Already this week I struck out on both of Thursday’s marquee games. So just keep in mind the below disclaimer.
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Florida State @ Wake Forest (ABC): With a clear path to the national title game, can the Seminoles not trip up against a foe that… well, they’ve tripped up against before? I’m thinking no.
- Kansas State @ Texas Tech (ABC): TTU was humbled a bit against Oklahoma State last week, but I doubt that K-State will be as effective against them.
- Auburn @ Tennessee (ESPN): This game was probably a tossup going into the season, but now, well, it seems like an easy Auburn victory.
- Pennsylvania State @ Minnesota (ESPN2): It feels really weird, but… I’m going with Minnesota in this? I’m so unsure that I put a question mark there.
- Missouri @ Kentucky (ESPNU): Mizzou continues their march to Atlanta.
- Texas Christian @ Iowa State (FSN): It’s been a disappointing season for TCU, mainly due to their extremely lackluster offense. But if TCU is lackluster, than Iowa State hasn’t even been acquainted with the very concept for “luster” at any point this season.
- Western Kentucky @ Army (CBSS): Western Kentucky already beat Navy this year, and Army is much, much worse.
- Iowa @ Purdue (BTN): There aren’t very many teams Iowa could reasonably expect to outscore entirely with their offense. Purdue, with the second worst scoring offense in the FBS, is one of them.
- Vanderbilt @ Florida (SEC/FSN): Is Florida’s offense so inept and wracked by injuries that one could actually pick Vanderbilt as having a shot? The Gator defense is still legit, which means that one could be ugly and low scoring. Which is exactly what the Gators will need to win. I suspect they probably will.
- Arkansas @ Mississippi (SEC): Arkansas is a disaster this season. Maybe John L. wasn’t that bad after all?
12:30: Virginia @ North Carolina (ACC): UNC has been lost on offense for most of this season, but by way of analogy UVA set off without having ever consulted a map in the first place. I like the Tar Heels here.
3:00: Southern California @ California (FOX): The Bears should probably start looking ahead to Colorado.
- Mississippi State @ Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (CBS): Miss State’s offense isn’t quite competent enough to take advantage of TAMU’s awful defense, so the Aggies should be okay here.
- Nebraska @ Michigan (ABC): Well, one of these teams actually beat Minnesota. That team was not Nebraska.
- Brigham Young @ Wisconsin (ESPN): BYU is a pretty good team, and they should make the Badgers sweat, but ultimately the Stormin’ Mormons will probably come up short.
- Hawaii @ Navy (CBSS): Navy.
- Illinois @ Indiana (BTN): I feel a bit silly for having Illinois make a bowl game a couple weeks ago, but I don’t think it was entirely unreasonable at the time. It probably is now, though. But it is reasonable to have Indiana winning, like, ever? Sure, why not.
- Syracuse @ Maryland (ACC/FSN): Neither of these teams is good or anything, but Syracuse is awful.
- Kansas @ Oklahoma State (FS1): Oklahoma State.
- North Carolina State @ Duke (ESPNU): I almost flippantly did the “team name with no description” thing here, but then I remembered that this is Duke we’re talking about it. But, well, the Blue Devils really are the better team at this point.
- Arizona State @ Utah (Pac12): Arizona State is a pretty good team, while Utah has mostly wilted in Pac-12 play (except for that increasingly inexplicable win over Stanford).
- Texas @ West Virginia (FOX): Texas has managed to remain relevant, and they should here. Then again, strange things can happen in Morgantown at night.
- Virginia Tech @ Miami (ESPN): Provided they aren’t completely demoralized by getting blown away by FSU and losing their star running back, Miami still has a certain advantage over Virginia Tech: they have an offense. Of course, that presupposes Good Logan Thomas remains locked in a storage closet somewhere. That said, I’m still going with Miami.
- Houston @ Central Florida (ESPN2): In my bowl predictions, I have consistently predicted UCF losing this game. Don’t let me down, Cougars.
- Southern Mississippi @ Louisiana Tech (CBSS): Louisiana Tech.
- Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh (ABC): So it turns out that Notre Dame probably isn’t really good or anything, but they should be sufficiently decent enough to handle Pitt.
- Louisiana State @ Alabama (CBS): I know everyone has their hopes for this game, but… statistically Alabama is the superior team. Like, not by a ton, but it’s pretty clear-cut. Perhaps the closest comparison for a team LSU has faced this season is Florida, but only because of their defense. They toughed that one out 17-6, but as we know Florida’s offense is super inept. Now imagine a team that has a better defense than Florida, and oh yeah, a freaking idea of what they’re doing on offense, and you have Alabama. In other words, this Crimson Tide team, as loathe as I am to say it, is really good.
- Utah State @ Nevada-Las Vegas (ESPNU): Utah State.
- Colorado @ Washington (Pac12): Washington.
10:00: California-Los Angeles @ Arizona (ESPN): Arizona’s been quietly putting together a good season. Sure, they OOC schedule was a joke and they’ve pretty much only beaten the dregs of the Pac-12 (and Utah), but still, 6-2 is pretty good. But if they lose this, they’re not in good shape for the Pac-12. And, well, they’re probably going to lose.
10:15: Fresno State @ Wyoming (ESPN2): The most compelling thing here will probably be how ugly Wyoming’s uniforms are on this evening. And as I’ve said in the past, I mean that in an entirely good way, as making ugly uniforms was always my objective in the Create-A-School feature of the NCAA Football games.
10:30: San Diego State @ San Jose State (CBSS): And here’s your Mountain West nightcap. Two mediocre offense, but two awful defenses, should make for some occasionally fun viewing in this Aztech vs. Spartan battle. I like the Greeks here.