Texas @ #4 TCU
I feel for Charlie Strong and the Longhorns. I really want him to do well but it just hasn't looked so great so far. After coming up just one point short against California, last week it looked as if Texas was going to pull the upset over Oklahoma State. All they had to do was execute a punt and have their defense get on last stop. However, that simple punt turned into disaster and set up the Cowboys in prime field position and they went on to kick the field goal and pick up the narrow victory. TCU just barely escaped defeat to the hands of Texas Tech themselves in a "Defense Optional" game with the Red Raiders. A tipped pass on 4th down in the back of the end zone fell into the hands of Aaron Green with :23 seconds left in the game. I want with everything in me for Texas to pull the shocker Saturday but its just not going to happen. Or will it? Its been a strange season so far.....
The Pick: TCU
Texas Tech vs #5 Baylor
I"ll keep this one short and sweet. If you are looking for a good defensive game, don't even bother watching a single snap of this one. As I write this, the over/under is set at 88 and I''d honestly be surprised if there is anything less than 100 scored between these two explosive offenses. Anyways, I went with TTU last week to knock of TCU and they let me down. So naturally I'm mad at them and picking again the Red Raiders this week. Also I'm still slightly salty about the beat down former TTU QB and current head coach Kliff Kingsbury laid on my Tigers back in the 2002 Tangerine Bowl.
The Pick: Baylor
#11 Florida State @ Wake Forest
Wake Forest might be the most underrated trip/stadium in the ACC. I had an absolute blast up there last year for a Thursday nighter. However can't say much about the actual team. Really haven't seen either of these two play yet but in this case, it doesn't really matter. FSU gets it done. Next?
The Pick: Florida State
#3 Ole Miss @ #25 Florida
I still haven't figured out Ole Miss has done it but in the meantime I'm happy for Swag Kelly....(that's Rebel QB Chad Kelly to most of you) However, as good as he has been and has the potential to be...I think Kelly is still the same guy and I"m just waiting for him to show the rest of the nation why Clemson let him go in the first place. As for the game, I think the Gators ride the momentum and find a way to get it done in the Swamp Saturday. Florida is 4-0 and cracked the top 25 after knocking off the Vols for the 11th straight game last weekend. The Gators have a solid defense and I think they use that as fuel for the big upset in Gainesville.
The Pick: Florida
#8 Georgia vs #13 Alabama
Before Alabama fans fire Nick Saban they should probably wait until after Saturday. I get it, Alabama overall hasn't been your typical Alabama team in the (very) recent past. They were exposed against Ole Miss as Chad Kelly tore the Bama defense and secondary to shreds two weeks ago. Alabama doesn't really have a reliable and proven quarterback. While UGA's Greyson Lambert looked great in the second half against Vandy and destroyed South Carolina and Southern University lets not forget that many of those were high-percentage, short throws and they weren't exactly against the best defenses in the world. Bama will be tougher...or at least one would think. The game is in Athens which is obviously a big advantage but I think the Dawgs might be better off if Alabama was still undefeated. Saban and company are literally playing for their season so they will not back down easy and will give UGA everything they have. I just don't think it will be enough. Nick Chubb is a bad, bad dude and Sony Michel ain't too shabby, either. Chubb will likely break Hershel Walker's record for consecutive 100 yard games this weekend. Pretty good company to be part of.
The Pick: Georgia
#6 Notre Dame @ #12 Clemson
So many story lines in this one. These two teams haven't played since 1979 (a 16-10 Clemson win in South Bend. Before that? A top 15 showdown in Death Valley between Joe Montana and Steve Fuller. That game was won by the Irish, 21-17. Notre Dame's Deshone Kizer will have his hands full as will Clemson's Deshaun Watson. ND has a solid linebacking corp although I think Clemson's defense is a little bit better overall. If the Tigers can get the running game going and find someone (likely Wayne Gallman) getting nice chunks of yards early, I like Clemson's chances. Outside of special teams, the battle up front between Clemson's offensive line and ND's defensive line will decide it. Ammon Lakip is back in the line up after his suspension for a summer DUI/cocaine possession charge.
You can't forget to factor in the crowd noise and Kizer's first real road test. It will be a wet and cool game in Death Valley which could mean the chance for a big night on the ground for both teams. I can count on one hand the number of times I've gone on the record to pick against my Tigers. The last time was in 2013 when the Tigers went to Columbia to face the Gamecocks. Before then? it was LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. If this game were played on the road or at a neutral site I might feel different but I think with it being a primetime home game in Death Valley....along with all the trash talk from ND players this week, the boys in Orange get it done and protect the home field...which might flow right into Lake Hartwell by the time the final whistle blows if the models for Hurricane Joaquin are correct.
The Pick: Clemson