Last week ATS: 5-6-1 (2-3 National, 3-3-1 B1G)
Season ATS: 63-74-2 (27-31 National, 36-43-2 B1G)
If you enjoy running in place, last week was right up your alley. MC&J had the Oklahoma and Alabama games figured out, but the rest of the week was a mess. At least we didn’t lose much in terms of our record, and there is still some time to creep back up to .500.
National games (All games Saturday unless otherwise noted):
No. 23 Fresno State (-3) v. Boise State - Friday 11/8 10:15 PM EST - ESPN2
This game might not have quite as much of an impact on the College Football Playoff race, but Fresno State and Boise State will be playing for a lot on the blue turf in Boise. Last year these teams met twice, with Fresno State winning at home in the final game of the regular season, but falling to the Broncos in Boise 17-14 in the Mountain West Championship Game.
Had it not been for an incredible interception by Antoine Winfield Jr. when the Bulldogs played Minnesota in early September, Fresno State would be undefeated right now. Jeff Tedford’s squad has played some incredible defense of late, holding four of their last five opponents to seven points or less.
Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien is just 36 yards away from becoming the all-time leading passer in Mountain West Conference history, and while he’ll hit that mark on Friday night, I have a hard time seeing him getting a lot going against the stout Fresno State defense. Add in the Broncos losing leading tackler Riley Whimper last week to a torn ACL, and it feels like a recipe for Fresno State to keep rolling.
Fresno State 31, Boise State 21
Oklahoma State v. No. 6 Oklahoma (-20.5) - 3:30 PM EST - ABC
Bedlam just doesn’t feel right when it isn’t played in the final weekend of the regular season. This rivalry game should be played along with some of the other classic rivalries around the country, and not in early November.
This year’s meeting might not have quite the sizzle as some of the past years, but there is no doubt both teams will be fired up to earn bragging rights in the state. The Sooners have dominated the series of late, winning 13 of the last 15 meetings between the schools. Last year’s game was a wild affair, with the Sooners winning 62-52 in Stillwater.
If it wasn’t for Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray would likely be the favorite for the Heisman Trophy right now. Murray has passed for 31 touchdowns this year, and added seven rushing touchdowns in his final season of football before heading to the baseball diamond. To compliment Murray, running back Trey Sermon was tremendous last week, rushing for 206 yards and three touchdowns.
Oklahoma State is falling apart right now, having lost four of their last five games, but nearly three touchdowns feels like way too much in a rivalry this intense. I’m not ready to trust a Oklahoma defense that still has plenty of questions against an Oklahoma State offense that has weapons on offense.
Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 34
No. 8 Washington State (-6.5) v Colorado - 3:30 PM EST - ESPN
It wasn’t pretty, but Washington State kept their College Football Playoff hopes alive with a 19-13 win over Cal last week. The Cougars have to be wary though, because they’ve entered Boulder on a roll before and been toppled by the Buffaloes. In 2016, Washington State had won eight straight games after an 0-2 start only for Colorado to win 38-24.
The Buffaloes feasted on an easy early schedule to start the season 5-0, but the train has been derailed, as Colorado has lost their last four games. A big reason for the slump has been the absence of wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., who has missed the last three games. Shenault could be back on the field this week, which could provide a huge boost to a struggling football team.
The Pac-12 is even weirder than normal this year. Common sense says Washington State should win a battle of two teams heading in opposite directions, but that seems way too easy. Steven Montez won’t put up numbers like Gardner Minshew, but he can put some points on the board. Washington State has won their last two games by a combined nine points, but the third time isn’t the charm for the Cougars.
Colorado 34, Washington State 31
No. 24 Auburn v. No. 5 Georgia (-14) - 7:00 PM EST - ESPN
Something just isn’t right with Auburn. Sure, the Tigers have won their last two games, but they haven’t been very impressive in doing so. Things won’t get easier on Saturday night, as the Tigers travel to Athens for The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Auburn will be looking for a repeat of last season’s November meeting, when they upset the Bulldogs.
When Georgia is on top of their game, they are like a boa constrictor. They just squeeze the life out of their opponents. Last week the Bulldogs had one of their best ground performance of the season, with D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield both topping 100 yards on the ground against Kentucky, who has one of the better defenses in the SEC.
Unlike last year when Georgia had a little more room, as they came into their regular season meeting with Auburn undefeated, the Bulldogs don’t have that luxury this year. Georgia knows a loss eliminates them from the College Football Playoff mix. Auburn’s offense has struggled this year, and things won’t get any easier for Jarrett Stidham in Athens. I just don’t see how Auburn keeps pace in this one.
Georgia 38, Auburn 17
Florida State v. No. 3 Notre Dame (-17) - 7:30 PM EST - NBC
I was originally going to take Notre Dame in this spot, but the news of quarterback Ian Book possibly not playing on Saturday night has me switching my thinking for this game. Book gives Notre Dame so much more at quarterback than Brandon Wimbush. The Fighting Irish will still dominate the game on the ground, but Florida State quarterback James Blackmon will at least give the Seminoles a chance to keep the score within two touchdowns.
Notre Dame 33, Florida State 21
No. 2 Clemson (-20.5) v. No. 17 Boston College - 8:00 PM EST - ABC
What a wake-up call the near-upset by Syracuse was for Clemson. Since needing a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Orange, the Tigers have won their last four games by a combined score of 240-36. The most ridiculous of those results came last week, when Clemson hung 77 points on Louisville.
As if Boston College wasn’t already facing an uphill battle, the status of running back AJ Dillon is uncertain due to an ankle injury. If Dillon can’t play, it could allow for an insanely talented Clemson defense to tee off on quarterback Anthony Brown.
Even if Dillon was 100% healthy, I still wouldn’t like their chances very much in this game. Sure, the game is under the lights at Chestnut Hill, but I don’t really think that’ll affect the Tigers that much. The result won’t be quite as lopsided in Clemson’s favor as previous weeks, but they’ll continue to win handily.
Clemson 41, Boston College 14