By: Kevin Cunningham, Managing Editor of Internet Content
There were a couple picks I was happy I made a week ago. Kentucky beating Missouri was one of my favorites. Kentucky is always seen as a bottom-dweller in the SEC, but they were at home, and I finally got off Missouri quarterback, Maty Mauk’s, bandwagon.
Kentucky went on to win at home, 21-13. Mauk actually didn’t play terrible, but he just hasn’t performed well enough to be “one of the best quarterbacks in college football,” as he went 15 of 30 for 180 yards and one touchdown. Sorry, but you have to do more against Kentucky.
Texas Tech giving TCU all it could handle – I called that one. The Red Raiders actually probably should have won. Josh Rosen proved he was legitimate to me by going on the road and throwing up 56 points on Arizona. And Utah beating Oregon, 62-20? Yikes.
Let’s also not talk about Georgia Tech losing to Duke.
(1) Ohio State at Indiana
Indiana’s actually 4-0 this season. Who knew? Is Tevin Coleman sneaking in on Saturdays and coming back to slaughter college football competition? If he’s not, look for Ohio State to win comfortably on the road.
It’s the Buckeyes’ first Big Ten game of the season, and they’ll want to go out on the road and prove to the country that they’re the No. 1 team once again.
Ohio State wins 45-10
(2) Michigan State vs. Purdue
The easily better team is at home. I love, yet hate previewing these games. Let’s make the top-two teams in the country win by the exact same score.
Michigan State wins 45-10
(3) Ole Miss at (25) Florida
You know what would be cool? If Florida didn’t have over 20 players getting the flu bug this week before facing the No. 3 team in the country. Gators quarterback Will Grier is questionable to start. If that’s the case, good luck.
Ole Miss is definitely the better team, but I think Florida could have had a chance. With that many players not being at 100 percent, it’s tough to see the upset happen, though. Florida’s at home, and Ole Miss is only favored by 6.5, but, take the points. The Rebels will win by double-digits.
Ole Miss wins 31-17
(4) TCU vs. Texas
Man oh man was Texas Tech close to beating TCU a week ago. I think TCU will end up playing Ohio State in the College Football Playoff (CFP) title game at the end of the year, but Baylor’s the best team in the Big 12. I’ve said that a lot this season, and for one of the last times, it’s because TCU gets Baylor at home.
This game against Texas should be a better game than what it is, because, well… it’s Texas. Charlie Strong will have them headed in the right direction soon. I think it’s only a matter of time. The real question is whether he’ll get that time or not. (See what he did at Louisville and where they are now)
TCU wins 52-17
(5) Baylor vs. Texas Tech
It may not look like it at the end of the game, but Baylor is going to thoroughly control this one. They have a better pass rush than TCU does, which will limit Texas Tech’s air raid offense just enough. Baylor’s at home and Texas Tech is coming off an incredibly emotional defeat in its own backyard.
Baylor wins 59-35
(6) Notre Dame at (12) Clemson
This is probably the game of the week. Everyone knows about both teams. Notre Dame has a new starting quarterback thanks to injury (well, two weeks old), but possesses a great defense. Clemson on the other hand, had a stout defense a year ago, but that isn’t the case anymore.
Its offense, though, is fantastic as long as quarterback Deshaun Watson stays healthy. Watson’s a great talent and Clemson’s at home. Realistically, with the better quarterback and being at home, I shouldn’t overthink this one, but, I will.
Maybe I’m reeling off emotion that Georgia Tech was the best team in the ACC coming into the season and that Clemson just wasn’t as great as people thought. I know Notre Dame has the better defense and the better running back that will eventually play on Sundays (C.J. Prosise). They’ll be able to control the tempo against a Tigers team that’s favored, and again, are at home with the better quarterback.
This will be a close game, but if Notre Dame does pull this one out, it’ll be thanks to what I mentioned above. By the way, the Fighting Irish’s toughest contests left on the schedule after this game are at home to USC, and the team’s final game on the road at Stanford. Look out, College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame wins 34-27
(7) UCLA vs. Arizona State
UCLA is coming off a huge win at Arizona a week ago. And honestly, if they were at Arizona State this week, I’d pick the upset. I think the Bruins are lucky to be at home. They still have a freshman quarterback, despite how good he is, and Arizona State is massively better than its 2-2 record shows.
This game will be a lot closer than Vegas thinks (UCLA favored by 13.5). Take Arizona State to cover. I’m telling you.
UCLA wins 31-30
(8) Georgia vs. (13) Alabama
If Notre Dame-Clemson isn’t the biggest game today, then this is. Boy is it going to be interesting seeing Alabama go 3-2 overall. It obviously doesn’t happen much, but I think it will here. People wondered if their dynasty was over, and while I thought it has been for a short while now, this will only confirm it.
During the dynasty run, you could see Alabama pulling this one out. I mean, Georgia’s a good football team, don’t get me wrong. But realistically, they are extremely reliant on their running game. Georgia’s quarterback, Greyson Lambert, is less talented than Alabama’s Jake Coker.
It has to be said though, and this is insane, that over the last two games, Lambert is 33 of 35 passing (no, that’s not a typo) for 476 yards with five touchdowns to zero interceptions. Oh, and one of those opponents was South Carolina (where he went 24 of 25). They’re not cupcake-city.
And you know what? That’s all Lambert has to do all season long. Be accurate, make safe throws, and rely on your running game. Georgia’s quarterback has a nice gig with the stable of backs he has to hand it off to, and Nick Chubb will display that against Alabama’s highly regarded front seven.
Georgia wins 34-24
(9) LSU vs. Eastern Michigan
Want to know a guy that’s going to put up huge numbers and be a must-start in daily college football league? Leonard Fournette. You’ve probably heard of him.
LSU wins 56-0
(10) Utah – BYE
Just in case you didn’t read it above, Utah beat Oregon on the road last week, 62-20. That’s all you need to know.
(11) Florida State at Wake Forest
The better team isn’t at home here. As far as the Seminoles go, they just keep winning games. And looking at its schedule, the ‘Noles should be 8-0 heading into the game at Clemson as long as my Yellow Jackets don’t beat them first.
Florida State wins 38-17
(14) Texas A&M vs. (21) Mississippi State
The by far more talented team is at home here and is coming off an overtime victory over Arkansas. The Aggies will be ready to explode in this one. Mississippi State, for those that don’t know, have really impressed to this point.
They were picked to not be much of a factor, but after losing to LSU by two points, they are now coming off a victory at Auburn. Now, Auburn’s struggling, but still. Quarterback Dak Prescott won’t let Mississippi State die. Going on the road to Texas A&M though, could be the toughest test for any team in the SEC.
Texas A&M wins 38-24
(15) Oklahoma vs. (23) West Virginia
Realistically, Oklahoma’s the better team and is at home. The matchup should be that simple. Yet, both teams are 3-0, and West Virginia’s no pushover. The issue for the Mountaineers is, they are on the road, and to this point, have certainly not been tested.
When your best opponent through three weeks is a 2-2 Maryland team, this game will take some getting used to for West Virginia. Oklahoma’s about as good as they’re ranked, which is a pretty solid football team. I’d be surprised to see an upset, and honestly, the Sooners should be favored by more than seven points. (Back-door cover, anyone?)
Oklahoma wins 34-21
(16) Northwestern vs. Minnesota
Northwestern is just so disrespected. I’ll say this – that Northwestern is probably the 25th best team in the country. But, to be fair, they’re favored by 4.5 points AT HOME to a 3-1, unranked, Minnesota team. Minnesota’s not terrible, but come on.
Watch Northwestern beat the spread once again. They were underdogs to Duke on the road a couple games ago and ended up winning by nine. Northwestern’s 3-1 against the spread this season and will soon be 4-1. I’m talking about gambling more than usual in this blog… oh well.
Northwestern wins 31-21
(17) USC – BYE
(18) Stanford vs. Arizona
Arizona lost big to UCLA at home last week. But at the same time, its quarterback went out with an injury in the second quarter, (yes, they were losing big at the time) and were ranked No. 16 in the country (UCLA was No. 9). Why in the heck is Arizona unranked and are now 13.5-point underdogs to Stanford?
Yes, Stanford’s good, and I’m going to pick them in this game, but geez. Arizona’s a top-25 team, and while I like Northwestern, they’re the better version of Wildcats. I guess Arizona’s going to “surprise” someone down the line before they earn respect again.
Stanford wins 27-24
(19) Wisconsin vs. Iowa
Talk about another fringe top-25 Big Ten team (Wisconsin). Actually, Iowa could belong there, too. If Iowa were to win, they would be in the top-25. The Hawkeyes are 4-0 and have a good defense. If they were at home, I’d go with them.
I think Wisconsin’s slightly better, and since they’re at home, we’ll go with the Badgers. Wisconsin’s only favored by 6.5 for a reason, though.
Wisconsin wins 27-17
(20) Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State
Kansas State has gotten some loving these last few years and rightfully so. Yet, they’re 3-0 this season and aren’t ranked. Oklahoma State is better than people think, though. The Cowboys are only favored by a touchdown, but that should be the line if the game was at Kansas State.
Oklahoma State wins 31-17
(22) Michigan at Maryland
Maryland is not good, and Michigan is. They proved that they were last week. I questioned them, and they responded with a 31-0 win over BYU. Jim Harbaugh has this team going in the right direction, and it’s not stopping against the Terrapins.
Michigan wins 38-14
(24) California vs. Washington State
Jared Goff could end up as the No. 1-rated quarterback prospect entering the 2016 NFL Draft. If you don’t know him yet, you will soon. He’s California’s quarterback, and the Golden Bears travel to Utah next week, play at UCLA the week after, and then are at home to USC. Goff will have his work cut out for him.
California wins 42-21
2015 Overall Record: 63-13