Last week, we were right to be suspicious of UCLA, which barely snuck by Texas, losing their starting quarterback in the process. We didn't count on Louisville turning the ball over 4 times in an upset loss to Virginia, though, so we went 1-1 for the week. That brings our record in national picks for the season to an increasingly less impressive 3-2. But now we're in week 4 when things get interesting. Every team has played a couple of games, so we have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. Whether we'll be dangerous to our wallets or to the bookies is a question that we'll look to answer with this week's National Game of Interest: No. 22 Clemson at No. 1 Florida State (-20).
The pick: Clemson + 20
Why you should care: Florida State is the reigning national champion and sits atop the polls. If Clemson keeps it interesting, we'll know that our Dawgs weren't as bad as they looked last week against South Carolina. Or, at the very least, we'll know that no one is particularly good at all.
Rationale: Way back in week 1, the Seminoles held off Oklahoma State in a 37-31 thriller that had pundits saying that the Cowboys' strong showing against the undisputed No. 1 team in the country meant that they were better than anticipated. Since that game, though, the Cowboys gave up 23 to Missouri State (who?) and 13 to UTSA, scoring 40 and 43 points, respectively. Those are comfortable wins, but they're not exactly the dominating performances you'd expect against truly solid teams against smaller conference opponents.
If you watched the 'Noles play, you know that they just didn't look as dominant as they did last year. I'm not sure anyone watched their last game against Citadel, but a 37-12 final score isn't exactly impressive. I expect that the 'Noles will probably win, but 3 scores is an awful lot against a young, talented team like Clemson that should have a better sense of what they can do on both sides of the ball.
Bonus Game to Watch: No. 4 Oklahoma -7.5 at West Virginia. It's really tempting to want to take Oklahoma here. Doesn't it feel like they should be favored by 2 TDs? Well, that's where the line opened on Sunday, and now it's slipped all the way to 7.5. Vegas knows something. This game could get interesting.