As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- South Carolina @ Clemson (“Palmetto Bowl”; ABC): So last year a game South Carolina team came in brimming with confidence against a wounded Clemson and… got blown out. I suspect something similar will happen here.
- Michigan @ Ohio State (“The Game”; FOX): At least one observer I follow has pointed out that Michigan’s physicality seems to be specifically designed to beat Ohio State. The project reached fruition last year. The question now is can Michigan pull the trick two years in a row, with a slightly stepped down defensive line and their all-everything running back Blake Corum missing most of the end of last week’s Illinois game. And Ohio State’s quarterback and receivers are still terrifying. The best way I’ve heard it said is that “if Ohio State wins, it’ll be a blowout, if Michigan wins, it’ll be close”. I agree. I also have the Wolverines pulling upset.
- Georgia Tech @ Georgia (“Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”; ESPN): TO HELL WITH GEORGIA.
- West Virginia @ Oklahoma State (ESPN2): I’m not sure what’s happened to Oklahoma State in recent weeks, but with Neal Brown seemingly closer to the end of his tenure than the beginning, I still have to favor the Pokes.
- Coastal Carolina @ James Madison (ESPNU): Over the last few weeks JMU has started to look like a team that is moving up to FBS. Coastal should have no problems.
- Rutgers @ Maryland (BTN): Provided Maryland is not deflated by letting Ohio State come back and win last weekend, they’ll be okay here.
- Western Kentucky @ Florida Atlantic (CBSS): WKU’s performance against Auburn last weekend is more the product of Auburn playing up to their potential moreso than an deficiencies with themselves. They’ll be fine here.
- Georgia State @ Marshall (ESPN+)
- New Mexico State @ Liberty (ESPN+)
- Army @ Massachusetts (ESPN+)
- Old Dominion @ South Alabama (ESPN+)
- Elon @ Furman (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
- Kent State @ Buffalo (ESPN+)
- East Carolina @ Temple (ESPN+)
1:30: Akron @ Northern Illinois (espn3.com)
- Rice @ North Texas (ESPN+)
- Southern vs. Grambling State (“Bayou Classic” @ New Orleans, LA; NBC)
- St. Francis @ Delaware (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
- Fordham @ New Hampshire (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
- Davidson @ Richmond (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
3:00: Louisville @ Kentucky (“Governor’s Cup”; SEC): Kentucky hasn’t looked themselves except for some brief glimpses against UGA in recent weeks. That, and Louisville seems determined to save Scott Satterfield’s job, so how can I pick against them?
- Auburn @ Alabama (“Iron Bowl”; CBS): With with Bama being a bit “down” this year, I just don’t see them losing to this Auburn team, even if these Iron Bowls often do consist of Auburn being weirdly competitive. (Not to mention that the team has rallied around interim Carnell “Cadillac” Williams.) So I’m not going to pick the Tigers to win, but I am going to say that this could be interesting.
- Oregon @ Oregon State (ABC): This one could also be interesting. The game is in Corvallis and Oregon State is spicy, but I think Oregon’s talent will just be too much for them.
- Minnesota @ Wisconsin (ESPN): I just don’t think Wisconsin is going to be able to keep up with the Gophers. The Axe stays in Minneapolis.
- Memphis @ Southern Methodist (ESPN2): Memphis has looked more dangerous in recent weeks, but I think SMU is still a better team.
- Troy @ Arkansas State (ESPNU): This game is here instead the Commonwealth Cup due to the recent events at UVA. I am not optimistic but I think we need to figure out some way to combat gun violence in this country. No other country in the world is like the US, at least, any country that we want to be grouped with in terms of life expectancy and standard of living. For the game itself, Troy is one of the better teams in the Sun Belt, and Arkansas State… isn’t. Trojans all the way.
- Wake Forest @ Duke (ACCN): I have no idea what happened to Wake Forest the past few weeks. Even beating Syracuse by 10 didn’t feel that inspiring. I think they’re still a lot better than Duke, but I’m also still not sure about them.
- Purdue @ Indiana (BTN): The Old Oaken Bucket is once again in doubt, and I also have some doubts about who will win. Thanks to Nebraska beating Iowa earlier today, Purdue has a chance to clinch the Big Ten West with a win. I think they’re probably the most palatable of the available options, so I’ll pick the Boilermakers.
- Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN): Meanwhile, just outside of Chicago the Land of Lincoln Trophy will be contested and this game also has Big Ten West title stakes, at least for Illinois. A loss here keeps Iowa a live. Fortunately for Illinois, Northwestern is terrible.
- Alabama-Birmingham @ Louisiana Tech (CBSS): Y’all, I got a little heavy above, but I just wanted to also say that this is the last full Saturday of the season and I think that’s worth enjoying. There’s some good World Cup matchups I will also be keeping an eye on, but the whole panoply of the college football universe is what makes Saturdays fun. UAB should win here, and also keep this one in mind.
- Texas-El Paso @ Texas-San Antonio (Stadium): This one isn’t really a rivalry, but it sort of feels like it should be? Also UTEP needs to get this to get bowl eligible, but I’m picking UTSA because they’re, well, better.
- Hawaii @ San Jose State (Team1Sports)
- Iowa State @ Texas Christian (FOX): This year just hasn’t been it for Iowa State. TCU survived by the skin of their teeth last week against Baylor, and I know that’s kind of their thing, but I think this one will be more comfortable.
- Michigan State @ Pennsylvania State (FS1): Everyone’s favorite ugly trophy is once again on the line! That’s right, the Land Grant Trophy will probably… head back to Happy Valley, in keeping with my general sentiment that Penn State is so thoroughly the Third Best Team in the Big Ten.
- Utah @ Colorado (“Rumble in the Rockies”; Pac12): Colorado is just so bad as to make anything else about this moot.
- North Dakota @ Weber State (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
- Louisiana @ Texas State (ESPN+)
- Southern Mississippi @ Louisiana-Monroe (ESPN+)
- Gardner-Webb @ Eastern Kentucky (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
- Nevada @ Nevada-Las Vegas (“Battle for Nevada”; MTN)
- Middle Tennessee State @ Florida International (espn3.com)
- Appalachian State @ Georgia Southern (“Deeper than Hate”; ESPN+)
- Louisiana State @ Texas A&M (ESPN): Okay, so far this weekend we’ve had a traditionally crazy rivalry game get crazy (the Egg Bowl) and then Florida-Florida State went off the rails earlier tonight. But, let’s not forget that this sort of non-rivalry rivalry gave us SEVEN OVERTIMES back in 2018. I kinda want this one to be crazy as well, but TAMU is such a struggle bus on offense that I just can’t see them staying in this game unless LSU also struggles. This feels unlikely at this point.
- Central Florida @ South Florida (“War on I-4”; ESPN2): With UCF leaving for the Big 12 after this season, this will be the last War on I-4 for the foreseeable future. This is kind of a bummer. The series has been paused before, and recent editions haven’t been close as USF declined. But the 2017 edition is one of the best college football games of all time, and it reminds us of what this could be. Either way, UCF figures to win in a rout.
- Idaho @ Southeastern Louisiana (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN+)
- Notre Dame @ Southern California (ABC): This figures to be one of the best versions of this matchup in recent memory. USC can score it, and Notre Dame has turned into a much more competent team over the course of the season. I still like USC but this could be fun.
- Oklahoma @ Texas Tech (FS1): Oklahoma isn’t good, but I can’t pick them to lose to this Texas Tech.
- Tulsa @ Houston (ESPNU): Houston all the way here.
- Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Hoo boy. Tennessee lost to South Carolina last weekend, and lost their quarterback in the process. By all accounts, they should be able to handle Vandy with their backup, but this Vandy team has now won 2 SEC games in a row and can’t be considered a pushover. Still picking the Vols, just… cautiously.
- Syracuse @ Boston College (ACC/RSN): BC is still bad, ‘Cuse all the way.
- Kansas @ Kansas State (“Sunflower Showdown”; FOX): Hey, it’s relevant KU football in primetime! That said, um, K-State is still a lot better than them and it’s in the Little Apple. I don’t see an upset here.
- Pittsburgh @ Miami (ACCN): Pitt figures to put the ‘Canes out of their misery.
9:00: Air Force @ San Diego State (CBSS): Should be Air Force all the way here.
10:00: Southeast Missouri @ Montana (NCAA Division I Championship, First Round; ESPN2)
10:30: Washington @ Washington State (“Apple Cup”; ESPN): Again, this is a game that shouldn’t be, but it’s just hard to trust that the Washington offense can be consistent enough for them to put Wazzu away. With the game on the Palouse, that means that this could be fun, even UDub eventually wins.
11:00: Brigham Young @ Stanford (FS1): And finally, the cap to the last full Saturday slate is… admittedly not great. But it’s college football, and it’s going to be a long day. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll pick BYU here, and remember: TO HELL WITH GEORGIA.