If you missed the national game picks from Thursday, you can find them here.
#22 BYU v. Michigan (-6.5) - 12:00 p.m. - ABC
Normally I would shy away from a team from out west coming to the eastern time zone for a noon kick, but BYU has to be itching to get back on the field after narrowly losing to UCLA last week. The Cougars have racked up a bunch of interceptions this year and throwing picks is what Jake Rudock does best. I think BYU will shut down Michigan's running attack which will leave Harbaugh and company scrambling for answers. No Hail Marys are needed from Tanner Mangum here.
BYU 31 Michigan 21
Central Michigan v. #2 Michigan State (-26.5) - 12:00 p.m. - Big Ten Network
The Spartans may be 3-0 on the season, but they are winless when it comes to the point spread. Michigan State will suffer a bit of the loss in the first half since linebacker Riley Bullough will miss the first half after being ejected for targeting in the second half of last week's game against Air Force. Central Michigan played Oklahoma State tough to open the season, but that game was in Mount Pleasant. Sparty starts strong and unlike in the games against Western Michigan and Air Force, they don't lose the cover in garbage time.
Michigan State 48 Central Michigan 14
Bowling Green (-4) v. Purdue - 12:00 p.m. - Big Ten Network
Bowling Green already beat Maryland a couple weeks ago, and now are trying to go into West Lafayette and add Purdue to their Big Ten win collection. The Falcons have been one of the most exciting teams in the country to watch so far this year, averaging over 600 yards of offense per game. Last week Virginia Tech put 51 points up on the Boilermakers. If Purdue couldn't stop the Hokies, how are they going to stop Matt Johnson and the Falcons? Bowling Green might finish the year with more Big Ten wins than Purdue.
Bowling Green 51 Purdue 38
Southern Mississippi v. Nebraska (-21) - 12:00 p.m. - ESPNews
The Cornhuskers put up a valiant effort to come back and tie Miami and send the game into overtime, but a win just wasn't in the cards last week. Had they completed the comeback, and BYU didn't throw a hail mary in the season opener, Nebraska would be 3-0. Nebraska should be able to even their record on the season this week, but I wouldn't count on them covering the number. Southern Miss can move the football and the Cornhusker defense is pretty banged up. The Golden Eagles at least stay within shouting distance.
Nebraska 34 Southern Mississippi 21
Kansas v. Rutgers (-14.5) - 12:00 p.m. - Big Ten Network
This game is gross. I already feel dirty for having wrote this much about it. As bad as Rutgers is they don't even come close to the dumpster fire that Kansas is.
Rutgers 37 Kansas 17
Indiana (-3) v. Wake Forest - 12:30 p.m. - ESPN3
I don't know what is more surprising in this matchup, Indiana having three wins or Wake Forest having two wins. Nate Sudfeld and Jordan Howard are combining to make the Indiana offense sorta watchable. I just don't think Wake Forest has enough offense to keep up with Indiana, and believe me the Hoosier defense will probably do their best to try and help Wake keep up. Indiana starts 4-0 for the first time since 1990, so go ahead and bring College Gameday to Bloomington for next week's game against the Buckeyes
Indiana 41 Wake Forest 20
Maryland v. West Virginia (-17) - 3:00 p.m. - Fox Sports 1
Maryland is just way too weird to explain. Get smashed by Bowling Green and then go and beat up on South Florida. This rivalry usually ends up not being a blowout, with six of the last seven meetings being decided by 17 points or less. I'm still not totally sure what we have with West Virginia, since they had a bye last week after playing Georgia Southern and Citadel to start out the year. With their next four games being Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and TCU, could the Mountaineers be looking ahead a little? I think Holgo and company win but Maryland at least keeps it within 17.
West Virginia 33 Maryland 23
North Texas v. Iowa (-25) - 3:30 p.m. - ESPNU
Look at the Hawkeyes! A 57-yard field goal at the buzzer to win last week, and now with a win over North Texas they'll go 4-0 for the first time since 2009. North Texas hasn't done a lot right to start the year, stumbling to a 0-3 record so far. This could turn out to be your classic sandwich game for Iowa following the win last week and with a trip to Wisconsin on tap next Saturday. Iowa has had a strong start to the season, but I don't know if I'm comfortable laying that many points. They are still Iowa after all.
Iowa 35 North Texas 13
Ohio v. Minnesota (-10) - 3:30 p.m. - Big Ten Network
Can Minnesota even score 10 points? Last week the Golden Gophers were only able to muster 10 points against Kent State, a team Illinois scored 52 points against. The Bobcats are 3-0 to start the year, and return a lot of starters from last year. This will be your typical Minnesota slopfest, but the Golden Gophers barely squeak by another MAC team.
Minnesota 20 Ohio 17
San Diego State v. Penn State (-15) - 3:30 p.m. - Big Ten Network
The Nittany Lions have rebounded from their embarrassing loss to Temple with wins in their next two games. Last week Penn State had little trouble with Rutgers, but who wouldn't with all the Scarlet Knights are going through? The Aztecs offense is actually worse than the Nittany Lions. Do you know how hard is it to be that bad? San Diego State struggles to hit double-digits while Penn State pieces together some touchdowns.
Penn State 30 San Diego State 10
Middle Tennessee State v. Illinois (-4) - 4:00 p.m. - ESPNews
It's not as bad as Kansas/Rutgers but it's pretty close. Middle Tennessee has scored 70 points in two of three games this year, but that was against Charlotte and Jackson State. Illinois did what they do best last week against North Carolina. Lose big. I feel like the Blue Raiders will put up points on the Fighting Illini but Illinois will end up winning by 10 points.
Illinois 38 Middle Tennessee State 28
Hawaii v. Wisconsin (-24) - 8:00 p.m. - Big Ten Network
Wisconsin was dealt a blow this week when it was announced running back Corey Clement is out 4-6 weeks due to injury. Not like Wisconsin can't just plug somebody else in and have them be successful. Joel Stave has passed for 666 yards through three games so I'm sure that's a sign of the apocalypse. Hawaii is a tough team though and Max Wittek puts the ball in the end zone a couple times to secure a Rainbow Warriors cover.
Wisconsin 33 Hawaii 14
Ball State v. #17 Northwestern (-19) - 8:00 p.m. - Big Ten Network
Alright, I believe a bit in Northwestern. Their defense certainly showed up last week against Duke, and they very well could make a run in the Big Ten West (Was that the Leaders or Legends?). Northwestern has allowed 16 points so far this season, which is the fifth-fewest through three games in the FBS over the past five years. While I said I believe a bit in Northwestern, I don't know if I'm ready to believe they can cover a spread this big yet. The Wildcats aren't exactly setting the world on fire on offense and if Ball State can get a couple touchdowns it could be all they need to cover.
Northwestern 34 Ball State 17
Western Michigan v. #1 Ohio State (-32) - 3:30 p.m. - ABC/ESPN2
Third time has to be the charm, right? The last two games Ohio State has been favored by at least 30 points and failed to cover. Last week was especially ugly, with the Buckeyes struggling to beat Northern Illinois. Ohio State SHOULD get back on track against Western Michigan this week, and hopefully the offense can gain a little bit of momentum heading into Big Ten play. What Ohio State needs is not only a steady dose of Ezekiel Elliott, but also it would be nice if Cardale Jones played like he did at the end of last year. The offensive line and play calling aren't helping Jones right now, but I think everyone gets on the same page this week.
Western Michigan does have an offense that is capable of putting up points on most teams, but this Ohio State defense is playing a lot better than pretty much everyone else in the country right now. If the Buckeyes jump out to an early lead, they'll be able to limit sophomore running back Jarvion Franklin's usage, something Michigan State did very well against the Broncos to start the season. There are few wide receiving combinations in the country than Corey Davis and Daniel Braverman, but it's hard to see them being productive with how well the Buckeye secondary is playing. Fans will be able to breathe a little easier this week as Ohio State shows why they are the top ranked team in the country.
Ohio State 54 Western Michigan 17