Following last week’s upheaval that effectively changed the 2022 college football season, the top-25 teams favored in Week 3 will be a bit cautious on Saturday. With two games between ranked opponents on the schedule and several high-profile conference games to be played, there’s plenty to play for before league play begins in earnest to close out the month of September.
Most notable is Saturday night’s cap, as No. 13 Miami takes on No. 1 Texas A&M. Visiting 24, Appalachian State is fresh off one of the aforementioned upset losses with the Aggies. The Hurricanes are looking to flex under first-year coach Mario Cristobal, while Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher is intent on keeping his seat from getting too hot. Speaking of Cristobal, his former team has another top 25 clash with no. 25 Oregon host no. 12 featured as BYU. While the Ducks are still aiming to bounce back from a rough game against Georgia in Week 1, the Cougars are feeling themselves after a big home win against Baylor.
Fresh off the Cornhuskers firing coach Scott Frost, No. 6 Oklahoma welcomes rival Nebraska, the newly minted no. 1 Georgia faces a tough conference test from SEC East rival South Carolina and Auburn at 22 Penn State. Sports featured on CBS. In other words, there will be no shortage of storylines to chew on before Saturday unfolds.
Be sure to stay tuned to CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games in Week 3.
Odds by Caesars Sportsbook | East at all times
No. in Nebraska. 6 Oklahoma
Noon | fox, fuboTV (try it for free) — Oklahoma hasn’t faced a Power Five opponent under new coach Brent Venables. In fact, its two wins came against teams ranked 95th and 108th in the CBS Sports 131 rankings. While Nebraska is struggling, the jump in talent — along with a new coaching direction — makes this game a bit trickier than early results suggest. A poor Nebraska team played a top Oklahoma team within seven points last season. With the game taking place in Lincoln, Nebraska, don’t expect things to get out of hand. Pick: Nebraska (+11.5) — Shehan Jayaraja
No. 1 Georgia over South Carolina
Special game | South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Noon | ESPN, fuboTV (try it for free) — South Carolina’s woes in this contest have wreaked havoc on the offensive line. The Gamecocks have struggled to protect quarterback Spencer Rattler and haven’t shown much rushing offense in two games. Georgia’s defense hasn’t slowed down after taking five players in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. While coach Kirby Smart is unlikely to increase the scoring of a respected former assistant, Georgia will have to cover its offense even if it keeps things subdued. Prediction: Georgia (-24.5) — David Cobb
No. 22 Penn State at Auburn
Special game | Auburn Tigers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
3:30 pm | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App — The Nittany Lions didn’t look great on the road against Purdue, even though Penn State had the big win of the two teams. As a result, I’m not ready to trust the Nittany Lions as road favorites against Auburn, even if Auburn doesn’t inspire much confidence. The defenses will be the best units on the field in this matchup, so it’s hard to imagine either team pulling far away from the other. This makes Auburn and Points an attractive option. Prediction: Auburn (+3) — Tom Fornelli
No. 25 in Oregon No. 12 BYU
Special game | Oregon Ducks vs. BYU Cougars
3:30 pm | fox, fuboTV (try it for free) — Simply put: BYU is better than Oregon in most position groups. Quarterback Jaren Hall flashed his NFL arm despite missing his first two receiving targets in an upset over Baylor last weekend. Both the offensive and defensive lines have excelled over the past three seasons. The secondary played at a high level, while Christopher Brooks slotted in well. Conversely, Oregon has gone 1-4 in its last five FBS matchups and has been outscored 201-90. With wins over Baylor, USC, Utah and four other Power Five opponents in the past year, don’t expect the Cougars to be intimidated by Oregon’s recruiting stars. Prediction: BYU (+3.5) — Jayaraja
21 UTSA at Texas
Special game | Texas Longhorns vs. UTSA Roadrunners
8 pm | Longhorn Network — This is a potential trap game for the Longhorns, but I think they’ll pull out the win. However, Hudson Card’s position makes Texas reluctant to take over as a 12.5-point favorite. Card is at his best when he plays with his feet, and his ankle injury could slow down that part of his game. On top of that, Jeff Traylor’s team has plenty of motivation against one of the Big 12’s premier organizations. Texas wins, but the Roadrunners are the governor. Prediction: UTSA (+12.5) — Austin Nivison
No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M
Special game | Texas A&M Aggies vs. Miami (FL) Hurricanes
9 pm | ESPN, fuboTV (try it for free) — It’s going to be a battle of the quarterbacks, and the winner of that battle is clear. Tyler Van Dyke is more talented, has better outside defense and more weapons than Haynes King. Van Dyke and the Hurricanes offense will set the tempo, resulting in this game being played in the 30s. Texas A&M can’t crash. A slew of mistakes by Texas A&M in the second half will give Miami not only cover, but an outright win. Prediction: Miami (+5.5) — Barrett Sully
Which college football picks can you confidently make in Week 3, and which favorites will be tough? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has made nearly $3,400 in profits over the past six-plus seasons — find out.