Among the Power 5 conferences, the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 all play nine conference games. That means generally speaking Week 3 of the season is the last non-conference game for most of those schools in the regular season.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
This will also be the last week that Ohio State is without suspended head coach Urban Meyer on gameday as the No. 4 Buckeyes face No. 15 TCU from AT&T Stadium outside Dallas. Meyer has been able to coach the team at practice since after Week 1. He hasn’t been missed much yet as OSU have destroyed lightweights Oregon State and Rutgers. The Buckeyes are -13 against the Frogs, and Ohio State has covered six of eight vs. Big 12 foes.
Another dominant team in the early going has been No. 5 Oklahoma, but things should get a bit tougher on Saturday as the Sooners open Big 12 play at Iowa State. OU is -18 even though the Cyclones handed Oklahoma its only regular-season loss last year, 38-31 in Norman in a huge upset. OU is on a 16-game road winning streak and has won those by an average of nearly 22 points.
There’s a big one from the Pac-12 as No. 10 Washington visits unranked Utah in a potential preview of the conference title game. Many expect the Huskies to get there, but the Utes would be a minor surprise if doing so. UW is a 7-point favorite but has failed to cover the past three in the series.
The SEC game of the day is No. 12 LSU at No. 7 Auburn, with the winning Tigers side presumably the primary challenger to top-ranked Alabama in the West Division. Auburn is -9.5 and has covered the past four at home in the series.
The Crimson Tide play their first true road game of the year as they visit Ole Miss. The rebuilding Rebels are getting 21.5 points but have covered three of the previous four in the series.
No. 18 Central Florida puts its national-best 15-game winning streak on the line at struggling North Carolina, which is still dealing with the fallout of several suspended players. The Knights are -15 – not too often you see a non-Power 5 school as at least a two-TD favorite at a Power 5 program. UNC has just one home win, though, in its past eight. There’s a chance that game could be postponed due to Hurricane Florence.