After an utterly chaotic first three weeks of the 2021 season, our simulation has finally started to join in on some of the fun, featuring a couple head-scratchers including #1 falling on the road! Let’s look at some notable results!
Games of Note and Predictions
#8 Cincinnati 35 – #21 Indiana 13
Scott – Cincinnati 31, Indiana 21
Gavin – Indiana 28, Cincinnati 24
Well if a group of 5 team has any shot whatsoever at the College Football Playoff in its current format, this was a massive step towards that lofty goal for the Bearcats. Cincy controlled the entire game in a steamy Bloomington Saturday afternoon. Jerome Ford rushed for three scores and IU had no answer. Next up for UC, they need Indiana to turn it around into a solid season. But more importantly, they travel to top 10 Notre Dame following a bye week.
#4 Oklahoma 55 – Nebraska 16
Scott – Oklahoma 52, Nebraska 13
Gavin – Oklahoma 45, Nebraska 21
OU took care of business in Norman on Saturday, stomping long-time rival Nebraska by 39 points. Spencer Rattler showed off his Heisman caliber play all day, routing the Huskers from the very beginning. Nebraska needs to turn it around sooner rather than later, because once things turn sour for Scott Frost, it seems to go off the rails rather quickly. Oklahoma definitely looked the part as a playoff contender.
#9 Notre Dame 42 – Purdue 24
Scott – Notre Dame 41, Purdue 14
Gavin – Notre Dame 35, Purdue 17
Ever so quietly, the Fighting Irish keep on taking care of business, by taking care of frisky Purdue in South Bend. While people expected a large drop off in ND’s play this season, they have looked pretty strong thus far. Purdue showed good fight in this one, and this effort may be something to build off of for Jeff Brohm. Next up for Notre Dame, two ranked squads in Wisconsin and Cincinnati.
#13 Florida 28 – #1 Alabama 24
Scott – Alabama 38, Florida 17
Gavin – Alabama 24, Florida 20
Well here’s the chaos we were all asking for. In an absolute stunner, the Gators hold the Tide in check for just 24 points to secure the massive home upset. Bryce Young made a few too many mistakes in the Swamp, as the raucous crowd proved to be quite the test. Despite losing all of that talent last season, Emory Jones and the Florida offense used a different approach to keep Bama off balance all game. This marks the first SEC East opponent to beat Alabama since South Carolina in 2010. All of a sudden, we have a new SEC contender out east, with the brilliance of Dan Mullen shining more now than ever.
#12 USC 53 – Washington State 32
Scott – USC 45, Washington State 27
Gavin – USC 27, Washington State 14
While the Trojans in real-life were scuffling heading into this game, our simulated season has proved to be a lot different thus far. SC attacked the Wazzu secondary all day, and the Cougars just could not keep up with the Trojan offense. WSU showed fight, but the more talented team won in this one, and USC is looking pretty strong through three games.
#22 Utah 19 – San Diego State 18 (OT)
Scott – Utah 23, San Diego State 16
Gavin – Utah 35, San Diego State 17
This was a prime letdown spot for the Utes on the road against SDSU, but a win is a win. Following a missed extra point in OT, Utah escaped southern California with a zero in the loss column, and that’s all that matters. The Aztecs were able to slow the game down and play their game, but Utah still needs to be able to put together more complete performances if they hope to capture the division. Regardless, this road win was nothing to sneeze at.
Penn State 38 – Auburn 22
Scott – Penn State 27, Auburn 24
Gavin – Penn State 21, Auburn 19
This was the type of electric environment that made me realize how horrific Covid really altered last fall for all of us. The crowd was absolutely bonkers right out of the gate, and Penn State gave them plenty to cheer about. Noah Cain rushed for two scores and Sean Clifford looked like a completely different QB from what we saw last season. Auburn tried to keep it close, but the Lions’ defense made too many stops in the end. Penn State needed this one after their disappointing season-opener, and it will be interesting to see how this game impacts both of these teams’ seasons.
#11 North Carolina 39 – Virginia 6
Scott – North Carolina 44, Virginia 33
Gavin – North Carolina 31, Virginia 10
In the South’s Oldest Rivalry, UNC ends a 4 game UVA winning streak by stomping the Hoos Saturday night in Chapel Hill. Carolina’s offense showed once again why they may be a legit threat to Clemson in the ACC. What was surprising from this contest was how dominant the Tar Heel defense looked, holding Virginia to single-digits. UNC now improves to 2-0 in conference with a pair of divisional wins. Not a bad start, Mack Brown.
Oklahoma State 28 – Boise State 21
Scott – Boise State 33, Oklahoma State 30
While I thought the Broncos would be able to score a Power 5 victory on home turf, the OK State defense came to play, holding down Hank Bachmeier and the Bronco offense for large portions of the game. OSU is now 3-0, as the Broncos fall to 1-2. Not a great start for new coach Andy Avalos.
#23 Arizona State 45 – BYU 35
Gavin – Arizona State 38, BYU 31
While ASU was ranked, the preseason metrics liked BYU as the favorite at home. Coming off an emotional loss to rival Utah, the defense never looked in sync. Jayden Daniels picked apart the BYU defense all night as the Sun Devils move to 3-0 in a loaded Pac-12 South.
Our Pick Results
Scott 7-2 (21-6)
Gavin 7-2 (23-4)
While both of us did pretty well yet again, Gavin scored his upset for the third consecutive week to maintain his two game lead. Our picks have been rock solid this year so far, so based on last season, I expect a disastrous week forthcoming for us both!
Other Games of Note
Louisville 44 – UCF 29
A huge win for Scott Satterfield at UL, which may cool some hot seat talk. UCF suffers a big blow if it wants to crash the NY6 yet again.
Virginia Tech 25- West Virginia 24
VA Tech scores a huge road win against rival WVU. Can the Hokies return to double digit wins? The Mountaineers drop another close one to fall to 1-2.
#20 Coastal Carolina 42 – Buffalo 38
The Chants passed a frisky early-season test after heading north to Buffalo. UB has found some consistency within their program lately, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the close call if I was Coastal.
Colorado 36 – Minnesota 28
The Buffs pull a bit of a shocker in edging out the Gophers in Boulder. This could be an underrated but important victory forthe perception of the Pac-12.
Memphis 32 – Mississippi State 26
As if MSU fans weren’t already grieving from what happened in reality, this game just adds insult to injury as the Tigers squeak out a victory. Keep an eye on Memphis in the AAC.
FIU 18 – Texas Tech 16
What?!?! In perhaps the shocker of the season, FIU (who lost to Texas State last week) shuts down the Red Raiders in Lubbock by forcing a flurry of turnovers to notch a massive upset. Matt Wells is in deep trouble now.
North Texas 22 – UAB 15
Down in Conference USA, preseason favorite UAB was picked off in Denton by the Mean Green by a touchdown. Bill Clark’s team has plenty of time to regroup, but they have little margin for error now.
#17 UCLA 43 – Fresno State 29
Chip Kelly keeps on winning in Westwood (in the sim at least.) UCLA knocks off an impressive Fresno team, led by a stellar performance from DTR. The Bruins travel to lowly Stanford for their conference opener next week.
That’s all from a busy Week 3 folks! Don’t forget to come back next week to check out more content and results!