Indiana State didn't make me forget how thoroughly mediocre Quinten Dormady looked for most of that Georgia Tech game.
Of course, at least Tennessee's offense has shown a pulse, even if faint. That combined with Florida coaches and players having their routines turned on their head over the last week because of Hurricane Irma, and I'm going to go with the Vols, even if I don't feel great about it. Florida 24, Tennessee 23
Lock of the Week
South Carolina (-6) vs. Kentucky: Before the season started, two of my CBS Sports colleagues, Chip Patterson and Barton Simmons, tried to give me the hard sell on South Carolina this season. At the time I wasn't buying it, but I'm just about ready to jump on the bandwagon. I don't think the Gamecocks should have too much trouble with the Wildcats because while Kentucky's defense is solid, its offense hasn't shown me anything, and I think that's going to make this a safe cover for South Carolina. South Carolina 31, Kentucky 14
Underdog of the Week
Purdue (+7.5) at Missouri: Last week, Missouri was favored at home against South Carolina, and something smelled fishy, so I avoided it. Now, after the Tigers lost by 18 in that game, they're favored at home again, this time against Purdue. Now, Purdue isn't as good as South Carolina, but its offense has looked more than competent through two weeks, while Mizzou just fired its defensive coordinator. I'm saying take Purdue and the points, but taking the Boilermakers straight up might not be the worst idea, either. Purdue 31, Missouri 28
Over of the Week
No. 19 Stanford at San Diego State (Over 46.5): Considering Stanford is seen as a team with a plodding, over-powering offense and a stingy defense, it may be hard to believe that overs come through in a lot of Cardinal games, but they do. Both of Stanford's games this season have hit the over, as have four of the last five, and five of the last eight. I see the total in this game, and while I respect San Diego State, I don't think it's out of line to believe Stanford's capable of scoring 40 on its own here. Meanwhile, San Diego State has an excellent running back in Rashaan Penny, so I don't believe I need to rely on Stanford to light it up anyway. I expect this to hit the over in the third quarter. Stanford 41, San Diego State 20
Under of the Week
Bowling Green at Northwestern (Under 57): Since the start of the 2015 season, there have been nine Northwestern games with a total at 50 points or higher. The under has come through in seven of them. One of the times it went over was in Northwestern's loss to Duke last week. Well, I don't think Bowling Green has an offense anywhere close to Duke's this season, and the Northwestern offense is never really in a hurry to get anywhere. Northwestern 44, Bowling Green 7
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