As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Michigan @ Maryland (ABC): This noon slate is pretty dire, so let’s just try to work through it together with a…. LIGHTNING ROUND! Michigan!
- Nebraska @ Purdue (FOX): Okay, well, the lightning round has careened off the road and is tumbling down the side of a cliff in a way that is definitely emblematic of both of these teams’ seasons. It’s difficult to know what to make of either of these teams, so I guess I’ll take Purdue at home?
- North Carolina State @ Wake Forest (ESPN): crawls out of the smoldering wreckage, somehow still functional and not all that badly hurt, yelling:Â LIGHTNING ROUND! Wake!
- Houston @ Central Florida (ESPN2): UCF!
- Buffalo @ Eastern Michigan (ESPNU): Bulls!
- Texas-San Antonio @ Texas A&M (SEC): TAMU!
- Northern Illinois @ Central Michigan (CBSS): CMU!
- Boston College @ Syracuse (ACCN): BC!
- Old Dominion @ Florida International (ESPN+)
2:00: Akron @ Bowling Green (ESPN+)
2:30: Virginia Tech @ Notre Dame (NBC): Virginia Tech is 5-2 but I don’t trust them at all, but before I make this pick, let me check the weather for South Bend… okay, it’s not going to rain, at least not a lot, so ND is good.
- Miami @ Florida State (ABC): Don’t ask me about Miami, because I don’t know. FSU.
- Georgia vs. Florida (@Jacksonville, FL; CBS): So this Georgia team just. cannot. move. the. ball. Their defense is keeping them in games, but what happens when they run up against a team that can actually play offense? Luckily for them, the only team in the SEC East that even seems interested in scoring points is Florida. The thing is, it’s not like Florida is actually that good(?) offensively. Sure, they got scored against LSU, but it took everything they had to do it. Then again, that was at night with a top-tier hostile college football crowd, while this is a neutral site in their own state. If Florida can get 24 on this Georgia defense, I think they’ll win.
- Texas Christian @ Oklahoma State (ESPN): Okie State’s just kinda bad this year. TCU.
- Kansas State @ Kansas (FS1): Is the same for this game the Sunflower Showdown? Sunflower State Showdown? Hold on a second. Okay, good, it’s the former. Anyway, so as someone who was born in Kansas, I’m more than qualified to tell you that this isn’t one of the biggest contests even by the standards of this rivalry, but nonetheless we’ve got two first-year head coaches that are better than I think anyone outside the state could have possibly expected. Chris Klieman came down from North Dakota State and seems to have just gotten K-State humming at near-peak-Synder levels again, which is certainlyÂ way better than the way it went the last time Bill Synder retired. Meanwhile, it was hard to see Kansas hiring Les Miles as anything other than a joke, and look, no one is going to confuse KU with having a good team, but… they play with great chest, as Miles might say. So, yeah, that’s all to say that K-State is probably going to win, but this might be as fun as anything else on at 3:30.
- Arkansas State @ Louisiana-Monroe (ESPNU): Got Sun Belt games on national television on a Saturday, yeah, that sums up this day pretty much. Arkansas State.
- Texas-El Paso @ North Texas (NFL): UTEP is really bad, so UNT.
- Rutgers @ Illinois (BTN): Illinois got themselves a couple weeks ago against Wisconsin, now let’s see if they can keep it up against the worst Power 5 team. (They will.)
- Army @ Air Force (CBSS): So Army has lost four straight. At first, it was understandable, Tulane is pretty sold this year. Western Kentucky is winning their division in C-USA. Georgia State beat Tennessee. San Jose State, though… just, no, you can’t do that. But will playing for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy get them re-centered? Well, I think they’ll cover 15.5, but I think I like Air Force a bit better.
- Utah @ Washington (FOX): The Pac-12 really, really needs Utah to win to have any chance of getting a pair of 1-loss teams as a play-in game in Santa Clara next month, which is why I’m picking UDub.
- Tulsa @ Tulane (ESPN2): Tulsa nearly beat some of the other good teams in the AAC, can they get over the top against the Green Wave? I’m going with “no”.
- Mississippi State @ Arkansas (SEC): Look, Miss State has underperformed this year, but Arkansas might be down there with Rutgers, y’all.
- Pittsburgh @ Georgia Tech (ACC/RSN): Like many ACC Coast teams this year, Pitt’s season makes no sense. They were a yard and some game/time decision making away from having Penn State tied in the 4th quarter. They upset UCF with a trick play. They then reeled off three more in a row, and then they went to a Miami team that just lost to, well, us, and lost themselves 16-12. So now what? Well, I don’t have any insight into Pitt, but for the Yellow Jackets they just had a week to practice a bit more and get a bit more healthy. I said last time that I thought we’d win another game. The thing is, we did that already, so… maybe let’s do it again?
4:30: Oregon State @ Arizona (Pac12): ‘Zona.
5:00: Texas State @ Louisiana-Lafayette (ESPN+)
- Mississippi @ Auburn (ESPN): Auburn.
- Northwestern @ Indiana (FS1): Northwestern is bad at offense this year that they seem almost actively hostile to the idea of offensive football, like they’d be happy to win 7-0, preferably with that 7 being a defensive score. It’s awful. Hooisers all the way.
- Alabama-Birmingham @ Tennessee (ESPNU): I want to believe. Go Blazers.
- Cincinnati @ East Carolina (CBSS): ECU is bad, Cincy all the way.
- Southern Methodist @ Memphis (ABC): Okay, so neither lost last week, so get the AAC game we were promised, but neither team is from Florida! I think this could be a lot of fun, but I believe Memphis will generate more stops and get the win.
- Vanderbilt @ South Carolina (SEC): Well, Vandy just beat Mizzou, but they’re still dreadful offensively. Fortunately for them, so is South Carolina, but let’s face it, you’re not going to out-dumb Will Muschamp at his own game. Just ask Georgia how that worked out for them.
- Virginia @ North Carolina (ACCN): Yep, this game may well decide the ACC Coastal. Just like we call thought back in August. I still have UVA, though. Why? I’m not sure.
8:00: Oregon @ Southern California (FOX): Unlike the Utah-UDub scenario above, I think the Ducks are relatively safe against USC.
9:00: Colorado @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): Is UCLA good now? I don’t think so. Is Colorado? Definitely not. Bruins all the way.
10:00: Brigham Young @ Utah State (ESPN2): Utah State is a solid, but not spectacular Mountain West team, which I think puts them at about par with BYU. I’m not sure who I have here, Utah State I guess?
- New Mexico @ Nevada (ESPNU): Well, for the sake of my bowl predictions, it’d be a lot nicer if Nevada wins here, so I’ll go with them.
- Boise State @ San Jose State (CBSS): Boise suffered a bad loss at BYU. I don’t think they’ll make it two in a row.