Battle of the College Football Experts Week 3

9/14/06 in NCAAF   |   CriticalFanatic   |   respect

We're conducting a science experiment to find the real sports experts. Every week we're entering the "expert" picks published on the major sites (ESPN Gameday picks are also included). We also let the average fan enter their predictions. FanIQ tracks the results and reveals the"real experts" on Mondays.

The FanIQ Consensus (98-13) has more than held it's own. ESPN Insider is off to a fast start but Week 3 will separate the good from the great with an enormous slate of big time match-ups. 

Michigan at Notre Dame
Expert Consensus: Notre Dame (85%)
Experts picking Michigan - Jason Horowitz (21-2, CBS Sportsline, pictured)
Fan Consensus: Notre Dame (78%)

 Only one bold gent in the land of expert ville is picking Michigan and it probably has a little to do with the Wolverines losing their opening road game in each of the last 6 years (and 7 of 8).  That and a guy named Brady Quinn.  But let me tell you why I love this pick and agree with Jason. Notre Dame has show two weaknesses (albeit small) that play right to the Wolverines strenght - running the football and pressuring the QB. Don't be confused by the vanilla maize and blue offense, they'll drop some sweet plays early on the Irish defense.

LSU at Auburn

Expert Consensus:  Auburn (77%)
Experts picking LSU - Rich Cirminiello (44-8, CFN), Steve Greenberg (13-3, Sporting News, pictured)
Fan Consensus:  Auburn (69%)

Why are more than 75% of experts picking Auburn?  Tommy Tuberville has led the Tigers to win 17 of their last 18 conference games.  The home team has had a huge advantage (won last 6) in this series, but talent carries its own weight.  Cirminiello and Greenberg have more than held their own in the upper half of the standings and I'm with them.  The LSU Tigers scored 45 on a good Arizona defense last week and aren't afraid of playing at Auburn.  JaMarcus Russell outplays Brandon Cox for the difference.

Miami (FL) at Louisville

Expert Consensus:  Louisville (53%)
Experts picking Miami:  Rich Cirminiello (44-8, CFN, pictured), Darin Darst (43-3, CBS Sportsline), Andrew Joyner (Rivals)
Fan's Consensus:  Miami (52%)

54% of experts are picking the Louisville Cardinals.  Why is the majority having some trepidation in picking the Hurricanes?  Miami has only scored 48 points in its last 4 games against D-1 opponents.  Sure, that scares me a bit but not as much as Michael Bush on the sidelines.  He's that big of a factor.What would truly scare me if Lee Corso picking the Hurricanes.  There is some bad blood in this series, so tune in early and you'll be in for a treat.

Oklahoma at Oregon
Expert Consensus:  Oregon (92%)
Experts picking Oklahoma - Darin Darst (43-3, CBS Sportsline), Olin Buchanan (Rivals)
Fan Consensus:  Oklahoma (51%)

Expert rule #1 - always pick Oregon at home.  Why? Under Mike Belotti the Oregon Ducks have only lost 1 non-conference game at home.  An astonishing 92% of experts have picked Autzen Stadium and the Ducks thus far ... but that's why they play the games. Why are so many experts sleeping on AD and the Sooners?  Darst and Buchanan know the one facet of the game that can quiet a home crowd - a ball control running attack - and that's just what Bob Stoops will bring to Eugene.

Florida at Tennessee
Expert Consensus:  Florida (75%)

Experts picking Tennessee - Tom Dienhart (11-4, Sporting News), Matt Hayes (13-3, Sporting News, pictured), Jason Horowitz (21-2, CBS Sportsline)
Fan's Consensus - Florida (67%)

Solve this puzzle - Tennessee beats California convincingly, but struggles to come back and beat Air Force.  The experts are favoring the Gators to go on the road to win, which shows they have much more faith in Chris Leak than Erik Ainge. Can you blame them?  An interesting expert observation from Horowitz (CBS) going out on a limb and picking both Michigan and Tennessee.  You have to like the conviction, but he could end up looking like a fool on Sunday morning.

Click to see the breakdowns on other matchups:
Texas Tech at TCU
Clemson at Florida State
Nebraska at USC

Links to all expert picks:
CBS Sportsline
College Football News

Sporting News
Bruce Feldman

Can you do better than the experts? Make your picks below and come back on Monday
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

9/14/06   |   Nick S

My Picks:
Michigan over Notre Dame - 28-17
Auburn over LSU - 24-14
Miami (Fla.) over Louisville - 27-24
Oklahoma over Oregon - 24-21
Florida over Tennessee - 28-21
Texas Tech over TCU - 27-21
Clemson over Florida State - 17-14
USC over Nebraska - 28-14