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Skinner’s Winners: Week 3 picks

A+referee+holds+up+the+sign+for+a+touchdown+for+Arizona+during+the+UA-Oregon+State+game+on+Nov.+11+at+Arizona+Stadium.+The+Wildcats+beat+the+Beavers+49-28.
Heather Newberry
A referee holds up the sign for a touchdown for Arizona during the UA-Oregon State game on Nov. 11 at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats beat the Beavers 49-28.

Another weekend is upon us, and it is loaded with football games that will leave your chore list untouched and your girlfriend’s apple-picking/corn-maze date idea put on hold for another weekend. 

Will you be receiving passive-aggressive glances and comments about the excessive amounts of football you’ll be watching? Without a doubt. Will refusing to switch out of your Saturday Sweatsuit get you in the dog house? Count on it, pal. And even though she’ll question why she is even with you or acknowledges you while you smear refried beans all over the side of your mouth as you polish off the last bite of your oversized nachos, just remember: There are no such things as oversized nachos. This is our weekend, don’t let anyone tell you anything different.

Last weekend was (finally) my weekend, going 3-2 and easing the embarrassment of my opening-week stinker. And with Arizona not having a line set as of Friday morning, I might actually do okay this week. Betting on the Wildcats has accounted for 2 of 7 of my losses, which has been a fun experience. So here are my five picks for this weekend:

LSU @ Auburn (-10) – 12:30 p.m. MST – CBS

In what will define a huge portion of the Southeastern Conference West landscape, this game sees two of the southeast’s hottest teams, each having won the premier opening weekend matchup. The winner of this game will vault into the top 10 and be dubbed by the collective media as the team to be able to challenge the oiled war machine that Nick Saban heads up in Tuscaloosa and one for the chance to play in Atlanta in December.

This will be the most physical game you watch this weekend. There is zero doubt in my mind about that, and I simply cannot wait. Auburn’s power-spread offense gets to go up against a Tiger defense that is still denying Mark Richt a solid eight hours of sleep after they did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, to the Hurricane offense in front of the entire country. I think giving this LSU team 10 points to work with is a field goal too many, so I’m riding with Coach O and the Tigers at +10 this week. Geaux Tigahs.

USC @ Texas (-3) – 5 p.m. MST – FOX

Knowing that Vince Young prancing into the Rose Bowl end zone to win Texas the National Championship happened 12 years makes me feel very old. As a 13-year-old kid, that game was the best game those eyes had ever seen. A repeat of that game will not be taking place this weekend. Both teams stumble into this game with bumps and bruises, already having experienced their first losses of their season. Both teams know that this game could revamp the teetering season or push it completely over the edge, sending it into the abyss.

I honestly have no idea how Texas is even favored in this game, even if it is taking place in Austin. Texas has the wrong five-star suburbanite quarterback once again, and their defense is looking like it’s loaded with recruits who were over-ranked on recruiting sites simply because they committed to Texas. USC all day long. The +3 is simply a gift.

Ohio State (-12) @ TCU – 5 p.m. MST – ABC

An exciting game is being overshadowed by the fact that Ohio State’s head coach will be watching from afar for the third and last week of his suspension, but the talent that will be taking action in AT&T Stadium will be more than enough to be able to distract you from the fact that Urban Meyer overlooked his long-time assistant coach using his own wife as a personal punching bag for the last decade.

TCU has transformed from an obscure Texan private school in the Western Athletic Conference into one of the Big 12’s premier all-around athletic programs, with most of the financial influx due to the skyrocketing football program led by Gary Patterson. Even though the Horned Frogs always come to play against teams that are bigger in stature, I think Ohio State is just going to be too much to handle, even in Dallas with an interim coach. The Buckeyes are just too loaded and will wear TCU out over the 60 minutes.

Washington (-5) @ Utah – 7 p.m. MST – ESPN

The Huskies are on the road again for another tough early season matchup with Utah, the team that just seems to give every program west of the Mississippi its due to its signature physicality up front and its wild, night-game atmospheres. These two things, when put together, can be a hellish combination for any team who might be smaller in frame or weaker in mind. This Washington team is neither of those.

I expect Jake Browning and this Washington offense to show everyone why they belong in the playoff picture with a pretty convincing display after Browning took some heat for his performance against Auburn. I think -5 is a nice hat tip to Salt Lake City being where dreams come to die in years past, but this Huskies team is clearly a touchdown better than the Utes. This is an easy one. UDub and the points, please.

Kansas City @ Pittsburgh (-4.5) – 10 a.m. MST – CBS

Just like everyone else with a pulse and a set of eyes, I became a Patrick Mahomes fan. I packed up all of my belongings into duffle bags and hopped onto the Mahomes hype-train and am going to ride it until the wheels fall off. The guy is flat-out electric and was somehow born with a firehose as his right arm.

On the other sideline, there is a lot going on. Le’Veon Bell is on his couch, James Connor’s head looks like it got ran over by a lawnmower and Big Ben’s body looks like it’s 36 going on 57. Oh, and they tied the Browns last week. The Steelers looked like a mess – a mess that doesn’t look like it will be fixed in just one work week. I’m taking the road to the underdogs. Go Chiefs.


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