NCAA College Football Week 3 Picks and Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

College Football Week 3 Picks and Predictions

Week 3 predictions for every D-I/FBS college football game

By Ryan Fowler and Eric Schmoldt - WhatIfSports.com
September 13th, 2010

Each Monday morning, Whatifsports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win%) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2010 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those player's are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

Game of the Week: Arkansas vs Georgia

Georgia has an opportunity to forget about a Week 2 nightmare. Arkansas has a chance to make a bit of a statement. We may not have the premiere college football matchups that we had throughout this past week, but who doesn't like a good, old-fashioned SEC brouhaha?

The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a disappointing Saturday, losing 17-6 on the road at nationally ranked South Carolina. The problem was, after putting up 55 points on Louisiana-Lafayette in their opener, they managed just six in their first test of the season.

The Bulldogs rank 94th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total offense per game. And while that number is somewhat clouded - they still average a run-of-the-mill 5.48 yards per play - failing to find the end zone against South Carolina and having to kick two field goals of less than 30 yards had to sting.

Defensively, however, you have to like where the Bulldogs are at. While it's still early in the season, they are one of just a handful of teams in the country allowing fewer than four yards per play to opposing offenses. The unit simply needs the Georgia offense to put up a few points.

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=613ded15-91d0-4ea3-8cef-734de7bcb60e" target="_new" title="">WhatIfSports: CFB Game of the Week</a>

The Bulldogs clearly put themselves behind the eight ball by losing to the Gamecocks, a division foe in the SEC. While the Razorbacks aren't in the East Division, a victory would go a long way in raising the confidence level whereas a loss would mean a disastrous 0-2 start in conference play.

The Razorbacks would love nothing more than to hand Georgia that kind of a start. Arkansas is off to a quick 2-0 record, but surely haven't been tested to the likes of going on the road to Athens. The Razorbacks have cruised to this point, dumping Louisiana-Monroe and Tennessee Tech by a combined total of 75-10.

What does a couple of big victories over a pair of cupcake opponents mean? Well, Arkansas's statistics have them looking like a team capable of winning a national championship.

The Razorbacks are averaging a whopping 7.71 yards per offensive play and if it appears that they have been one-dimensional because they rank in the bottom half of the FBS in rushing yards per game, forget about it. Arkansas is still averaging 5 yards per carry. But its passing attack surely has looked more dominant as the Razorbacks average nearly 10 yards per pass attempt. Only eight teams are at 10 or more in the entire FBS.

The easy schedule certainly hasn't hurt the defensive side of the ball, either. We're talking numbers like 3.32 yards per play and a paltry 2.44 yards per rush for Arkansas' opponents, ranking the Razorbacks amongst the nation's best.

So this one will be a classic case of a defense with inflated numbers trying to legitimize those numbers against a big-name team whose offense has looked anything but potent to this point. Can the Razorbacks get it done?

The answer is yes, but barely. And two teams that look stout in a bevy of defensive categories look like they'll take a hit.

The computer certainly isn't buying into Arkansas' numbers at this point as Georgia runs for 5 yards per carry and racks up more than 300 yards passing in what turns into a shootout.

And the solid defense of the Bulldogs crumbles as well as the Razorbacks' aerial assault proves to be too much. Quarterback, and Heisman hopeful, Ryan Mallett throws for nearly 400 yards. A performance like that would solidify a spot in the Heisman race.

The passing attack is the one most noticeable advantage in what appears to be a rousing early-season SEC game. In 101 simulations, it carries the Razorbacks to a victory nearly two-thirds of the times, but by less than a field goal on the road.

Please note the Syracuse vs Maine game was re-simulated on 9/16/10.
College Football Week 3
MatchupWin%Avg Score
East Carolina Pirates 5.016
@ Virginia Tech Hokies95.042
Brigham Young Cougars18.824
@ Florida State Seminoles81.239
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets75.232
@ North Carolina Tar Heels24.824
Cincinnati Bearcats85.137
@ North Carolina State Wolfpack14.928
Alabama Crimson Tide95.040
@ Duke Blue Devils 5.011
Maine Black Bears 5.07
@ Syracuse Orange95.048
Maryland Terrapins 6.916
@ West Virginia Mountaineers93.138
Massachusetts Minutemen 5.09
@ Michigan Wolverines95.056
Ohio Bobcats 5.08
@ Ohio State Buckeyes95.038
Kent State Golden Flashes 5.07
@ Penn State Nittany Lions95.040
Ball State Cardinals 5.09
@ Purdue Boilermakers95.037
Arizona State Sun Devils 7.914
@ Wisconsin Badgers92.137
Notre Dame Fighting Irish42.634
@ Michigan State Spartans57.439
Northern Illinois Huskies48.525
@ Illinois Fighting Illini51.527
USC Trojans90.135
@ Minnesota Golden Gophers 9.918
Toledo Rockets65.326
@ Western Michigan Broncos34.722
Connecticut Huskies71.330
@ Temple Owls28.725
UCF Knights72.327
@ Buffalo Bulls27.721
Colorado State Rams86.124
@ Miami (OH) RedHawks13.913
Marshall Thundering Herd87.130
@ Bowling Green Falcons12.918
Central Michigan Chippewas95.036
@ Eastern Michigan Eagles 5.011
Portland State Vikings 5.05
@ Oregon Ducks95.068
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 6.920
@ Stanford Cardinal93.142
Louisville Cardinals12.918
@ Oregon State Beavers87.135
Iowa Hawkeyes53.521
@ Arizona Wildcats46.522
Houston Cougars56.437
@ UCLA Bruins43.635
Nebraska Cornhuskers89.132
@ Washington Huskies10.916
Vanderbilt Commodores 5.012
@ Mississippi Rebels95.035
Furman Paladins 5.05
@ South Carolina Gamecocks95.057
Akron Zips 8.913
@ Kentucky Wildcats91.134
Mississippi State Bulldogs13.916
@ LSU Tigers86.133
Clemson Tigers49.524
@ Auburn Tigers50.527
Arkansas Razorbacks66.339
@ Georgia Bulldogs33.737
Florida Gators87.132
@ Tennessee Volunteers12.917
Southern Utah Thunderbirds 5.06
@ San Jose State Spartans95.033
UNLV Rebels 6.925
@ Idaho Vandals93.145
Navy Midshipmen47.524
@ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs52.527
California Golden Bears70.338
@ Nevada Wolf Pack29.734
Fresno State Bulldogs78.236
@ Utah State Aggies21.827
North Texas Mean Green41.617
@ Army Black Knights58.424
Indiana Hoosiers95.032
@ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 5.014
Florida International Golden Panthers 5.08
@ Texas A&M Aggies95.051
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 9.917
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys90.141
San Diego State Aztecs10.918
@ Missouri Tigers89.136
Iowa State Cyclones24.820
@ Kansas State Wildcats75.231
Air Force Falcons25.722
@ Oklahoma Sooners74.335
Hawaii Warriors45.528
@ Colorado Buffaloes54.531
Texas Longhorns77.227
@ Texas Tech Red Raiders22.820
Washington State Cougars 5.916
@ Southern Methodist Mustangs94.139
New Mexico State Aggies 9.914
@ UTEP Miners90.134
Kansas Jayhawks16.825
@ Southern Miss Golden Eagles83.239
Troy Trojans73.335
@ UAB Blazers26.728
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders92.134
@ Memphis Tigers 7.916
Northwestern Wildcats95.036
@ Rice Owls 5.017
Baylor Bears 5.017
@ TCU Horned Frogs95.042
Boise State Broncos94.142
@ Wyoming Cowboys 5.921
Utah Utes95.040
@ New Mexico Lobos 5.011
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks84.231
@ Arkansas State Red Wolves15.821

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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