The “better late than never” edition! Once again, I don’t have time or energy for commentary, as I gotta pay the bills, you know? Anyway, the predictions are here.
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Maryland @ Ohio State (FOX): This is a “Hey, you wanna see a dead body?” game. Buckeyes all the way,
- Pennsylvania State @ Minnesota (ABC): ABC doesn’t call i this, but this is really your BIG NOON SATURDAY game this week. The main this, we’re going to find out a lot about these here Golden Gophers. Perhaps my favorite stat about Minnesota so far this year is that they have only faced a first string quarterback for something like 15 minutes on the whole season. It’s nuts how lucky they’ve gotten, and that luck runs out later today.
- Vanderbilt @ Florida (ESPN): Solid bounceback game for the Gators, here.
- Texas Tech @ West Virginia (ESPN2): I have no idea what is going on with these two teams at this point and I’m too tired to look it up. WVU?
- Baylor @ Texas Christian (FS1): TCU can pip ’em, but I’ll still take Baylor for now.
- East Carolina @ Southern Methodist (ESPNU): Almost beating Cincy aside, ECU is dreadful. I’ll stick with the Ponies.
- Western Kentucky @ Arkansas (SEC): Getting very heavy “They supposed to be SEC!” vibes from this one.
- Purdue @ Northwestern (BTN): Purdue can actually score touchdowns, so I’m going with them.
- Massachusetts @ Army (CBSS): It’s been a bit of a struggle for Army this year, but not enough of a struggle to figure they’ll have any issues with UMass.
- Florida State @ Boston College (ACCN): FSU just fired this coach after not even two years, so, uh, I’ll take BC here.
12:30: Georgia Tech @ Virginia (ACC/RSN): I still think GT can win another game, but this team is so much a work-in-progress from week to week it’s almost hard to predict anything about them. Well, I can predict the offensive line is probably going to struggle. That seems like a gimme.
- Stanford @ Colorado (Pac12): Stanford seems to have some elusive property where when I look at them they look terrible, but they’re actually having a solid season on the whole. It’s weird, I tell ya. I like them against the Buffs though.
- Charlotte @ Texas-El Paso (ESPN+)
- Louisiana State @ Alabama (CBS): I’m trying to talk myself in LSU. Don’t get me wrong, I want it to happen. I want there to be some sliver of a chance that Alabama doesn’t make the playoff. But few things seem as inevitable in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen as Bama easily dispatching an “evenly matched” LSU. Man, if only this game were at night in Baton Rouge.
- Southern California @ Arizona State (ABC): USC just hired an athletic director (who isn’t a former USC athlete, even!), so Clay Helton finally getting the axe seems pretty likely. The main drama may be whether he makes on the play or gets tarmac’d Lane Kiffin-style.
- Kansas State @ Texas (ESPN): Yeah, turns out Kansas State is actually kinda good? Huh. I’m still coping with this news, so in the meantime I’m still picking Texas.
- Louisville @ Miami (ESPN2): Few things would be as poetic as Miami basically just getting Willie Taggart fired in Year 2 at FSU and then losing to Louisville.
- Illinois @ Michigan State (FS1): Speaking of adjusting to teams that are shockingly good, I can tell you who hasn’t adjusted to Illinois being decent: bookies! Yeah, Sparty’s a 14 point favorite in this contest. I mean, hell, I’m not sure Sparty will score fourteen in this one. Geez. I like Illinois straight up.
- Alabama-Birmingham @ Southern Mississippi (NFL): This game’s on the NFL network of all places, which is a shame. Go Blazers.
- Connecticut @ Cincinnati (CBSS): Cincy.
- Wake Forest @ Virginia Tech (ACCN): Wake?
- Georgia Southern @ Troy (ESPN+)
- Iowa @ Wisconsin (FOX): Hey, this is low-key probably going to be one of the best games of the day. Well, it’ll definitely be the best game featuring a bunch of large, corn-fed linemen and only a handful of pass attempts. But hey, if that’s your thing we’re not here to judge: college football takes all kinds. Anyway, I’ll take the Badgers here.
- New Mexico State @ Mississippi (SEC): Ole Miss.
5:00: Georgia State @ Louisiana-Monroe (ESPN+)
6:00: Florida International @ Florida Atlantic (Stadium): FIU?
- Missouri @ Georgia (ESPN): Can you do me a favor Mizzou? Oh, you can’t? Ah well.
- Appalachian State @ South Carolina (ESPN2): I don’t think App State will win, but it’d sure be awesome if they did. It’s not like SoCar has had a great go of it since beating UGA.
- Utah State @ Fresno State (CBSS): Early on this looked it could be a date to circle on the Mountain West calendar, but Utah State hasn’t quite held up their end of the bargain.
- Washington State @ California (Pac12): Wazzu? (With a heavy emphasis on the ‘?’ there.)
- Clemson @ North Carolina State (ABC): The weekly release of the College Football Playoff rankings is completely pointless, except as a means to drive TV ratings and give Dabo a reason to give his players some extra motivation.
- Liberty @ Brigham Young (EPSNU): BYU.
- Tennessee @ Kentucky (SEC): Man, this evening slate is kind of dire. Uh, despite a somewhat resurgent Vols I’m still going Kentucky here.
- Notre Dame @ Duke (ACCN): Notre Dame all the way, probably.
8:00: Iowa State @ Oklahoma (FOX): Oklahoma.
10:15: Wyoming @ Boise State (ESPN): Boise.
10:30: Nevada @ San Diego State (ESPN2): Aztecs.
I actually did the first edition of the predictions last week, but I didn’t have time to write up a post. I also didn’t have time to write a post this week, but against my better judgement here we are.
I’m short one team at the moment, but these things tend to work themselves out. There’s a bunch of big games this weekend that will go a long way to determine how this all shakes out, so don’t get too riled up about anything just yet.
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: 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 certainly 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.
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Oklahoma @ Kansas State (ABC): Okay, let’s get this show in the road. K-State is doing about as well as could be expected in Year 1 after Synder, and I mean that in a good way. But Oklahoma shouldn’t have any issues.
- Wisconsin @ Ohio State (FOX): Well, so much for an undefeated battle in Columbus. Wisconsin would’ve had hard a time of it regardless, but losing to Illinois last weekend inspires zero confidence in the Badgers.
- Miami @ Pittsburgh (ESPN): This Miami team is more talented, sure, but they looked completely discombobulated while losing to us last weekend. I’m taking Pitt.
- Iowa @ Northwestern (ESPN2): Northwestern will make it tough, but I’m going with the Hawkeyes here.
- Appalachian State @ South Alabama (ESPNU): App State should have no issues here.
- Mississippi State @ Texas A&M (SEC): TAMU isn’t have a fun time of it right now, but the Miss State team is impossible to judge so far this year. I’ll go with the Aggies.
- Liberty @ Rutgers (BTN): Rutgers could lose this game. Seriously. I don’t think they will, but the possibility is there.
- Illinois @ Purdue (BTN): Illinois? This game is solidly in the mediocre cement mixer that’s the second tier of the Big Ten right now.
- San Jose State @ Army (CBSS): Army’s dropped a couple games now, but they shouldn’t have any problem with the Spartans.
1:00: Southern Mississippi @ Rice (ESPN+)
2:00: Ohio @ Ball State (ESPN+)
- Auburn @ Louisiana State (CBS): Auburn is the closest thing the SEC has to a CHAOS TEAM, for sure, and of course this goes hand-in-hand with Gus Malzahn’s perpetual on-again-off-again hotseatedness. That said, I think Auburn is on the relatively cool part of that cycle right now, so I’ll go with LSU here.
- Texas @ Texas Christian (FOX): Tom Herman did nothing to shrug off the idea the plays both up and down to his opposition by nearly losing to Kansas last weekend. But I’m not as soured on the Longhorns as most, and I’m willing to say that I think they’ll win in Ft. Worth.
- Pennsylvania State @ Michigan State (ABC): Penn State survived a massive test at home against a good Michigan team, so now the natural question is “can they go on the road to a kind of bad Michigan State team”. If it were just about any other team, the answer would be obvious. But it’s Michigan State, and as anyone who follows college football knows, Sparty has ~ways~ to make any game a 12-10 rock fight. Penn State wins, but an apt descriptor on Sunday will probably be “survived East Lansing”.
- Maryland @ Minnesota (ESPN): Minnesota is still undefeated, and figures to remain so.
- Syracuse @ Florida State (ESPN2): No. Clue. Who. Will. Win. This. Florida State?
- Oklahoma State @ Iowa State (FS1): Speaking of mid-tier cement mixers, welcome to the Big 12, where the “mid-tier” is approximately 8 of the teams in the conference. Who will this? Iowa State, probably. Am I at all sure about it? Nope!
- Florida International @ Middle Tennessee State (NFL): Uh, MTSU?
- Indiana @ Nebraska (BTN): Yeah, uh, this looks like a game set of Hoosiers and a not so much game set of Cornhuskers. I think Indiana pips one.
- Tulane @ Navy (CBSS): I like Tulane to be able to recover and get back on track after getting, well, kind of dominated by Memphis last weekend.
- Virginia @ Louisville (ACCN): I still think UVA is good, so I’m sure they’ll spend the early evening in Louisville making me look dumb.
- Arizona @ Stanford (Pac12): Stanford is just kinda bad this year. I like the Wildcats to win on the road and spoil the Cardinal’s homecoming.
- Miami @ Kent State (ESPN+)
- Central Michigan @ Buffalo (ESPN+)
- Eastern Michigan @ Toledo (ESPN+)
- North Texas @ Charlotte (ESPN+)
- Florida Atlantic @ Old Dominion (ESPN+)
3:45: South Florida @ East Carolina (ESPNU): I wouldn’t advise watching this. USF I guess?
- South Carolina @ Tennessee (SEC): Well, it turns out the Vols didn’t get obliterated in Tuscaloosa last weekend. If there were ever such a thing as a moral victory, I guess that was it. Regardless, this figures to be an unwatchable knife fight as the Vols come crashing back to Earth against South Carolina.
- Duke @ North Carolina (ACC/RSN): Why isn’t this this their end-of-year rivalry? I need to look into that sometime. At any rate, Mack Brown and Co figure to keep rolling.
- Arkansas @ Alabama (ESPN): No Tua, no problem. Arkansas is a mess, and Bama doesn’t figure to be the kind of team looking ahead to LSU next weekend.
- Central Florida @ Temple (ESPN2): UCF is still good, and Temple’s limitations have been kind of exposed in the last couple of weeks against the other good teams in the AAC.
- Texas Tech @ Kansas (FS1): It would be the most Kansas thing possible to get on the verge of upsetting Texas and then getting the doors blown off by the Red Raiders, so I’m going to go with that.
- Memphis @ Tulsa (CBSS): The Tigers figure to have no issues here.
- Texas State @ Arkansas State (ESPN+)
- Troy @ Georgia State (ESPN+)
- Notre Dame @ Michigan (ABC): No, it’s not wrong that you’re not excited about this. It’s perfectly understandable, honestly. This figures to be a repeat of the Notre Dame-Georgia game: tight, conservative playcalling to the point of unwatchability. I guess this time ND will win, though.
- Colorado State @ Fresno State (ESPNU): Things are getting off the rails for the Rams, who don’t figure to present any issues for Fresno.
- Missouri @ Kentucky (SEC): I’m not sure how Mizzou lost to Vandy last weekend, so given that bit of ignorance I’m still going to pick them against Kentucky.
- Boston College @ Clemson (ACCN): Still on the Clemson bandwagon.
- Arizona State @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): This game figures to be kind of like a trainwreck, which is definitely a scenario that will favor Herm Edwards and the visiting Sun Devils.
10:00: California @ Utah (FS1): Cal has no offense to speak of, which means even their defense can’t keep them in games. Utes all the way.
10:15: Utah State @ Air Force (ESPN2): This should be a fun one. Utah State is a pretty solid MWC team, and Air Force has solid wins over Colorado, Fresno State, and Hawaii. I’ll take the Falcons at home.
- Washington State @ Oregon (ESPN): Wazzu is just… man, who knows. Who knows. Ducks all the way.
- San Diego State @ Nevada-Las Vegas (CBSS): And finally, we’ve got our MWC closer, but unfortunately a solid Aztecs squad against the hapless Rebels.