Week 10 Preview

Games of Note:

#20 Oklahoma State @ #21 Baylor

Scott- This matchup is a massive one for the Big XII race, as I don’t see a scenario where the loser finds a path to Arlington for the conference championship. With both teams at 3-2, the winner has a legitimate shot to get there. The Bears are coming off a big loss to the Longhorns. However, the Pokes have lost their last four trips to Waco. Something has got to give. I’ll take the nation’s #7 offense to be the difference maker, led by Chuba Hubbard. Oklahoma State 40, Baylor 31

Gavin- Baylor 38, Oklahoma State 35

#7 Wisconsin vs. #25 Northwestern

Scott- In historic, albeit dumpy Wrigley Field, teams will be able to use both end zones this time, unlike when Northwestern hosted Illinois back in 2010. NU is enjoying a bounceback season thus far, one that sees them ranked, and have already doubled their win total from last year. In comes seventh ranked Wisconsin though, and the Badgers are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Wildcats are still alive in the West, but will need to score a major upset here against a top 10 team. Two top 15 defenses headline this matchup, but the Badgers flex their muscles in Chicago. Wisconsin 34, Northwestern 7

Gavin- Wisconsin 28, Northwestern 14

#2 Alabama @ #3 LSU

Scott- I feel the hype heading into this bitter rivalry might overtake Ohio State-Penn State for game of the season. But that’s nothing new for these teams. LSU has been unable to defend Death Valley the last four times against the Tide. But will LSU be able to continue their historic 24 game win streak dating back to 2018? Coach O is building something special on the Bayou. In terms of points per game, LSU is the #2 defense in the country and the #3 offense. Alabama is no slouch either, as they field the #5 defense and #1 offense. This is a crucial showdown that most likely determines the SEC West. Don’t count the loser out of the playoff picture just yet, however, as these are 2 top tier contenders of what happens Saturday. It’s everything you could ever ask for (besides the fact this game should be a night game in Death Valley) and I’m taking Bama to avenge last year’s home loss. Alabama 30, LSU 23

Gavin- Alabama 35, LSU 28

California @ Arizona State

Scott- In a very underrated matchup this week, two of the 2nd tier Pac-12 teams face off in order to try to stay alive in their respective divisions. With a loss and an Oregon win, Cal is eliminated from division contention. They’re coming off an impressive win against Washington, after dropping two straight. ASU has sneakily won four straight and controls their own destiny in the South. But with games against Oregon and Utah looming, the Sun Devils would be advised to take care of business at home against Cal. In an all-time series that’s tied at 17 a piece, I expect more of the same here, as I’m predicting a nail biter. California 31, Arizona State 30

Gavin- Arizona State 38, Cal 35

#9 Georgia @ #23 South Carolina

Scott- Let’s first get this out of the way. The winner stays alive in the East, but realistically Florida is almost a lock at this point to represent the division in Atlanta come December. However, this is a game UGA needs if it demands national respect to potentially get into a New Year’s Six Bowl. The Dawgs can’t afford another loss, and they’re facing a surging and surprising Gamecock team who they lost to last year in Athens. Will Muschamp has done an outstanding job this season thus far. This would be crazy, but USC has games left on the schedule against Georgia, LSU, and Clemson. It’s an extreme longshot, but Carolina could force their way into the New Year’s Six conversation as well. I expect an angry Bulldog defense to control play in Columbia. Georgia 27, South Carolina 9

Gavin- Georgia 31, South Carolina 10

#5 Penn State @ #18 Nebraska

Scott- After coming back down to earth after getting shutout by the Buckeyes, Nebraska is out to prove they belong amongst the B1G elite by facing another cross-division playoff contender. There is so much intrigue in this game. How will the Huskers respond to their first loss of the year? The division is still very much in play for Nebraska, and a win against a Top 5 team could raise the profile of this team that much more. This is PSU’s last tougher test of the season, and they will most likely finish 11-1 if they can escape Lincoln victorious. The Lions are trying to prove to the committee they still belong as a contender despite the loss to OSU. Penn State dominated the red-hot Hoosiers last weekend, and are trying to be in top form against lesser competition down the stretch. This will be a fun one, and I think Nebraska performs better this week, but I am still taking the favorite. Penn State 42, Nebraska 28

Gavin- Penn State 38, Nebraska 21

#4 Clemson @ #12 Notre Dame

Scott- In one of the most highly anticipated game this season, Clemson faces their toughest test of the season by far, traveling north to face Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are trying to remain in the national conversation after dropping a game a month ago to Wisconsin. They have won four straight and the offense is picking up steam, led by senior QB Ian Book. But Clemson is a different story, and it will be interesting to see just how dominant they are against more equal competition and talent. This game is a major measuring stick for Clemson’s ability against fellow contenders, as they have played nowhere near the challengers that Alabama, LSU, or Ohio State have played. I have a bad feeling about this one. ND has something to prove after the shellacking Clemson put on them in the Playoff two years ago. I think Notre Dame gets the benefit of a late, missed call to upset the Tigers and put Clemson’s playoff chances in major jeopardy. Notre Dame 35, Clemson 32

Gavin- Clemson 28, Notre Dame 24

Indiana @ #1 Ohio State

Scott- The Buckeyes have won 24 (non-vacated) games straight against the Hoosiers, despite IU being able to put a scare into them now and again. Indiana is coming off a shutout loss to the Nittany Lions, which probably served as a wake-up call in just what kind of talent deficiency they have against the division powers. However, this might have humbled the Hoosiers and expect a better effort this week. Unfortunately, they are playing an even more talented team, and in one of the hardest environments in college football. Beating Ohio State is never easy for Indiana, and even though the Hoosiers are a good team, this Buckeye squad is on course to be one of the best teams ever. Buckeyes roll. Ohio State 48, Indiana 13

Gavin- Ohio State 51, Indiana 14

Upset Picks:

Scott- Virginia Tech @ Pittsburgh

Despite the team’s records, Pitt only has a 27.3% chance to win this Friday night home game against the Hokies, per ESPN’s FPI. Pitt is starting to slide, as they have lost 3 of 4. But, I believe this game refocuses Pat Narduzzi’s squad. VA Tech has been inconsistent all year, and I think Pitt relies on their defense to stay a threat in the ACC Coastal, setting up a monster showdown next week with UNC. Pittsburgh 26, Virginia Tech 18

Gavin- New Mexico State @ UMass

Two teams that have long called the bottom of the FBS home collide for the first time. No offense to the Minutemen, but I don’t understand how they can possibly be favored in any game, other than to provide me with an easy upset pick. New Mexico State 35, UMass 17

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