Rankman's picks: Week 3

It was late Saturday night and Oregon was comfortably leading Virginia, but not comfortably enough for me if-you-know-what-I-mean. Rankman needed a garbage-time touchdown to cover the spread to even his Week 2 record to 2-2. Almost on Rankman's command, an Oregon player broke free for the points-covering touchdown (the spread was 24) only to have the PLAY CALLED BACK ON A HOLDING CALL! I know, I know, my Jersey friend boys back east are laughing at my naive understanding of this cruel, underbelly world. Remember, though, I never placed a SINGLE bet on college football in the 34 years I worked in the legitimate press. This stuff is new to me, which probably explains my W-L record through two weeks. Anyway, here's hoping I get a holding call to go my way this week. My three games: San Diego State at Northern Illinois, Miami at Appalachian State and Oregon at Nebraska. Plus a bonus over-under pick on Alabama at Ole Miss.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

THE GAME: San Diego State giving 11 at NORTHERN ILLINOIS

THE PICK: NIU (Score: San Diego State 27-24)

THE COMMENT: Every instinct had me leaning with San Diego State to cover based on Aztecs having one of the nation’s top rushers in Donnel Pumphrey, who had 281 yards rushing in last week’s win against San Diego State. That said, it’s a 9:30 a.m. PT kickoff for the Aztecs so we’re predicting they’ll sputter a bit before the wake-up alarm sounds.

THE GAME: Miami giving 3 1\2 to APPALACHIAN STATE

THE PICK: Appalachian State, 30-24

THE COMMENT: Miami should lose just for scheduling a game in Boone, N.C. No team with five national titles should ever, under any circumstances, play a road like this. You think Alabama would get caught dead here? The other problem for Miami: App State is good and has already taken Tennessee to overtime in Knoxville.

THE GAME: NEBRASKA giving 3 to Oregon

THE PICK: Oregon, 40-35

THE COMMENT: Rankman is giving the Ducks one more chance after last week’s fail-to-cover at home against Virginia. Nebraska looks improved this year but we still don’t trust Tommy Armstrong Jr. at quarterback.

BONUS PICK: The over-under on Alabama at Ole Miss is 54 1\2, which sounds low for two offenses that have scored 172 combined points in four games. Ole Miss scored 34 against Florida State.

Take: The OVER

Last week: 1-3

Season to date: 3-5[/membership]