Last Week: 23 - 9 71.8%
Overall: 129 - 31 80.6%
Hurricane Matthew has impacted the college football schedule this week, with one SEC game getting cancelled and another one moved to Sunday. My prayers go out to all of the families impacted by the storm and hope the recovery time is quick, despite the power of Matthew. Other than the weather, it's October and the conference schedules are in full swing. My record is suffering from the close games, especially ones involving teams farther down in the standings.
Friday (from an earlier post):
(3) Clemson (5 - 0) 27 @ Boston College (3 - 2) 14:Boston College boasts the top defense, at least statistically, in the nation. The problem is they got pummeled by Virginia Tech 49 - 0. They may be able to slow down Deshaun Watson and the Tigers, but their offense is really anemic, so I don't give them much chance to surprise the Tigers. Clemson would be vulnerable if BC had any firepower, especially on a short week following their huge win over Louisville last week.
(19) Boise State (4 - 0) 31 @ New Mexico (2 - 2) 16: New Mexico runs a one-dimensional ground attack and has the second most rushing yards per game in the nation. The problem with this match-up is that Boise State is in the top five in stopping the run. Statistically, these teams are very close, but Boise has faced a far tougher schedule so far this season and given up far fewer points.
LSU (3 - 2) @ (18) Florida (4 - 1): Postponed
Texas (2 - 2) 34 vs. Oklahoma (2 - 2) 38 (Dallas, TX): Last season Texas shocked their rival, handing the Sooners their only regular season loss. Oklahoma has losses so far this year to two top six teams and showed last week at TCU that they may be returning to form. Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield should have a big day at the expense of the Longhorns' weak pass defense.
(6) Houston (5 - 0) 30 @ Navy (3 - 1) 13: Navy likes to run the ball, as has been their style for many years. Unfortunately for the Midshipmen, Houston leads the nation in rushing defense. I don't think Navy's defense is good enough to hold the Cougars to a point level that will give them a shot at an upset.
Indiana (3 - 1) 20 @ (2) Ohio State (4 - 0) 37: Ohio State is the only team ranked in the top five in both total offense and total defense. Indiana is improved, especially defensively, but they don't have what it takes to defeat the Buckeyes in the Horseshoe.
(9) Tennessee (5 - 0) 24 @ (8) Texas A&M (5 - 0) 31: This is one of two showcase games in the SEC this weekend. Tennessee has been fortunate to start undefeated, squeaking by Appalachian State, getting the game handed to them by Virginia Tech, and then overcoming a huge defensive gaffe to win on a hail Mary to escape against Georgia. I'm pretty sure the carriage turns into a big orange pumpkin this week.
(25) Va. Tech (3 - 1) 30 @ (17) North Carolina (4 - 1) 23: Virginia Tech brings a stingy defense into Chapel Hill this week. The Hokies gave up 45 points to Tennessee, primarily due to six turnovers. If they can hold onto the football, Tech can maintain control of their own destiny in the ACC Coastal. If not, a potent Tar Heel passing game could lift UNC to the win.
(21) Colorado (4 - 1) 31 @ USC (2 - 3) 27: USC showed some hope last week in knocking off Arizona State, but the Sun Devils are dead last in the nation in pass defense. Colorado is much tougher to throw the ball against. It's good to see a resurgence in the Buffalo program and I think they'll take another step forward on Saturday.
(1) Alabama (5 - 0) 27 @ (16) Arkansas (4 - 1) 17: I'll be in the stands for this one and I wish I could look at these teams and see a way for Arkansas to come out on top. Unfortunately for the Hogs, this just doesn't look like a very good matchup for them. Arkansas runs an effective, balanced offense, but Alabama will most likely play to stuff the run and force quarterback Austin Allen to beat them with his arm.
(4) Michigan (5 - 0) 41 @ Rutgers (2 - 3) 10: Rutgers just isn't very good, and Michigan is.
(5) Washington (5 - 0) 41@ Oregon (2 - 3) 30: A couple of weeks ago this was shaping up as quite a game. but then Oregon forgot how to win and the Huskies dismantled Washington after edging Arizona in Tuscon. Oregon's a mess defensively and Washington is good enough to slow the Ducks down on the ground.
(23) Florida State (3 - 2) 34 @ (10) Miami (4 - 0) 26: This one is tough to call because Miami hasn't really been tested, while the Seminoles have played Ole Miss, at Louisville, at South Florida and suffered a last second loss to North Carolina. Statistically, the Hurricanes, who dodged one to keep this game on Saturday, are far more impressive, but that schedule has been a cupcake. I like Florida State to overwhelm the home team.
Arizona (2 - 3) 24 @ (24) Utah (4 - 1) 27: This is not a great match-up for Arizona. Utah prefers to throw the ball, but the Wildcats have a suspect pass defense. Arizona likes to run it, but Utah does a pretty good job of stopping the ground game.
Washington State (2 - 2) 31 @ (15) Stanford (3 - 1) 28: Washington totally exposed Stanford a week ago and after a big win over Oregon, Washington State is hoping to do the same thing. I thought before the season that the Cougars had a good chance to contend in the Pac-12 North and I still do. Stanford's offense is anemic and relies primarily on running back Christian McCaffery. Not a good idea when you have to score thirty points to win football games.
Notre Dame (2 - 3) 30 @ NC State (3 - 1) 37: Notre Dame has been a huge disappointment this season, rebounding last week to outscore a mediocre Syracuse team. NC State has a much better defense than the Orange and their balanced offense will put a lot of pressure on the Irish pass defense.
Ga. Tech (3 - 2) 20 @ Pittsburgh (3 - 2) 26: Pittsburgh has the fourth best rushing defense in the nation, not a good thing for run oriented Georgia Tech. I think the Panthers will be able to stop the Jackets and put enough points on the board to win the game.
Syracuse (2 -3) 26 @ Wake Forest (4 - 1) 27: Even Wake Forest's offense should be able to score points against Syracuse, a team giving up thirty eight points a game. But the Orange can throw the ball and that's not the strength of the Deacon defense.
TCU (3 - 2) 47 @ Kansas (1 - 3) 24: Kansas' offense isn't very good, but their defense isn't either. Uh oh.
Iowa State (1 - 4) 27 @ Oklahoma State (3 - 2) 35: Iowa State gave Baylor all they could handle last week, but that one was in Ames. The Cowboys are starting to play better and can probably make a run at the Big 12 title.
Texas Tech (3 - 1) 31 @ Kansas State (2 - 2) 30: This game presents an incredible contrast in styles. Texas Tech puts up points at the rate of almost 60 a game. Kansas State's defense in the fourth stingiest in the country. I know in many cases it's conventional wisdom to take a good defense to stop a good offense, but even though the Wildcats have stymied a couple of good offenses, they haven't seen anything like Texas Tech.
Iowas (3 - 2) 24 @ Minnesota (3 - 1) 32: Minnesota likes to run the ball and Iowa's rush defense is suspect. I picked the Hawkeyes to win the Big 10, but they just have no spark on offense.
Maryland (4 - 0) 37 @ Penn State (3 - 2) 27: If this game holds true to form, Maryland should be able to run all over Penn State. The Terrapins are averaging 300 yards a game on the ground while Penn State is giving up almost 220. Not a great combination for the Nittany Lions.
BYU (2 - 3) 23 @ Michigan State (2 - 2) 27: Michigan State is hard to figure out, but I like their run defense to make the difference in this one.
Purdue (2 - 2) 21 @ Illinois (1 - 3) 27: Similar teams, with both having difficulty putting points on the board. The Illini are slightly better defensively, so I'll give them the edge.
California (3 - 2) 42 @ Oregon State (1 - 3) 27: Corvallis can be a tough place to play, but neither team has a very good defense and Oregon State can't really move the ball. Cal should be able to put up a lot of points.
UCLA (3 - 2) 34 @ Arizona State (4 - 1) 31: UCLA should have beaten Stanford a couple of weeks ago and then drubbed Arizona in their last game. I like the way QB Josh Rosen is playing and the Bruin defense should be able to do enough to give them a chance to win.
Auburn (3 - 2) 21 @ Mississippi State (2 - 2) 23: This isn't likely to be a high scoring game with both teams preferring to run the football. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is reported to be on the hot seat and this game probably won't improve his situation.
Vanderbilt (2 - 3) 24 @ Kentucky (2 - 3) 21: This game is between a couple of perennial bottom feeders in the SEC East. The result won't matter much on a national level but it could be one of the closest games of the day. I like Vandy's defense to give them the edge.
Georgia (3 - 2) 27 @ South Carolina (2 - 3): 20 Georgia isn't great, but they're better than the Gamecocks.
Army (3 - 1) 27 @ Duke (2 - 3) 24: Army has one of the best teams they've had in recent memory. Although their schedule hasn't been the caliber of Duke's, they've played well and have a very good defense.
East Carolina (2 - 3) 30 @ South Florida (4 - 1) 38: South Florida got run over by Florida State but are still a pretty good team. I'm not sure East Carolina has enough firepower to stay with the Bulls.
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