NCAA Football: Nebraska at Colorado

It isn't very often that this column starts in earnest with Alabama already having a loss, but that's where we are. All those questions about whether Texas and Oklahoma are ready for the SEC?  Well, Texas looks ready. 

Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright.

I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. This early in the season, any major conference team that hasn't lost twice yet is technically still a CFP candidate. So for now, I'll go with the current top 12 in the AP poll.

Week 1 didn't go too badly. I was 2-1 in the regular picks, but the upset of the week was upsetting only to me. Here are this week's picks.

Odds via SportsLine consensus

Week 3 picks

No. 10 Alabama (-32) at South Florida

Well, here's something you don't see every day. Alabama is playing just its fourth nonconference road game and the first game on the road against a Group of Five team in the Nick Saban era. Not that there would ever be good timing for this from the USF perspective, this is especially bad timing. Someone is going to have to pay for the relatively lackluster performance Alabama gave at home to Texas last week and that someone is South Florida. I am not sure how the Bulls stay within this line unless the Crimson Tide gets bored.  Pick: Alabama (-32)

Colorado State at No. 18 Colorado (-22.5)

Deion Sanders is not just trying to win, he's trying to send messages. He took the Nebraska rivalry seriously and I expect no less with Colorado State. The Rams have had an extra week to prepare and they better have made good use of it if they are going to do better than their 26-point season opening loss at Washington State. Pick: Colorado (-22.5)

UTEP at Arizona (-17)

The Miners got smoked at Northwestern last week 38-7. Those Wildcats will struggle to find another win this season over an FBS opponent. The Wildcats that UTEP will face this week would be a favorite over Northwestern. Pick Arizona (-17)

Upset of the week

Virginia Tech at Rutgers (-6.5)

Rutgers is 2-0 to start the season thanks to wins at home over Northwestern and Temple. The Hokies lost to Purdue at home last week after a five-and-a-half hour rain delay. It is hard to put too much stock in a game played under such unusual circumstances. Virginia Tech has more weapons offensively than the Scarlet Knights have seen so far. Pick: Virginia Tech (+6.5)

Other CFP candidates

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 3, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned more than $2,500 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.