We are already halfway done with college football. This week only features one game between two top 25 ranked teams. That means there are a lot of teams that need to be on upset alert. Rutgers is probably still riding high from their upset win over Indiana and could give Ohio State a scare. Tennessee got a week of rest and will head to Tuscaloosa to take on the Tide. This could be an interesting week of college football.
20California at UCLA (Thurs) This is an interesting game. California is coming off a bye week and a close loss to Utah. UCLA gave up 56 points to Stanford a week ago and is looking a little lost on defense. Myles Jack is clearly missed. I think this will be a relatively high scoring game and a close one. I think California is the better team and has the advantage even though they are on the road. Josh Rosen will need to have a clean game to beat Cal. I think a defensive or special teams play will be the difference in this game. I am picking California.
Utah State at San Diego State (Fri) Week 8 doesn’t have the strongest slate of games in the top 25, so I’m going to venture to the Mountain West for one of my previews. Utah State trounced Boise State last week 52-26. Boise State had 7 turnovers in the first half and 8 overall. I highly doubt that will happen to San Diego State, but I do think the Aggies will win. Each of these teams come into the game with 3 straight conference wins. I believe Utah State has the better offense. Both of these teams have pretty strong defenses so I don’t expect either to score 50 points. This should be a really good game and it could be a preview of the MW conference championship game. I am picking Utah State.
3Utah at USC Utah is the underdog in this game. The Utes haven’t looked too great in their last couple outings (close one with Cal and they needed 20 points in the 4th quarter against Arizona State). USC played great for 3 quarters against Notre Dame but allowed 17 points in the final 15 minutes and lost by 10. I think Utah is better on defense than USC and Devontae Booker will be the difference maker on offense. I think this will be a good game and could come down to the final possession, but I think Utah will once again pull away in the 4th quarter to get the win. I am picking Utah.
Tennessee at 8Alabama Tennessee is coming off a bye week and their big win over Georgia. Alabama is coming off a big road win over Texas A&M where they returned 3INTs for TDs. The Tide need to be on upset alert this weekend. Getting out to an early lead doesn’t mean that they will win. Tennessee played very well coming from behind against Georgia. I don’t think Tennessee has much of a chance against Alabama, but teams like that are scary. I think Alabama’s defense will once again be the difference in the game. I think they will tire out RB Jalen Hurd and will get to QB Josh Dobbs early. Tennessee won’t lay down, but I think Alabama will get a good win. I am picking Alabama.
15Texas A&M at 24Ole Miss Both of these teams are coming off tough losses. Texas A&M couldn’t take care of the ball against Alabama and gave up 3 pick sixes. Ole Miss went to Memphis and got upset by a very good Tiger team. I think Ole Miss will rebound in this game and will still be in contention for the SEC West title. The Aggie offense will have their work cut out for them with the Ole Miss Land Shark defense. Ole Miss also gets All-American left tackle Laremy Tunsil back from suspension. This should help their run game and in turn, their pass game. I think Ole Miss will be too much for A&M on both sides of the ball and will get a good win to keep them relevant. I am picking Ole Miss.
Kansas State at Texas Texas is coming off a bye week and a huge win over Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown. Kansas State got trounced by Oklahoma 0-55 at home last week. I think Texas will build on their win and continue to play good defense. Charlie Strong is a great coach and that win brought some hope back to the Longhorns. Texas could be in for a major letdown if they aren’t careful. Kansas State gave TCU a good fight, but TCU doesn’t have the strongest defense. Look for the Longhorn defense to be the difference in this game. I am picking Texas.
Auburn at Arkansas Arkansas had a bye last week after losing to Alabama. The Hogs had the Tide on the ropes for almost 3 quarters, but a failed fake punt changed the momentum and Alabama took over. Auburn barely got by Kentucky last Thursday and is looking for a quality SEC win. On paper, Arkansas is the better team, but if the paper was always right we wouldn’t need to play the games. I’m hoping Arkansas used the bye to get healthy and fix some of the problems on offense. Brandon Allen needs to start making more plays in the air. Throwing the ball away is good sometimes, but not every other throw. Disclaimer: I have never played QB or football of any kind and have not had to do anything with SEC football players running at me, so my opinions really don’t mean too much when it comes to the actual playing of the game. That being said, BA is the most experienced QB in the conference and I’ve seen him make better decisions than he has in the last couple weeks, so I’m allowed to be a little annoyed. Auburn has struggled against good defenses, so I think Arkansas will have the edge. The Hogs need to go back to controlling the time of possession so the defense can get some rest. Auburn has the 13th ranked rush defense in the SEC and Arkansas is 3rd. Expect Arkansas to run the ball and then run it some more to hopefully open up the passing game. The secondary will need to step up for the Hogs in this game.
1Ohio State at Rutgers
Iowa State at 2Baylor
Western Kentucky at 5LSU
6Clemson at Miami(FL)
Indiana at 7Michigan State
9Florida State at Georgia Tech
Washington at 10Stanford
11Notre Dame BYE
Kansas at 14Oklahoma State
Texas Tech at 17Oklahoma
18Memphis at Tulsa (Fri)
19Toledo at Massachusetts
21Houston at UCF
22Temple at East Carolina
23Duke at Virginia Tech
25Pittsburgh at Syracuse