With less than one month left in the regular season, winning is more important than ever. Some teams need wins to get to their conference championship games while other teams need wins just to get to bowl eligibility. A couple teams already know where they will be on Championship weekend, but there are a lot of divisions that are still up in the air. Teams like Alabama control their own destiny and just have to win out and teams like Arkansas need to win out and get a lot of help from other teams. College football is crazy and anything can happen. The season isn’t even close to being over.
2Alabama at 17Mississippi State Alabama is coming off their big win over LSU. The Tide’s defense flexed its muscles and held Leonard Fournette to just 31 yards. Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott put on a show against a good Missouri defense in his last game. This game might be close early, but Bama’s defense plays better in the 2nd half because opposing offenses get tired. But the Crimson Tide can’t overlook this game. Mississippi State has nothing to lose. Dak Prescott is a special player and you can’t count him out. Mississippi State would love nothing more than to get revenge from last year’s 20-25 loss. After watching Bama last week, I don’t think I can pick against the Tide. I am picking Alabama.
12Oklahoma at 6Baylor This is a huge game in the Big 12 and playoff race. Baylor is undefeated and had a close call against Kansas State last week. Oklahoma bounced back from their loss to Texas with 4 straight 50+ point outings. Baylor’s new QB, Jarrett Stidham, will have his work cut out for him against the best defense in the Big 12, but the Sooners haven’t faced Baylor, TCU, or Oklahoma State yet. This is almost a toss up for me. I don’t think I’d be surprised with any outcome but a shutout. I am giving an advantage to Baylor because they are at home and Gameday is there. This one could come down to the last possession. I am picking Baylor.
Oregon at 7Stanford This has been an extremely important game in recent seasons. The winner of this game has won the Pac 12 each of the last 5 seasons. Stanford can clinch the North with a win in this game. Since losing to Northwestern in their first game, Stanford has been dominant. Oregon has been up and down this season, but I have a feeling they will be up for this game. Kevin Hogan and Christian McCaffrey have been stars for the Cardinal and their counterparts, Vernon Adams Jr. and Royce Freeman, have been tough too. This has the potential to be a high-scoring game, but I think Stanford’s defense will be the difference. I am picking Stanford.
Arkansas at 9LSU Before I get to the preview of this game, I just wanted to remind you about the Henry Heave and that Arkansas beat Ole Miss 53-52 in OT and that I was there to see it. Now that I’ve said that, let’s look at the Hogs’ next game. Arkansas will play a night game in Death Valley for just the second time when they face 9th ranked LSU on Saturday. LSU is coming off a loss to Alabama where Leonard Fournette rushed for just 31 yards. Last season Arkansas held the RB to his lowest career total of 9 yards on 5 carries. The Tigers also gave up 210 yards and 3TDs to Bama RB Derrick Henry last week and Arkansas held him to just 95 yards and a TD. I think if Arkansas plays offense like they did last week and defense like they did for the first 3 quarters against Alabama, they have a good chance of pulling the upset. But LSU is going to angry for a lot of different reasons going into this game. The Hogs shut them out last year and took back The Boot. It is hard to win in Death Valley at night, but this Arkansas team is surging and QB Brandon Allen is playing the best football of his career. The Arkansas secondary will have to be much better than they were last week to win this game. Brandon Harris can throw the ball and he has a couple pretty good receivers to throw to. I can’t wait to watch this game. Unfortunately, I won’t be in Baton Rouge, but you can bet I’ll be cheering just as loud from my couch. And just in case you forgot, Brandon threw 6TDs last week and ran for the winning 2-point conversion last week in OT to beat Ole Miss 53-52. #SwineIntervention
Washington State at 19UCLA Washington State has had a heck of a season despite losing to Portland State in their opener. The Cougars are 4-2 in the Pac 12 and very nearly upset Stanford. UCLA started out strong but lost two in a row to Arizona State and Stanford. The Bruins have won their last 3 games and beat Oregon State 41-0 last week. WSU can score a lot of points and gain a ton of yards and that might make this game hard for UCLA to win. I think a close game favors the Bruins, but it very well might come down to whoever has the ball last. I’m sure WSU’s Erik Powell would love another chance at a game winning FG. This should be a good game. I am picking UCLA.
21Memphis at 24Houston The American Conference is kicking butt this season. There are currently 4 teams from the AAC ranked in the top 25, and this game is the first to ever feature 2 ranked teams from the conference. Houston is the only undefeated team and will look to get to 10-0 with this win. Memphis lost to Navy 20-45 last week but plays at Houston this weekend and at Temple next week. If the Tigers can win both those games they could move back up in the rankings and look to get to a NY6 Bowl. Houston won a close won against Cincinnati last week and Bearcat QB Gunner Kiel threw 4TDs. I think Memphis QB Paxton Lynch is one of the best QBs in the country and that he will step up in this big game. I’m expecting some offensive fireworks in this game. If you like points, this is the game for you. I am picking Memphis.
Georgia at Auburn This is a really interesting game. Neither of these teams are can win their division, but Auburn is one win away from bowl eligibility. Georgia finally got their offense going against Kentucky last week and should be able to continue that this week. Auburn has one of the worst rush defenses in the SEC and Georgia RB Sony Michel should be able to show off a little. Jeremy Johnson is back as the starting QB for the Tigers and has done well. Auburn will throw the ball and can score quickly. Georgia is the 2-point underdog in this game, but I think they will get out of Jordan-Hare with the win in a hard fought game. I am picking Georgia.
1Clemson at Syracuse
2Alabama at 17Mississippi State
3Ohio State at Illinois
Wake Forest at 4Notre Dame
Minnesota at 5Iowa
8Oklahoma State at Iowa State
10Utah at Arizona
11Florida at South Carolina
Maryland at 13Michigan State
14Michigan at Indiana
Kansas at 15TCU
North Carolina State at 16Florida State
Purdue at 18Northwestern
SMU at 20Navy
22Temple at USF
Miami (FL) at 23North Carolina
BYU vs Missouri (Kansas City)
Texas at West Virginia
Utah State at Air Force
Washington at Arizona State
Nebraska at Rutgers
Kentucky at Vanderbilt