Last week ATS: 5-7-1 (1-4-1 National, 4-3 B1G)
Season ATS: 44-40-3 (18-15-1 National, 26-25-1 B1G)
Ohio State might be off this week, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the college football world rest. After picking more losers than winners last week, MC&J is fired up to get back on the winning track this week.
Colorado v. No. 21 Oregon (-21) - Friday 10/11 10:00 PM EST - FS1
If the Pac-12 has any hope of making the College Football Playoff, the conference needs Oregon to not only win the rest of their games, but the Ducks need a little help. After suffering a heartbreaking loss to Auburn down in Dallas to open the season, the Ducks have been dominant since, not allowing more than seven points in their last four games.
Tonight’s matchup has all the makings of being an entertaining one. Obviously the spotlight will be on Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, but Colorado’s signal caller Steven Montez isn’t too shabby. Montez has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns this year. The senior has done most of his damage lately without the services of Laviska Shenault Jr., is questionable for tonight’s game.
The problem for Colorado is their defense is terrible, so Herbert should be able to put up some big numbers against the Buffaloes. Even though Herbert will get his, I don’t see Oregon covering this game. The Ducks had a tough, physical game against Cal last week, and next week travel to Seattle to take on Washington. Colorado has a knack for playing close games, with their last four games decided by a touchdown or less, two of those games going to overtime. Oregon wins, but Colorado makes them work a little for the victory.
Oregon 38, Colorado 28
No. 6 Oklahoma (-11) v. No. 11 Texas - 12:00 PM EST - FOX
Lately the Red River Showdown seems to be one of the craziest games of the year. Last year the rivalry game in October saw Texas beat Oklahoma 48-45. marking the fifth straight year the annual regular season contest was decided by a touchdown or less. Oklahoma got some revenge in December, beating the Longhorns 39-27 in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Oklahoma’s defense has looked a lot better this season in defensive coordinator Alex Grinch’s first year with the team, but they’ll face their biggest test on Saturday. The Sooner defense has been able to feast on the likes of UCLA, Texas Tech, and Kansas so far this season. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger was great against Oklahoma last season, totaling nine touchdowns in the two games against the Sooners.
The Sooners will counter with Alabama transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has 21 total touchdowns so far this season. Hurts has to be licking his chops to face a Texas defense that was carved up by LSU quarterback Joe Burrow last month in Austin. Hurts can also hurt opponents on the ground, as he is one of four Oklahoma rushers to have totaled at least 200 yards rushing so far this season
Oklahoma is certainly capable of beating Texas by double digits, but I just don’t see it happening. Sure, the Sooners won by 12 in the Big 12 Championship Game, but that game had a different feel. This is the game both teams look forward to every year. The trend of close finishes in the Red River Showdown continues.
Oklahoma 41, Texas 37
No. 23 Memphis (-5.5) v. Temple - 12:00 PM EST - ESPN2
One game that has a lot at stake this weekend but isn’t getting much attention is the battle between Memphis and Temple in Philadelphia. The Tigers come into this game as one of 16 undefeated FBS teams left, while the Owls are trying to keep pace with Cincinnati in the AAC East.
Memphis is undefeated, but they could be one of the weakest teams left without a loss. Sure, the Tigers beat Ole Miss in their season opener, but who have they really played since? Navy would be the toughest team Memphis has played since, but the Midshipmen aren’t quite the Navy of years past. Still, the Tigers do have a talented quarterback in Brady White, as well as running back Kenneth Gainwell, who is has 620 yards rushing this year on just 76 carries.
We saw what Temple could do in an upset of Maryland earlier this year. The Owls have veteran quarterback Anthony Russo to go along with a defense that is allowing just under 300 yards per game to opponents. I also have to mention that Temple beat former head coach Geoff Collins’ Georgia Tech team 24-2 since it is hilarious.
This has upset written all over it. Philadelphia is a tough place to go into and leave with a win. The Owls serve Memphis their first loss of the season and could possibly find their way into the Top 25 next week.
Temple 28, Memphis 24
No. 1 Alabama (-17) v. No. 24 Texas A&M - 3:30 PM EST - CBS
Heading into the season I was thinking that Texas A&M could at least make a little noise in the SEC West. Not saying the Aggies were going to win the division, but I thought they might be able to pull an upset or two. After seeing Jimbo Fisher’s team against Clemson and Auburn, I’m not convinced. Kellen Mond has shown he can move the football for Texas A&M but he hasn’t done in nearly as well against the elite defenses.
Even though it’s never easy to go into Kyle Field and leave with a big win, if there’s anyone who can do it, it is Tua Tagovailoa. The junior quarterback has been sensational this year, throwing 23 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Aggies have been stingy against the pass this year, but they haven’t seen a trio of wide receivers like DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs III. Texas A&M may keep things close early on, but Alabama wears the Aggies down and wins by three touchdowns.
Alabama 45, Texas A&M 24
USC v. No. 9 Notre Dame (-10.5) - 7:30 PM EST - NBC
Notre Dame has shown no effects from their tough loss to Georgia a couple weeks ago. The Fighting Irish rebounded to beat a game Virginia team, and followed that victory up with a shutout of Bowling Green last week. Quarterback Ian Book has been as good as advertised so far this season, tossing 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
USC will get Kedon Slovis back this week after the freshman missed a couple games with a concussion. Whether Slovis or Matt Fink started on Saturday night, I don’t think it really would matter. The Notre Dame defense has been great at forcing turnovers this year, something that has been a problem with both Slovis and Fink. USC certainly has the athletes to compete with Notre Dame, but they are so terribly coached. The Fighting Irish throw some gas on the “Fire Clay Helton” pile by winning by at least two touchdowns.
Notre Dame 37, USC 21
No. 7 Florida v. No. 5 LSU (-13) - 8:00 PM EST - ESPN
Winning ugly seems to be Florida’s thing these days. The Gators fumbled four times against Auburn last week, yet still sent the Tigers home with a 24-13 loss. Kyle Trask injured his knee during the game, but the quarterback was able to return and finish with 234 yards passing and two touchdown passes. The return of Trask had to be a relief for Florida fans, who already lost Feleipe Franks for the season.
It’s weird to see LSU with an actual offense. Former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow has been incredible so far this season, throwing 22 touchdown passes through five games. The concerning thing about the Tigers is they haven’t played a defense that is anywhere close to what Florida will throw at them.
This feels like one of those games where you think Florida has no shot to be in this, but by the fourth quarter the Gators are within a touchdown. LSU doesn’t have quite as dominant of a defense in years past, which will allow Trask and the Florida offense to find some holes. The Gators make Burrow look somewhat human, but not bad enough to score the upset over the Tigers in Baton Rouge.
LSU 31, Florida 21