This weekend there is plenty of college football and Top 25 matchups to go around, so without too much delaying and bogarting of your time, lets get right the matchups that intrigue me the most this weekend.
#20 Northwestern vs. #17 Iowa
Last week the Wildcats went into Ann Arbor and got humbled a bit as they took their first loss of their year against Michigan. Now they have to regroup and circle the wagons, as they host Iowa this week at home and they are undefeated as well. Last week was a bit of an eye opener for Northwestern, and while I think they play better this week, I like Iowa to pick up the win.
#18 UCLA vs. #15 Stanford
This matchup is tough to call. Both teams seem evenly matched on paper, but UCLA will be the road team against a Stanford squad who has seemingly looked better each week. UCLA is coming off a rough upset loss to an Arizona State squad who has looked like they were sleep walking through the year, and now they have to go win a tough road game against the Cardinal. I am taking Stanford to pick up the win against the Bruins.
#14 Notre Dame vs. USC
This game looked a heck of a lot better a few weeks ago than it does now. Lots of story lines here with the Trojans firing Steve Sarkisian earlier in the week, and now they head into a hostile road environment to play the Fighting Irish. With all things considered, this could get ugly as the Trojans have had plenty of distractions this week.
Prediction: Notre Dame
#12 Michigan vs. #7 Michigan State
I have been very vocal with how I think Michigan State doesn’t belong in the playoff conversation and I am standing by that strongly here. Harbaugh’s Wolverines hasn’t given up a point in three weeks, and The Big House will be rocking when Sparty comes to town. I like the Wolverines to pick up the big win over their rival.
#10 Alabama vs. #9 Texas A&M
Game of the week right here. The Aggies are looking for redemption after being run out of Tuscaloosa last year in a blow out and they are playing some good football right now. However, the Crimson Tide will be their stiffest test by far defensively, so I expect points to be at a premium. I think in this game we will see the middle of Texas A&M’s defense tested early and often by the Tide run game, and I like them pulling off the victory in a close one in College Station.
#8 Florida vs. #6 LSU
How will the Gators respond with Will Grier getting suspended for the year for taking PEDs? This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Florida, as they were finally getting their swag back, and now they will have to start Treon Harris against the Tigers. We all know Leonard Fournette is going to get a ton of carries, so Harris will have to take advantage of what opportunities he and the offense get. Unfortunately, I think this game and the momentum swung in the direction of LSU before kickoff.
#1 Ohio State vs. Penn State
Given that the Buckeyes have been a little up and down lately, and they got into a nail biter against Penn State last year in Happy Valley, I’m not leaving this one off the slate of games to watch. The Buckeyes are favored by double digits, but don’t be surprised if they make things interesting as we have seen in previous weeks. When all else fails, give the ball to Zeke Elliott.
Prediction: Ohio State