Written by: David Parks – Staff Writing Intern (@_Parskie)
1) Ohio State
Bucks enjoyed a nice week off before welcoming the juggernaut known as Rutgers to town. Should come down to the wire – Ohio State only favored by 38.5 points.
Bama enjoys another “bye” week before their four game stretch that will determine their playoff fate:
@ Texas A&M
Game of the year in the ACC as the ‘Ville travels to Clemson. Massive shift in the point spread as the Cards opened as three-point dogs and are now two point favorites in some places.
All of a sudden a visit from Wisconsin doesn’t look as automatic as it did before the season. Michigan’s offense seems to be getting more comfortable with new starting quarterback Wilton Speight. Very surprising line with the Wolverines currently laying 10.5 points at home to a team coming off a 24-point thumping of Sparty in their building.
At this point we can pretty much check back with Houston week 10 when Louisville comes to town.
For as much talent as Clemson lost from last season’s team, the Tigers defense has played really good ball all season long. The defensive front will need to continue their stout play as Lamar Jackson waltzes into town.
7) Florida State
Contrary to popular belief, the sky is NOT falling on FSU despite a 40-point loss to Louisville. As I said last week, this is still a good team. And with a couple of upsets, could easily be back in playoff contention.
8) Ole Miss
Much like FSU, refuse to penalize a team for quality losses. Ole Miss blew a decent Georgia team off the field this past Saturday. A somewhat curious line this week as the Rebs are laying only 13.5 to Memphis at home.
9) Texas A&M
Big, big win over a team that’s taken them to overtime each of the past two seasons. This is easily Kevin Sumlin’s best defense since he’s been there and it’s no coincidence this may be his best team since he’s been an Aggie.
What a difference a half makes. Through four games, there has been perhaps no team as underwhelming in the first half of games as the Vols. On the flipside, there has been perhaps no team as impressive in the second half of games as the Vols. Tennessee needs to regain focus quick as a trip to Athens beckons.
Who saw that coming? Last week I said we’d find out more about the Badgers after their trip to East Lansing, and boy did we ever. As long as Wisconsin plays mistake free football on offense, they can hang with anyone in the country – including Michigan this coming Saturday.
Game of the year in the Pac 12 this Friday as the Huskies play host to the Cardinal. Washington narrowly avoided disaster by scraping past Arizona in overtime last Saturday.
The Cardinal gave us the most disgusting moose of the season last Saturday when they did this as time expired. Saturday will mark the first time Stanford’s an underdog since last September 19th, a road win at USC.
Sooners got a much-needed week off to regroup from losses to Houston and Ohio State. The key thing for Bob Stoops to keep reminding his guys? Neither of those teams play in the Big 12. A conference title is still very much realistic and it starts this Saturday at TCU.
Impressive, methodical win on the road in Stillwater. The Bears have a brutal road conference schedule, but as of now they look like the best team in the conference along with Oklahoma.
Gritty win by the Huskers last Saturday. Yes it was just Northwestern, but that’s the kind of game (especially coming off an emotional win vs. Oregon) teams have trouble getting up for.
17) Michigan State
Jumped the gun a bit on Michigan State. And in reality, the win over Notre Dame really isn’t as good as it appears.
Here’s where we’ll start to find out what the Canes are made of. Georgia Tech has extra rest and the line is only seven for the Canes. They impressed on the road at App State – can they do it again?
It wasn’t easy but they got it done last Friday vs. USC. I’m still not sure how good Utah is considering how bi-polar the Pac 12 South appears to be right now.
20) Boise State
Make it 2-0 vs. the Pac 12 this season. I’m still not sure 20 is high enough for this team but then again I’m not sure who I could justify ranking them above as of now.
21) West Virginia
Very quietly, Dana Holgorsen’s team is 3-0 with a couple of nice wins over Missouri and BYU. The Mountaineers host TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor this season. If they can keep it together on the road, WVU might be a sneaky pick to win the Big 12.
Tough loss on the road to a good A&M team. I still like Arkansas, but they have to stop giving up the big play. The Aggies scored three touchdowns of 42+ yards against the Hogs including a 92-yard pass that all but wrapped up the game.
Frogs beat Oklahoma two years ago at home and could have beaten them in regulation when they opted for two rather than an extra point and overtime. Not sure I like TCU’s chances of upsetting the Sooners at home again this go-round.
Nation’s best kept secret in Donnel Pumphrey keeps rolls in to South Alabama for what should be another productive day on the ground against the nation’s 119th ranked rush defense.
Brutal loss on Saturday for the Bruins and even worse if you had them +3. Still not ready to give up on a Bruins team whose two losses are in overtime in College Station and at home to a very good Stanford team.