As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Texas vs. Oklahoma (“Red River” @ Dallas, TX; ABC): The shootout/rivalry/showdown thing returns, and for the first time in a long time, neither team is ranked. How about that? It turns out that Oklahoma has some severe issues on offense, but so do the Longhorns. That said, the latter look like they’re getting their QB back, so in that case I have to take them.
- Michigan @ Indiana (FOX): This isn’t the Hoosiers’ year.
- Tennessee @ Louisiana State (ESPN): If Tennessee is actually good, and it looks like they might be, then they need to prevail in a tough road contest. I think they will against a LSU team that’s still figuring it out under Kelly.
- Texas Christian @ Kansas (FS1): These are definitely the two teams I had penciled at the top of the Big 12 before the season started… is a sentence that a liar would tell you. So yeah, it’s unexpected, but with the… sold out(!) crowd in Lawrence, I have to go with KU here?
- Missouri @ Florida (ESPNU): Mizzou is just bad.
- Arkansas @ Mississippi State (SEC): The wompin’ just doesn’t seem to have the same energy this year. I think Miss State is just going to outrun them.
- Louisville @ Virginia (ACCN): I can’t recommend you watch this game, and I can’t pick a winner. Uh, Cards I guess?
- Purdue @ Maryland (BTN): September is over, so I’m picking Purdue.
- Eastern Michigan @ Western Michigan (CBSS): Eastern beat Arizona State, so those guys.
- Buffalo @ Bowling Green (ESPN+)
- Georgia Southern @ Georgia State (“Modern Day Hate”; espn3.com)
- Akron @ Ohio (espn3.com)
2:30: South Florida @ Cincinnati (ESPN+)
- Auburn @ Georgia (“The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry”; CBS): Is this going to be the nail in the coffin for Bryan Harsin? I mean, it’s sure felt like that the coffin was already solidly nailed shut for several weeks, yet he’s still there. So who knows. At any rate, this figures to be a rout, especially since UGA’s been playing with their food the past couple of weeks.
- Utah @ California-Los Angeles (FOX): UCLA’s having a weird season that’s resulted in a good record. I suspect the Utes will put an end to that fantasy.
- Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State (FS1): TTU is also having a fine season that’s about to suffer a loss to a superior team.
- East Carolina @ Tulane (ESPNU): I’ll go with the Green Wave here.
- Wisconsin @ Northwestern (BTN): Wisconsin, which never fires coaches, fired Paul Chryst last week, and there’s nothing that’s happened since then to make me think they’re going to beat a game Northwestern squad.
- Virginia Tech @ Pittsburgh (ACCN): Pitt won’t lose to a Tech two weeks in row. I think.
- Tulsa @ Navy (CBSS): Navy is just… bad this year. It might be time for Coach Ken.
- Middle Tennessee State @ Alabama-Birmingham (Stadium)
- Liberty @ Massachusetts (ESPN+)
- Ball State @ Central Michigan (ESPN+)
- Kent State @ Miami (ESPN+)
- Toledo @ Northern Illinois (ESPN+)
- Ohio State @ Michigan State (ABC): Speaking of teams having weirdly bad years, how about Sparty? There’s no way they beat the Buckeyes here.
- North Carolina @ Miami (ESPN2): Carolina will presumably be able to outrace Miami. Probably.
- Mississippi @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Vandy is more game than usual, but not game enough to beat Ole Miss this season.
- Duke @ Georgia Tech (ACC/RSN): OKAY. So last week I said I’d expand more on us finally firing Geoff. And then we went and beat Pitt! I wasn’t able to watch much of the game due to other commitments. From what I’ve seen since, it’s not that we looked a ton better, but we were slightly competent. Remember, the bar is pretty low when you’re looking at things like “we didn’t get a punt blocked!” So at least punt coverage seems to have been fixed, and from what I could see, we just played a tad better, and Pitt committed a bunch of turnovers. Nonetheless, we took advantage and won a dang football game. Now we’re going for winning two games in a row for the first time since 2018. Yeah, that’s how bad it was.
- Washington @ Arizona State (Pac12): UDub, easy.
6:00: Western Kentucky @ Texas-San Antonio (ESPN+)
- Air Force @ Utah State (FS1): We’re on a good Air Force year and a real, real down bad Utah State year, so this one could get out of hand quick.
- James Madison @ Arkansas State (NFL): JMU is still transitioning to FBS, so they’re not eligible for the postseason. But I think they’re already better than Arkansas State, and could well win. Keep an eye on them, they could definitely make it awkward for the Sun Belt and the NCAA in a month or so.
- Wyoming @ New Mexico (CBSS): Cowboys should be able to handle the Lobos.
- Connecticut @ Florida International (espn3.com)
- Texas-El Paso @ Louisiana Tech (ESPN+)
- Appalachian State @ Texas State (ESPN+)
- Southern Mississippi @ Troy (ESPN+)
- Washington State @ Southern California (FOX): USC’s back to doing USC things, and while this is an improved Wazzu team, I don’t see anything to stop them at this point.
- Brigham Young vs. Notre Dame (@Las Vegas, NV; NBC): Notre Dame should be more talented, but BYU is mean and they have definitely hung with other good P5 teams. I see this being pretty close, and probably crashing the small amount of momentum built up so far by Marcus Freeman and company.
- Clemson @ Boston College (ABC): Clemson still questionable on offense, but it shouldn’t matter too much up in Chestnut Hill.
- South Carolina @ Kentucky (SEC): I’m still not buying what Shane Beamer is selling at South Carolina. I really like Kentucky here.
- Kansas State @ Iowa State (“Farmageddon” @ ESPNU): The longest uninterrupted rivalry in FBS soldiers on, with a team that it feels like Matt Campbell has overstayed his welcome for in Iowa State. It’s just the year of Kansas apparently, as well. I like the Wildcats here.
- Iowa @ Illinois (BTN): Illinois can run the ball and score points, and Iowa can’t do either of those things. It feels weird but, yeah, I think Champaign will be poppin’ after this one.
- Army @ Wake Forest (ACC/RSN): Wake will out-Army Army in this one.
- Texas A&M @ Alabama (CBS): Hey, remember that weird beef from last summer where Nick Saban implied that Jimbo Fisher “bought” his #1 ranked recruiting class, and then Jimbo took great offense and held an impromptu 15-minute press conference/wrestling promo wherein he implored journalists to “ask around” about Nick Saban’s character and integrity? So… yeah, Bama’s gonna win by 40.
- Florida State @ North Carolina State (ACCN): Well, the long-prophesied “good” NC State here hit a speed bump in a loss to Clemson last week, but will they rebound against a solid FSU? I’d say, sure?
- Coastal Carolina @ Louisiana-Monroe (ESPN+)
9:00: Oregon @ Arizona (Pac12): I just don’t really rate either of the Arizona schools at this point.
9:45: Fresno State @ Boise State (FS1): The usual suspects in the Mountain West just, well, aren’t this year. I’ll pick Boise at home just because Fresno also has a ton of issues, but sheesh.
10:30: Hawaii @ San Diego State (CBSS): Aztecs will get themselves a home win.
11:00: Oregon State @ Stanford (ESPN): And finally, Stanford is trying stuff (they run a ton of plays and run the RPO a ton), it just isn’t clicking. The Beavers are just further ahead at this point.