Here are this week’s big college football games. Let’s start with an early matchup between #2 Florida State and #10 Louisville.
|9:00 AM PT||ABC/ESPN3||FSU -1.0|
How Florida State Wins: Freshman quarterback Deondre Francois has the same brilliant game he had against Ole Miss in the second half in a come-from-behind victory. Dalvin Cook needs to also lead a balanced rushing attack to make Florida State rely less on the green signal caller. The main goal here is not to underestimate Louisville.
How Louisville Wins: Lamar Jackson needs to be at his best. The Cardinals star quarterback has 13 total touchdowns on the season and is only looking to add to an impressive resume. As long as he does well, Louisville has a puncher’s chance in this one.
The Bottom Line: Florida State wins. Louisville plays well at home, but they aren’t used to the big stage, and FSU with their experience is going to win big and leave the Cardinals with more questions than answers.
|12:30 PM PT||CBS||ALA -10.5|
How Alabama Wins: Play Bama football. Run the ball, and play good defense. There is a reason quarterbacks don’t need to be developed here. Stick to a formula that works and live to dominate another week.
How Ole Miss Wins: Chad Kelly is a great quarterback but there’s only so much he can do. The first step is to limit turnovers, but one thing that I noticed from the highlights of the Ole Miss-FSU game was how porous that Rebel defense was. That unit needs to step up otherwise this will be a long afternoon in Oxford.
The Bottom Line: Ole Miss wins. It could be because I’m annoyed with Nick Saban and I enjoy watching him lose, but this team knows how to beat the Tide. The Rebels may more or less be in the heads of that team.
|4:30 PM PT||NBC||ND -7.0|
How Michigan State Wins: Give the ball to running back LJ Scott. The Spartans know how to run the football, and they also know how to play good defense. Connor Cook is gone to the NFL now, so it will be difficult to get good quarterback play here. Do what works, and make the same clutch plays you made last year to get you to the playoff.
How Notre Dame Wins: Remember the mistakes you made against Texas. DO NOT let the quarterback run, whatever you do. Quarterback DeShone Kizer is also a clutch playmaker, and the expectation is that he will be leading this very talented Irish team to a victory here in South Bend.
The Bottom Line: The Irish just have more talent. Michigan State graduated a lot of players to the NFL this last year, and they will definitely be overmatched. They are playing in a very hostile work environment and this is going to be quarterback Tyler O’Connor’s first major test. It comes down to experience, and he just doesn’t have it.
|4:30 PM PT||FOX||OSU -1.0|
How Ohio State Wins: Reload. J.T. Barrett leads a great Buckeyes offense that still has a few talented playmakers even though several (Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller, Ezekiel Elliot) graduated to the NFL. Air it out and get it to your playmakers. Listen to Urban Meyer on the sideline.
How Oklahoma Wins: Shake off the loss to Houston. Sling it. There’s a reason Baker Mayfield was a preseason Heisman candidate. Mayfield needs to get the ball to his playmakers and work a very welcoming home crowd. Also if you’re going to kick it, make sure it isn’t returnable (as they learned in Week 1).
The Bottom Line: Ohio State wins. They are just the better team, they have more NFL talent, and I have doubts about Oklahoma considering they lost to the Houston Cougars earlier. If you’re going to be considered seriously for the College Football Playoff, you can’t do that.
I’m 4-0 so far this year. Let’s see if we can improve from here.