I know all the readers out there probably missed me, but not to worry, I’m back after a week-long hiatus (I’m a student before a blogger). Shoutout to TJ for organizing the picks last week and “picking” me up (lol puns). He unfortunately won’t be making picks this week. It was a good week of college football, headlined by the dismantling of Stanford and Louisville coming back down to earth. After last week, our writers’ records look like this:
Tyler: N/A (76-12) Gabe: 19-5 (91-21) Sean: 18-6 (90-22) TJ: 15-9 (82-30) Will: 17-7 (87-25) Mikey: 17-7 (87-25) Kevin: N/A (51-15)
A grand total of six ranked teams are enjoying a bye week this week. However, implications still loom large – we’ve got two SEC matchups involving a battle between ranked teams, we’ve got huge Big 10 matchups, and the next chapter of the Red River Rivalry. Let’s get into it:
BYE: #7 Louisville, #11 Wisconsin, #12 Nebraska, #13 Baylor, #14 Ole Miss, #22 West Virginia
#3 Clemson v. Boston College
Tyler: RIP Boston College. Clemson found themselves in a big way last week against Louisville. While the Tigers didn’t play a perfect game, they looked more like themselves than in any other matchup this season. Clemson by 33.
Gabe: Throw aside the fact that I am die-hard Clemson fan, I was shocked that no other writers picked the Tigers last weekend. Clemson showed they are a legitimate contender to make it back to the National Championship game. Last week and everything else aside, BC has a very good defense and that is not to be overlooked. But Clemson’s offense has the best quarterback in college football in Watson, a running back who doesn’t get enough respect in Gallman, and one of the nation’s top receivers in Williams. Combine that with the fact that BC’s offense will have an extremely difficult time scoring against the Clemson defense and this game won’t be very close. Sorry Kevin. Clemson by 27.
Sean: Clemson is coming off an emotional win over Louisville in a game that was an instant classic. DeShaun Watson shrugged off three interceptions to lead the Tigers to victory, and the offense showed some explosiveness for the first time all season. While BC’s defense is notoriously strong, they just don’t have the weapons to match up with the Tigers. Clemson by 20.
Will: You know what would be awesome? If BC upset Clemson. Back to reality, Clemson is going to roll over BC after their big win against Louisville. Clemson by 20.
Mikey: I was wrong about Clemson; they impressed me with their gutsy win over Louisville last week. This game against the Eagles should be much easier. Clemson by 28.
Kevin: Thankfully I don’t have to watch my Eagles get absolutely destroyed this week by Clemson, who showed last week they are ready to contend for a national championship. Clemson by 45.
#19 Boise State v. New Mexico
Tyler: They’re not on the blue field, but they’re against a bad team. Broncos by 22.
Gabe: The Lobos upset the Broncos last year in Boise but lightning won’t strike twice. Boise State has outside shot at a New Year’s Six bowl if they finish the season undefeated.
Sean: I still don’t know a lot about Boise State, but two names that are familiar are Jeremy Nicholson and Brett Rypien, nephew of Rick Rypien, who spent 20 years in the NFL. The only thing I know about New Mexico is that they lost to Rutgers. Broncos by 23.
Will: Gotta love the blue turf. There’s something special about Boise State, just when you think they were a one-hit wonder, they storm back to relevance. I’m riding with them while this win streak lasts. Boise State by 14.
Mikey: Boise State is coming back to college football relevancy; New Mexico won’t stand in their way of a 5-0 start. BSU by 17.
Kevin: Something’s in that blue field turf. Boise State by 20.
LSU v. #18 Florida
Tyler: This one is kind of tough, but I despise LSU. So I’m picking Florida. There. Ha. Got ‘em. Gators by 14.
Gabe: Florida gets Del Rio back this week and he hopes to boost their offense. Florida has one of the best defenses in the country and face a LSU team who is fresh off a win against Missouri. This game will be one of the weekend but I think Florida at home with Del Rio back will get it done in a low scoring game. Gators by 10.
Sean: What a disappointing season so far for LSU. Ranked #5 in the preseason polls, the Bayou Bengals are now 3-2 with a new head coach. Florida has been up and down all year long, but is still 4-1. Time will tell whether Leonard Fournette will be healthy to play in this one, but Derrius Guice was phenomenal against Missouri. I think this will be one of the closer games of the weekend, give me LSU by 5.
Will: Florida’s offense was lacking last week without Del Rio at QB. LSU was feeling the exact opposite last week after dismantling Mizzou 42-7. So, what’s the deciding factor for this game? That’s an easy choice. Coach O. Interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron is going to lead this team to a win against Florida, vaulting them back into the Top 25 Polls. LSU by 10.
Mikey: At this point, LSU is solely playing for pride, while Florida still has a chance to compete for the SEC East. The Gators will be come out hungry and take care of business against the Tigers. Florida by 7.
Kevin: Ed Orgeron is the greatest interim head coach of all time and LSU is winning the rest of the way under him. You heard it here first. LSU by 11.
#20 Oklahoma v. Texas
Tyler: Oklahoma is back to being ranked where they belong. While the playoffs aren’t going to happen for the Sooners, they’re still trending up, while their rivals across the Red River are doing the opposite. Texas’s defense has struggled badly, giving up 99 points in their last two games combined. That spells trouble for a D that’s going against Baker Mayfield this week, especially a team that has revenge on their mind from last season. Sooners by 17.
Gabe: The Red River Rivalry is one of the best in CFB. Both teams have shown promise at some point this season but have disappointed. Baker Mayfield is still one of the best QB’s in the country but I think Texas will pull this one out and rally around Coach Strong. Texas by 7.
Sean: The Red River Rivalry is one of college football’s blueblood games. Texas and Oklahoma are two of the most storied programs in college football history, but it’s been a while since both were relevant at the same time. For the first two weeks, Texas was rolling and Oklahoma was stumbling. Now, the tides have turned and the Sooners are rolling. Baker Mayfield has woken up and has the Sooners offense firing on all cylinders. Boomer Sooner by 16.
Will: After two straight losses, Charlie Strong is taking over play calling duties for the defense. This is a do-or-die decision, if it doesn’t work out, Texas is right back to the beginning and Strong’s job is in jeopardy. This game is a big deal and I think Texas understand that. Listen to this stat: the last eight times an unranked Texas team has faced a ranked Oklahoma team; they’ve won six of those times. I’m going with Texas to have a comeback game against Oklahoma. Texas by 7.
Mikey: Charlie Strong might be coaching for his job this week; too bad it’s against the Baker Mayfield-led Oklahoma Sooners. Talent will win out in this matchup, and there may be a new coach at UT come Week 7. Oklahoma by 24.
Kevin: Texas just still isn’t there and that was on display the last two weeks. Their offense is just fine but they can’t stop anyone from scoring, and this is a bad team to play when you don’t have a defense. Baker Mayfield, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine are great talents that should have great games this week. Oklahoma by 10.
#6 Houston v. Navy
Tyler: A lot of Houston’s thunder has been stolen from Louisville’s meteoric rise to national recognition. As the Cardinals regroup, a big win against a service academy proves to be a chance for Houston to get back in the spotlight. Watch out for Greg Ward Jr. this week. Cougars by 24.
Gabe: Another really good game this weekend but no one seems to be talking about it. Houston is quietly one of the country’s best teams yet they have seemed to fly under the radar the past few weeks. I guess that’s what happens when you play in the American Athletic Conference. Nonetheless, Greg Ward Jr. is a legitimate Heisman candidate and the Cougars have a chance at the Playoffs. Navy should be able to put up a fight but Houston will be too much. Houston by 17.
Sean: One of these offenses loves to spread it out, and one loves to keep it close and grind it out. Barring an upset, Houston has to be a favorite to make the College Football Playoff because their schedule is easy. Greg Ward Jr. is an absolute stud and will carve up the Midshipmen. Cougars by 31.
Will: It’s Houston’s year, and not even Seamen from Navy can stop them. Greg Ward Jr. is one of the most consistent player in College Football, which will be important as they get into the beef of their schedule. Houston by 17.
Mikey: Plain and simple, Houston just has a better football team. Houston by 42.
Kevin: Houston is a powerhouse and Tom Herman is the hottest name among coaches, but Navy and their great ground attack should make this game interesting for a little bit. The Cougars should pull ahead towards the end though just because of the talent gap between the two. Houston by 17.
#9 Tennessee v. #8 Texas A&M
Tyler: I’ve thought Tennessee has been overrated since the beginning of the season. The Vols escaped from Appalachian State and escaped from Georgia. However, they just keep finding ways to win. I don’t think that happens again this week with a trip to College Station against an A&M team that has looked as formidable as ever. Aggies by 12.
Gabe: The game of the weekend will take place in College Station. This top 10 match up should be a good one as both teams are fighting for legitimacy in the SEC and both pose threats to #1 ranked Alabama. If Dobbs can limit his turnovers, the Vols should be able to win this game. When the ball is in his hands, he is electric. TAMU is dealing with injuries on both sides of the ball and Trevor Knight has looked shaky at best this year throwing the ball. The Vols need to jump ahead early to limit TAMU’s ability to run the ball. Tennessee by 10.
Sean: Tennessee is still somehow undefeated following a crazy finish last week at Georgia. The Vols have had some early season magic, while TAMU has flown under the radar, and now both teams are undefeated inside the top 10. Kyle Field is one of, if not THE toughest place to play in the country. I’m still not a believer in the Aggies, but I’ll take them over Tennessee here, thanks for the 12th Man. Aggies by 2.
Will: Alright, let’s get real here. Tennessee is a great team by all standards, but they’ve been skating by this season. They narrowly beat a Chub-less Georgia last week, and before that a Del Rio-less Florida. Texas A&M is for real, and Tennessee will not be able to hide their deficiencies. Texas A&M is going to continue to roll, possibly crack the top 5 after beating Tennessee. A&M by 6.
Mikey: Tennessee has survived a lot of scares up to this point in the year, and they are still somehow undefeated. However, they haven’t faced a team as good on both sides of the ball as Texas A&M. At this point, the Aggies may be the only thing standing between Alabama and the College Football Playoff, so they’ll handle the Volunteers with some ease. A&M by 14.
Kevin: Hey Josh Dobbs, have fun getting pounded by Myles Garrett all night. A&M by 20, lock of the week.
Indiana v. #2 Ohio State
Tyler: I don’t think Indiana has looked bad as much as I’ve been really impressed with the Bucks so far this season, especially given how much talent they lost on both sides of the ball. This was a close matchup last year, but at The Shoe, it’s totally different. OSU by 20.
Gabe: Indiana is coming off a huge win against Michigan State but Ohio State is on a completely different level. Outside of Lamar Jackson, J.T. Barrett has been the most dominant QB in CFB. The Hoosiers need a movie like showing this weekend in Columbus. Too bad that’s already taken. OSU by 27.
Sean: Indiana had a great comeback win over Michigan State last week, but Ohio State is a much tougher opponent than Sparty. Somehow, the Buckeyes are kind of flying under the radar despite scoring 57 points per game with almost 600 yards of offense. J.T. Barrett, Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel have been electric for the Buckeyes through the first month. Hoosiers don’t stand a chance. OSU by 42.
Will: Indiana came out of nowhere with the upset last week against Michigan State. Unfortunately for them, Ohio State is on another level compared to Michigan State. J.T. Barrett is focused on bringing Ohio State to the promised land, it’s too bad Indiana has to be in their way. OSU by 20.
Mikey: The Hoosiers did just upset Michigan State; too bad the Buckeyes are a lot better, and this game is in Columbus. Ohio State by 45.
Kevin: Ohio State has looked great with J.T. Barrett under center this year. He has played extremely well and improved from his first two seasons as a starter for the buckeyes. They may struggle against Indiana a little but it shouldn’t be too much of a competition. Ohio State by 19.
#25 Virginia Tech v. #17 UNC
Tyler: I’m thoroughly impressed with UNC’s performance last week against Florida State, and I think that their talent is evident. That’s especially considering they put up a good fight against a quality Georgia team earlier in the season. Heels by 6.
Gabe: UNC is clearly the better team in this matchup. Coming of a W against Florida State, they have to feel like they have a chance at the ACC Championship. The first step of that is taking care of business against VT. Trubisky is putting up Heisman numbers to lead the Tar Heels and I think they should be able to handle the Hokies. UNC by 18.
Sean: Two crazy wins later, and North Carolina is ranked #17 in the nation and now stand at 4-1. Mitch Trubisky has amassed over 1,700 passing yards with no interceptions. On the other side of the field, Hokies quarterback Jerod Evans has 13 touchdowns and only one interception. North Carolina will be riding high following their upset of Florida State, and ther momentum will continue this weekend. Tar Heels by 14.
Will: What an ACC matchup we have here. UNC put themselves right back into the mix after a last second FG to beat FSU. V-Tech has quietly been dismantling the teams they’ve played so far. UNC is for real, though, having proved themselves against FSU, so I’m going with big game experience and home field advantage in this one. UNC by 10.
Mikey: Both teams have only lost one game up to this point, and both losses were against SEC East opponents (VT lost to Tennessee; UNC lost to Georgia). In this fairly even matchup, I’ll take the home team by a minimal margin. UNC by 10.
Kevin: Virginia Tech likes to make me really upset when they play BC and because of that I don’t like picking them to win. North Carolina by 14.
#21 Colorado v. USC
Tyler: Pop quiz, which PAC-12 team leads the conference in most yards gained? That would be the Colorado Buffaloes, with an offense that gains over 500 yards per game. I’m not saying Colorado is as good as UW, I’m just saying they’re a force to be reckoned with. Buffaloes by 24.
Gabe: Colorado by 3.
Sean: Colorado has had a revival of sorts this year. After being down in the dumps for quite some time, the program is showing signs of life. They played Michigan tough and a big win over Oregon two weeks ago is a good barometer as to where they are. USC has run the gauntlet early on against Alabama, Stanford and Utah, but the talent is there. I like USC at home in an “upset” even though they have more talent. Trojans by 13.
Will: USC has sneaky had one of the toughest schedules for these first five weeks. In three of the five games they’ve played, they’ve face Alabama, Stanford, and Utah. All losses, but tough opponents nonetheless. I’m not going to go as far to say USC is dead as a football program, yet whoever is in charge of their scheduling might want to give them a break. As for this game, Colorado needs this as a statement win against well known program. They’ve beaten Oregon already and will continue their Pac-12 resurgence. Colorado by 10.
Mikey: Remember when USC was 20 to start the year? They’re now 2-3, and still can’t beat a legitimate opponent. That won’t change against Colorado. Colorado by 21.
Kevin: Haven’t watched Colorado once this year but I’m not going with the upset. Buffaloes by 14.
#1 Alabama v. #16 Arkansas
Tyler: I’m still picking Alabama in this game because they are the best team in the country. I do not think Arkansas will win, and I’ll be shocked if they can pull off the upset. That being said, I fully expect the Razorbacks to keep this one close. The Tide will roll, but only by 7.
Gabe: I picked Ole Miss to knock off Alabama a few weeks back and I am going to pick Arkansas to do the same. From my gut and what I have seen from them, I do not believe they will finish the year undefeated, not with their schedule. Arkansas has beaten a good TCU team, has a good coach in Bret Bielema and will have the crowd on their side Saturday night. If Austin Allen can stretch the Bama defense enough with some big plays, the Razorbacks can knock of the Crimson Tide. Arkansas by 14.
Sean: Alabama begins an absolutely BRUTAL stretch of October and it begins in Fayetteville against the Razorbacks. Austin Allen has been excellent for the Hogs this year. But Alabama is Alabama, and Jalen Hurts, along with the Crimson Tide’s defense, they’re the favorite to win it all again. Bama by 10 in a game I believe will be closer than most people think.
Will: This may seem like it’ll be a close, exciting SEC matchup. Not if Saban is still the coach of Alabama. I mentioned this in a past Pick Em, but Arkansas has been awful against SEC teams since Beiliema has been the coach for the Razorbacks. This won’t be close. Alabama by 20.
Mikey: Remember when I said the Aggies are the only team with a chance to beat ‘Bama? That’s because the Razorbacks don’t stand a chance this week against a Tide team that is starting to gain serious momentum. Tide by 21.
Kevin: Arkansas has done well this season but couldn’t handle Texas A&M earlier this year. A&M is not on on Alabama’s level so this may be a tough hit for the razorbacks and their number 16 rating. Alabama’s defense is just too good for them to lose a game to a team that isn’t in the top 5. Crimson Tide by 17.
#4 Michigan v. Rutgers
Tyler: Michigan played poorly last week, but they won because Wisconsin found a way to play worse. Expect a strong bounce back from Jim Harbaugh’s squad against Rutgers. Blue by 30.
Gabe: HAHAHAHAHAHA. Michigan by 31.
Sean: What did Rutgers do to deserve Ohio State and Michigan in back-to-back weeks. What a bad time to be a Scarlet Knight. Wolverines by 46.
Will: Why is Rutgers doing this to themselves? So far this year they’ve played Washington, Iowa, Ohio State, and now they are playing Michigan. It’s safe to say the Rutgers athletic staff was “ambitious” in this schedule. I’ll be sure to say a prayer for the Rutgers football team this weekend. Michigan by 40.
Mikey: Rutgers still sucks. Michigan by 49.
Kevin: This game will feature one of the best defensive players in college, Jabrill Peppers, and some random Rutgers player that will be on the Patriots in a couple years. Michigan by 32.
#5 Washington v. Oregon
Tyler: I wasn’t sold on Washington pre-Stanford game. I’m very, very, very sold on them now, especially their D-line, which will ruin your whole day. I think going to Oregon is always tough, but they’re just simply not that good this year. Plus, they’re way too focused on what jersey to wear next instead of how to beat a top-5 team. Huskies by 20.
Gabe: Huskies by 20.
Sean: Probably the biggest statement win of the year, Washington ran Stanford out of their own building last weekend. Chico McClatcher is a burner at receiver, Myles Gaskin is a solid tailback and Jake Browning is firmly in the Heisman race. The scary thing is that they’re all sophomores. Washington is one of the programs on the rise while Oregon is on the downswing. Huskies by 30.
Will: At first sight of this matchup, I instantly was thinking trap game for Washington. They go into Oregon, currently unranked, not expecting much of a fight and get knocked around for most of the game. Oregon is really not good this year, though. Washington is going to run them up and down the field on Saturday. Washington by 20.
Mikey: Washington is the best hope the Pac-12 has ever had at cracking the College Football Playoff, and as long as they keep winning, they should get in easily. Washington by 29.
Kevin: I haven’t really watched Washington this year but apparently they’re pretty good now. The Ducks are also wearing some pretty bad uniforms this weekend so this game will get ugly. Washington by 38.
#23 Florida State v. #10 Miami (FL)
Tyler: I haven’t really seen The U play too much this season, but I’ve seen Florida State. They looked downright bad last week, even after a huge performance out of Dalvin Cook. Officially out of playoff contention, FSU can still ruin their other ACC foes chances, but I don’t see them doing that on the road. ‘Canes by 10.
Gabe: Brad Kaaya and the rest of the Hurricanes look legit this year, Florida State has not. Miami by 10.
Sean: Florida, Florida State and Miami are all relevant in the college football world at the same time for the first time in a good 10 years. The FSU-Miami rivalry has produced some of the best games college football has ever seen. While Miami has exceeded expectations to this point in the season, FSU has fallen from #2 in the country to #23. While FSU is the more talented roster, something is lacking for this team, and I’m not sure what it is. I think this is the game Brad Kaaya starts to creep into the Heisman race. ‘Canes by 12.
Will: The U baby! I really have no idea how they are in the Top 10. They don’t have an impressive win to truly grant them a place there. Starting with FSU, they go on a stretch that also includes UNC, V-Tech, and Notre Dame. At the end of it, we will truly know whether they belong in the Top 10. For now, I don’t think FSU is going to be able to bounce back from the UNC loss. The U is back! Miami by 6.
Mikey: I also had Miami all wrong; they happen to be a really good team as well, and definitely better than FSU as things currently stand. The U should pick up a win at home to remain unbeaten. Miami by 17.
Kevin: Miami vs. Florida State: In my opinion Florida State is the more talented team and they’ve played some tough games already so they should be prepared for this but the absence of Derwin James is still killing the defense. This is also a home game for Miami and it’s been awhile since they’ve beaten the ‘noles so they’ll be fired up for this one. Hurricanes by 7.
Arizona v. #24 Utah
Tyler: Well, I haven’t picked an upset this week yet. Arizona has given Utah serious problems historically speaking, and Rich Rodriguez is a solid coach. Wildcats by 3.
Gabe: Utah by 10.
Sean: I’m starting to dislike Utah, and I really have no idea why. They lost to California last week so that’s not fun for them. Arizona has lost two in a row to Washington and UCLA, but the Wildcats’ defense is as porous as it gets. Utes (such a basic name) by 16.
Will: Utah in a must-win Pac 12 game against Arizona. Arizona hasn’t been much of a competitive team this year, which is why Utah shouldn’t have much trouble in this one. Utah by 14.
Mikey: Maybe it’s just me, but Utah always seems to be much more dominant at home (that probably goes for all teams, but especially the Utes). Utah by 27.
Kevin: Arizona played Washington well earlier this year and no one else in the PAC-12 seems that good besides the Huskies, so I don’t have faith in Utah this week. Arizona by 3.
Washington State v. #15 Stanford
Tyler: I honestly am going to chalk up Stanford’s loss last week to Washington simply being that good. Stanford by 17.
Gabe: Stanford by 20.
Sean: Stanford got wiped last week and with that loss are probably not going to see the College Football Playoff, which sucks because now everyone wont be able to watch Christian McCaffrey on college footballs biggest stage. McCaffrey was a non-factor last week, and I expect a big bounce back game from him on Saturday night. Cougars will keep it close, but the Cardinal win by 11.
Will: Don’t sleep on Washington State. They may not have an answer for Christian McCaffrey on defense, but they will put plenty of points on the board. As evidenced by their game last week against Washington, Stanford’s defense is not as dominant as it appeared earlier in the season. Should be a high scoring game, probably the easiest over in the slate of games for Saturday. I still have faith in Stanford as a top 10 team, so they should come out with this one. Stanford by 7.
Mikey: Coming off a brutal loss, Stanford needs to bounced back in a hurry to keep the hopes of a really good season alive. Stanford by 20.
Kevin: Stanford got destroyed last week, McCaffrey was nonexistent and their offense as a whole hasn’t looked too good this year. Luckily, Washington State’s defense isn’t that talented so Stanford should be able to pull out a win, but not by much. Stanford by 10.
BONUS – Notre Dame v. North Carolina State
Tyler: ND doesn’t stand for “Notre Dame” – it stands for “no defense”. Thank God I didn’t make picks last week, because you probably would’ve seen me pick against the Irish for the first time in a while. This week, they go on the road to face 3-1 NC State, who has an offense that has put up at least 30 points in each game this year. I’m holding my breath, but Irish by 3.
Gabe: Sorry Tyler. NC State by 3.
Sean: Notre Dame has one of the worst defenses in college football, while NC State has one of the better offenses. But looking at the schedules, the Wolfpack has played next to nobody of relevance, while the Fighting Irish have played Texas and Michigan State. DeShone Kizer is one of the best in the country, and his performance last week was stellar. I’ll take the Irish by 6.
Will: Notre Dame looked like a much stronger team last week against Syracuse. Two away games in a row is tough in itself, but if Notre Dame wants to remain competitive at all, these away game wins are huge. Notre Dame by 10.
Mikey: They finally beat an inferior opponent; they should make it two in a row this week. ND by 14.
Kevin: BC has a better record than Notre Dame, and that’s not changing after this week. NC State by 6.
BONUS – UMass v. Old Dominion
Tyler: TJ decided to pick against ND every week until they didn’t have identical records. That made me chuckle, so I will pick UMass this weekend in exchange for making me chuckle. Minutemen by 7 (I guess?).
Gabe: Sorry TJ. Sorry Will. ODU by 9.
Sean: I don’t know anything about either side, but just looking at the numbers, ODU is better. Monarchs over the Minutemen by 5.
Will: Being a UMass football fan is such a tease. Just when you think they have something resembling a consistent offense they lose to Tulane. So, I’m going to continue keeping the faith, but I’m very close to giving up all together. UMass by 3.
Mikey: I don’t know, I have to pick a winner. UMass by 3.
Kevin: Minutemen vs. Monarchs. I think we all know how this ends. UMass by 10 for the side of freedom.
Cover photo from collegefootballnews.com.