#9 Florida vs #7 Georgia:
This game won’t have any sort of home field advantage because the teams have played each other in Jacksonville since 1933. It’s a rivalry that means a lot more when both teams are virtually competing for the SEC East crown and to remain relevant in the CFP conversation.
Let’s take a look at what we have. Georgia seems to have had only two actual tests so far this season. LSU and a feisty Missouri team that actually was a closer game than thought. They beat Missouri by 14, but were embarrassed by LSU 36-16.
Georgia struggled against LSU’s defense and Fromm threw two picks in that game alone. Florida boasts the sixth-ranked passing defense in the nation, but has struggled against the run at times. The key for a Georgia win is establishing a good ground game for some passes to open up. The key for a Florida win is to keep the same stout defense and limit Georgia’s typically powerful offense.
Georgia is a one-point favorite in this game, but I’m going to LEAVE IT and say Florida comes out with a win 28-24.
#18 Iowa at #17 Penn State:
Iowa’s defense and QB Nate Stanley are good. Very good. They are unexpectedly in a conversation for both the Big 10 Championship and CFP.
Despite being 6-1, it may be important to ask what competition they’ve actually had. The best competition they’ve had so far was hosting a ranked Wisconsin team that beat them by 11 points. Next best team they’ve played is Maryland. It’s hard to get a measure for how good they really are, but a trip to Penn State can be a statement.
Penn State and Trace McSorley are going to have to pump up the passing game in this one. Iowa is second in run defense and third in overall defense. McSorley has the ability to move too which should keep the defense on their toes.
I’m going to TAKE the Penn State six-point. They win 30-24. I’m just not sure this Iowa team can get it done against big teams, but we can only watch to see.
#6 Texas at Oklahoma State:
It’s the Big 12 and we’re talking about a rejuvenated Texas offense and an Oklahoma State team that passes like crazy. Sam Ehlinger really doesn’t make many mistakes passing with a 66% completion percentage, two picks, and 1534 yards.
Taylor Cornelius also has some great numbers. He’s passed for 2014 yards and 16 touchdowns, but has thrown eight interceptions.The Texas defense will look to capitalize on OSU’s offensive mistakes and run the ball to tire the Cowboy defense.
It shows Texas as a three-point favorite, but I will LEAVE IT and go with the Longhorns winning by 10, 48-38.
#14 Washington State at #24 Stanford: Washington State has themselves the 19th-ranked defense in NCAA, but like I’ve said before. The Pac-12 has a tendency to beat themselves up within their conference. At this point, Washington State is the only team to have one loss in the PAC-12 meaning they will have a strong sense of confidence going to Stanford. They could potentially be the only Pac-12 team at this point to be able to go to the CFP if they win out.
Make no mistake, this could still be a fun game if Stanford can be strong. It will be a game of mostly passing considering Stanford and Washington State are 126th and 128th (out of 129) in rushing offense. It will be a test for both quarterbacks in K.J. Costello (64.5% CMP, 1842 passing yards and 13 TDs) and Gardner Minshew (69.8% CMP, 2745 passing yards and 23 TDs).
I will TAKE the Stanford 2.5 point favorite just because it’s the Pac-12 frankly. We got a 38-35 game here?
Upset of the Week: #12 Kentucky at Mizzou.
I want my alma mater to win this one bad and I think they will. The Tigers have one of the best run defenses in the SEC. Kentucky is one-dimensional on offense with a heavy run game. In fact, Terry Wilson only passed for 18 yards hosting Vanderbilt last weekend. If Drew Lock and Missouri can score fast and early while the defense remains strong against the run, I can see Mizzou winning this.
My ‘beat the brakes off you’ pick of the week: #2 Clemson at FSU.
They are already a 17-point favorite, but look. FSU is rebuilding, Clemson is still the same powerhouse. It’s probably going to be a 24-point win.
Other predictions: A&M over Miss St., NC State over Syracuse, SC over Tenn, Notre Dame over Navy, Oregon over Arizona, UCLA over Utah,OU over KSU, Arizona State over USC, Tech over ISU, Purdue over Mich. St., Vandy over Arkansas.