College Football Picks- Week 6
Welcome to the first football weekend in the month of October, and welcome to College Football Picks- Week 6! September was filled with plenty of action, excitement, and drama. But as we are all fully aware, the stakes are higher and the intensity is ratcheted-up to new levels this time of year.
I rebounded nicely this past Saturday with a 7-3 record, which puts me at 31-19 on the season. Overall not too bad, but here at the Cluster I hold myself to much higher standards! You can check out last week’s picks at College Football Picks- Week 5.
Once again, there is another great line-up of games on Saturday from start to finish. I will be locked-in and ready to go, attempting to watch as much football as possible…as much as the wife, kids, bills, and yard-work will allow!
Keep in mind, that at some point there is going to be a major upset (maybe more than one). I absolutely love major upsets, as long as it doesn’t happen to “My Team”. A couple weeks ago we did see a “major upset” when Old Dominion stunned Virginia Tech, 49-35.
Could we see another one this Saturday? Maybe??? I have a hunch that Virginia Tech could be on the other side of the “upset coin” this week when they host Notre Dame on Saturday night!
1. Texas vs. Oklahoma
This game is known as the “Red River Rivalry”, and is usually a very competitive and exciting contest. Texas lost in the opener to Maryland, 34-29, which was a surprise to many people. However, the Longhorns have since recovered to win 4 straight games, and they are now ranked back in the Top 25. I’m sure that Texas will play very hard, but I don’t think that they will be able to score enough points to win. The Sooners have not missed a beat from last season when it comes to scoring and offensive production. Junior quarterback, Kyler Murray, has been fantastic in the first five games accounting for 1,460 passing yards and 17 passing touchdowns. He is a great athlete that can make big plays through the air and with his feet.
Winner: Oklahoma, 37-24
2. Northwestern at Michigan State
After winning the opener against Purdue, the Wildcats have lost 3 straight, including a 39-34 loss to Akron in week #3. Northwestern did play Michigan very tough this past Saturday, but came up a little short. Michigan State is coming in with a (3-1) record and they are ranked #20 in the AP Poll. The Spartans haven’t looked all that great to start the season either, but I do think that they will take care of business at home on Saturday. They will also be looking for a little revenge as well, after Northwestern pulled-off the upset last year.
Winner: Michigan State, 34-21
3. Missouri at South Carolina
I almost stayed away from this game because I am really uncertain about how it’s going to play out. I picked South Carolina to get upset against Vanderbilt in week #4, but the Gamecocks looked great a won easily, 37-14. Last week I picked South Carolina to win against Kentucky, but they were completely shut-down and lost, 24-10. I cannot figure this team out! But the game is in South Carolina, and I am assuming that they will play much better than they did against Kentucky. Missouri is (3-1), but each of those wins have come against much “weaker” opponents. I’ll give the Gamecocks a chance to redeem themselves!
Winner: South Carolina, 33-23
4. LSU at Florida
I cannot wait for this game! It is always a lot of fun to watch these teams go head-to-head. There will be hard hits, there will be battles on the line of scrimmage, and there will be plenty of trash talking! LSU has been one of the most surprising teams of 2018. Through five weeks, the Tigers have already defeated 3 quality opponents (Miami, Auburn, and Ole Miss). The Gators are (4-1), and are coming off a big win against Mississippi State. However, I am not quite sold on Florida. Three of their four wins have come against “Bad” football teams, and I don’t think that Mississippi State is as good as experts originally projected. The Gators only scored 16 points when they played Kentucky, and they only scored 13 points against the Bulldogs. LSU’s defense is every bit as good, if not better, than those two teams.
Winner: LSU, 27-16
5. Florida State at Miami
We all know that this is a special rivalry, and we all know that these two universities have played in some epic battles. But FSU is still in the “rebuilding” or “finding themselves” or whatever you want to call it stage. The Seminoles have won a few games, but they are far from a “Good” football team. This should still be an entertaining game to watch, but I don’t think that the Canes will have too much trouble.
Winner: Miami, 30-16
6. Arizona State at Colorado
This is not a game that will get a lot of national attention, but it could possibly be one of the best games of the weekend! This game is also very significant when it comes to the Pac-12 South race. Whichever team emerges as victorious could very likely be the team that represents the South in the Pac-12 Championship game. The Buffaloes are (4-0) and have looked very sharp. But when you compare the schedules of these two teams, Arizona State’s schedule has been far more challenging. The Sun Devils have already played Michigan State and Washington, with a road game at San Diego State sandwiched in between. Arizona State has been “Battle-Tested” through the first part of the season, and they have shown a lot of toughness. I’m going with the Sun Devils in an exciting game!
Winner: Arizona State, 34-27
7. Kentucky at Texas A&M
This may actually be the “Best” game on Saturday. Kentucky has gotten off to one of their best starts in school history (5-0), and they have already beaten three, quality conference opponents (Florida, Miss. State, & South Carolina). The Wildcat defense has been outstanding, only giving up 12.6 points per game. But similar to Arizona State, Texas A&M comes into this game “Battle-Tested”. The Aggies have already faced-off against two of the nation’s best teams (Clemson and Alabama), so I doubt that they will be intimidated by “Big Blue”. This is a home game for Texas A&M which is a big advantage. Kyle Field can really get rocking, especially at night!
Winner: Texas A&M, 30-20
8. Auburn at Mississippi State
I have picked Mississippi State to win in each of the past two weeks, and have been let down in both instances. I could say “3rd Time’s a Charm”, but I’m not going there! The Bulldogs scored 7 points at Kentucky two weeks ago, and only scored 6 points at home against Florida last Saturday. Auburn’s defense is the strength of their team! The Tigers are only giving up 12.6 points and 304 total yards per game. It doesn’t seem likely that Mississippi State will be able to score more than 13 points…unless they get help from their defense and/or special teams. I’m going with the Tigers in a low-scoring affair.
Winner: Auburn, 23-13
9. Utah at Stanford
One thing that I find intriguing each week is watching how teams “bounce back”, or “respond” to adversity. In this match-up, both Stanford and Utah are coming off tough losses on the road, so it will be very interesting to see how each of these teams “respond”. As I have mentioned before, Utah has one of the better defenses in the country. The problem is that the Utes’ offense is not very good. They struggle to score points, and they have turned the ball over often. One big question is, “Will Bryce Love finally be able to get on track?” The Cardinal are only averaging 94.4 yards rushing per game, while Utah is only giving up 83.8 rush yards per game. Feels like another low-scoring contest for both teams!
Winner: Stanford, 23-20
10. Notre Dame at Virginia Tech
For some reason, this game just “Feels” like an upset waiting to happen. Notre Dame is undefeated, they are playing great, and they are coming off a big win over Stanford. Virginia Tech on the other hand has not had a smooth season. The Hokies had a game cancelled in week #3 due to Hurricane Florence, and then they were absolutely stunned by a win-less Old Dominion team the following week. In a span of 14 days it seemed as if their entire season had fallen apart…and it very well could have! But Virginia Tech picked themselves off the mat and responded with a very impressive 31-14 win over Duke (who was undefeated). This will be a night game in Blacksburg, and College Game Day will be there as well. Beyond that, I really don’t have any other good reasons to pick the Hokies. But I have been watching college football my entire life, and I have a hunch that this could be a big night for Virginia Tech.
Winner: Virginia Tech, 26-22