#12 Baylor at #15 Oklahoma
Art Briles’ Bears beat TCU in October, but since losing to a really good West Virginia team two weeks ago, they’ve been treated like that win was the Milli Vanilli Grammy of regular season wins.
All it takes is one commanding victory to make an impression on the malleable opinions of a committee of carbon-based life forms.
They can’t win close. Oklahoma’s anorexic Big 12 title hopes rest on getting this win. They’ll have to contend with the nation’s most productive scoring offense.
Baylor should be even more of a well-oiled machine after enjoying a bye week (they played Kansas). The most important player on Baylor’s offense isn’t looking past the Sooners.
Baylor beats Oklahoma.
#10 Notre Dame at #9 Arizona State
The game Arizona State never wanted to play is here. For years, Notre Dame has tried to maneuver out of this matchup to no avail. Luckily for them, they failed.
Notre Dame could use a matchup against a top-10 to bolster its uh…. out of conference schedule before the college playoff selection committee renders its final verdict.
Arizona State is ranked ninth, but who have they really beaten? Okay, Utah, Stanford and USC were ranked at the time they met, but two of those three aren’t ranked anymore, while Utah may not be either after this weekend.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Arizona State sends five or more pass rushers on 55 percent of opponents’ dropbacks, the second-highest percentage for a Power 5 team. On those plays, the Sun Devils rank third among Power 5 defenses in both yards per play and sacks.
The Sun Devils will come after Everett Golson, but the Irish quarterback has shown the resolve to get off the mat after getting knocked down.
He’ll get hit against Arizona State’s pressure army. Notre Dame will hit back.
Notre Dame wins.
#7 KANSAS STATE at #6 TCU
No offense to Michigan State, but this is the game College Gameday should have been on-site for. Gary Patterson attended Kansas State back when the Wildcats were domesticated kittens.
Every now and then, I accidentally refer to Jake Waters as Jake Sams. Sams was the other half of Snyder’s quarterback platoon in 2013 and it was difficult to predict when one or the other would be
While TCU has embraced the more up-tempo style of play, Kansas State is a geriatric team that takes its times more time between plays than any other offense in the gunslinging Big 12 alley.
Cornerback Kevin White won the Highlander battle for the right to be the supreme Kevin White in college football against Kevin White last season
Continuing with the “there can only be one” theme, this week, Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett looks to pass his own father, Kevin, for first place on the school’s career-receiving list. Kevin Whit’s job will be to put a halt in his quest—at least for one week. TCU's offense is the Big 12's most explosive offense on plays gaining 20 yards or more. They've done so 57 times this season. Kansas State has allowed the fewest offensive plays of 20 yards or more.
Tie goes to the home team.
#5 ALABAMA at #16 LSU
Alabama will have to earn that potential playoff slot. In the next four weeks, they will play Mississippi State, LSU and Auburn. Throw in a potential SEC Championship Game and the Crimson Tide
Death Valley has a way of twisting minds and forcing malleable minds to do the Tigers bidding. Two weeks ago, Bo Wallace went mad and pulled the pin from a grenade left in his own huddle.
Dak Prescott maintained his composure, but this will be Blake Sims’ toughest test yet. Anthony Jenningsis overmatched and Alabama is uniquely built to suppress the run. No coach gets more emotion out of his team than Miles and LSU should be even more riled up to host Nick Saban.
However, the Tigers are too inexperienced on both sides of the ball and Jennings is too impotent to finish off a team of Bama’s pedigree.
#14 Ohio State at #8 Michigan State
The Buckeyes had to rely on defensive end Joey Bosa to save them against Penn State, but that won’t be enough against a team of Ohio State’s caliber. Barrett knows how to get the ball into the end zone. He’s also shown a penchant for inserting the ball into the arms of defenders at inopportune times.
Michigan State has their own offensive line-splitting pass rusher in Shilique Calhoun, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Ohio State’s rushing attack led by Ezekiel Elliot, Curtis Samuel and the dual threat abilities of Barrett may run into a stone wall against Michigan State’s impenetrable run defense.
Michigan State wins
#4 Oregon at #17 Utah
Man, if there was ever a time for Oregon’s true Heisman candidate to step forward, this is it.
I’m not talking about Marcus Mariota. I’m referring to his outstanding offensive tackle Jake Fisher.
It’s indisputable that the Oregon offense runs smoother when Fisher is in the lineup as opposed to when he’s not. However, an O-lineman being invited to a Heisman wine and cheese, meet and greet is about as likely as a
Oregon’s only loss of the season was a result of Mariota’s inability to find time in the pocket to throw or run. Utah’s defense leads the nations in sacks. A visit to Salt Lake City on the road doesn’t bode well for Oregon.
Fisher will be fending off the nation’s premier sack artist in Nate Orchard.
On the right side, Mariota could have another issue on his hands after right tackle Matt Pierson sprained his MLC and could miss time. Of course, if the defense can muster
If Utah is going to score the victory they may have to eclipse 30 for the first time in a month. It’s the longest active streak in college football.
Utah upsets Oregon.