Oregon hosts Arizona State in key Pac-12 battle
By Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
No. 72 Hawaii at No. 92 San Jose State
San Jose State’s two-game winning streak was snapped last weekend, but the improved Spartans played relatively well at BYU. I’m still trying to figure out how Hawaii lost to UNLV by 20 points last month.
Hawaii 41, San Jose State 20
No. 1 Alabama at No. 82 Ole Miss
The Alabama defense has allowed 14 points or less in all six games this season. Not a good sign for Ole Miss, which has struggled to move the ball against quality competition.
Alabama 38, Ole Miss 6
No. 2 LSU at No. 41 Tennessee
With Tyler Bray out of the lineup, few are giving Tennessee much of a chance against the mighty LSU Tigers, but keep in mind that the Matt Simms-led Vols came oh-so-close to beating LSU in Baton Rouge last season. The Tigers scored the winning touchdown on the final play from scrimmage after the Vols’ infamous 13-man defensive alignment.
LSU 31, Tennessee 14
No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 83 Kansas
Kansas has given up 42 points or more against each FBS opponent it has faced. Oklahoma has scored 113 points over the past two games. Not a good matchup for the Jayhawks.
Oklahoma 58, Kansas 10
No. 102 Indiana at No. 4 Wisconsin
Indiana has played better in recent weeks, but this is still a team that has lost to Ball State and North Texas this season. The Hoosiers trip to Madison will not be fun.
Wisconsin 55, Indiana 7
No. 5 Boise State at No. 97 Colorado State
It’s difficult to envision a scenario in which a team that lost to San Jose State at home — that would be Colorado State —can be competitive with Boise State.
Boise State 48, Colorado State 17
No. 17 Arizona State at No. 6 Oregon
ESPN College GameDay will be making a rare appearance on the West Coast for a clash between two of the elite teams in the Pac-12. Arizona State, with its slick new uniforms, is in complete control of the South Division with a 3–0 record that includes a win over USC. A win in Eugene could possibly put the Devils in position to host the league title game. That, however, is easier said than done.
Oregon 35, Arizona State 24
No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 25 Texas
Oklahoma State and Texas have met 25 times. Oklahoma State has won only three of those games — in 1944, 1997 and 2010. The Pokes are favored to pick up win No. 4 in this series.
Oklahoma State 38, Texas 24
No. 8 Clemson at No. 55 Maryland
Maryland has been in a funk since opening the season with a win at home vs. Miami, but the Terps did show some life last week in a five-point loss at Georgia Tech. Showing life will not be enough against Clemson.
Clemson 31, Maryland 21
No. 9 Stanford at No. 63 Washington State
The improved Cougars need to find three more wins on the schedule to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2003. Stanford will not be one of those wins.
Stanford 48, Washington State 10
No. 10 Georgia Tech at No. 67 Virginia
The Jackets scored a season-low 21 points last week, but still managed to beat Maryland and remain undefeated. This team could run the table in the regular season.
Georgia Tech 31, Virginia 20
No. 13 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Wake Forest
Wake Forest was known as a rushing team early in Jim Grobe’s tenure, but the Deacs are getting it done through the air thanks to the emergence of quarterback Tanner Price.
Virginia Tech 34, Wake Forest 24
No. 46 Ohio State at No. 14 Illinois
Illinois is favored over Ohio State for the first time since 2001, when Ron Turner’s Illini won the Big Ten title with Kurt Kittner at quarterback.
Illinois 24, Ohio State 21
No. 15 Michigan at No. 27 Michigan State
Michigan State is in the midst of its longest winning streak (three games) against the boys from Ann Arbor since the mid-1960s, when Duffy Daugherty & Co. outscored the Wolverines 78–14 in a three-game stretch.
Michigan State 28, Michigan 24
No. 18 Kansas State at No. 43 Texas Tech
The Wildcats are one of the surprise teams in the nation. I’ve picked against them in each of the last three weeks. I should jump on the bandwagon … but I’ll go with the high-scoring Red Raiders at home.
Texas Tech 34, Kansas State 30
No. 20 South Carolina at No. 40 Mississippi State
With Connor Shaw running the show, South Carolina rolled up a Steve Spurrier-era high 639 yards against Kentucky last week. Mississippi State should offer some more resistance.
Mississippi State 21, South Carolina 13
No. 23 Baylor at No. 21 Texas A&M
These two programs have played every year since 1945, but Texas A&M’s departure to the SEC most likely means the end of the rivalry.
Texas A&M 38, Baylor 34
No. 24 Georgia at No. 56 Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt’s defense has been strong, but the Commodores have only scored three points in the last two games.
Georgia 24, Vanderbilt 10
No. 26 Florida at No. 30 Auburn
It’s safe to say that a defending national champion has never been a home underdog to a team that is coming off consecutive losses of at least 28 points.
Auburn 28, Florida 23
No. 80 Colorado at No. 28 Washington
Washington quarterback Keith Price has thrown at least three touchdowns in every game this season.
Washington 37, Colorado 21
No. 34 Miami (Fla.) at No. 29 North Carolina
Miami tailback Lamar Miller might be receiving some Heisman buzz if the Hurricanes had won a few more game. The sophomore has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the first five games, including 184 vs. Ohio State and 166 vs. Virginia Tech.
Miami (Fla.) 27, North Carolina 20
No. 31 Florida State at No. 65 Duke
We thought the Florida State defense would be stout this year. We thought wrong. The Noles have given up 70 points in their last two games.
Florida State 34, Duke 21
No. 32 South Florida at No. 81 Connecticut
The Bulls are coming off a surprisingly one-sided loss (44–17) at Pittsburgh. Connecticut’s 43–16 loss at West Virginia, however, was not a surprise.
South Florida 31, Connecticut 14
No. 88 Purdue at No. 34 Penn State
The Nittany Lions might be tough to watch on offense, but this team has been solid on defense all season. It should be another ugly win for Joe Paterno & Co.
Penn State 21, Purdue 13
No. 70 UCF at No. 35 SMU
It’s C-USA East vs. C-USA West. It’s the running game vs. the forward pass. It should be an SMU victory.
SMU 29, UCF 23
No. 58 Navy at No. 37 Rutgers
Navy has lost three in a row for the first time since 2002, when Paul Johnson’s first Midshipmen club went 2–10.
Rutgers 34, Navy 27
No. 47 Iowa State at No. 38 Missouri
Iowa State’s three wins have come by an average of 2.7 points per game. Its two losses have come by an average of 23 points.
Missouri 31, Iowa State 17
No. 59 Utah at No. 39 Pittsburgh
Pitt has been one of the most inconsistent teams in the nation this season. One week after pounding South Florida, 44–17, at home, the Panthers were beaten soundly at Rutgers, 34–10.
Pittsburgh 31, Utah 14
No. 44 USC at No. 49 California
Cal shocked USC, 34–31, in 2003 in what was the first big win of the Jeff Tedford era. The Bears have lost seven straight in the series since that breakthrough victory in Berkeley, with the last two being decided by an average of 30.5 points.
California 31, USC 24
No. 53 Northwestern at No. 48 Iowa
Last week, in a 13–3 loss at Penn State, Iowa was held without a touchdown for the first time since 2007, when the Hawkeyes lost at Purdue, 31–6.
Iowa 28, Northwestern 27
No. 76 Louisville at No. 50 Cincinnati
The schedule has been far from grueling, but Cincinnati has held every team not named Tennessee to 14 points or less this season. Louisville ranks 112th in the nation in scoring offense.
Cincinnati 31, Louisville 13
No. 51 Toledo at No. 104 Bowling Green
The Rockets are one of the hidden gems in college football this season. They are 3–3 overall, with a controversial overtime loss at Syracuse, a five-point loss at Ohio State and a 40–15 loss to Boise State. This is a very solid team.
Toledo 41, Bowling Green 21
No. 89 Buffalo at No. 52 Temple
Buffalo is 2–4, but three of the four losses have come against BCS conference foes. Last week, the Bulls upset Ohio, 38–37. This is another big test.
Temple 31, Buffalo 24
No. 110 UAB at No. 60 Tulsa
UAB is one of three winless teams in the nation (New Mexico and FAU are the others). With dates against Tulsa, UCF, Marshall and Houston looming, it might be a while before the Blazers get off the mat.
Tulsa 48, UAB 14
No. 95 Northern Illinois at No. 61 Western Michigan
This is a huge game in the MAC West. Western Michigan has won four of five since opening the season with a weather-shortened loss at Michigan. The Broncos are very potent on offense.
Western Michigan 37, Northern Illinois 27
No. 64 BYU at No. 86 Oregon State
BYU swept a three-game homestand in less-than-inspiring fashion, beating UCF (24–17), Utah State (27–24) and San Jose State (29–16). Now, the show goes on the road against an Oregon State team that is rejuvenated after last week’s 10-point win over Arizona.
Oregon State 27, BYU 16
No. 120 New Mexico at No. 73 Nevada
The Lobos are looking for their first win of the year and their first win under interim head coach George Barlow. It’s not going to happen in Reno.
Nevada 48, New Mexico 14
No. 91 Ball State at No. 74 Ohio
Ohio’s 38–37 loss at Buffalo last week was very damaging. The Bobcats should be favored in every remaining game, with the possible exception of the home date vs. Temple on Nov. 2.
Ohio 31, Ball State 17
No. 87 Rice at No. 75 Marshall
Marshall’s offense, led by a true freshman quarterback (Rakeem Cato), has scored 17 points or less in all but one game this season. Rice has scored 24 or more in each of its last four games.
Marshall 24, Rice 21
No. 78 Utah State at No. 96 Fresno State
Utah State took out the frustration of three painfully close early season losses by pounding Wyoming, 63–19, last weekend in Logan.
Utah State 31, Fresno State 20
No. 101 North Texas at No. 79 UL-Lafayette
UL-Lafayette is the surprise of the Sun Belt, with a 3–0 league record that includes wins over both Troy and FIU. The Cajuns will be bowl-eligible after this weekend.
UL-Lafayette 33, North Texas 13
No. 90 East Carolina at No. 118 Memphis
It’s been a bit of a struggle for East Carolina, which has lost four of five games this year. Memphis, however, is good for what ails any team in college football.
East Carolina 41, Memphis 7
No. 93 UTEP at No. 108 Tulane
Tulane is 2–0 when it scores 47 points or more this season, and 0–4 when it doesn’t.
Tulane 22, UTEP 21
No. 114 Eastern Michigan at No. 94 Central Michigan
Eastern Michigan is 3–3, but two of those wins have come against FCS opponents and the other was against Akron, one of the worst teams in the FBS ranks.
Central Michigan 37, Eastern Michigan 14
No. 112 UL-Monroe at No. 98 Troy
Troy has dominated the Sun Belt in recent years but has had some trouble with UL-Monroe. The Warhawks have won two of the last three and three of the last six in the series.
Troy 28, UL-Monroe 20
No. 116 UNLV at No. 99 Wyoming
UNLV has been outscored in its four losses by an average of 37 points per game.
Wyoming 38, UNLV 21
No. 105 Miami (Ohio) at No. 115 Kent State
Miami broke into the win column for the first time last week, topping Army, 35–28, in Oxford. Win No. 2 should be much easier.
Miami (Ohio) 27, Kent State 10
No. 111 Idaho at No. 107 New Mexico State
New Mexico State is 2–3, with wins over Minnesota and New Mexico. The Aztecs have not defeated three FBS teams in the same season since 2004.
New Mexico State 21, Idaho 20
No. 109 Western Kentucky at No. 117 Florida Atlantic
Western Kentucky is coming off its first win of the season, a 36–33 double-OT thriller over rival Middle Tennessee. Bobby Rainey, the most underrated tailback in the nation, had his fourth 100-yard game of the season.
Western Kentucky 23, Florida Atlantic 14
Last week — 43-7
Season - 316-57