Highest profile Week 3 Games:
While most of the teams in the FBS are still feasting on over matched early season non conference opponents, two teams in the SEC are tackling the tough games first. Often criticized by fans and media for playing a soft game in November, the SEC compensates by playing high profile conference games in September. Try and keep that in mind when you have a desire to bash Bama for playing Charleston Southern on November 21.
#23 Mississippi at #3 Alabama – The Ole Miss Rebels roll into Tuscaloosa Saturday to tackle the Tide. Alabama is still smarting from a 23-17 loss to Mississippi last year in the Grove. Ole Miss has been putting on quite an offensive show so far in 2015, rolling off 70+ points against Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State. The defense hasn’t been to shabby either I might add. Alabama has played well, and already has one big win under their belt, a convincing 35-17 shellacking of Wisconsin in Jerry World. Las Vegas opened with the Tide an 8 point favorite, falling much in line with 5 in the Billingsley+ Report, but I’ll tell you, this is anybody’s game. As usual, mistakes and turnovers will tell the tale. I expect both teams to play at their highest level with Alabama squeaking out a very hard earned win. Alabama 27 Ole Miss 24.
#10 Auburn at #13 LSU – There is only one way to describe the Auburn win last Saturday….pure luck. Surely the Tigers knew Jacksonville State was worthy of proper preparation, after all, this is the same team that shocked Ole Miss 49-48 in the 2010 season opener.. It’s not like this team should have gone unnoticed. But the Gamecocks literally pushed Auburn around the whole game before bowing in overtime 27-20. History books will show an Auburn win, but the Tigers lost so much more by way of respect and drop in ratings. It will be interesting to see how Auburn responds, and the Tigers certainly have an opportunity in front of them. But it may be an insurmountable opportunity. Going on the road to face a hot LSU team is not the best way to try and rebuild a soiled reputation…..unless you win that is. Don’t over react about Jacksonville State, Auburn is still a very good team. LSU surprised me by playing a very solid opening game on the road against Mississippi State last week, and now playing at home, well, we all know what Death Valley is like. This should be a tight contest, great game, but I have to go with the Tigers…..home Tigers that is. LSU 31 Auburn 28.
#16 Georgia Tech at #5 Notre Dame – With the season ending injury to Irish QB Malik Zaire some of the luster has certainly been taken off of this game, and probably the entire season for Notre Dame. With Zaire I projected Notre Dame to go 10-2, without him…..give me another week to answer. Georgia Tech is good enough to beat the Irish even with Malik, but since the game is in South Bend, the edge certainly would have gone to Notre Dame. Now, with a freshman QB making his first start, and against a seasoned Yellow Jacket defense and a high profile prolific Tech offense, I can’t see the Irish pulling this out……but wait, what is this I see? ……Holy Touchdown Jesus…..Notre Dame ALWAYS finds a way. Notre Dame 28 Georgia Tech 27. That one is for you Romeo.
#8 Brigham Young at #15 UCLA – If someone had told me BYU would be 2-0 instead of 0-2 this week I would have said they were slap dab crazy. Ranking the Cougars # 8 this week raised a few eyebrows, even mine, but let’s not forget, they are 2-0 playing the #1 most difficult schedule to date. But how many miracles can BYU’s boys possibly have in one bag? Especially 3 weeks in a row. I love a good underdog story, and one of my best friends is a huge Brigham young fan (here is your 30 seconds of fame Royce), but I just can’t see Brigham Young going into the Rose Bowl and beating this UCLA team. But I will say this, way too prematurely I realize, but this team is certainly good enough to finish 11-1. UCLA 34 Brigham Young 24.
For all the Billingsley Projections, follow these links:
Preseason game by game
Week 3 Billingsley Report
Week 3 Billingsley+ (MOV) Report