Several teams’ playoff hopes took a hit. Ohio State and Oklahoma State aren’t technically done, but they’re gonna need some serious help this week to stay alive. Oklahoma survived, but they didn’t look good. Notre Dame survived, and they looked awful. Teams who have stuck around under the radar, like Iowa, remain in the mix, while other teams, like Michigan State, have a second life. As for this past week, my picks went 13-6, not bad, but far from my best. Kevin’s went 12-7, so pretty much the same story as me.
Last week of the regular season is already here. And to make it even better, it’s rivalry week. As always, Kevin and I have our picks ready.
We wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.
Note- All ranked teams play this week (obviously). There are no ranked games on Thanksgiving Day.
#21 Houston vs. #16 Navy
Tyler: Houston fell apart last weekend on the road against UConn. This is kind of a funny matchup- one team strictly runs the ball while the other strictly throws the ball. I think this comes down to whoever is leading at the end of the first quarter, which dictates whether Navy can control the clock with their rushing attack or not. I think that team will be Houston. Cougars by 14.
Kevin: Houston finally lost a game and it did not look pretty, especially since it came to UConn. They struggled on offense, and that’s what drives this team. If Navy switches up blitz packages enough constantly sending pressure from different spots they’ll be able to disrupt Houston’s passing attack and control the game through Keenan Reynolds. Navy by 7.
Western Michigan vs. #24 Toledo
Tyler: My roommate doesn’t like Toledo football. But like them or not, they’re still better than Western Michigan. Rockets by 7.
Kevin: It’s been a while since Toledo has been in the top 25 and I still know nothing about them. Toledo by 17.
#20 Washington State vs. Washington
Tyler: Washington has won 5 of the last 6 matchups between these northwestern teams. Expect that to change this time around. Washington State by 3.
Kevin: Washington has had an up and down season, highlighted by spoiling the Trojans. There have been time where they play great and other times where it’s the opposite. Inconsistency is going to cause them a loss in the regular season finale. Washington State by 4.
#3 Iowa vs. Nebraska
Tyler: Isn’t it weird seeing a number that low (or high, in this case) next to Iowa’s name? I haven’t done my homework on them like I should’ve been, but I’ll stop disrespecting them now. While Nebraska has a pretty solid run defense, Iowa has a pretty good two-headed attack. And if teams have been able to stop Jordan Canzeri, they haven’t been able to subdue LeShun Daniels Jr. Not to mention the Cornhuskers can’t stop the pass, which is where CJ Beathard (+2,200 yards, 3 picks) comes in. Hawkeyes by 10.
Kevin: The Hawkeyes are legit. I thought they were good but I didn’t think they were this good. Nebraska is a good team, but they have a very tough matchup. They have to be able score every chance they get, because Iowa is not going to turn the ball over, and they’re gonna use a lot of clock time. Iowa plays what most people call old school, but they have changed it up a little and it has become the perfect formula for winning. Iowa by 10.
Oregon State vs. #18 Oregon
Tyler: Kevin was right, I was wrong. Oregon has turned a corner. Oregon State is just glad their season is over. Ducks by 22.
Kevin: Oregon is back to normal, scoring with ease, wearing some of he nicest uniforms in the world, and only knowing how to play defense when they fell like it. Oregon State can add another L to the Civil War. Ducks by 28.
#7 Baylor vs. #15 TCU
Tyler: This game is essentially meaningless to the playoff picture. Baylor technically isn’t out, but it’s a stretch for them to make it in. Both teams are limping to the finish, but it’s Baylor that has most of their weapons still in tact. Baylor by 5.
Kevin: Boykin is playing hurt, and Josh Doctson is done for the season. TCU’s season went down the drain quick, and they still cannot play defense. This game could end up as a shootout but both teams have looked lackluster since injuries have taken their toll. Baylor by 3.
#1 Clemson vs. South Carolina
Tyler: South Carolina needs a lot to go their way in this one. Like seriously, they need everything to go perfect. Not to be a pessimist, but trust me, it won’t. Tigers by 18.
Kevin: South Carolina is not good at football this year. To win, Pharaoh Cooper will have to have at least a rushing, receiving, and passing touchdown. Yes, he has done that, but not against the top-ranked team in the country. Congrats on another loss SC. Clemson by 21.
#8 Ohio State vs. #12 Michigan
Tyler: This is the best rivalry in college football, if not all sports. And unlike the last few years, it holds a heavy, heavy significance. Ohio State is down after losing at home to Michigan State, but they’re not out. But if you think about it the other way, Michigan has a newfound motivation to completely knock their rivals out of the playoff picture. Coach Meyer said he’s going to give Ezekiel Elliot more touches this week, but I don’t think that’s what it will come down to. JT Barrett has to throw the ball with success in order for the Buckeyes to win in The Big House. It’ll be close, but I’m sticking with the Buckeyes. Ohio State by 1.
Kevin: Braxton Miller. That is the difference in this game. Michigan does not ever have an answer for him and it’s not changing this year. With Barrett struggling, and Ezekiel Elliot complaining about how much he gets the ball (completely justified), Urban Meyer is going to get the ball to his golden boy. The former king of the BIG 10 conference, Miller can do things with the ball that just make you wonder what is going on. Don’t be surprised if he’s back their in the shotgun for some of the game either, because he’s the key to a Buckeye win. Ohio State by 3
#2 Alabama vs. Auburn
Tyler: This game is usually always competitive. But Alabama has been on an absolute tear. I’m not sure how competitive this one will end up being. Crimson Tide by 14.
Kevin: Alabama has looked like the best team in the country the past couple of weeks and Auburn just isn’t there. They have struggled on both sides of the ball this year and it’s going to be an upsetting Iron Bowl for them. Alabama by 18.
#11 North Carolina vs. North Carolina State
Tyler: UNC is on a roll. NC State is not too good. Tar Heels by 17.
Kevin: The Tarheels’ offense cannot be stopped, especially by NC State. UNC by 20.
#22 UCLA vs. USC
Tyler: I’d be way more excited if Cordell Broadus (Snoop Dogg’s son) was a part of this decision, but he left football before the season started. USC has had a tumultuous, yet up-and-down season. I think it will be a nice duel between the old (Cody Kessler) and the young (Josh Rosen). I like USC to win at home one last time for their senior leader. Trojans by 3.
Kevin: It’s time for USC to finally meet all the hype that is Josh Rosen. He is the most gifted passer already in football. There are times where he looks like he’s ready to declare for the draft and USC is going to have their hands full. It’s time for the Josh Rosen era of this rivalry to begin. UCLA by 4.
#17 Northwestern vs. Illinois
Tyler: Northwestern is coming off an impressive win against a good Wisconsin team. They hung close and played well for the entire game. They’ll win again this week, seeing as Illinois is bad at football. Wildcats by 10.
Kevin: Northwestern stumbled a little bit this year but they are back where they started. They’re a good team but they don’t do anything over impressive. They play well in all areas and that’ll be enough to add another win. Northwestern by 11.
Penn State vs. #6 Michigan State
Tyler: I think people are overrating Michigan State pretty badly. I mean, they’re obviously a really good team. But let’s not pretend they dominated the Buckeyes- they played pretty bad too. They’ve escaped with a lot of wins this year. However, going home against a lesser Penn State… a spot in the Big 10 championship is pretty much on a silver platter. Spartans by 7.
Kevin: If there was ever a game for Michigan State to mess up in, it would be this one. They have played really sloppy against lesser opponents and let them hang in until the end consistently. Penn State could capitalize if Michigan State does this again and I have a feeling they will. Penn State by 3.
Connecticut vs. #25 Temple
Tyler: UConn had themselves a nice game against Houston, coming out with the upset win. But going away to Temple, who has consistently remained ranked for the second half, is an equally tough task. Can they win on the road? I doubt it. Temple by 10.
Kevin: Temple plays great at home and even Notre Dame can tell you that. The Owls have played good all year and have not really lost to lesser opponents. This week shouldn’t change much. Owls by 11.
#19 Ole Miss vs. #23 Mississippi State
Tyler: Chad Kelly dominated the LSU defense last week. They just had no answer for him at all. But if you look at how their season has gone, they’re almost due for a loss. They’ve typically followed up quality wins with bad losses. And I wouldn’t be surprised, considering Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott is every bit as good as Chad Kelly (Swag). Bulldogs by 7.
Kevin: Ole Miss played great last week as they took apart LSU for 4 straight quarters. They looked great, and Chad Kelly had a great connection with star receiver Laquan Treadwell. They’ll be taking on Dak Prescott this week, who is one of the most efficient players in college whether he’s running or throwing the ball. His consistency and calm head should over power the talent Ole Miss has. Bulldogs by 3.
#14 Florida State vs. #10 Florida
Tyler: This will be the most competitive this matchup has been in a while. The part of Florida’s defense that is well-known (at least, to me) is their secondary, which you can’t throw on. But low-key, their run defense is the 8th best in the country. That spells trouble for a Seminoles offense that heavily relies on Dalvin Cook. He’s too good to not get his yards and scores, but I don’t think he’ll run the game like he’s been able to all year long. Gators by 5.
Kevin: Florida State has struggled throwing the ball lately and there is no one in the country that is good enough to throw on Florida’s defense. Vernon Hargreaves is the best corner prospect in a while. He’s a real shut down corner. The Gators have played great against the run as well, making Dalvin Cooks life harder. This will be a good game but the gators will come out on top. Florida by 7.
#4 Notre Dame vs. #13 Stanford
Tyler: The Irish limp into the last weekend of the season. I know I’m biased, but I honestly believe that if they win, they’re in. Preview to come. Irish by 7.
Kevin: Notre Dame struggled against BC last week but that happens when you play the best defense in the country. They’re in dire need of a good win to push themselves into the playoffs and they have the perfect opportunity to do that against Stanford. If their offense plays well and Jaylon Smith and the defense can shutdown McCaffrey, then the Irish are going to look good. ND by 14.
#5 Oklahoma vs. #9 Oklahoma State
Tyler: I need Oklahoma State to win this game pretty badly. Whether that happens or not is a different story. The Cowboys showed that they’re vulnerable, and their offense couldn’t get going. Baker Mayfield didn’t look too good last week, but he’s going to bounce back. He’s too good not to. Sooners by 10.
Kevin: Oklahoma finally broke into the top 4 playoff rankings and they can make some serious noise this week. Mayfield is coming off a head injury but he should play fine against the Cowboys. They also have Perrine to help carry the load. Look for the Sooners to make a statement this week. Oklahoma by 18.
BONUS- Boston College vs. Syracuse
Tyler: I saw last week just how great BC’s defense is. But I also saw just how hopeless their offense is. Lucky for them, Syracuse’s offense can’t do much right, either. Am I about to pick BC? Yes I am. Eagles by 3.
Kevin: Must- win game. BC is proving they are the best of the worst this week so look at Syracuse cause it’s gonna be a long Saturday. Eagles by 7!