Week 7 starts early with UCLA and Stanford facing off on Thursday night. This week also features three major marquee matchups: 8Florida at 6LSU, 7Michigan State at 12Michigan, and 10Alabama at 9Texas A&M. Man am I glad this is the Hog’s bye week so I can just watch these great games without stressing out about Arkansas. We will see some shakeups in the top 25 this week with 5 matchups of ranked teams. The regular season is almost halfway done, this season is going by way too fast.
18UCLA at 15Stanford (Thurs) This is a very interesting matchup. Both of these teams are coming off bye weeks, but UCLA lost in their last game to Arizona State while Stanford had no issues with Arizona. UCLA has also lost Myles Jack to injury and the NFL, and will need people to step up in his absence. I think Stanford is too strong on defense for UCLA. If the Cardinal can keep Josh Rosen in check I think this game could get away from UCLA in a hurry. But this also has a high possibility of being a close game. This should be a good way to start week 7. I am picking Stanford.
8Florida at 6LSU What a matchup. At the beginning of the season I thought this game wouldn’t be all that interesting. Now it might be interesting for the wrong reasons. Florida QB Will Grier has been suspended for one calendar year for testing positive for PEDs. Treon Harris will takeover at QB for the Gators. Will he be able to keep the Gators going like they have been? I don’t think he will be as effective. LSU’s Leonard Fournette’s effectiveness is not in question. The sophomore RB has already crossed the 1,000-yard rush mark in just 5 games, but last week showed off the receivers a little more for the Tigers. This is good news for LSU because having all your eggs in one basket is rarely a good idea. I think LSU is going to use all of their offensive weapons against a strong Florida defense. I think Florida’s D will make this a relatively close game. I am picking LSU.
7Michigan State at 12Michigan I thought it would take a little longer for Jim Harbaugh to turn this Michigan program around. I was wrong. The Wolverines have posted 3 straight shutouts including last week’s 38-0 trouncing of then 13th ranked Northwestern. I have been extremely unimpressed with Michigan State (and so have the voters, dropping the Spartans to 7 even though they are 6-0). I don’t believe this team deserves their ranking based on their games so far. Their win over Oregon is looking less and less impressive. Their defense seems to be pretty good, but their offense is barely doing enough to win games. I believe Michigan deserves to be ranked much higher than 12th based on their body of work (I actually have them in my top 5). I think Michigan will overpower their in-state rival this week in the Big House. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Michigan shut them got their 4th straight shutout. I am picking Michigan.
10Alabama at 9Texas A&M Wow. I can’t wait for this game. Arkansas played both of these teams really well for most of the game. I think Alabama has the upper hand in this game because of their defense. They also have a very strong offense with Derrick Henry and TJ Yeldon. The Hogs rushed for 232 yards against the Aggies while only allowing 65 rush yards. Alabama held Arkansas to just 44 yards on the ground. That big crowd at Kyle Field might be a factor though. Alabama isn’t built to score more than 35ish points, so a high scoring game favors the Aggies. That being said, I don’t expect a high scoring game. Texas A&M runs a faster pace of offense than Arkansas and that could give Bama trouble, but I think the Tide will keep the Aggies in check and will leave College Station with a win. I am picking Alabama.
USC at 14Notre Dame This might just be a blowout win for Notre Dame. USC head coach Steve Sarkisian was fired on Monday after losing 12-17 at home to Washington last week. The mental state of the team is hard to guess. They are either going to be down and feel like this is a lost season or they are going to go to South Bend and play their hearts out to show the country that they might be down but they aren’t out. I think it is probably somewhere in the middle, which is about the same as being down. It is hard to play a tough 60-minute game if everyone isn’t all in. It’ll be interesting to see how Notre Dame’s offense does against a pretty good USC defense. Though the main story of this game isn’t on the field, there is a possibility this is a good game. It’s a slim possibility, but there is a chance. I am picking Notre Dame.
17Iowa at 20Northwestern Northwestern got their behinds handed to them last week at Michigan. Iowa escaped Illinois with a 9-point win but didn’t look all that great. I think Northwestern will get back on track with this game. They are back home and hopefully learned a lot from their loss. They have a very strong defense and should be able to stop Iowa, a team who hasn’t showed the greatest offensive ability this season (except in a win over North Texas who lost 7-66 to FCS Portland State last week). The Iowa defense has been pretty good against not that great competition. This will be the first real test for the Hawkeyes. I think Northwestern will bounce back and get back on track for the season. I am picking Northwestern.
19Oklahoma at Kansas State Oklahoma suffered a tough loss to a Texas team that needed a big win for their head coach. They didn’t look great in that loss and maybe it was because they thought Texas wasn’t going to fight near as hard as they did. But in a rivalry game you always need to be at your best, no matter what the record of your opponent is. I doubt the loss was only because Texas came out and just wanted it more. Kansas State blew a big lead over TCU at home last week and I don’t think Bill Snyder would let that happen two games in a row. I think Kansas State has too much scoring ability for Oklahoma to overcome, even though the Sooners have a better defense than TCU. I think this could be a shootout and the team who makes the least mistakes will win. This should be a good game to watch. I am picking Kansas State.
Penn State at 1Ohio State
West Virginia at 2Baylor
3TCU at Iowa State
Arizona State at 4Utah
Boston College at 5Clemson
Louisville at 11Florida State
13Ole Miss at Memphis
16Oklahoma State BYE
21Boise State at Utah State (Fri)
Eastern Michigan at 22Toledo
24Houston at Tulane (Fri)
Vanderbilt at South Carolina
Missouri at Georgia
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State
Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech at Miami(FL)
Oregon at Washington
San Diego State at San Jose State