Scott Van Pelt's 'Winners' for CFB Week 3: Gators keep it close vs. Vols

Went 6-6 last week, which was admittedly a mess of games to give. Should we have gotten Texas Tech to go 7-5? Yes, without a doubt. But that conveniently ignores how EMU got there for us. So, let's focus on Week 3 and aspire to be better. How's that sound? I have nine underdogs I would like to offer you at this time. It begins in a very busy noon window, and you have to be willing to take a whole lot of points against very good teams. It requires an unflappable spirit ... maybe some bourbon; that's up to you. Who's with me? You, over there -- I see you.

Saturday's picks

No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (-26, 48) at Boston College Eagles
Noon ET on ABC, Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Van Pelt's pick: Boston College +26

Went against Florida State last week, a VERY poor choice. Feels even dumber because Boston College hasn't looked the part ... YET. But 26 at home we will take.

SVP: 1-4-1 all time when picking Boston College

No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions (-14.5, 48.5) at Illinois Fighting Illini
Noon ET, Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Ill.

Van Pelt's pick: Illinois +14.5

Penn State is awfully good -- Illinois just got spanked on the road. Road conference opener giving more than 2 TDs for the Nittany Lions? A lot to ask. Illinois in the Champaign room.

SVP: 4-3-1 all time when picking Illinois

No. 14 LSU Tigers (-9.5, 54.5) at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Noon ET on ESPN, Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Miss.

Van Pelt's pick: Mississippi State +9.5

You're gonna want that cowbell, baby. Mississippi State -- clanga at home against LSU catching 9 and the hook.

SVP: 8-7 all time when picking Mississippi State

No. 15 Kansas State Wildcats (-3.5, 47.5) at Missouri Tigers
Noon ET on SECN, Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.

Van Pelt's pick: Missouri +3.5

Took my lumps going against Kansas State last week. They make it painful, man. Really good team. Mizzou I believe can offer enough opposition that 3.5 is what we will take.

SVP: 9-8 all time when picking Missouri

Iowa State Cyclones (-3, 42.5) at Ohio Bobcats
Noon ET on ESPNU, Peden Stadium, Athens, Ohio

Van Pelt's pick: Ohio +3

Last nooner ... we have a stinky-poo line in Athens, Ohio. Iowa State off a loss for the Cy-Hawk Trophy laying just a FG to the Bobcats. MAC opponent in the noon window on the road is not a spot to take lightly -- these cats are live 'dogs we believe are barking.

SVP: 2-3 all time when picking the Ohio Bobcats

Minnesota Golden Gophers at No. 20 North Carolina Tar Heels (-8, 50)
3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Van Pelt's pick: Minnesota +8

Ski-U-Mah to row the boat and keep it close with North Carolina last seen battling into double OT last Saturday laying almost 3 TDs. Gophers catching 8 in Chapel Hill.

SVP: 10-5 all time when picking against North Carolina

East Carolina Pirates at Appalachian State Mountaineers (-9.5, 48)
3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, N.C

Van Pelt's pick: East Carolina +9.5

Speaking of App State, they host one of my favorite teams through the years in this segment. Because I get to show this picture and yell NO QUARTER! ECU plus the points against the boys from Boone who battled their butts off in the loss to Carolina. Perhaps it took a bit of wind out of the sails in the process. Two fan bases and coaches I really enjoy in this one.

SVP: 6-2 all time when picking East Carolina

No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers (-6.5, 58.5) at Florida Gators
7 p.m. ET on ESPN, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Fla.

Van Pelt's pick: Florida +6.5

Two more and we'll call it a day. ... You know what it's great to be? A Florida Gator. Particularly in The Swamp when getting some candy, which doesn't happen a ton. You're wise to take the nibble when it does. Gators and Vols in what I believe will be a close one.

SVP: 4-1 all time when picking Florida vs. ranked opponent

Syracuse Orange (-2.5, 57.5) at Purdue Boilermakers
7:30 p.m. ET, Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.

Van Pelt's pick: Purdue +2.5

And let's say goodnight by banging that big-ass drum. Syracuse has played two overmatched teams and blown them both out. Purdue has played two much better teams and split -- both were four-quarter battles. This is the first game for the Orange on the road and in their weight class. Boiler Up at home in this one.

SVP: 6-2 all time when picking Purdue

That's a niner for a week that is supposedly a bit of a snoozer. Those rarely turn out to be slumber parties, let's just put it that way. Head on a swivel, boys.