N2K CFB Pick ‘Em – Week 4

The last week of college football had massive implications. The biggest, most notable game of the weekend ended in a blowout (RIP Florida State), while other teams were upset by Division I-AA squads (RIP Hawkeyes). I saw lots of statement wins, led by the likes of Ohio State, Alabama, and *sigh* Michigan State.

The Top-25 got a shakeup, as did our standings. Our writers’ records look like this after three weeks of action:

Tyler: 20-3 (61-8) Gabe: 14-9 (55-14) Sean: 16-8 (58-11) TJ: 17-6 (54-15) Will: 15-8 (53-16) Mikey: 18-5 (55-14) Kevin: 17-6 (37-10)

Let’s get into the action this week.

BYE: #2 Ohio State, #15 Miami, #23 San Diego State

 

THURSDAY

#5 Clemson v. Georgia Tech

Tyler: I think this is an important game for Clemson. Last week was the first time we saw the Tigers team we all expected at the beginning of the season, and while Georgia Tech is not a contender, Louisville comes to Death Valley next week on an absolute tear. On top of that, Clemson hasn’t beaten GT at home since 2003. Expect Clemson to keep that in mind while tightening up some of their offensive attack. Tigers by 27.

Gabe: Not as confident as I wish I was as the Tigers head into Atlanta, especially considering the result the last time Clemson came to Georgia Tech undefeated. That being said, Clemson is just too talented on the offensive side of the ball and they seemed to get back on track last week. Clemson by 7.

Sean: Clemson broke out in a big way last weekend, dominating South Carolina State in a game that had be stopped early due to slaughter rule. Georgia Tech is off to a 3-0 start this year, winning convincingly over Vanderbilt in their last matchup. But the Yellow Jackets haven’t faced an offense like Clemson’s all year. Tigers by 22.

TJ: The Tigers dismantled South Carolina State last weekend and Georgia Tech, although they’re 3-0, haven’t looked overly impressive against easier competition such as Boston College or Mercer. The Yellow Jackets will be playing at home so they might have the crowd on their side but Clemson travels well so it very well could be 50/50. I don’t see a scenario where Georgia Tech comes out on top. Clemson by 13.

Will: Clemson got right back on track last week with a dominant game against South Carolina State winning 59-0. On paper, Clemson should do much of the same to Georgia Tech on Thursday. The last time Clemson played at Georgia Tech, though, they lost 28-6. How relevant is a game from two years ago? Probably not that much in the grand scheme, but I believe this shows the possibility for this game remaining close. Georgia Tech has held their opponents to less than 14 points in each of their three games, with only two opponents scoring 10 or more points. Clemson has showed against Auburn their inability to score when facing a solid defense, which could keep this game close. Clemson by 7.

Mikey: After two very poor showings, Clemson finally woke up last week and dominated the way they are supposed to. I expect nothing less against the inferior Yellow Jackets. Clemson by 28.

Kevin: After struggling the first two weeks Clemson seems to have found their stride with an easy win last week. Their defense although young and untested has the talent to stop the Yellow Jackets’ offense. The Tigers offense should be improved with Watson looking more comfortable now than he was in the first two weeks and if his decision making is improved this should be an easy win for the Tigers. Clemson by 20.

 

FRIDAY

USC v. #24 Utah

Tyler: Last season, Utah’s undefeated season was ended at the hands of the Trojans. Now, USC’s football program is in complete disarray, despite a decent amount of talent on their team. They’re desperate, and believe it or not, USC usually plays well when they’re running out of options. I don’t think USC will end up being a bowl team, but I do think they’ll find a way to pull out a win here. USC by 10.

Gabe: Utah hasn’t lost since since November of last year while USC has lost four times that span. Wide receiver Tim Patrick has looked like a beast this year hauling in 4 TDS so far. It will be interesting to see how he matches up against the corners of USC. Utah by 10.

Sean: As far as pure talent goes, USC is one of the more talented teams in the nation, but Utah is a better overall team. Rice-Eccles Stadium will be rocking on Friday night, and I expect this to be a close one from start to finish. Utah hasn’t played anyone of note, and while USC has been steamrolled by two top 10 teams, I think they are prepared for this game, as it could make or break their season, even though they are already out of the playoff race. Trojans by 4.

TJ: USC has been victim to one of the, if not the toughest schedule thus far in the FBS, having to face both Alabama and Stanford in the opening three weeks. The Trojans are hungry to get back to .500 and Utah hasn’t played anybody worth mentioning yet. Although the Utes are favored, I’m going with the Trojans. USC won’t start the season 0-3 against ranked competition. Trojans by 3.

Will: Utah has made their way into the Top 25 poll after starting off the season 3-0, including a 34-17 win last week against San Jose State. Utah has had a relatively easy path to 3-0, with their toughest matchup being a 20-19 win over BYU. That doesn’t mean I don’t trust them against USC. USC surely didn’t expect to be trounced by Alabama and not put up much of a fight against Stanford. This could be a perfect opportunity for Utah. A win against a big name school like USC would solidify this Utah team in the Top 25 poll. QB Troy Williams and WR Tim Patrick have proven so far to be a dynamic combo, let’s hope for their sake it continues on Friday. Utah by 10.

Mikey: Another tough matchup for the Trojans; Utah should beat them just as easily as their previous two ranked opponents. Utah by 17.

Kevin: UPSET ALERT. Utah hasn’t’t looked that impressive this season to me. I know USC has been completely demolished this season and looked terrible, but I believe they can turn it around this game. Put some respeck on JuJu Smith-Schuster’s name and give me the Trojans by 7.

 

SATURDAY

Kent State v. #1 Alabama

Tyler: Julian Edelman went to Kent State. Alabama by 50.

Gabe: Kent read, Kent write, Kent win. ‘Bama by 45.

Sean: Golden Flashes is a fun nickname. This game won’t be fun for them, however, ‘Bama by a lot.

TJ: I mean…… hopefully Bama shows mercy? Crimson Tide by 66.

Will: This shouldn’t even be a game. Alabama should not be allowed to schedule this game. Does Kent State, as a school, even survive this massacre? Alabama by 60.

Mikey: It’s Kent State vs. 1. Alabama. I’m not explaining why. ‘Bama by 49.

Kevin: After a tough win against Ole Miss the Crimson Tide should have it easy this weekend. Their defense did not look as unstoppable as usual, but Kent State doesn’t’t have the talent Ole Miss did. The Crimson Tide should easily come out on top. Alabama by 31.

#12 Georgia v. #23 Ole Miss

Tyler: Ole Miss has had a tough go of it the first few weeks, drawing Florida State and Alabama. They’re the best 1-2 team in the country (for whatever that’s worth), and I think they should be able to handle Georgia, especially since the Bulldogs are on the road with a freshman quarterback. Rebels by 12.

Gabe: Ole Miss failed me last week but I’m going to stick with them. They could very well be 3-0 with wins against FSU and ‘Bama but they squandered leads in both. This weekend, they won’t. Chad Kelly will continue to light it up and the Ole Miss D will harass true freshman Jake Eason. Ole Miss by 10.

Sean: Last week, Jacob Eason led Georgia to a thrilling victory over Missouri. Eason has looked solid as a true freshman in the SEC, but this is his first major test. Chad Kelly (swag) always seems to play his best when the lights shine brightest. If Ole Miss can get stops on defense late down the stretch, something they couldn’t do last weekend) they’ll come away with the win. Rebels by 9.

TJ: Ole Miss has lost two close games to Alabama and Florida State, now Georgia is their third big test of the young season and they can’t afford to blow it. Georgia, on the other hand, squeaked out wins against UNC, Nicholls and Missouri. Rebels are going to make a statement at home against the Bulldogs. Ole Miss by 17.

Will: Georgia barely survived last week’s game against Mizzou. How they came out with the W is beyond me, but I’m still not buying Georgia. As much as I as I dislike Chad Kelly, Ole Miss is primed for knock off Georgia. They are due for a big win, especially after almost narrowly beating Alabama last week. Nick Chubb has been the workhorse for Georgia so far and that has to burn them at some point, and that might be this game.  Ole Miss by 10.

Mikey: As good as Georgia is, I just think Ole Miss has a superior all-around football team, and they’re desperate to prove they can win against a legitimate contender. Ole Miss by 14.

Kevin: Ole Miss has had a tough time so far this year against ranked teams but they have played both Florida State and Alabama until the whistle blew and almost came out on top both times. Georgia, on the other hand, has squeaked out wins each week against far lesser opponents. Freshman QB Jacob Eason also has his first real test this week and it could be rough for him. Chad Kelly Swag, on the other hand, should be at the top of his game this week and hopefully make better decisions late in the game: Ole Miss by 17.

#13 Florida State v. South Florida

Tyler: Florida State didn’t look too good last week, which isn’t meant to take anything away from Louisville. I’m sure Jimbo Fisher wants to get his guys back to Tallahassee, but either way, they should bounce back in a big way against South Florida. Seminoles by 45.

Gabe: South Florida is sneaky good but FSU is just plain good, despite last week. FSU by 20.

Sean: Florida State got downright embarrassed last weekend by Louisville. They’ll still be licking the wounds of that loss come Saturday, but they’re still not out of the playoff picture, but now every game is a must win. South Florida’s offense has been cooking in their first three games, but those have come against poor opponents. The Seminoles will get back to their winning ways this weekend, winning by 25.

TJ: The Seminoles led by Dalvin Cook and Deondre Francois head to South Florida for this matchup of the Sunshine State. FSU got pushed around by Louisville and Lamar Jackson last weekend so I expect this week for the ‘Noles to be a bounce-back game. You can anticipate a huge game from Dalvin Cook on the ground. Seminoles by 8.

Will: Florida State did not make me look good last week. They got destroyed by Lamar Jackson and Louisville, so bad that this week against USF is so important. USF isn’t some slouch team though. Quinton Flowers has led this USF team to a 3-0 start, with some solid stats in the pass game. There biggest win has come against Syracuse, I still think they can make this game competitive. FSU may be out for blood this week after the embarrassing loss to Louisville. Wouldn’t be shocked if Dalvin Cook has a true breakout game against USF, and Francois does well enough to hold onto the starting job. FSU by 14.

Mikey: Last week showed Florida State is not nearly as good of a football team as anyone thought they were. Plus, USF is 3-0 headed in, and I think they can put themselves on the map with a win against the Seminoles. South Florida by 2.

Kevin: USF has had some impressive wins this year and their offense has looked great through 3 games. Florida State is also coming off an embarrassing loss where Louisville absolutely demolished them. The Seminoles just don’t look the same, especially with Derwin James missing in the secondary. It may be a little crazy but put Florida State on upset alert this week. USF by 4.

#11 Wisconsin v. #8 Michigan State

Tyler: I’m going to totally sound like a bitter Irish fan, but I’m still not all that impressed by Michigan State, even after last week’s game. After State went up, they couldn’t comfortably hold on to the lead, as they fell off for the last 20 or so minutes for the game. I don’t think Tyler O’Connor is as good as the inept Irish secondary made him out to be, and I think regardless of their home field advantage, he’ll be exposed against the 17th best defense in the country. Badgers by 10.

Gabe: One of the best games this weekend. Not a lot of points will be scored in this one. This could be a coin flip and my gut says Wisconsin. Badgers by 3.

Sean: The Spartans looked really impressive last week against Notre Dame, knocking them out of the playoff picture, and the top 25. Wisconsin has gotten two cupcakes since the win over and overrated LSU team. I expect this to be a low scoring affair, but this is where the Cinderella ride of Wisconsin comes to a crashing end. Sparty by 8.

TJ: As I mentioned last week, I don’t that the Badgers deserve to be ranked and Michigan State does. The Spartans beat the Fighting Irish in convincing fashion in South Bend in front of the Fighting Irish faithful in a game none of the N2K writers foresaw. So I’m rolling with the Spartans this week against Wisconsin. Spartans by 6.

Will: What’s going to give for one of these teams? I think Wisconsin will show that their win against LSU was the real deal. Bart Houston will lead the Badgers to their fourth win of the season and charge them into the Top 10. Michigan State’s win against Notre Dame proved to me that Notre Dame was more bad than Michigan State good. The Wisconsin defense is holding teams to 13.7 points per game to Michigan State’s 20.5 points per game. Defense will prevail in this one. Wisconsin by 3.

Mikey: Michigan State is a much better all-around team than I have given them credit for, and I frankly don’t think Wisconsin is nearly as good as the rankings say. MSU will dominate this matchup. Spartans by 21.

Kevin: This is going to be a defensive battle to say the least. Neither team has a high powered offense or any over talented player to move the ball but on the defensive side they’re both hard hitting and fast to the ball. Wisconsin has the better lineman however and I believe that will be the deciding factor of this game. On both offense and defense the Badgers control the trenches and clock which looks good for them. Wisconsin by 6.

#19 Florida v. #14 Tennessee

Tyler: I think losing cornerback Cam Sutton long term will kick off the long fall of the Volunteers, who haven’t lived up to their preseason hype at all. Sutton is only one of three key defensive players out for the Vols this week, too. Losing Luke Del Rio isn’t ideal for Florida, but their offense lives through running the ball, and I think graduate transfer Austin Appleby is a guy who can absolutely go win a road game, especially given Tennessee’s own injury struggles. Gators by 7.

Gabe: No Del Rio this week for Florida might spell trouble in Knoxville. Florida is going to have to start transfer QB Austin Appleby in his place. I don’t think Dobbs is going to have a great game vs the Florida D but I think the Vols will pull it out. Tennessee by 1.

Sean: Rocky Top will be bumping for this one, where Tennessee will finally look to solidify themselves as legit contenders. Joshua Dobbs has been getting better with each week, even despite not the greatest help from Jalen Hurd. Florida will be without starting quarterback Luke Del Rio, and even though you can certainly do better, playing a backup in a game of this magnitude in never ideal. Volunteers (stupid name) by 12.

TJ: I’ve been a skeptic of the Vols and this is going to be quite the test. Florida has been streaky although they have managed to look strong at times. Tennessee will have home field advantage and I think that’ll go a long way in this game but not long enough. I’m rolling with the Gators. Florida by 3.

Will: Tennessee needs to win this one for me to take them seriously. This is surely a great opportunity to do that against Florida. Don’t sleep on Florida, there defense is dominant. So far this season they’ve given up only 4.7 points per game (7 in one game to UMass ;)). Josh Dobbs and Jalen Hurd may the duo to truly test this Florida defense. With this game at Tennessee as well, they have the best advantage of all. With the SEC season schedule beginning, Butch Davis and Tennessee will assert their position in the conference. Tennessee by 8.

Mikey: If you want to watch a game with two “pretender” ranked teams, this is the one. I think both of these teams are overrated, but I’ll take Florida because they are just a hair better. Florida by 10.

Kevin: I’m not really sure why but I really just don’t like Tennessee and they definitely do not deserve their ranking. Their offense is going to get shut down this week and they won’t do enough to keep the gators out of the end zone. This game will be low scoring but I’m taking the Gators. Florida by 3.

 Penn State v. #4 Michigan

Tyler: Welcome to playing real college football teams, University of Michigan! The Wolverines finally play against a formidable (enough) opponent, coming off of a tough showing against Colorado. I think the key to their offense as they get into the meatier part of their schedule is to keep it safe with quarterback Wilton Speight, who was unimpressive for large parts of the game last week. In a week where they play a defense that gives up over 175 rushing yards per game, I’m expecting the focal point to be De’Veon Smith. Blue by 22.

Gabe: Michigan finally faces a legitimate opponent this weekend in the Nittany Lions. Michigan started out slow last week but ended up rolling. Michigan has such a balanced attack with Evans and Smith running the ball and Darboh, Chesson and Butt at receiver.    On the other side of the ball, Jabrill Peppers has lived up to hype so far this season and he will responsible to make sure Saquoan Barkley stays in check for the Lions. Michigan by 17.

Sean: The most exciting part of this game will be what clever signs the Wolverine fans come up with about Penn State. As for stuff on the field, Saquon Barkley is the best player you’ve never heard of and is a stud true sophomore running back for Penn State. Unfortunately, Michigan is a team on a mission this year, and Wilton Speight has played better than anyone could have anticipated. But the true strength of this team is its defense. Michigan by 36.

TJ: Michigan football is going all the way this year, and Penn State isn’t a challenge for their all-around team. I don’t really know exactly what a Nittany Lion is but I’m going to say that a Wolverine would beat it, is it will this weekend. Wolverines by 21.

Will: Wilton Speight has really been standing out for Michigan. So far this season he has 686 pass yards and 8 TDs, making Harbaugh happy for sure, and leading this Michigan team to a 3-0 start. To begin the season, Michigan has averaged 53 points per game. Obviously that can’t be sustained, still an insane start to the year. Penn State will do their best to keep the game somewhat close. How close this game will be is up to Jim Harbaugh, and I don’t expect him to take it easy on anyone soon. Michigan by 30.

Mikey: Tom Brady won’t be there, but Harbaugh will find some other famous person to play catch with before his team stomps the Nittany Lions into the ground. Michigan by 45.

Kevin: Michigan has yet to face real competition this year and Penn State will keep that streak going. The lions may be better than the other teams Michigan has faced but they still shouldn’t’t be a challenge. The Wolverines’ Peppers has looked great on defense and returns and this could be his breakout offensive week as he looks to become an unstoppable 3-way prospect. Michigan by 24.

#18 LSU v. Auburn

Tyler: Auburn has given both Clemson and Texas A&M some solid games this season, though they find themselves at an unfortunate 1-2. Last week’s run defense was awful, but the silver lining for Auburn is that they simply do not need to focus on passing defense. Playing this game at home and only having to worry about the ground game should spell success for the Tigers. Auburn by 13.

Gabe: I am predicting a Tiger’s win. But seriously, this game will be all defense. Both teams have struggled at times to get any offense going. LSU will need to lean heavily on Fournette. Auburn is due to knock off a ranked team, and I think this could be the week. Auburn by 7.

Sean: Auburn let me down last week. I truly thought they could pull off the upset of TAMU. This week they play an LSU team that barely escaped Mississippi State, but looks to have found an answer with new quarterback Danny Etling. If he can manage the game and make just enough plays to keep Auburn from crowding the box, they’ll come away with the win. LSU by 6.

TJ: I’m going to keep picking against LSU and keep picking for Auburn. I don’t really know why but it is a gut feeling I have. Auburn by 6.

Will: This is the upset of the week. Auburn was admirable in their effort against Texas A&M, but came up short that effort. LSU is just asking to be upset again after narrowly escaping Mississippi State last week. They still don’t have much that resembles a pass game, and as much as I wish he could, Leonard Fournette will not be able to carry this team all season. Kerryon Johnson could even outshine the Heisman hopeful Fournette. He’s been able to produce a lot so far for Auburn. Hopefully there’s some more magic left in Jordan-Hare stadium to help Auburn pull this one out. Auburn by 3.

Mikey: I understand Fournette’s greatness, but Auburn is way too talented on the defensive side of the ball to let a run-heavy offense beat them at home. Tigers win by 12 in an upset.

Kevin: LSU looked competent without Fournette which is shocking and Fournette came back last week looking perfectly fine. With him and LSUs defense playing fine this game should not be too much of a struggle to win. LSU by 13.

#6 Houston v. Texas State

Tyler: Texas State had to go on the road to Arkansas last week, and return home to face Houston this week. What the hell did they do to anybody to deserve this? Cougars by a lot of points.

Gabe: Battle of Texas. Houston by 30.

Sean: Greg Ward will score 9 touchdowns in the first half. Houston breaks the scoreboard.

TJ: The Cougars will make a statement against a bad Texas State football team. Greg Ward or no Greg Ward the Cougars are still winning this ballgame. Houston by 35.

Will: Houston was on the ropes for most of their game last week against Cincinnati. Somehow they found a second gear and handily beat them in the second half. Now after a long week they face Texas State in a game that Greg Ward Jr. can surely handle himself. Texas State really doesn’t have much of a shot, they do have home field advantage going for them, which I am surprised about.  Regardless, Houston continues to roll. Houston by 30.

Mikey: You’re kidding, right? Houston by 38.

Kevin: The Bobcats don’t stand a chance, plain and simple. Houston by 35.

#20 Nebraska v. Northwestern

Tyler: I think this Cornhuskers team is really playing some inspired football after the death of their punter, Sam Foltz, this offseason. The ‘Huskers seem like they’re on a mission, and beating a team as athletic as Oregon is no small feat. That’s not to say Northwestern, at a competitive 1-2, is a pushover. I just think that emotional football can sometimes tip the scale in one’s favor. Nebraska by 12.

Gabe: My friend Tommy Doles starts at RG for the Wildcats so I feel slightly bad for saying this but Northwestern has looked terrible this year while Nebraska is coming off a victory over Oregon. Nebraska by 21

Sean: Shoutout to Nebraska for knocking off Oregon last week and making me look smart. Tommy Armstrong has been excellent this year, but Northwestern is just one of those annoying tough teams that you expect to just lay over and get steamrolled, but they never do. The Northwestern offense is pitiful and wont make enough plays to help out their defense. Cornhuskers (hell yeah) by 14.

TJ: The Cornhuskers knocked off the overrated Ducks last week and in order to prove they’re a legitimate contender they can’t have any slip ups, including this game against Northwestern. Although Nebraska isn’t on their own turf, I still think they’ll prevail for the W. Nebraska by 7.

Will: Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Nebraska are flying under the radar to start this season. In their first two games, they outscored their opponents by an average of 34 points. With this dominant start they followed it up with a tight 35-32 win against ranked Oregon last weekend. With Northwestern this weekend and not much competition in the coming three games, we may see a 7-0 Nebraska by the end of this stretch. They end the season with Wisconsin and Ohio State, but for now I’ll let Nebraska ride this streak. Nebraska by 13.

Mikey: Coming off a nice win against Oregon, Nebraska has put itself in prime position to get and keep a spot in the top-25 until it gets into the thick of its Big 10 schedule (a.k.a. the Big 10 teams that are actually hard to beat, not Northwestern). Nebraska by 14.

Kevin: Nebraska’s offense has performed well all season and they earned a big win last week over Oregon. Tommy Armstrong has looked better passing the ball this season and the rushing attack has been great as usual. They’ll be too much for Northwestern to handle. Nebraska by 20.

Oklahoma State v. #16 Baylor

Tyler: Oklahoma State is one BS play away from being undefeated (and probably ranked). I’m not completely sold on Baylor quarterback Seth Russell’s ability to contain the ball and avoid turnovers. The Cowboys, while they don’t have a great defense, have a knack for creating turnovers, with 8 takeaways already this season. If they can get some pressure on Russell and put this game in the hands of Mason Rudolph, they can go get a win in Waco. Cowboys by 7.

Gabe: Baylor has looked strong to start the year. Seth Russell has looked very good to start the year but Oklahoma State is no slouch. Mason Rudolph threw for 540 yards in their win verses Pitt last week. The Pokes have the firepower to keep up with the Bears, and Baylor hasn’t been tested yet this season. Baylor by 3.

Sean: The first real team Baylor plays this year is an Oklahoma State team that is a lot like them. Lots of spreading the ball around, fast paced, and minimal defense. The Bears are better at playing that way than the Cowboys are. Baylor by 17.

TJ: Oklahoma State found themselves out of the Top 25 poll for the first time all season last week after a controversial loss to Central Michigan and in order to get back into it, theyll need to win a tough battle against the Baylor Bears. Mason Rudolph has looked strong under center for the Cowboys but in order to stop the Bears, theyll need to slow down the rushing of JaMycal Hasty. Baylor has looked strong but they havent really played anybody strong. I dont think theyll be ready for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State by 4.

Will: If not for the loss Oklahoma State suffered to Central Michigan I could easily see them being ranked right now. I’m not saying that the loss was a fluke but I won’t count to heavily against Oklahoma State. This is actually a competitive team that Baylor is facing here. Oklahoma State has an electric offense that will test Baylor, hopefully making this game a shootout. I’m sticking to my guns regarding Baylor, this week is the best chance for them to actually lose. Oklahoma State by 10.

Mikey: This should 100% be a high-scoring affair; in the end, I’ve got to give the edge to the home team. Baylor by 6.

Kevin: The Cowboys have definitely regressed since last season and they are struggling to stop offenses. That does not look good for this week as they take on Baylor who has better spacing than the majority of offenses in the top 25. They should pick apart the Cowboys and come out on top this week. Baylor by 14.

#7 Stanford v. UCLA

Tyler: This game comes down to Christian McCaffrey and Josh Rosen, the best players on Stanford and UCLA respectively. Rosen hasn’t played well this year, he’s aware of it, and he’s inside his own head. While I think playing at home helps, there’s just no stopping Christian McCaffrey, who torched the Bruins for 369 (nice) yards last season. Cardinals by 17.

Gabe: Christian McCaffrey is living up to the hype and looks like the best player in college football. A trip to UCLA is always tough. I don’t think UCLA’s run defense is good enough to contain McCaffrey however. Stanford by 7.

Sean: Christian McCaffrey is unreal. 500 total yards of offense in just two games. He’s the best player in college football. UCLA has some talented players on the offensive end, namely Josh Rosen and Soso Jamabo, but there’s no way their defense can shut down McCaffrey for four full quarters. Cardinal win by 13.

TJ: I’m putting this one on upset alert, Stanford is explosive but UCLA is looking to prove themselves after losing week one to Texas A&M. Josh Rosen hasn’t looked overly impressive for the Bruins and if they want any chance at winning he’ll have to change that against Stanford. McCaffery is still the most exciting player to watch in all of college football and I think that this one will be the game of the weekend. Stanford by 12.
Will: UCLA is upset minded in this game. They narrowly lost to Texas A&M earlier in the season 31-24 and I’m sure they’re looking to get back in the Top 25 mix. A win against Stanford would do that. With how much Stanford relies on the production of Christian McCaffrey there has to be a breaking point. The X factor is Stanford’s defense, which has so far held opponents to an average of 11.5 points per game. They are going to have to hold them under 20 points because Stanford’s offense has not been as strong as some expected to start off the season. UCLA is going to keep it close, ultimately McCaffrey will need to take over this game. Stanford by 7.

Mikey: Christian McCaffrey is so hard to stop in so many different ways, and even a great QB like Josh Rosen is going to have difficulty matching the Cardinal offense centered around the elite RB. Stanford by 6.

Kevin: Stanford’s defense has looked great through 2 games this season but it has a big test this week. They have to stop Josh Rosen who might be the best passer in college. Rosen has picked apart defenses this season but has been reckless with the ball and turned it over 4 times already. This is a big test for the sophomore quarterback and he has to be at his best this week. Especially since UCLA’s defense will have it’s hands full with McCaffrey who has looked just as good this season and shouldn’t slow down this week. This is gonna come down to the end but I’m gonna take the Bruins in this matchup. UCLA by 7 

#3 Louisville v. Marshall

Tyler: Big time trap game here for the Cardinals, who are coming off a massive, season-changing, emotional home win against Florida State, before they head down to Death Valley to take on the defending ACC Champions and CFB Playoff hopeful. I think Bobby Petrino is doing one of the better coaching jobs this season, and I expect the monster that is the Louisville offense to keep on truckin’. Cardinals by 45.

Gabe: Marshall has won it’s previous 4 meetings against Louisville. Marshall has the pieces to keep this a close game including sophomore QB Chase Litton. He has a strong arm and can really sling it. Coming off such an emotional high of crushing FSU and knowing they are going to Death Valley next week, I think Louisville could come out flat and be given a run for their money. The Thundering Herd will come out strong and they will pick up their biggest win at home since 1971 when they beat Xavier. Marshall by 4.

Sean: We Are Marshall is a spectacular movie. The Marshall football team on the other hand, is far from spectacular. Lamar Jackson is in the driver’s seat to win the Heisman, and this is just another game to pad his stats. Louisville by 55.

TJ: Louisville are ROLLING and Marshall’s Herd is in their way. Cardinals by 45.

Will: After the show Lamar Jackson put on against FSU, should Marshall even show up to this game? The dude has 18 total TDs to start the season!! This kid is just crazy good and Marshall won’t be able to do anything about it. Louisville by 60.

Mikey: 5 words: Heisman Trophy Winner Lamar Jackson. Louisville by 65.

Kevin: Louisville has the most electrifying player and offense in the entire country and it’s not that close. Their defense has also looked good especially after holding Florida State to just 20 points. Lamar Jackson cannot be contained by anyone and Louisville is looking like a playoff favorite early in the season so Marshall doesn’t really stand a chance. Jackson is going to put up another ridiculous stat line and further himself from the rest of the Heisman contenders once again. Louisville by 25

#17 Arkansas v. #10 Texas A&M

Tyler: Truth be told, I really really struggled to pick this game. As hot as Arkansas has been and as much as I wouldn’t be surprised if they won this road matchup, I think Texas A&M is the second best team in the SEC. For Arkansas to win, their patched-up offensive line has to step up against a deadly Aggies pass rush, and I just don’t see that happening. On the flip side, Arkansas’ defense has played well thus far, but they’ve yet to play a quarterback as good as Trevor Knight. I think in the best game of the weekend; Texas A&M takes it home. Barely. Aggies by 4.

Gabe: Texas A&M will squeeze this one out. Aggies by 6.

Sean: I made the mistake of picking against Texas A&M last week, and I’m prepared to do it again. Austin Allen has done a good job of not making mistakes for the Hogs, and as long as he can control the clock and running back Rawleight Williams III can keep the chains moving and the defense rested for the Aggies up-tempo attack, Arkansas can get out of College Station with a win. Razorbacks by 13.

TJ: The Razorbacks have been a great story for the NCAA DI but they’re running into the Aggies who defeated the UCLA Bruins during week one. This is my honorable mention for game of the weekend behind the Stanford vs UCLA game. I have fallen for the story that is the Arkansas Razorbacks season so I can’t pick against them this week. I’m picking another upset. Razorbacks by 4.

Will: What a game we have here. Will Bret Bielema assert his dominance in the SEC? Or will Texas A&M continue to climb the polls? Arkansas has surprised me so far this season. I normally don’t pay them much mind, even after big wins, because they’ve shown the past couple years to fail miserably when it really matters. This is one of those games. Texas A&M is on such role, offensively and defensively, and they have this game at home which is huge to have in a SEC game. Trevor Knight and A&M will continue their strong start and crack the Top 10 after this game. Texas A&M by 10.

Mikey: Trevor Knight has this offense doing fairly well right now, and Myles Garrett just keeps throwing tackles around like a baby does to rag dolls. That trend continues Saturday against the Razorbacks. A&M by 20.

Kevin: Arkansas has two cupcake wins and they beat a team that thinks defense is optional (Seriously TCU try to stop someone from scoring) but this week they’ll have their hands full. Kevin Sumlin is one of the best offensive minds in college and that has been on display once again for the Aggies. The biggest difference this year though is the defense and it’s ability to have such a major impact this year. The biggest contributor for them this year is Myles Garrett and he can ruin Arkansas’ entire gameplan when he’s firing on all cylinders. He can shut down the run on his side and pressures the quarterback better than anyone this year. I have faith in the Aggies this week. Texas A&M by 14.

#9 Washington v. Arizona

Tyler: I haven’t seen any Arizona football this season, but I’ve seen Washington football. The Huskies haven’t played anyone yet, but I think at this point in the season, they’re well adjusted to their game plan. The next few weeks against Stanford, Oregon, USC and so on will be tough, but I’ll stick with the Huskies this week. Washington by 14.

Gabe: I have said it before and I will say it now, Washington my sleeper team to make the CFB playoff. Huskies by 21.

Sean: Jake Browning is super quietly putting up huge numbers for Washington this year. He, and fellow sophomore Myles Gaskin are the main cogs in a potent Washington attack, which hasn’t been held under 40 points in six straight games dating back to last season. Arizona doesn’t have the talent on either side of the ball to keep up with the Huskies. Washington by 32.

TJ: Washington is LEGIT this year and Arizona won’t have anything to due with ruining their special season. The Huskies will run away with this game early. Huskies by 25.

Will: Despite their 2-1 start, Arizona does not appear to be a good team this year. Their best win came last week against Hawaii and the week before that against Grambling State, all relatively close games considering the opponents. Washington is rolling, though, and proving to be competition for Stanford in the Pac-12. Jake Browning of Washington is quietly leading an electric offense for Washington, averaging 49.3 points per game. Washington is just too much for Arizona to handle. Washington by 20.

Mikey: Good conference game, but the Huskies are on too much of a roll right now to be stopped. UW by 13.

Kevin: Washingtons offense should keep rolling this week and gain their first conference win this week. They simply have more talent than Arizona and shouldnt have a hard time coming out on top this week. Washington by 20.

BONUS – Wagner v. Boston College

Tyler: BC’s defense is typically well-coached, and last week’s matchup against Virginia Tech got ugly. I do expect a bounce back win this week at home against a I-AA opponent. Eagles by 28.

Gabe: Wagner Seahawks? I had to google them to see if this was a real school. The sad thing is I think I am going to pick them. Wagner by 7.

Sean: BC got embarrassed last week and made me look dumb for picking them. Hopefully they beat Wagner this week, for Kevin’s sake. Eagles by 20.

TJ: Boston College has surprisingly played pretty well this year under new quarterback Patrick Towles. I don’t know much about Wagner other than the fact that they’re playing UMass later in the season and that I expect UMass to win that game. So I’m giving Boston College the edge here. Eagles by 22.

Will: Boston College’s defense hasn’t been the unstoppable force it was last year, but I expect a rebound this week against a week opponent in Wagner. Eagles by 21.

Mikey: 2 questions: 1) Wagner has a football team? 2) There’s a school named Wagner? BC by 28.
Kevin: Bounce back week. Virginia Tech pretty much ruined my weekend because theyre a bunch of mean people but its time to get win number 2 for Harambe. Eagles by 24.

BONUS – Duke v. Notre Dame

Tyler: Well, this is what my life has come to – forcing my co-writers to still pick Notre Dame’s games even though they’ve fallen out of the Top 25 since I’m the one that organizes this weekly post. While I don’t expect the Irish to ever get a better ranking than #20 again this season, I do expect them to bounce back with a win against Duke this week. Please don’t make me sad Notre Dame, you already have less votes for the AP poll than an FCS team. Irish by 14.

Gabe: Notre Dame needs to find a defense if it wants to win football games. Luckily, they have DeShone Kizer who is really good at football and play a Duke team who is below average. ND by 20.

Sean: Notre Dame’s defense can’t stop anything. I’m pretty sure the N2K Writer’s could go out there and put up a solid number against the thing the Irish call a defense. As for the offense, they’re pretty good, so that’s where we would be at a disadvantage, much like Duke will be on Saturday. Irish by 23.

TJ: Notre Dame is once again tied with UMass in the FBS Independents leaderboard but they should gain a game this week after they thrash Duke. Fighting Irish by 17.

Will: Notre Dame nearly came back last week after embarrassing themselves, and a game against a low-level ACC team should be a good breather for Brian Kelly’s squad. Irish by 10.

Mikey: Coming off of a tough loss, the fighting Irish need to get back on track, and they have just the team to do it against in the Duke Blue Devils. ND by 17.

Kevin: Notre Dame’s offense should be enough for them to win this week and maybe their defense can build some momentum against a struggling Duke offense although that’s doubtful. ND by 17.

BONUS – Mississippi State v. UMass

Tyler: Yay UMass for making my prediction correct last week and beating FIU. While they hung tough against Florida earlier this season, I think Mississippi State is too much for them to handle. Bulldogs by 22.

Gabe: Lol. Mississippi State by 35.

Sean: The Minutemen won last week when I didn’t pick them, so I’m upset. Mississippi State isn’t SEC good, but they’re certainly better than UMass. Bulldogs by 19.

TJ: As much as I want to pick the Minutemen, Mississippi State is a bigtime SEC school so I’ll have to pick against them. If UMass plays like they did against Florida through the first three quarters, then they can win this game. So I’m saying there is a chance. With a heavy heart, Bulldogs by 19.

Will: UMass’s win last week against FIU was impressive, but to play well against Mississippi State is a tall task. Mississippi State by 24.

Mikey: Who was the dumbass who scheduled two SEC games for UMass? Are they trying to get themselves embarrassed? Mississippi State by 35.
Kevin: Haven’t watched either team play this year so I’m gonna go with the bigger name. Mississippi State by 10.

 

Cover Photo from Freep

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