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FTRS Picks, Week 3: All eyes on El Assico!

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Plus: a big Pennsylvania catfight!

NCAA Football: Northern Iowa at Iowa State
Assert dominance by spreading your legs as wide as possible. Now that’s a power stance!
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, wow, remember when I said week 2 was college football’s Tuesday? I owe this year’s week 2 an apology, because there was some real intrigue! (I will never apologize to Tuesdays. They know what they did.)

Going into the season we knew basically two things about the Pac-12: Washington was the league’s best hope at making the playoff, and USC was toast. So, naturally, when the two played their respective games in #Pac12afterdark action, extremely #Pac12afterdark things happened. In hindsight, we really should have seen this coming. Over in B1Gland, Ohio State crushed Cincy and Michigan escaped Army in overtime, results that certainly won’t come to mind at all when the two meet each other in November. Elsewhere, Syracuse showed the color of fraudulence is actually orange after getting pasted by conference-mate Maryland, Colorado proved Nebraska is indeed not a rival by erasing a 17-0 deficit and tossing some corn husks in the trash in overtime, and ohhhhhh ho ho ho, Tennessee, buddy, it does NOT get better from here. Chattanooga should be a touch matchup, but luckily things get easier playing Florida and Georgia back to back the next two weeks. Good luck!

I know y’all are trying your best out there, but I gotta say, last week was not as good as week 1. That 0-fer smarts, GTSMURF, but at least you got yours in on time. A couple of y’all didn’t, and I’m sorry, but that’s a 0. Those are the rules, and if I don’t enforce them, what are we even doing here?

Oh, yeah, and now that we’ve got multiple weeks being kept track of, we’ve got updated standings. Percentages are going away because they’re hard to keep track of, and winning picks isn’t about percentages. There’s some updated Excel-fu going on now, but I may have messed something up, so if anything looks off, let me know.

On to the picks!

Citadel Bulldogs @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (I saw -33 so let’s say that)

Outside of the rivalry game at the end of the November, this is the game Georgia Tech fans have had circled on their calendar all year. Why? Because the Citadel runs the dreaded triple option, and there’s nothing Georgia Tech fans hate more. Who wants to play that boring, gimmicky high-school offense that does nothing but chop block (or is it cut block? whatever, they’re all the same)? The Yellow Jackets should have no trouble with it, though, since it’s easy to figure out and no one’s ever won anything running it.

Pick: Citadel

North Carolina Tar Heels @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-3)

So this game makes for a fun story: despite both these schools playing in the same conference, this isn’t a conference game! A few years ago they realized they had openings in their schedules that matched, and thanks to ACC expansion they didn’t meet enough anymore anyway, so they just put each other on the schedule. Crazy! At the time some people thought this could really change how schools in larger conferences scheduled each other to avoid long gaps in between. Now in 2019.... literally no one else has done it. But I actually like that UNC and Wake did this and still think it’s a good idea? Because when is Georgia playing Texas A&M, or when is Georgia Tech finally visiting the Carrier Dome? No one really knows.

Pick: UNC

#19 Iowa Hawkeyes (-2) @ Iowa State Cyclones

RED ALERT. RED ALERT. COLLEGE GAMEDAY IS COMING TO EL ASSICO. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I REPEAT, COLLEGE GAMEDAY IS COMING TO EL ASSICO! Is it an indictment on week 3 that there were no bigger games on the slate than this one? Maybe, but it’s also a crime this isn’t a ranked matchup: the Cyclones led the “others receiving votes” category this week, falling short of the top 25 by a mere 26 votes. All because they had to rank USC again. Give the people what they want, AP voters!

Pick: Iowa State

Pittsburgh Panthers @ #13 Penn State Nittany Lions (-17)

This is the 100th meeting between Pitt and Penn State, and the last one before the series goes back into the Disney vault. And so, before it does, I need to address one critical detail about it: the fact that the Pitt Panther and Penn State Nittany Lion are the same damn mascot. The Nittany Lion is not a real thing; it instead refers to the mountain lions that once roamed nearby Mount Nittany. Mountain lions are also referred to as cougars; they are in fact the same animal. “Panther” can refer to one of a few cat species, but in Pitt’s case, it specifically refers to the Puma concolor..... otherwise known as the cougar.

Pick: Pitt

#24 USC Trojans (-4.5) @ BYU Cougars

It was a split decision to leave BYU-Tennessee off last week’s picks, and I have to live with that. But here they are, facing USC, and mamma mia this is a spicy one. Some thought the Trojans losing streak to start the season could get pretty high; instead, they lost their quarterback, then rolled Stanford up and tossed them off the Santa Monica Pier. BYU is coming off that OT win against Tennessee, which.... probably doesn’t mean much at this point, but at least that Utah game provided some good Pac-12 conditioning. In the preseason, you could have predicted these teams having 1 total win; instead, they have 3, so this game ratcheted up from “mild” to “extra spicy” in a hurry.

Pick: USC

Florida State Seminoles @ #25 Virginia Cavaliers (-7)

I’ll get to the incongruity of a ranked UVA playing an unranked FSU in a second, but first — did y’all know this is a trophy game? Yeah, these two play for the Jefferson-Eppes Trophy, named for Thomas Jefferson, who, as UVA fans will be quick to remind you, founded the University of Virginia, and his grandson, Francis W. Eppes VII, who donated land and served as president of the board of trustees of what would become Florida State University. These two schools did not meet until FSU joined the ACC in 1992. It was introduced in 1995, the year of Virginia’s only win in the series (out of three overall) until the ACC expanded and the two were placed in opposite, resulting in this series no longer being an annual matchup. Why is this played for a trophy? I don’t know, but now you know it is, and I leave it up to you to decide what to do with this knowledge. Anyway, yeah, Virginia is ranked for this and FSU is not, which has never happened, and look, Hoos, I need y’all do to this and continue working toward completing the #ACCCoastalInfinityGauntlet.

Pick: Virginia

Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors @ #23 Washington Huskies (-21.5)

Adding Hawai’i as a bonus pick last week was a nice fun little thing.... and then they went and won again, making them the only team currently 2-0 in Pac-12 play. They’re headed to the mainland looking to make that 3-0 against a Washington team that started the season as a playoff hopeful, then lost to Cal at home. I’ll repeat that for everyone, since there’s maybe twelve people that stayed up until after 4am to see the end: Washington lost to Cal at home, after a 2.5 hour lightning delay. This is definitely what Jacob Eason envisioned when he transferred from Georgia to return to the state of Washington.

Pick: Hawai’i

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