Last week ATS: 3-8 (2-3 National, 1-5 B1G)
Season ATS: 55-52-2 (22-20 National, 33-32-2 B1G)
Last week, the other shoe finally dropped. A terrible week erased a lot of the progress that had been made so far this season, especially with MC&J’s Big Ten picks. There is little time to mope though, as a new week brings plenty of possible winners.
No. 11 Oklahoma State (-7) v. No. 22 West Virginia - 12:00 PM EST - ABC
Another week, another Oklahoma State game I miss badly on. At this point I’m just throwing Cowboys games up there so you can pick the opposite. Last week Oklahoma State wasn’t able to find any traction on offense against Texas, but still found a way to leave Austin with an overtime victory.
West Virginia had their own problems last week, barely beating Baylor in Waco. Even with the close win, the Mountaineers are still intriguing because of what they can do on offense. Florida transfer Will Grier is throwing up huge numbers so far this season, tossing 26 touchdowns through seven games.
Oklahoma State struggled to beat Texas Tech and Texas on the road in Big 12 play, so why not go for the hat trick? Unlike those two games, I’m not putting my faith in the Cowboys covering. This will be a fun quarterback matchup between Grier and Mason Rudolph, and I do think in the end West Virginia comes out on top.
West Virginia 41, Oklahoma State 38
No. 3 Georgia (-14.5) v. Florida - 3:30 PM EST - CBS
I know I’m going to sound crazy for this, but I like Florida a lot in this spot. It always seems like “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” or whatever they are calling it these days, is full of shenanigans.
Florida has had issue after issue so far this season, and nobody is really giving them a chance in this one. It’s easy to see why, since Georgia not only beat Notre Dame in South Bend earlier this year, but the Bulldogs have destroyed everybody else put in front of them.
I’m not really sure how the Gators are going to put many points on the board, but the same could be said for the Bulldogs. Georgia has done a lot of their damage on the ground this year, but that is an area I can see where Florida at least slows them down some. The Bulldogs will likely stay undefeated, but they don’t blow the Gators out.
Georgia 23, Florida 13
No. 4 TCU (-7) v. No. 25 Iowa State - 3:30 PM EST - ABC/ESPN2
Where did Iowa State come from? Even through the first few weeks of the season the Cyclones were a bit of a joke, but then they beat Oklahoma and Texas Tech and now they’re ranked? I’m not sure I’m convinced that they are as good as the pollsters are thinking they are.
Don’t get it twisted, I’m not all that high on TCU either, but I think they are at least a touchdown better than the Cyclones. The Horned Frogs already went into Stillwater and left with a win, so I don’t see why they can’t do the same in Ames on Saturday. Oklahoma took Iowa State lightly when they came to town, but I don’t see Gary Patterson letting his team do the same.
TCU 34, Iowa State 21
No. 14 NC State v. No. 9 Notre Dame (-7.5) - 3:30 PM EST - NBC
Aside from Penn State squaring off with Ohio State, this is the most intriguing game of the weekend for me. NC State has looked impressive after losing their season opener to South Carolina, and now they have a chance to end Notre Dame’s playoff hopes. Quarterback Ryan Finley hasn’t thrown an interception in 313 passes, and the Wolfpack defense is giving up very little.
Notre Dame absolutely crushed USC last weekend, and if the Fighting Irish can do anything close to that to the Wolfpack, the college football world will definitely be on notice. Running back Josh Adams is gaining some steam in the Heisman Trophy conversation, especially after rushing for 191 yards against the Trojans.
Notre Dame has done most of their damage on offense running the football this year, and that’s something they might not be able to have as much success doing against NC State. If the Wolfpack are able to bottle up the run, will Notre Dame be able to throw the football effectively? I’m not convinced they can.
NC State 27, Notre Dame 20
Georgia Tech v. No. 7 Clemson (-14) - 8:00 PM EST - ABC/ESPN2
Clemson has dominated the series of late, winning four of the last five against the Yellow Jackets. The Tigers had a bye week to not only process their loss to Syracuse, but to allow quarterback Kelly Bryant some time to heal. Clemson knows they have no room for error in the playoff race after the loss to the Orange two weeks ago.
Georgia Tech has won four of their last five games, with the only loss during that span being by a point to Miami. Not only has the Yellow Jacket offense been doing their thing on the ground, but their defense has played well this year, allowing 313.8 yards per game to opponents.
Clemson has the athletes to slow the Georgia Tech option attack, but I haven’t been impressed with the offense of the Tigers this year. Clemson will get back in the win column, but Georgia Tech will hold on to the football enough to keep this within two touchdowns.
Clemson 35, Georgia Tech 24
Texas Tech v. No. 10 Oklahoma (-19.5) - 8:00 PM EST - ABC/ESPN2
Points always are at a surplus when the Red Raiders and Sooners square off. After losing last week to Iowa State, I think Texas Tech puts together a better performance this week. The Red Raiders aren’t going to upset the Sooners, but they’ll at least find some holes in the defense.
Baker Mayfield should put up some big numbers on Saturday night against a Texas Tech defense that is always suspect. What I’m concerned about with the Sooners, is I don’t think their defense has enough stops in them to cover the number. Oklahoma has had trouble at times against the pass, and I think the Red Raiders take advantage.
Oklahoma 47, Texas Tech 34