The potential for chaos is high in Week 10, with many ranked teams taking on capable un-ranked challengers
#13 Auburn at #14 Texas A&M (-4.5) – November 6, 2:30 PM, CBS
Somehow, the Tigers still control their destiny in the SEC, and perhaps beyond, as running the table would mean four additional top-25 wins, including Alabama & Georgia; a resume that would likely land Auburn in the Playoffs despite the two losses. I suppose the same could be said for the Aggies, although they have a lighter schedule and would need a bit of help getting to the top of the SEC West after already suffering two conference losses. Neither situation is very realistic, but this is a true Playoff elimination game here in Week 10. The winner will be in the Top 10 and the loser will still remain in the Top 20 because losses don’t count when you are in the SEC or B1G. The Bo Nix-aissance has been fun to watch, as the embattled QB has lead Auburn back to prominence, even outdueling presumptive top NFL Draft QB Matt Corral last week. However, Bad Bo could show up at any point and Kyle Field has a way of bringing out the worst in opponents.
My pick: Texas A&M wins (-200); Texas A&M covers (-4.5); Total Over 49
#3 Michigan State (-3) at Purdue – November 6, 2:30 PM, ABC
Riding high after a massive rivalry win and given respect by the Playoff Committee, the Spartans are now open for a dangerous let-down spot on the road against a Purdue squad that already has one Top-5 pelt on its wall. Kenneth Walker went HAM on Michigan last week and has now positioned himself as the frontrunner for the Heisman. However, Purdue has a game-breaking superstar of its own in WR David Bell, who tore up the vaunted Iowa defense for 240 yards and a TD on 11 catches. While Bell could certainly explode again, I’m sticking with Mel Tucker and Sparty to stay on task here and not start looking a couple weeks ahead to Ohio State.
My pick: Michigan St. wins (-150); Michigan St. covers (-3); Total Under 53.5
#4 Oregon (-7) at Washington – November 6, 6:30 PM, ABC
There was much discussion this week about whether these teams are rivals on the recruiting trail or in the classroom or on the field. Oregon was rightfully placed above Ohio State by the CFP Committee, but cannot book their Playoff tickets yet. If the Ducks sleepwalk into Seattle, the Huskies could pull the upset here and not only send Oregon tumbling in the Playoff rankings but would leapfrog the Ducks in the Pac 12 North standings as well. While certainly a long shot, given how bad Washington has been this season, but think the Huskies will be up for the challenge and might just get the bounces and calls to tip this one in their direction.
My pick: Washington wins (+225); Washington covers (+7); Total Over 50.5
UTSA (-11) at UTEP – November 6, 9:15 PM, ESPN2
The absolute disrespect of the Roadrunners is obscene. If the Committee had any consciousness of UTSA, or any shame whatsoever, they would be ashamed. To rank two-loss Minnesota (one of which was to a horrendous Bowling Green team) and leave out the undefeated Roadrunners is a travesty that will certainly be rectified if UTSA rolls to an undefeated C-USA crown. Stay up late for this one if only to see UTSA Head Coach (for now) Jeff Traylor in his school’s major rivalry game. Yes, Traylor just signed a large contract extension, but all that means is the price of the package went up. If Texas Tech or TCU (or SMU when Dykes levels-up) decides Traylor is the man for the job, then that buyout would be merely a speedbump on the road to Lubbock or Fort Worth. While you are watching the coach, you’ll get to see one of the most fun teams in the country. Enjoy.
My pick: UTSA wins (-455); UTSA covers (-11); Total Over 53
Others Receiving Votes
#5 Ohio State (-14.5) at Nebraska – Can Scott Frost save his job? How many more games can the Buckeyes lose that the Playoff Committee can excuse away?
#9 Wake Forest at North Carolina (-2.5) – These two ACC teams are playing a non-conference game against each other. Idk, College Football is weird.
Liberty at #16 Ole Miss (-9.5) – The Hugh Freeze Revenge Bowl. Malik Willis vs. Matt Corral, perhaps the top two QBs taken in the 2022 NFL Draft – this one should be entertaining.
SMU (-4.5) at Memphis – With rumors swirling around coach Sonny Dykes, can the Mustangs keep focus on the road to try to climb back into the Top 25?