College Football Spoiler Alert: Week 7
I may have to stop putting the score prediction in the CFSA. Like last week, it was bad enough I had Oklahoma beating Texas (well, maybe not at the time but whatever) but I embarrassingly picked a 56-6 blowout. Double whammy. Let's have another go at it this week, and hopefully we can get above the 6-4 mark. That's good enough for a pre-Christmas bowl, so my job could be on the hot seat
(All Times EST, All Ranking Reflect AP Top 25)
West Virginia (3-2, 0-2) @ #2 Baylor (5-0, 2-0)
Last year, it was a loss to the Mountaineers that derailed Baylor's College Football Playoff case. This year...don't expect the same.
WVU is a talented team that's much better than their 3-2 record indicates, but the fact remains that had golden opportunities to beat ranked opponents over the past couple of weeks and came up empty each time against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Just imagine what a Baylor team averaging over 700 yards per game will do to them. The powerful WVU offense will keep it from becoming truly ugly, but a hungry Baylor team looking for revenge at home will be too much for them to handle.
Baylor 63, West Virginia 35
#13 Ole Miss (5-1, 2-1) @ Memphis (5-0, 2-0)
We're getting the traditional upset special out of the way early this week. Now, how much of an upset can it really be if I'm picking the undefeated home team? Well for one thing, Memphis football isn't exactly the powerhouse its hoops program is, having made just seven bowls in their over century long history. However, their going through a football renaissance and with a win like this could emerge not only as the AAC favorites, but as a favorite to win the Group of Five's New Year's Bowl bid. AAC football has hidden under the wire most of this season, but with a major win like this, people can finally take The Artists Formerly Known as The Big East seriously. Also, Tigers fans better enjoy it now because coach Justin Fuente is definitely on his way to a major coaching job next year
Memphis 27, Ole Miss 21
#17 Iowa (6-0, 2-0) @ #20 Northwestern (5-1, 1-1)
With usual suspects Nebraska and Wisconsin struggling, this game serves as a matchup of the top two teams in the Big Ten West. Honestly, Northwestern's humbling loss to Michigan may have been the worst thing for the Hawkeyes. NW is going to come out very very angry, especially in front of a hometown crowd in Evanston. The talented but mediocre Iowa offense is a perfect chance for the vaunted Wildcats defense to return to return to form. One of these teams will likely represent the B1G West in the title game. I see that being the Wildcats.
Northwestern 20, Iowa 16
Virginia Tech (3-3, 1-1) @ Miami (FL) (3-2, 0-1)
The Hokies have had a year to stew on the 30-6 pasting the Hurricanes laid on them at home last year. VT's potential nightmares are slightly alleviated now that Miami RB Duke Johnson (249 yards in Blacksburg last year) has moved on. The Hokies are letting up 172 rushing yards per game thus far on the season, so it may be on the arm of QB Brad Kaaya as the Canes are still looking for Johnson's true replacement (though Joseph Yearby could eventually take that over). Kayya still needs a big win to put on his resume (he almost had it last week against Florida State) and it won't come here as VT isn't what they used to be, but expect the Canes to come out on top. The U needs as many ACC wins as they can get, especially with mighty Clemson coming in next week.
Miami (FL) 27, Virginia Tech 17
#10 Alabama (5-1, 2-1) @ #9 Texas A&M (5-0, 2-0)
McCarron! Manziel! Oops, wrong year.
But seriously, we still have a tremendous matchup awaiting us in College Station. Do the Aggies have a nice undefeated story going? Absolutely. Are the Crimson Tide what they used to be? No, probably not. But much like the horror villain in a slasher flick, just when you think you killed the Tide, they keep popping back up for more. People counted Bama dead after the Ole Miss thriller and they responded by blowing the doors off a talented Georgia team. The Aggies appear to be that next victim, as we lose yet another undefeated. They're not McCarron/Yeldon, but give me Coker and Henry this week
Alabama 30, Texas A&M 14
Nebraska (2-4, 0-2) @ Minnesota (4-2, 1-1)
This season has been a struggle for the Huskers, who are not only in danger of falling out of contention for the B1G title game, but are in serious jeopardy of missing a bowl game, a fate that has not befallen them since the Bill Callahan days of 2007. Minnesota might not be making any postseason noise either, but would love a win over the Huskers to boost their confidence going into the tough part of their slate. As for Nebraska, rookie coach Mike Riley may already find himself on the hot seat as they edge closer to oblivion.
Minnesota 17, Nebraska 13
#7 Michigan State (6-0, 2-0) @ #12 Michigan (5-1, 2-0)
7th in the nation is too good for Michigan State. Sure they took down Oregon (a task that, let's face it, isn't very impressive right now) but are one defensive stand and a spike on 4th down from potential respective losses to Purdue and Rutgers, teams you won't exactly see on anyone's Top 25 poll soon. Michigan, on the other hand, is the hottest team in the nation. An opening loss to Utah becomes more and more forgivable with every passing week. And over the past three weeks, they haven't allowed a single point...zero, zip, nada. I don't care who you play, that's impressive. And the fact is, two of the three teams they've blanked (BYU and Northwestern) were ranked at the time. Jim Harbaugh officially takes control of the state of Michigan. Hail to the Victors.
Michigan 28, Michigan State 10
#8 Florida (6-0, 4-0) @ #6 LSU (5-0, 3-0)
I have to give a lot of credit to Florida. I thought they wouldn't do much in the debut year of the Jim McElwain era, but here they are, right in the thick of the playoff race. However, a certain running back is here to not only tighten his grip on the Heisman but to put his team in prime position for the CFP. Leonard Fournette may have a challenge, as the Gators defense only lets up 138 rushing yards per game, but the greats find their way to win. Florida is also slightly distracted with the suspension, whether fair or not, of QB Will Grier, so I'll take the game manager Brandon Harris of LSU over inexperienced Treon Harris of Florida.
LSU 30, Florida 17
Missouri (4-2, 1-2) @ Georgia (4-2, 2-2)
7:30, SEC Network
These two teams have combined for the past four slots in the SEC title game for the East division, but the emergence of Florida has not only buried them (along with everyone else) early, but they know that the loser of this game is virtually eliminated from contention. Both teams will be missing key pieces as Mizzou QB Matty Mauk is out due to a suspension and Georgia's star RB Nick Chubb suffered that gruesome injury last week against Tennessee. The Dawgs will take this one because they have a better insurance plan to replace their star, as Chubb's sub Sony Michel had 145 yards last week as well as 3.7 yards after contact. Georgia gets back on track.
Georgia 34, Missouri 21
USC (3-2, 1-2) @ #14 Notre Dame (5-1)
This game could go one of two ways. In option one, the Irish, whose schedule suddenly doesn't look as vaunted as it did at the beginning of the season, blow out the Trojans on both sides of the ball, and beat up on a reeling team in impressive fashion that forces CFP voters to take notice. On the other hand, USC could play inspired football and eek out an impressive victory over one of their biggest rivals and get things back on track in LA. I'm going to go with the former option, as I trust the Irish way way way more than I trust USC at this point.
Notre Dame 38, USC 10
Last Week: 6-4
Upset Specials: 2-4
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