It's either all or nothing lately it seems. After a 10-2 week a couple weeks ago, any momentum from that was squandered last week. The best way to rebound from last week's subpar performance? Pick even more games this week. While there aren't any outstanding games, like a few of the tilts next week provides, there are still a bunch of interesting matchups.
Last week ATS: 3-7 (1-4 National, 2-3 B1G)
Season ATS: 54-56-3 (18-20-2 National, 36-36-1 B1G)
National games (All games Saturday unless otherwise noted):
North Carolina (-3) v. #23 Pittsburgh - Thursday 7:00 p.m. - ESPN
This game might be the most underrated of a solid slate this weekend. Both teams were close to heading into this game undefeated, but Marquise Williams couldn't stop throwing it to South Carolina in the season opener, and just a few weeks later Pitt lost to Iowa on a 57-yard field goal. Since starting the year with three interceptions in the season opener, Williams has only thrown four picks in the last six games for the Tar Heels. What has been most surprising about North Carolina this season has been their defense, which has allowed 14 points or less to five of their last six opponents.
It would have been easy for Pitt to pack it in after losing running back James Conner earlier in the year, but they still have Tyler Boyd to lean on. Boyd is leading the ACC with nearly nine catches per game and 81.5 yards per game. While the Panthers may be winning, they aren't giving themselves a lot of room for error, with each of their last four wins coming by seven points or less. North Carolina really excels with their pass defense, allowing under 140 yards per game through the air to opponents. The Tar Heels clinch their first seven-game winning streak since 1997.
North Carolina 31 Pittsburgh 21
West Virginia v. #5 TCU (-14) - Thursday 7:30 p.m. - Fox Sports 1
Everybody knew West Virginia's October was going to be tough, but I don't even think the Mountaineers thought it would be this bad. West Virginia was smacked on the road by Oklahoma and Baylor, with an overtime loss at home to Oklahoma State sandwiched in between. Quarterback Skyler Howard started off the season hot, but has come back down to earth the last three games, throwing just six touchdowns to go along with five interceptions. Even worse has been the Mountaineer defense, allowing 139 points over that span.
Even with the bye week, it's hard to see West Virginia's defense getting any relief against a TCU offense that has scored at least 45 points in all but one game this season. Josh Doctson already has over 1,000 yards receiving this year to go along with 12 touchdowns. Trevone Boykin should be able to add to his Heisman credentials as the Horned Frogs earn their 16th straight victory.
TCU 52 West Virginia 28
#12 Oklahoma State (-3) v. Texas Tech - 3:30 p.m. - ESPN
Oklahoma State might be 7-0 on the year, but I'm wondering if it's fool's gold. Nothing against the Cowboys, but I haven't been all that impressed with what they have done so far this season. Really Oklahoma State should be 4-3, but they somehow squeaked by Texas, Kansas State, and West Virginia. The quarterback combination of Mason Rudolph and J.W. Walsh seems to be working, but I just don't see them being able to navigate the regular season undefeated.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Texas Tech is still all offense and no defense. The Red Raiders have given up at least 50 points to TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma, but I don't think the Cowboys are going to be able to score quite as much as that trio of teams. Lubbock is always a tough place to play, and the Red Raiders nearly took down TCU there this year. The combination of Patrick Mahomes II and Jakeem Grant has been pretty fun to watch this year, and I think Texas Tech pulls the upset and hands Oklahoma State their first loss of the season.
Texas Tech 48 Oklahoma State 44
Georgia v. #11 Florida (-3) - 3:30 p.m. - CBS
At the beginning of the month it was looking like this matchup could possibly be a matchup between a couple highly ranked teams, but an injury and a suspension took some wind out of those sails. Still this game has plenty of intrigue, as Florida can take a two-game lead in the SEC East, while Georgia could take the lead in the division if they end up winning. The Bulldogs have really struggled since they lost running back Nick Chubb, and the only reason they aren't 0-3 since the injury is because Missouri is a train wreck.
Florida lost quarterback Will Grier for the season due to a suspension, but Treon Harris didn't look terrible in his first game replacing Grier against LSU. Harris threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, and last year got his first career start at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party against Georgia, as the Gators won 38-20. It seems like in this annual contest, the result is always the opposite of what I think is going to happen. I'm going to take the Gators here (so be sure to load up on the Bulldogs) but I have just a little more faith in Treon Harris than I do Greyson Lambert right now.
Florida 27 Georgia 20
Vanderbilt v. #18 Houston (-12) - 7:00 p.m. - ESPN2
The Vanderbilt offense is awful while Houston has been lighting up the scoreboard under Tom Herman. Easy choice, right? Not so fast. To begin the season, Vanderbilt held Western Kentucky's high-powered offense to just 14 points, and while Houston might have a little bit more success, I expect the Commodores to hang tough here. Greg Ward Jr. and the Cougars earn another victory against a Power 5 school, but Derek Mason's defense makes them work hard for it.
Houston 24 Vanderbilt 17
#9 Notre Dame (-10.5) v. #21 Temple - 8:00 p.m. - ABC
I bet when the season began nobody was thinking this Halloween night contest between Notre Dame and Temple would be between two ranked teams and the ABC primetime game. Notre Dame has rebounded nicely from their loss to Clemson, scoring 41 points against Navy and USC in their last two games. Running back C.J. Prosise has been huge for the Fighting Irish this year, racking up 131.7 yards per game on the ground. Even without Malik Zaire, Notre Dame can still do damage through the air too, with wide receiver Will Fuller averaging a touchdown every four catches this year.
Temple has been one of the best stories in college football year, and it seems like only a matter of time before Matt Rhule moves on to a Power 5 school. The Owls are ranked for the first time since 1979 and are one of three American teams that still is undefeated on the season. This feels like when Temple's luck runs out since I think they are just a little outmatched by Notre Dame. I think Temple might feed off the crowd early in the contest and it might be close for two or quarters, but in the end the Fighting Irish prove why they are still being considered for the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame 34 Temple 21
#8 Stanford (-11) v. Washington State - 10:30 p.m. - ESPN
Early in the season both of these teams looked like they'd be in for a long season, but now they are at the top of the Pac-12 North. Both teams control their own destiny in the division, but Stanford is hoping to win earn out and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff much like Ohio State did last year after an early season loss. It's easy to see why the Cardinal have turned their season around after the season-opening loss to Northwestern, and it's because of Christian McCaffery, who is averaging roughly 740 all-purpose yards per game.
As bad as the Stanford loss to Northwestern was early this year, Washington State's loss to Portland State was even worse. In true Mike Leach fashion, the turnaround has been because of the offense. Luke Falk has thrown for 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions, with Gabe Marks being his favorite receiver on the year. The Cougars are still getting nothing from their running game, but they won't need it if Falk keeps throwing it around the way he has been. Stanford gets a scare from Wazzu, but stays alive in their drive for a College Football Playoff spot.
Stanford 38 Washington State 31