Happy Saturday to all. After a couple straight weeks of lackluster College football, today hits us with a number of big time matchups. Great action to keep us entertained right from Noon Kickoff all the way through the night. We offered up some quality advice last weekend, with a 4-1 record on Saturday. Some of these big matchups today look tougher, so I would advise you to really listen up and utilize our expert opinions. Let’s get right to the best matchups, and some picks.
12:00 PM Oklahoma State -7 at West Virginia
Few teams have been more confusing to bet with then Oklahoma State this season. They were our loan slip up last week, when I had them running over Texas in Austin. That did not come close to happening, as their high powered offense managed just 10 points in regulation. They were still able to pull off an Overtime win to remain in the Big 12 race, and come into Saturday ranked #11. West Virginia will look to present another test to the Cowboy offense, and they feature a pretty high powered attack themselves, far more so then that of UT. Florida transfer QB Will Greir is playing great football, leading the entire nation in TD passes, and has the mountaineer offense rolling. WVU escaped one at winless Baylor last week, in a game they were perhaps looking past before this one. They gave up 36, and don’t have the defense to pair with one of the best offenses in the country. Despite the OK State offense struggling as of late, I am still looking for a shootout in this one. Rudolph and Grier will both have big days passing, with neither D putting up much air resistance. I think this will be a tight one throughout, but I think Mike Gundy’s group prevails in the end. That said, the 7 points is too much cushion. Greir has a big day and keeps his team in it throughout. 42-38 OK State
3:30 PM ET Penn State +6.5 @ Ohio State
The Afternoon features one of the biggest matchups of the season at this point, a game with colossal implications in the Big 10. #2 ranked Penn State in Columbus to take on #6 Ohio State. This is a tough matchup for the Nittany Lions, having to travel to take on the Buckeyes just a week after an emotional victory of Michigan at home. OSU has been rolling ever since they took a beating at home in Week 2 against Oklahoma, but have not played anyone else of any significance. Undefeated PSU has had a slightly tougher slate, but they have not seen a ranked club outside of Michigan. Ohio State presents a different kind of test then they have seen up to this point. This game features a pair of All-world running backs. We all know about Saquan Barkley and his Heisman candidacy, but OSU has a good one themselves in J.K Dobbins, a Freshman who actually has more yards on the ground then Barkley. Their running attack doesn’t stop there, because J.T Barrett for what seems like the 8th straight year, is still the Buckeye QB. Penn State will need to make Barrett throw the football, something he still hasn’t been able to do consistently. OSU has a chance to flip the college football playoff picture upside down with a Win here, get themselves back in the mix. I think that is exactly what they do behind a rowdy crowd at the Horseshoe. But, I don’t see them blowing Penn State away. I’m taking the Nittany Lions to cover the 6.5 here. 28-24 OSU
3:30 PM ET TCU -6.5 @ Iowa State
Another ranked battle in the Big 12 is going down at 3:30 with #4 TCU and #25 ISU. Both of these teams have surprised this year, with TCU being as good as they are, and Iowa State being any good at all. TCU’s Week 4 win in Stillwater got things cooking for them, and Iowa State’s come from behind win in Norman established them as legit. Gary Patterson has had a bunch of good Horned Frogs clubs, but this might be his best one yet. Kenny Hill is one of the best players in the country at QB, and his defense is as good as always, coming off a Kansas game where they allowed about 25 total yards of offense. Meanwhile, Iowa State was destined for the bottom of the Big 12 per usual coming into the year, but Matt Campbell has turned things around completely. An impressive win vs Oklahoma, backed up with 2 other conference W’s has this team playing a game ranked for the first time since 2005. Unfortunately for the people of Ames, I don’t expect this ranking to last very long. TCU is good and fast on both sides of the football, unlike some other teams the Cyclones have topped. The 6.5 number is a lot to give up on the road, but I think TCU can expose ISU here, while continuing their march to the CFP. They still have a ways to go, but this win will get them one step closer. 31-23 TCU
3:30 PM ET NC State +7.5 vs Notre Dame
Get your last button ready, because while all of that goes on, we can flip over to NBC for another intriguing matchup between the Fighting Irish and the Wolfpack of NC State. NC State has climbed all the way up to #14 in the nation, behind a really good defensive line and 4 straight ACC wins. Notre Dame is all the way to #9, coming off a blowout of Southern Cal last Saturday night. The Irish have a lot of work to do to reach the playoff, and this game gives them another good opportunity against a quality opponent to show what they are all about. While NC State’s D-line has wreaked havoc, the Irish O-Line could be the strength of their football team, and can match up well with any front 4. Brian Kelly knows what is at stake, with this game and then two more ranked opponents down the road. I don’t think NC State has been tested quite like this yet, and I think Notre Dame can handle business at home. I’ll take the Irish and the points. 30-17 Notre Dame
8:00 PM ET Georgia Tech +14 @ Clemson
Georgia Tech is a good football team, and they have been quietly winning their backers money all season long. Sup? Clemson is coming off an embarrassing loss in Syracuse, and has had some extra time to get right for this one. We know GT can run the ball, but if there is one defense that can stop their potent rushing attack, this is it. I think Paul Johnson’s team is good, but they are not Saturday night in Death Valley good. That place will be rocking, and Kelly Bryant will be back on the field for the Tigers. This is kind of a wrong place wrong time kind of matchup for the Yellow Jackets. Its going to take a convincing win here for Clemson to get back in the race, and I think Dabo will have his guys do just that. 34-13 Clemson
Bonus Picks –
UCLA +18.5 @ Washington – UCLA
USC -3.5 @ Arizona State – USC
Enjoy your Saturday, and see you back here to double up on the NFL tomorrow.