College Football Picks Week 1-9

Week Nine Predictions

ATS Best Bets

Utah (-10.5) @ UCLA – 10:30 PM ET on Friday
North Carolina (+9.5) @ Virginia – 12:20 PM ET
Illinois (+17.5) @ Maryland – 3:30 PM ET
South Florida (+9) vs Houston – 3:30 PM ET
California (+12) vs Washington – 6:30 PM ET
Washington State (+3.5) @ Stanford – 7 PM ET
Tulane (+3) @ Tulsa – 7 PM ET
Florida Intl (-3.5) @ Western Kentucky – 7:30 PM ET
Hawai’i (+25.5) @ Fresno State – 10:30 PM ET

Tier One Games (Must Watch)

Texas Tech (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) @ Iowa State (3-3, 2-2 Big 12) – 12 PM ET, ESPN2

For those that haven’t been paying attention, Iowa State is playing like a top ten team right now. In their two games since Brock Purdy took over as quarterback, the Cyclones went on the road and beat Oklahoma State, and then followed it up with a 30-14 drubbing of then top ten West Virginia. The winner of this game will remain in the hunt for the Big 12 title, while the loser can likely kiss their hopes of a conference championship goodbye. As you can tell, I’m higher than most Iowa State fans on this Cyclone team, and I think that the ‘Clones have the clear #1 defense in the Big 12. I have confidence that they will limit the prolific TTU offense to under 30 points, all Purdy (75% completion rate, 11.9 YPA, seven touchdowns, two interceptions) has to do is score a little more, and I think he will do that.

Prediction: Iowa State 29, Texas Tech 26

Purdue (4-3, 3-1 Big Ten) @  Michigan State (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, ESPN

My #2 game from a largely underwhelming noon slate comes from the Big Ten, and I see this one as a practical tossup. I could use this preview as a chance to brag about the model having Purdue ranked the week before they beat Ohio State, but I wouldn’t do that, would I? I don’t have very much faith in Brian Lewerke after he had maybe the worst performance of his career against Michigan last week, but you can never underestimate the hangover factor that a team encounters after a big win. This game should be close till the end, so keep an eye on it. I really don’t have a strong lean, but Michigan State is at home so I’ll take the Spartans in a close one even though I think Purdue is the better team ceteris paribus.

Prediction: Michigan State 29, Purdue 28

#9Florida (6-1, 4-1 SEC) vs #7Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) in Jacksonville, FL – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

Now we get into the 3:30 slate, where we encounter the two best games of the day. Seriously TV execs, you couldn’t have flexed one of these games (Iowa vs Penn State being the other) to the primetime slot? The game of the day is a neutral site top ten matchup, the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” as Florida takes on Georgia. Despite the loss to LSU a couple weeks ago, Georgia is still undoubtedly a playoff contender, but believe it or not, the Gators also control their own destiny to the college football playoff. This game will decide who wins the SEC East (Kentucky isn’t close to a contender right now, the ‘Cats are touchdown dogs to Missouri), and I can not put my faith in Feleipe Franks. Jake Fromm has been in a big spot like this before, and while I know he wasn’t great against LSU the last time UGA played, I think the Dawgs rebound here and end up winning by two possessions.

Prediction: Georgia 33, Florida 24

#18Iowa (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten) @ #17Penn State (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN

By the reaction from many people on college football twitter, you’d think that Penn State is having a Notre Dame-esque 4-8 season right now, which is not the case. Penn State is 5-2, and both losses were by one possession to top 30 teams where the Nittany Lions could have won if one play had gone differently, this is not any sort of failure of a season for James Franklin and PSU, and reports to the contrary have been greatly exaggerated. Right now, the model really only thinks there are seven really good teams and everybody else is jumbled together, so PSU being ranked 10th in the model does seem a little high to me, but I don’t think it’s crazy, and you could certainly make a case for the Nittany Lions at ten if you wanted to. Iowa, on the other hand, is ranked right around where they should be, and this game is at Penn State. James Franklin’s record in close games has not been good overall, but he did come out with a win at Kinnick last year, and I think he can pull through and deliver another close win here on the back of a terrific performance from Trace McSorley.

Prediction: Penn State 32, Iowa 29

#14Washington State (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) @ #24Stanford (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) – 7 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Both of these teams are a little overrated according to the model, but this is a important game in the Pac-12 North, and I would say the winner might become the new conference favorite. I don’t think that Stanford has been awful this year, but when I saw that the Cardinal were favored in this game, I was downright shocked. Washington State looked awesome last week against Oregon, and while they stepped off the gas a little in the second half, for most of the first half it looked like Gardner Minshew and the ‘Cougs were going to roast the Ducks 52-10. No offense to the Stanford fans, but Palo Alto isn’t exactly a tough place to play, the students are too busy building apps to go make some noise at a football game, so I’m not too worried about the environment. Additionally, the Stanford secondary has fallen off this year after the loss of Justin Reid, and I’d expect Minshew to throw for around 400 yards en route to a “upset” of the Cardinal, in fact, lock it up as one of my best bets.

Prediction: Washington State 31, Stanford 26 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

#16Texas A&M (5-2, 3-1 SEC) @ Mississippi State (4-3, 1-3 SEC) – 7 PM ET, ESPN

This reminds me of the Michigan State-Purdue game in a way, you’ve got a team that I think is really good going on the road to face a team that I think is just ‘good’ and is coming off of a poor performance. Spoiler alert, just like in that one I’m picking the home team by one, and just like in that one I’m by no means confident about it. Here, however, is my reasoning: A&M hasn’t won a game by more than seven points since September 15th, and eventually that has to catch up with you, right? In fact, the Aggies only have one win by more than seven points against an FBS team all year, that UL-Monroe game on 9/15. I really don’t like Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald, he may be one of the worst passers in major conference football, but I think he and head coach Joe Moorhead can put something together on the ground that will put up points, and it isn’t like this A&M offense is setting the world on fire either, they’ve only scored over 26 points once this year against an FBS team, that UL-Monroe game, and I don’t think they’ll do it here. Give me Mississippi State in a low scoring, knock out drag out fight.

Prediction: Mississippi State 26, Texas A&M 25

Tier Two Games (Maybe Watch)

Baylor (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) @ #13West Virginia (5-1, 3-1 Big 12) – 7 PM ET on Thursday, 10/25, FS1

Prediction: West Virginia 36, Baylor 26

#25Appalachian State (5-1, 3-0 Sun Belt) @ Georgia Southern (6-1, 3-0 Sun Belt) – 7:30 PM ET on Thursday, 10/25, ESPNU

Prediction: Appalachian State 36, Georgia Southern 25

Georgia Tech (3-4, 1-3 ACC) @ Virginia Tech (4-2, 3-0 ACC) – 7:30 PM ET on Thursday, 10/25, ESPN

Prediction: Virginia Tech 31, Georgia Tech 26

Miami (5-2, 2-1 ACC) @ Boston College (5-2, 2-1 ACC) – 7 PM ET on Friday, 10/26, ESPN

Prediction: Boston College 29, Miami 28 <- UPSET ALERT

Indiana (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) @ Minnesota (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten) – 8 PM ET on Friday, 10/26, FS1

Prediction: Indiana 31, Minnesota 27

#23Utah (5-2, 3-2 Pac-12) @ UCLA (2-5, 2-2 Pac-12) – 10:30 PM ET on Friday, 10/26, ESPN

Prediction: Utah 38, UCLA 22 <- BEST BET ALERT

#2Clemson (7-0, 4-0 ACC) @ Florida State (4-3, 2-3 ACC) – 12 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Clemson 37, Florida State 23

#20Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) @ Northwestern (4-3, 4-1 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Wisconsin 30, Northwestern 23

Vanderbilt (3-5, 0-4 SEC) @ Arkansas (2-6, 0-4 SEC) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Vanderbilt 26, Arkansas 24 <- UPSET ALERT

Army (5-2) @ Eastern Michigan (4-4) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Army 28, Eastern Michigan 26 <- UPSET ALERT

North Carolina (1-5, 1-3 ACC) @ Virginia (5-2, 3-1 ACC) – 12:20 PM ET, ACC Network

Prediction: Virginia 26, North Carolina 22 <- BEST BET ALERT

Southern Mississippi (3-3, 2-1 C-USA) @ Charlotte (3-4, 2-2 C-USA) – 2 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Southern Mississippi 29, Charlotte 19

Kansas State (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) @ #8Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) – 3:30 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Oklahoma 47, Kansas State 25

#21South Florida (7-0, 3-0 American) @ Houston (6-1, 3-0 American) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN2

Prediction: Houston 45, South Florida 41 <- BEST BET ALERT

Arizona State (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12) @ USC (4-3, 3-2 Pac-12) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN2

Prediction: USC 28, Arizona State 24

Duke (5-2, 1-2 ACC) @ Pittsburgh (3-4, 2-1 ACC) – 3:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Duke 25, Pittsburgh 24

Cincinnati (6-1, 2-1 American) @ SMU (3-4, 2-1 American) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Cincinnati 35, SMU 20

#12Kentucky (6-1, 4-1 SEC) @ Missouri (4-3, 0-3 SEC) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Missouri 31, Kentucky 23

#15Washington (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) @ California (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) – 6:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Washington 30, California 23 <- BEST BET ALERT

#22NC State (5-1, 2-1 ACC) @ Syracuse (5-2, 2-2 ACC) – 7 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: NC State 36, Syracuse 34 <- UPSET ALERT

Boise State (5-2, 3-1 MW) @ Air Force (3-4, 1-3 MW) – 7 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Boise State 32, Air Force 25

Tennessee (3-4, 1-3 SEC) @ South Carolina (3-3, 2-3 SEC) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: South Carolina 31, Tennessee 22

#6Texas (6-1, 4-0 Big 12) @ Oklahoma State (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) – 8 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Texas 33 <- UPSET ALERT

#19Oregon (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) @ Arizona (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Oregon 36, Arizona 27

San Diego State (6-1, 3-0 MW) @ Nevada (4-4, 2-2 MW) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: San Diego State 26, Nevada 24

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

Troy (5-2, 3-0 Sun Belt) @ South Alabama (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt) – 8 PM ET on Tuesday, 10/23, ESPN2

Prediction: Troy 37, South Alabama 16

Ball State (3-5, 2-2 MAC) @ Ohio (4-3, 2-1 MAC) – 7 PM ET on Thursday, 10/25, CBSSN

Prediction: Ohio 39, Ball State 25

Toledo (3-4, 1-2 MAC) @ Western Michigan (6-2, 4-0 MAC) – 7 PM ET on Thursday, 10/25, ESPN2

Prediction: Western Michigan 35, Toledo 28

Louisiana Tech (5-2, 3-1 C-USA) @ Florida Atlantic (3-4, 1-2 C-USA) – 6:30 PM ET on Friday, 10/26, CBSSN

Prediction: Florida Atlantic 31, Louisiana Tech 30

Wyoming (2-6, 0-4 MW) @ Colorado State (3-5, 2-2 MW) – 10 PM ET on Friday, 10/26, CBSSN

Prediction: Wyoming 22, Colorado State 21 <- UPSET ALERT

Wake Forest (3-4, 0-3 ACC) @ Louisville (2-5, 0-4 ACC) – 12 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Louisville 31, Wake Forest 28

UMass (2-6) @ UConn (1-6) – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: UMass 39, UConn 35

Central Michigan (1-7, 0-4 MAC) @ Akron (3-3, 1-2 MAC) – 12 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Akron 22, Central Michigan 20

Coastal Carolina (4-3, 1-2 Sun Belt) @ Georgia State (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt) – 2 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Coastal Carolina 25, Georgia State 24

TCU (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) @ Kansas (2-5, 0-4 Big 12) – 3 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: TCU 30, Kansas 15

Oregon State (1-6, 0-4 Pac-12) @ Colorado (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) – 3 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Prediction: Colorado 43, Oregon State 20

Illinois (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) @ Maryland (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Maryland 30, Illinois 19 <- BEST BET ALERT

Middle Tennessee (4-3, 3-1 C-USA) @ Old Dominion (2-6, 1-4 C-USA) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Middle Tennessee 32, Old Dominion 25

Northern Illinois (4-3) @ BYU (4-3) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: BYU 24, Northern Illinois 20

New Mexico (3-4, 1-2 MW) @ Utah State (6-1, 3-0 MW) – 4 PM ET, MWC Facebook

Prediction: Utah State 40, New Mexico 19

Rice (1-7, 0-4 C-USA) @ North Texas (6-2, 2-2 C-USA) – 4 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: North Texas 41, Rice 13

UNLV (2-5, 0-3 MW) @ San Jose State (0-7, 0-3 MW) – 6:30 PM ET, AT&T Sports Network

Prediction: UNLV 27, San Jose State 26

Arkansas State (4-3, 1-2 Sun Belt) @ Louisiana (3-4, 1-2 Sun Belt) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Arkansas State 38, Louisiana 32 <- ArkSt -1

Tulane (2-5, 1-2 American) @ Tulsa (1-6, 0-3 American) – 7 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Tulane 27, Tulsa 23 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

New Mexico State (2-6) @ Texas State (1-6) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Texas State 27, New Mexico State 22

UAB (6-1, 4-0 C-USA) @ UTEP (0-7, 0-3 C-USA) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: UAB 32, UTEP 12

Florida Intl (5-2, 3-0 C-USA) @ Western Kentucky (1-6, 0-3 C-USA) – 7:30 PM ET, beIN Sports

Prediction: Florida Intl 34, Western Kentucky 22 <- BEST BET ALERT

#3Notre Dame (7-0) vs Navy (2-5) in San Diego, CA – 8 PM ET, CBS

Prediction: Notre Dame 39, Navy 20

Hawai’i (6-3, 3-1 MW) @ Fresno State (6-1, 3-0 MW) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Fresno State 40, Hawai’i 20 <- BEST BET ALERT

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Bethune-Cookman @ Nebraska (1-6) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Nebraska

Week Eight Predictions

ATS Best Bets

Arizona State (+2.5) vs Stanford – 9 PM ET on Thursday
Colorado State (+24) @ Boise State – 9 PM ET on Friday
UNLV (+12.5) vs Air Force – 10 PM ET on Friday
Buffalo (+1.5) @ Toledo – 12 PM ET
Ole Miss (+4) vs Auburn – 12 PM ET
Iowa (-9.5) vs Maryland – 12 PM ET
Charlotte (+17) @ Middle Tennessee – 3 PM ET
Rice (+24) @ Florida Intl – 7:30 PM ET

Tier One Games (Must Watch)

#6Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) @ #24Michigan State (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, FOX

Michigan is playing like a top four team right now according to the CSD Computer Rankings, which is an observation that I think many of you could make on your own. As Ohio State struggles with teams like Minnesota, Michigan clocked Wisconsin last week, and if the Wolverines win again here, I would have no qualms if you call them the new Big Ten favorites. Last week, I said that Michigan State would knock off a top ten team at some point this season, I just didn’t have the confidence to say which one, and last week, they beat James Franklin’s Penn State team with some last second antics that have become synonymous with Mark Dantonio in big games with the Spartans. However, I think their luck runs out here against Michigan. The Wolverine pass defense is one of the best in the country, and I think they force a poor performance from Brian Lewerke, and hold the Spartans to under 20 points in a low-scoring rivalry showdown where Shea Patterson does enough to carry Jim Harbaugh to his second straight victory in East Lansing.

Prediction: Michigan 26, Michigan State 19

#9Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) @ TCU (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) – 12 PM ET, ABC

TCU’s Big 12 title hopes and Oklahoma’s national title hopes are both on the line in this noon Big 12 showdown. The Sooners are 6-1 all time against the Horned Frogs, including an absolute stomping of Gary Patterson’s team in the Big 12 Championship Game last season. Even though this one is in Fort Worth, I don’t expect a very different result. OU is coming off of a bye, and Kyler Murray has been extraordinary this year so far. Murray has passed with a 71.1% completion rate at 13.1 YPA along with 6.6 YPC on the ground. While this will be TCU’s super bowl, and I think their defense will show up for at least the first half, I don’t have the confidence in Shawn Robinson and the rest of the TCU offense to put up enough points to compete with the prolific OU group. Give me Lincoln Riley and the Sooners by two touchdowns.

Prediction: Oklahoma 37, TCU 23

#2Ohio State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) @Purdue (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) – 7:30 PM ET, ABC

You might be surprised to see this game in the tier one list over NC State vs Clemson, but Ohio State is ranked lower than Clemson in the model, and Purdue is ranked higher than NC State, so this will be a more competitive game. Vegas agrees, and the spread for this game is five points tighter than that of the ACC Atlantic showdown. While Purdue has a 3-3 record, my numbers say that they’ve more played like a 4-2 or 5-1 team, they just have happened to catch some unlucky breaks, and anybody that watched any of Purdue’s first three games will back up my numbers on that. With the Boilermakers in primetime, something they don’t get very often, the atmosphere should be electric for this showdown, and I really think that Jeff Brohm’s guys will make this one quite interesting for about three quarters before Ohio State’s pure talent and athleticism leads them to pull away, but it will be closer than you think.

Prediction: Ohio State 43, Purdue 32

#12Oregon (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) @ #25Washington State (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) – 7:30 PM ET, FOX

After 15 years of Ol’ Crimson being waved on every College GameDay show, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and the rest are coming to Pullman, Washington for the first time ever as the Washington State Cougars host Oregon. The Ducks are fresh off of an overtime victory against Washington, but the atmosphere will be electric on Saturday night, as the ‘Cougs host their biggest game in school history. Its hard for me to bet against Oregon QB Justin Herbert, one of my favorite players to watch this year, but Wazzu QB Gardner Minshew has been quite tremendous so far this season as well (69% completion rate), and with the home crowd behind him, I’ve got the terrific defensive line of Washington State leading Wazzu to a victory that will move them into 1st place in the Pac-12 North standings.

Prediction: Washington State 34, Oregon 32

USC (4-2, 3-1 Pac-12) @ Utah (4-2, 2-2 Pac-12) – 8 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Don’t look now AP voters, but even at a 4-2 record, both of these teams are ranked higher than the two previous teams by my computer, and while that game may put Washington State in the driver’s seat in the North, this game will pretty much decide the South, especially given how inflated Colorado’s record has been so far this year. After clocking Stanford and Arizona in back to back weeks, the computer sees Utah as a hot hand right now, and the Utes are playing like a top 15 team. The offense is starting to click after struggling out of the gate, and the defense is stout as ever. Expect the home team’s line to pressure USC QB JT Daniels throughout the game, forcing him to make some tough throws under pressure, and leading to some mistakes from the youngster. Give me Utah by more than a touchdown.

Prediction: Utah 31, USC 22

Tier Two Games (Maybe Watch)

Stanford (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) @ Arizona State (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) – 9 PM ET on Thursday, 10/18, ESPN

Prediction: Arizona State 28, Stanford 25 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

Maryland (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) @ #19Iowa (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Iowa 33, Maryland 18 <- BEST BET ALERT

#20Cincinnati (6-0, 2-0 American) @ Temple (4-3, 3-0 American) – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Temple 28, Cincinnati 27

Buffalo (6-1, 3-0 MAC) @ Toledo (3-3, 1-1 MAC) – 12 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Buffalo 37, Toledo 30 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

Auburn (4-3, 1-3 SEC) @ Ole Miss (5-2, 1-2 SEC) – 12 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Ole Miss 34, Auburn 30 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

Miami-OH (3-4) @ Army (4-2) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Army 32, Miami-OH 25

North Carolina (1-4, 1-2 ACC) @ Syracuse (4-2, 1-2 ACC) – 12:20 PM ET, ACC Network

Prediction: Syracuse 32, North Carolina 26

Virginia (4-2, 2-1 ACC) @ Duke (5-1, 1-1 ACC) – 12:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Duke 27, Virginia 19

Florida Atlantic (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) @ Marshall (4-2, 2-1 C-USA) – 2:30 PM ET, C-USA Facebook

Prediction: Florida Atlantic 34, Marshall 30

#1Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) @ Tennessee (3-3, 1-2 SEC) – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

Prediction: Alabama 49, Tennessee 16

#16NC State (5-0, 2-0 ACC) @ #3Clemson (6-0, 3-0 ACC) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Clemson 41, NC State 23

Colorado (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) @ #15Washington (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) – 3:30 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Washington 36, Colorado 22

#18Penn State (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) @ Indiana (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Penn State 41, Indiana 24

Minnesota (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten) @ Nebraska (0-6, 0-4 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Nebraska 29, Minnesota 24

Memphis (4-3) @ Missouri (3-3) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Missouri 38, Memphis 35

California (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) @ Oregon State (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) – 4 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Prediction: California 35, Oregon State 23

#22Mississippi State (4-2, 1-2 SEC) @ #5LSU (6-1, 3-1 SEC) – 7 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: LSU 32, Mississippi State 21

Vanderbilt (3-4, 0-3 SEC) @ #14Kentucky (5-1, 3-1 SEC) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Kentucky 30, Vanderbilt 18

Fresno State (5-1, 2-0 MW) @ New Mexico (3-3, 1-1 MW) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Fresno State 32, New Mexico 17

North Texas (6-1, 2-1 C-USA) @ UAB (5-1, 3-0 C-USA) – 7:30 PM ET, beIN Sports

Prediction: UAB 30, North Texas 27 <- UPSET ALERT

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

Georgia State (2-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) @Arkansas State (3-3, 0-2 Sun Belt) – 7:30 PM ET on Thursday, 10/18, ESPNU

Prediction: Arkansas State 34, Georgia State 22

Colorado State (3-4, 2-1 MW) @ Boise State (4-2, 2-1 MW) – 9 PM ET on Friday, 10/19, ESPN2

Prediction: Boise State 39, Colorado State 20 <- BEST BET ALERT

Air Force (2-4, 0-3 MW) @ UNLV (2-4, 0-2 MW) – 10 PM ET on Friday, 10/19, CBSSN

Prediction: Air Force 31, UNLV 24 <- BEST BET ALERT

Illinois (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) @ #23Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Wisconsin 39, Illinois 15

Tulsa (1-5) @ Arkansas (1-6) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Arkansas 28, Tulsa 23

Northwestern (3-3, 3-1 Big Ten) @ Rutgers (1-6, 0-4 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Northwestern 34, Rutgers 12

Bowling Green (1-6, 0-3 MAC) @ Ohio (3-3, 1-1 MAC) – 2 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Ohio 41, Bowling Green 27

Utah State (5-1, 2-0 MW) @ Wyoming (2-5, 0-3 MW) – 2:30 PM ET, AT&T Sports Network

Prediction: Utah State 33, Wyoming 17

Charlotte (3-3, 2-1 C-USA) @ Middle Tennessee (3-3, 2-1 C-USA) – 3 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Middle Tennessee 31, Charlotte 22 <- BEST BET ALERT

Eastern Michigan (3-4, 1-3 MAC) @ Ball State (3-4, 2-1 MAC) – 3 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Eastern Michigan 28, Ball State 24

Western Michigan (5-2, 3-0 MAC) @ Central Michigan (1-6, 0-3 MAC) – 3 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Michigan 32, Central Michigan 23

Coastal Carolina (3-3) @ UMass (2-5) – 3:30 PM ET, Eleven Sports

Prediction: UMass 38, Coastal Carolina 35

Houston (5-1, 2-0 American) @ Navy (2-4, 1-2 American) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Houston 37, Navy 24

SMU (2-4, 1-1 American) @ Tulane (2-4, 1-1 American) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Tulane 35, SMU 24

Akron (2-3, 0-2 MAC) @ Kent State (1-6, 0-3 MAC) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Akron 25, Kent State 22

Louisiana (3-3, 1-1 Sun Belt) @ Appalachian State (4-1, 2-0 Sun Belt) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Appalachian State 45, Louisiana 20

UTEP (0-6, 0-2 C-USA) @ Louisiana Tech (4-2, 2-1 C-USA) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Louisiana Tech 36, UTEP 15

Wake Forest (3-3, 0-2 ACC) @ Florida State (3-3, 1-3 ACC) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Florida State 34, Wake Forest 25

Kansas (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) @ Texas Tech (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) – 3:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Texas Tech 40, Kansas 21

Georgia Southern (5-1) @ New Mexico State (2-5) – 4 PM ET, AggieVision

Prediction: Georgia Southern 36, New Mexico State 23

#10UCF (6-0, 3-0 American) @ East Carolina (2-4, 0-3 American) – 7 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: UCF 46, East Carolina 23

UConn (1-5, 0-3 American) @ #21South Florida (6-0, 2-0 American) – 7 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: South Florida 51, UConn 17

UTSA (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) @ Southern Mississippi (2-3, 1-1 C-USA) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Southern Mississippi 28, UTSA 14

Texas State (1-5, 0-3 Sun Belt) @ UL Monroe (3-4, 1-2 Sun Belt) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: UL Monroe 29, Texas State 25

Rice (1-6, 0-3 C-USA) @ Florida Intl (4-2, 2-0 C-USA) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Florida Intl 35, Rice 18 <- BEST BET ALERT

Old Dominion (1-6, 0-4 C-USA) @ Western Kentucky (1-5, 0-2 C-USA) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Kentucky 29, Old Dominion 26

Arizona (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) @ UCLA (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: UCLA 30, Arizona 25

San Jose State (0-6, 0-2 MW) @ San Diego State (5-1, 2-0 MW) – 10:30 PM ET, CBSSN 

Prediction: San Diego State 36, San Jose State 9

Nevada (3-4, 1-2 MW) @ Hawai’i (6-2, 3-0 MW) – 11:59 PM ET, Stadium App

Prediction: Hawai’i 38, Nevada 37

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Idaho State @ Liberty (3-3) – 2 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Liberty

Week Seven Predictions

ATS Best Bets

Rutgers (+24) @ Maryland – 12 PM ET
Buffalo (-10.5) vs Akron – 12 PM ET
Louisville (+14) @ Boston College – 12:30 PM ET
UAB (-16) @ Rice – 1 PM ET
Troy (-9) @ Liberty – 2 PM ET
Southern Mississippi (+9.5) @ North Texas – 2 PM ET
Pittsburgh (+22) @ Notre Dame – 2:30 PM ET
Charlotte (+9.5) vs Western Kentucky – 3:30 PM ET
UNLV (+27.5) vs Utah State – 4 PM ET
New Mexico State (+10) @ Louisiana – 5 PM ET
Virginia Tech (-5.5) @ North Carolina – 7 PM ET
Hawai’i (+11.5) @ BYU – 10:15 PM ET
Wyoming (+20.5) @ Fresno State – 10:30 PM ET

Tier One Games (Must Watch)

#2Georgia (6-0, 4-0 SEC) @ #13LSU (5-1, 2-1 SEC) – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

The game of the week for week seven comes out of the Southeastern Conference as we have one of the biggest cross-divisional games in any conference this year. A loss for LSU means that they would no longer control their own destiny to an SEC Championship berth, and likely would end the Tigers’ playoff hopes. A win would push them right back into the top ten (where they currently stand in my computer’s rankings). While it is fair to say that the Tigers are perhaps playing with more on the line and have the home field edge, I’m still picking Georgia. Jake Fromm has been better than a lot of people are giving him credit for. The sophomore sensation has thrown at a 73% completion rate at an extraordinary clip of 10.5 yards per attempt. I just think the Georgia defense will force Joe Burrow to make a couple costly mistakes, and the experienced Fromm will be as cool as ice en route to a close Bulldog win.

Prediction: Georgia 33, LSU 26

#7Washington (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) @ #17Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC or ESPN2

While the previous game is probably the biggest game of the week, this one is pretty close as I view this practically as a tossup. The computer model is a little lower on Oregon than the polls because of their lack of any wins over any good teams besides… um…. Cal? On the plus side for the Ducks, Justin Herbert has probably been the best quarterback in college football this year from an NFL scouting perspective, but he has not faced a defense like Washington, mainly because there may be no secondary in the country better than the Huskies’ last line of defense. The UW D has given up just 14 points per game, and while I do expect Herbert and the Ducks to get past that number, I don’t have the same faith in the Oregon defense to stop Browning, Gaskins, and the rest of the talented UW offense. I’ll take Washington, but I am by no means confident in it. A win for the Huskies would all but cement their place as Pac-12 North champions, while an Oregon win would essentially eliminate the entire conference from playoff contention barring anything crazy elsewhere over the next eight weeks. This is a big one, so make sure you keep an eye on it.

Prediction: Washington 32, Oregon 31

Michigan State (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) @ #8Penn State (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM ET, FS1

Michigan State has consistently underperformed expectations so far this year, and while you just know that Mark Dantonio and company are going to pull an upset at some point this season, I just can’t put any faith in the Spartans to beat a Penn State team that I see at an elite level with the top tier of undefeated teams. The Nittany Lions, on the back of Trace McSorley’s dual-threat attack, are far and away my model’s highest ranked one-loss team (and they actually passed Ohio State this week after the Buckeyes struggled for a half with Indiana). The MSU run defense will be able to defend the read option for a little while, but in the end I see McSorley and company pulling away and coming out of this game with a decisive win, keeping their College Football Playoff hopes alive.

Prediction: Penn State 37, Michigan State 25

#22Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1 SEC) @ South Carolina (3-2, 2-2 SEC) – 3:30 PM ET, SEC Network

This 3:30 time slot is absolutely loaded. Texas A&M, far and away the best two-loss team in the country (their only losses are to Clemson and Alabama) came in at 13th in the most recent edition of my computer rankings, and they will travel to Columbia to face a Gamecocks team that won a game they had no business winning against Missouri last week. I was surprised when I saw this game as a near toss up in Vegas, because I have a lot of faith in this Aggie team, especially the defense. A&M held Clemson to just 28 points in their week two matchup with the Tigers, while Trevor Lawrence and company have averaged 45 points per game in their other five matchups. Expect Jake Bentley to struggle against a stout Aggie defense, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if backup Michael Scarnecchia gets some playing time like he did last week.

Prediction: Texas A&M 29, South Carolina 23

Missouri (3-2, 0-2 SEC) @ #1Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) – 7 PM ET, ESPN

Drew Lock has not played like a first round NFL quarterback so far this year, but that can all be erased with a good performance here, as when scouts go to watch Lock’s tape this will be the first one they put in to watch. Lock will have to go on the road to face one of the best defenses in the country, and while I don’t really think the result of this game will ever be in question, a good performance from Lock may keep this close, at least for a half. Missouri should have beaten South Carolina last week, and they actually moved up into the model’s top 20 last week (#18), but despite that, Alabama is still projected to take this one by 20, how crazy is that. Tua Tagovailoa will throw four touchdowns in the first half, and Jalen Hurts will come in for the second and ride this one out to a Bama victory.

Prediction: Alabama 50, Missouri 26

#6West Virginia (5-0, 3-0 Big 12) @ Iowa State (2-3, 1-2 Big 12) – 7 PM ET, FS1

I’ve already talked about the best one-loss team in the country (Penn State) and the best two-loss team in the country (Texas A&M), but now it is time to take a look at college football’s top three-loss team, the Iowa State Cyclones, who are actually ranked towards the bottom end of the model’s top 25 despite holding a losing record. The Cyclones’ three losses are to the model’s #29 team on the road, its #19 team on the road, and the #7 team, Oklahoma, all of which were by ten points or fewer. Those being Iowa, TCU, and Oklahoma, quite the trio of losses. The Cyclones also went into Stillwater and beat a very good Oklahoma State team last week, so when you see a team with a losing record as just a touchdown underdog to the #6 team, don’t be surprised, Iowa State is getting the respect from Vegas that the national media won’t give it. While I’m not ballsy enough to call for Iowa State to pull a 2012 style upset of Will Grier and the Mountaineers in primetime, I will tell you to keep an eye on this one, because we will almost certainly be in store for an exciting finish in a game that will have a lot more defense than you may expect from a Big 12 matchup.

Prediction: West Virginia 33, Iowa State 26

#16Miami (5-1, 2-0 ACC) @ Virginia (3-2, 1-1 ACC) – 7 PM ET, ESPN2

Imagine me telling you before the season that Virginia would be a key piece in the ACC Coastal race, but the Cavaliers are the model’s #3 ranked team in the Coastal, only behind in-state rival Virginia Tech and their opponent this week, the Miami Hurricanes. Virginia is just a touchdown dog here at home, and similar to the Iowa State game, this is definitely one to keep an eye on in the late slot. Bryce Perkins has energized the UVA offense with his dual-threat capability, and Olamide Zaccheus and Jordan Ellis are two names to keep an eye on in this one if you haven’t seen Virginia play much this year. I have little to no confidence in the Miami offense, but their defense is the best unit in this game and should hold Virginia to around 20 points, but I’d keep checking the score of this one to see if the ‘Canes are on upset watch, because Miami did not give me much faith with their performance last week.

Prediction: Miami 30, Virginia 20

#15Wisconsin (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) @ #12Michigan (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten) – 7:30 PM ET, ABC

College Gameday will be in town for a game that feels quite “meh” to me. This is at best the fourth most exciting game of the weekend, and that is because my model is quite confident in Michigan here (83%) which is obviously not 100%, but a lot higher than you might expect. Wisconsin has underwhelmed at pretty much every stage this year, and is at risk of dropping out of the model’s top 25 with a poor performance here. Michigan on the other hand, is currently ranked sixth in the nation in the model, and are without a doubt still a playoff contender in the crowded Big Ten East that the model says holds three of the top six in the country (but then again, it also has Rutgers). I picked on Shea Patterson a lot in the preseason, and the model was originally pretty low on Michigan, but I’ve turned the corner on Shea (I still think Jordan Ta’amu is better though) and I’d expect Michigan to be in control of this one more or less from start to finish, but in the Michigan way, the score will look a lot closer than that.

Prediction: Michigan 30, Wisconsin 25

Tier Two Games (Maybe Watch)

Appalachian State (3-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) @ Arkansas State (3-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) – 8 PM ET on Tuesday 10/9, ESPN2

Prediction: Appalachian State 39, Arkansas State 30

Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) @ TCU (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) – 7:30 PM ET on Thursday 10/11, ESPN

Prediction: TCU 33, Texas Tech 26

#23South Florida (5-0, 1-0 American) @ Tulsa (1-4, 0-2 American) – 7 PM ET on Friday 10/12, ESPN

Prediction: South Florida 36, Tulsa 24

Arizona (3-3, 2-1 Pac-12) @ Utah (3-2, 1-2 Pac-12) – 10 PM ET on Friday 10/12, ESPN

Prediction: Utah 33, Arizona 23

Minnesota (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten) @ #3Ohio State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Ohio State 45, Minnesota 15

#14Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC) @ Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-2 SEC) – 12 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Florida 31, Vanderbilt 21

Iowa (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) @ Indiana (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Iowa 32, Indiana 28

Nebraska (0-5, 0-3 Big Ten) @ Northwestern (2-3, 2-1 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Northwestern 31, Nebraska 23

Oklahoma State (4-2, 1-2 Big 12) @ Kansas State (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Oklahoma State 39, Kansas State 27

Duke (4-1, 0-1 ACC) @ Georgia Tech (3-3, 1-2 ACC) – 12:20 PM ET, ACC Network

Prediction: Duke 32, Georgia Tech 31 <- UPSET ALERT

Southern Mississippi (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) @ North Texas (5-1, 1-1 C-USA) – 2 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: North Texas 33, Southern Mississippi 30 <- BEST BET ALERT

Pittsburgh (3-3) @ #5Notre Dame (6-0) – 2:30 PM ET, NBC

Prediction: Notre Dame 36, Pittsburgh 22

Baylor (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) @ #9Texas (5-1, 3-0 Big 12) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Texas 33, Baylor 21

#10UCF (5-0, 2-0 American) @ Memphis (4-2, 1-2 American) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC or ESPN2

Prediction: UCF 46, Memphis 43

Purdue (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) @ Illinois (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Purdue 33, Illinois 21

Virginia Tech (3-2, 2-0 ACC) @ North Carolina (1-3, 1-1 ACC) – 7 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Virginia Tech 32, North Carolina 19 <- BEST BET ALERT

UCLA (0-5, 0-2 Pac-12) @ California (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) – 7 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Prediction: California 32, UCLA 22

Ole Miss (4-2, 0-2 SEC) @ Arkansas (1-5, 0-3 SEC) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Ole Miss 40, Arkansas 28

#19Colorado (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) @ USC (3-2, 2-1 Pac-12) – 10:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: USC 34, Colorado 27

Boise State (3-2, 1-1 MW) @ Nevada (3-3, 1-1 MW) – 10:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Boise State 36, Nevada 23

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

Georgia Southern (4-1, 2-0 Sun Belt) @ Texas State (1-4, 0-2 Sun Belt) – 7:30 PM ET on Thursday 10/11, ESPNU

Prediction: Georgia Southern 35, Texas State 20

Air Force (2-3, 0-2 MW) @ San Diego State (4-1, 1-0 MW) – 9 PM ET on Friday 10/12, CBSSN

Prediction: San Diego State 31, Air Force 17

Tennessee (2-3, 0-2 SEC) @ #21Auburn (4-2, 1-2 SEC) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Auburn 33, Tennessee 18

Rutgers (1-5, 0-3 Big Ten) @ Maryland (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Maryland 32, Rutgers 14 <- BEST BET ALERT

Akron (2-2, 0-1 MAC) @ Buffalo (5-1, 2-0 MAC) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Buffalo 36, Akron 19 <- BEST BET ALERT

Toledo (3-2, 1-0 MAC) @ Eastern Michigan (2-4, 0-3 MAC) – 12 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Toledo 32, Eastern Michigan 31

Louisville (2-4, 0-3 ACC) @ Boston College (4-2, 1-1 ACC) – 12:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Boston College 35, Louisville 27 <- BEST BET ALEET

UAB (4-1, 2-0 C-USA) @ Rice (1-5, 0-2 C-USA) – 1 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: UAB 36, Rice 15 <- BEST BET ALERT

Troy (5-1) @ Liberty (2-3) – 2 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Troy 40, Liberty 25 <- BEST BET ALERT

Kent State (1-5, 0-2 MAC) @ Miami-OH (2-4, 2-1 MAC) – 2:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Miami-OH 35, Kent State 20

Western Michigan (4-2, 2-0 MAC) @ Bowling Green (1-5, 0-2 MAC) – 3 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Michigan 38, Bowling Green 24

Ball State (2-4, 1-1 MAC) @ Central Michigan (1-5, 0-2 MAC) – 3 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Central Michigan 25, Ball State 24

Ohio (3-2, 1-0 MAC) @ Northern Illinois (3-3, 3-0 MAC) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Ohio 27, Northern Illinois 26 <- UPSET ALERT

Temple (3-3, 2-0 American) @ Navy (2-3, 1-1 American) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Temple 34, Navy 26

Western Kentucky (1-4, 0-1 C-USA) @ Charlotte (2-3, 1-1 C-USA) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Kentucky 22, Charlotte 19 <- BEST BET ALERT

Marshall (3-2, 1-1 C-USA) @ Old Dominion (1-5, 0-3 C-USA) – 3:30 PM ET, Stadium

Prediction: Marshall 32, Old Dominion 28

Army (3-2) vs San Jose State (0-5) in Santa Clara, CA – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Army 34, San Jose State 16

New Mexico (3-2, 1-0 MW) @ Colorado State (2-4, 1-1 MW) – 4 PM ET, AT&T Sports Network

Prediction: Colorado State 37, New Mexico 36 <- UPSET ALERT

UNLV (2-3, 0-1 MW) @ Utah State (4-1, 1-0 MW) – 4 PM ET, MWC Facebook

Prediction: Utah State 41, UNLV 23 <- BEST BET ALERT

New Mexico State (2-4) @ Louisiana (2-3) – 5 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Louisiana 33, New Mexico State 30

UL Monroe (2-4, 0-2 Sun Belt) @ Coastal Carolina (3-2, 1-1 Sun Belt) – 6 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Coastal Carolina 30, UL Monroe 21

Houston (4-1, 1-0 American) @ East Carolina (2-3, 0-2 American) – 7 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Houston 43, East Carolina 26

Louisiana Tech (3-2, 1-1 C-USA) @ UTSA (3-3, 2-0 C-USA) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Louisiana Tech 26, UTSA 17

Middle Tennessee (3-2, 2-0 C-USA) @ Florida Intl (3-2, 1-0 C-USA) – 7:30 PM ET, beIN Sports

Prediction: Middle Tennessee 29, Florida Intl 27 <- UPSET ALERT

Hawai’i (6-1) @ BYU (3-3) – 10:15 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: BYU 26, Hawai’i 23 <- BEST BET ALERT

Wyoming (2-5, 0-2 MW) @ Fresno State (4-1, 1-0 MW) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Fresno State 31, Wyoming 16 <- BEST BET ALERT

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Alabama State @ South Alabama (1-5) – 5 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: South Alabama

Week Six Predictions

Note: All rankings are the AP Top 25, not my computer’s rankings

ATS Best Bets

Utah State (+3) @ BYU – 9 PM ET on Friday
Kansas (+29.5) @ West Virginia – 12 PM ET
San Diego State (+15) vs Boise State – 3:30 PM ET
Iowa (-5.5) @ Minnesota – 3:30 PM ET
UAB (+9.5) @ Louisiana Tech – 7 PM ET
Texas State (+4) vs Louisiana – 7 PM ET
Virginia Tech (+7) vs Notre Dame – 8 PM ET

Tier One Games (Must Watch)

#19Texas (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) vs #7Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) in Dallas, TX – 12 PM ET, FOX

Even as down has Texas has been recently and as good as Oklahoma has been, this game almost never fails to disappoint, and the atmosphere in the Cotton Bowl is one of the best sites to see in college football every year. Texas has really impressed me recently with wins over TCU and USC, but they will face their toughest test yet as they face preemptive Big 12 favorite Oklahoma in a game where a win would do wonders for their conference title hopes. However, Oklahoma’s offense has been absolutely humming this year with Kyler Murray (13.4 YPA, 70.6% completion rate, 6.2 YPC) at the helm, averaging 49 points per game en route to a 5-0 start, I think the Texas defense is able to limit OU a little in the first half, but Murray, Sermon, and the rest of the crew break it open in the second half to win and cover.

Prediction: Oklahoma 37, Texas 28

#5LSU (5-0, 2-0 SEC) @ #22Florida (4-1, 2-1 SEC) – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

After losing to Kentucky at the beginning of the year, many thought that year one under Dan Mullen would just be like any other in recent memory for Florida fans, but it turns out that Kentucky is actually really good, and so are the Gators. The 13-6 final score does not tell the whole story of UF’s road win over a Mississippi State team many picked as a darkhorse playoff team before the season, Florida absolutely dominated that game with a defense so stout that many were calling for one of the most prolific QB rushers in SEC history to be benched. However, the Gators will run into the buzzsaw that is LSU this week. The Tigers have the best resume in the country so far this year, including wins over two top 15 teams in Miami and Auburn. I’d expect a low scoring close affair where Nick Brosette and the Tigers escape with another last minute field goal on the road, very similar to that Auburn game.

Prediction: LSU 27, Florida 24

#13Kentucky (5-0, 3-0 SEC) @ Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1 SEC) – 7 PM ET, ESPN

That same Kentucky team I just mentioned will be a big part of this weekend as well, as they will travel to Aggieville to take on a Texas A&M team that is miles better than that 3-2 record indicates, A&M’s losses are to two of the top four teams in the country, Clemson and Alabama. I know I was just talking about how good Kentucky is, and they’ve outperformed the model’s projections in every FBS game they’ve played this year (FCS games do not count towards the model), but I just can’t help but to expect some regression to the mean. A&M did not look great against Arkansas last week, but the defense is one of the best in the country, I’d be shocked if Big Blue cracks 30 in this one, so all Kellen Mond has to do is be the Kellen Mond we saw against Clemson, not Arkansas, and this could be where it all comes crashing down for the Wildcats (although I do expect UK to cover the spread).

Prediction: Texas A&M 28, Kentucky 26

 #6Notre Dame (5-0) @ #24Virginia Tech (3-1) – 8 PM ET, ABC

Kirk Herbstreit and company will be in Blacksburg for this 8 eastern ABC showdown between two football powerhouses. These have been two of the more inconsistent teams in the country, Notre Dame played tossup games with Ball State and Vanderbilt, but also dominated Stanford. Virginia Tech played a tossup game (and lost) against Old Dominion, and beat a Florida State team that was projected to be top 25 good (although they probably aren’t) and murdered a ranked Duke team on the road last week in a game you probably didn’t see because like eight of the ten best games of the week were on at the same time. Even though the game is in Blacksburg, I’m going to side with Ian Book and the Irish here. Ever since they made the move to Book after the near-loss to Vandy, the Irish have looked untouchable, and if the Virginia Tech defense puts in another performance like they did against Old Dominion, things could get ugly for the Hokies. I have enough faith in Bud Foster to predict that that will not happen and the Hokies will cover the spread and hold ND to under 30, but I don’t have enough faith in Ryan Willis to outscore the Irish just because of one good performance. Give me Notre Dame, but close.

Prediction: Notre Dame 29, Virginia Tech 27 <- BEST BET ALERT

Utah (2-2, 0-2 Pac-12) @ #14Stanford (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPN

Utah is another team that is probably better than that 2-2 record suggests, as both the Washington State game and the Washington game were pretty close to toss ups according to the model. The Utes’ defense is one of the best in the country and its offense is one of the worst, but they are desperate for a victory to keep their Pac-12 South hopes alive. However, Stanford is desperate as well and they come into this game reeling after putting up another loss for the Pac-12 in high profile non-conference games last week. Both teams really need this win and you should stay up for this game even though it will be low scoring. I really am tempted to pick Utah here, as Stanford is quite overrated by the polls according to my model, but I can’t trust a team with a failing offense to go on the road in a 7:30 local kick game and show up to play, so I’ve got Stanford, even though I’m not super confident about it.

Prediction: Stanford 25, Utah 22

Tier Two Games (Maybe Watch)

Tulsa (1-3, 0-1 American) Houston (3-1) – 8 PM ET on Thursday, 10/4, ESPN

Prediction: Houston 43, Tulsa 24

Georgia Tech (2-3, 0-2 ACC) @ Louisville (2-3, 0-2 ACC) – 7 PM ET on Friday, 10/5, ESPN

Prediction: Georgia Tech 30, Louisville 27

Utah State (3-1) @ BYU (3-2) – 9 PM ET on Friday, 10/5, ESPN2

Prediction: Utah State 31, BYU 27 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

#1Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) @ Arkansas (1-4, 0-2 SEC) – 12 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Alabama 49, Arkansas 13

Maryland (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) @ #15Michigan (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Michigan 35, Maryland 14

Northwestern (1-3, 1-1 Big Ten) @ #20Michigan State (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Michigan State 30, Northwestern 22

Missouri (3-1, 0-1 SEC) @ South Carolina (2-2, 1-2 SEC) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Missouri 30, South Carolina 29 <- UPSET ALERT

Tulane (2-3, 1-0 American) @ Cincinnati (5-0, 1-0 American) – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Cincinnati 31, Tulane 22

Syracuse (4-1, 1-1 ACC) @ Pittsburgh (2-3, 1-1 ACC) – 12:20 PM ET, ACC Network

Prediction: Syracuse 27, Pittsburgh 24

Boston College (4-1, 1-0 ACC) @ #23NC State (4-0, 1-0 ACC) – 12:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: NC State 36, Boston College 30

#4Clemson (5-0, 2-0 ACC) @ Wake Forest (3-2, 0-1 ACC) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Clemson 45, Wake Forest 24

Florida State (3-2, 1-2 ACC) @ #17Miami (4-1, 1-0 ACC) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Miami 30, Florida State 23

Iowa State (1-3, 0-2 Big 12) @ #25Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Iowa State 23

San Diego State (3-1) @ Boise State (3-1, 1-0 MW) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Boise State 33, San Diego State 25 <- BEST BET ALERT

Iowa (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) @ Minnesota (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Iowa 28, Minnesota 16 <- BEST BET ALERT

Kansas State (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) @ Baylor (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) – 3:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Baylor 30, Kansas State 26

Indiana (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) @ #3Ohio State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) – 4 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Ohio State 46, Indiana 23

Arizona State (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) @ #21Colorado (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) – 4 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Prediction: Arizona State 30, Colorado 29 <- UPSET ALERT

Vanderbilt (3-2, 0-1 SEC) @ #2Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Georgia 43, Vanderbilt 18

#8Auburn (4-1, 1-1 SEC) @ Mississippi State (3-2, 0-2 SEC) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Auburn 30, Mississippi  State 24

#10Washington (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) @ UCLA (0-4, 0-1 Pac-12) – 7:30 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Washington 38, UCLA 16

Nebraska (0-4, 0-2 Big Ten) @ #16Wisconsin (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) – 7:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Wisconsin 39, Nebraska 16

California (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) @ Arizona (2-3, 1-1 Pac-12) – 10 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Arizona 28, California 27

Fresno State (3-1) @ Nevada (3-2, 1-0 MW) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Fresno State 39, Nevada 28

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

Georgia State (2-3, 1-0 Sun Belt) @ Troy (4-1, 2-0 Sun Belt) – 7:30 PM ET on Thursday, 10/4, ESPNU

Prediction: Troy 38, Georgia State 21

Middle Tennessee (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) @ Marshall (3-1, 1-0 C-USA) – 7:30 PM ET on Friday, 10/5, CBSSN

Prediction: Marshall 24, Middle Tennessee 23

Kansas (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) @ #9West Virginia (4-0, 2-0 Big 12) – 12 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: West Virginia 40, Kansas 18 <- BEST BET ALERT

Illinois (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) @ Rutgers (1-4, 0-2 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Illinois 20, Rutgers 16

East Carolina (1-2, 0-1 American) @ Temple (2-3, 1-0 American) – 12 PM ET, ESPN News

Prediction: Temple 34, East Carolina 21

Buffalo (4-1, 1-0 MAC) @ Central Michigan (1-4, 0-1 MAC) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Buffalo 32, Central Michigan 21

Eastern Michigan (2-3, 0-2 MAC) @ Western Michigan (2-2, 1-0 MAC) – 12 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Michigan 32, Eastern Michigan 24

Northern Illinois (2-3, 2-0 MAC) @ Ball State (2-3, 1-0 MAC) – 3 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Northern Illinois 24, Ball State 19

Ohio (2-2) @ Kent State (1-4, 0-1 MAC) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Ohio 44, Kent State 22

Miami-OH (1-4, 1-1 MAC) @ Akron (2-1) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Miami-OH 24, Akron 22

South Alabama (1-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) @ Georgia Southern (3-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Georgia Southern 34, South Alabama 23

Navy (2-2) @ Air Force (1-3) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Navy 31, Air Force 24

Bowling Green (1-4, 0-1 MAC) @ Toledo (2-2) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Toledo 44, Bowling Green 25

South Florida (4-0) @ UMass (2-4) – 3:30 PM ET, Eleven Sports

Prediction: South Florida 42, UMass 27

UL Monroe (2-3) @ Ole Miss (3-2) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Ole Miss 45, UL Monroe 23

New Mexico (2-2) @ UNLV (2-2) – 4 PM ET, AT&T Sports Network

Prediction: UNLV 36, New Mexico 23f

Old Dominion (1-4, 0-2 C-USA) @ Florida Atlantic (2-3, 0-1 C-USA) – 5 PM ET, Stadium TV

Prediction: Florida Atlantic 40, Old Dominion 25

SMU (2-3, 1-0 American) @ #12UCF (4-0, 1-0 American) – 7 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: UCF 48, SMU 21

UAB (3-1, 1-0 C-USA) @ Louisiana Tech (3-1, 1-0 C-USA) – 7 PM ET, C-USA Facebook

Prediction: Louisiana Tech 32, UAB 29 <- BEST BET ALERT

UConn (1-4, 0-2 American) @ Memphis (3-2, 0-2 American) – 7 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Memphis 52, UConn 20

UTSA (2-3, 1-0 C-USA) @ Rice (1-4, 0-1 C-USA) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: UTSA 24, Rice 21

Louisiana (1-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) @ Texas State (1-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Texas State 29, Louisiana 28 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

North Texas (4-1, 0-1 C-USA) @ UTEP (0-5, 0-1 C-USA) – 7:30 PM ET, beIN Sports

Prediction: North Texas 40, UTEP 12

Liberty (2-2) @ New Mexico State (1-4) – 8 PM ET, Eleven Sports

Prediction: Liberty 35, New Mexico State 33

Washington State (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) @ Oregon State (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) – 9 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Prediction: Washington State 38, Oregon State 20

Colorado State (1-4, 0-1 MW) @ San Jose State (0-4, 0-1 MW) – 10:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Colorado State 34, San Jose State 31

Wyoming (2-3, 0-1 MW) @ Hawai’i (5-1, 2-0 MW) – 11:59 PM ET, Stadium App

Prediction: Hawai’i 28, Wyoming 27

Tier Gour Games (FBS vs FCS)

None this week

Week Five Predictions

Note: All rankings are the AP Top 25, not my computer’s rankings

ATS Best Bets

Central Michigan (+29) @ Michigan State – 12 PM ET
Arkansas (+21.5) vs* Texas A&M – 12 PM ET
Temple (+14) @ Boston College – 12 PM ET
Georgia State (+8) vs UL Monroe – 2 PM ET
Purdue (-3) @ Nebraska – 3:30 PM ET
Nevada (+6.5)  @ Air Force – 4 PM ET
Florida Atlantic (-3) @ Middle Tennessee – 7 PM ET

*Neutral site

Tier One Games (Must Watch)

#12West Virginia (3-0, 1-0 Big 12) @ #25Texas Tech (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) – 12 PM ET, ESPN2

I’ve been a big skeptic of West Virginia all year, and this will be their first tough game of the season as they will have to go on the road to face my model’s #35 team, Texas Tech. This should be fun and pointsy and should absolutely be your “volume game” for the noon timeslot. TTU is coming off of a road win over a really good Oklahoma State team, and quarterback Alan Bowman has been terrific so far this year for the Red Raiders, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt with a 72% completion rate. However, Will Grier is one of the most talented QBs in the country, and this Texas Tech defense has been absolutely awful thus far. The offenses will go blow for blow, but in the end I just don’t have enough confidence in that Raider defense, so I’m picking West Virginia on the road in a close one.

Prediction: West Virginia 36, Texas Tech 34

Florida (3-1, 1-1 SEC) @ #23Mississippi State (3-1, 0-1 SEC) – 6 PM ET, ESPN

A really fun SEC clash here between two top 40 teams kicks off what is an absolutely loaded primetime timeslot. Both of these teams have been embarrassed by Kentucky in recent weeks, and I do think that the winner will be in the back end of the model’s top 25 come next week (both are currently unranked). Watching Mississippi State last week makes it really hard for me to put my confidence in them right now, and if this game was at Florida I might go the other way, but with the raucous home crowd in Starkville welcoming back their former coach, I think that Nick Fitzgerald and company edge out a win, but it will be a lot closer than many think.

Prediction: Mississippi State 27, Florida 24

#4Ohio State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) @ #9Penn State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) – 7:30 PM ET, ABC

Clearly the biggest game of the season so far pits the model’s #3 team, Ohio State, against its #6 team, Penn State. This should be where the entire nation is watching for college football week five, as a win by either team begins their College Football Playoff resume (although Ohio State’s probably began a couple weeks ago with their win over TCU). The game is in Happy Valley and the white out will be in full effect, but bar maybe only Justin Herbert, Dwayne Haskins has been the best quarterback in the country thus far this season. Haskins is connecting on 76% of his passes and is averaging 10.4 yards per attempt, and even against what has been an excellent Penn State defense, I’ve got the Buckeyes walking into Happy Valley and cementing themselves as one of the true top four teams as it stands right now.

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Penn State 32

#7Stanford (4-0) @ #8Notre Dame (4-0) – 7:30 PM ET, NBC

Why isn’t this game at 3:30? This one is going to get massively overshadowed by Penn State-Ohio State, so I don’t see the point in going head to head with the ABC game here if you are NBC. Anyways, this is an absolutely colossal matchup, and while the model is a little lower on Notre Dame (10th) and a lot lower on Stanford (14th), this is still very much one of the biggest games of the season to date as the winner will move to 5-0 and become a major player in the race for the illustrious College Football Playoff spot that has escaped both schools since its inception back in 2014. Ian Book looked like a major upgrade over Brandon Winbush (against Wake Forest, I know) last week, throwing for an incredible 9.6 YPA in a drubbing of the Demon Deacons. With the home crowd at his back, I’m expecting Book to keep up the performance and to lead the Irish to a victory as the Pac-12’s playoff hopes continue to dwindle away.

Prediction: Notre Dame 30, Stanford 27

South Carolina (2-1, 1-1 SEC) @ #17Kentucky (4-0, 2-0 SEC) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

This is the low key under the radar game of the week. The model sees South Carolina as a legitimate top 15 team, and they go on the road here to face a team in Kentucky that is coming off of a win over another team that the model previously ranked in the top 15, that being Mississippi State. This game will come down to whether or not the Gamecocks can find a way to stop dual-threat QB Terry Wilson and NFL prospect RB Benny Snell. Snell looked terrific last Saturday, rushing for over 100 yards, but I can’t imagine that there isn’t some emotional come down following a win like that. I’ve got USC going on the road and sneaking out the upset win.

Prediction: South Carolina 26, Kentucky 24 <- UPSET ALERT

 USC (2-2, 1-1 Pac-12) @ Arizona (2-2, 1-0 Pac-12) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPN2

This game was likely going to decide who would control the Pac-12 South heading into the bulk of conference play heading into the year, but both schools have had massively disappointing starts (although the model is still higher on both than most). This game should still have a sizable impact on the division race, as no team in the Pac-12 South has really stood out to me so far, and the one that was closest to doing so, Utah, is struggling to put up points on offense, averaging 12 points per game against FBS teams so far this year, so yes, this is a game worth staying up for and yes it will have an impact on the Pac-12 race. Consider this a theme, but similar to the Ohio State game, the South Carolina game, and the West Virginia game, I’ve got the road team sneaking away with a tight win. In this one, that means on the back of a JT Daniels at quarterback that has been consistently improving the past few weeks. Daniels is coming off of a big win against Washington State, and I’ve got the Trojans picking up a second conference win.

Prediction: USC 35, Arizona 32

Tier Two Games (Maybe Watch)

North Carolina (1-2, 1-0 ACC) @ #16Miami (3-1) – 8 PM ET on Thursday 9/27, ESPN

Prediction: Miami 35, North Carolina 17

Memphis (3-1, 0-1 American) @ Tulane (1-3) – 8 PM ET on Friday 9/28, ESPN2

Prediction: Memphis 43, Tulane 26

UCLA (0-3) @ Colorado (3-0) – 9 PM ET on Friday 9/28, FS1

Prediction: Colorado 32, UCLA 22

Syracuse (4-0, 1-0 ACC) @ #3Clemson (4-0, 1-0 ACC) – 12 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Clemson 42, Syracuse 17

Arkansas (1-3, 0-1 SEC) vs Texas A&M (2-2, 0-1 SEC) in Arlington, TX – 12 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Texas A&M 36, Arkansas 20 <- BEST BET ALERT

Oklahoma State (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) @ Kansas (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) – 12 PM ET, FSN

Prediction: Oklahoma State 38, Kansas 21

Temple (2-2) @ Boston College (3-1) – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Boston College 37, Temple 28 <- BEST BET TEMPLE +14

Virginia (3-1, 1-0 ACC) @ NC State (3-0) – 12:20 PM ET, ACC Network

Prediction: NC State 28, Virginia 21

Baylor (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) @ #6Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Baylor 22

Pittsburgh (2-2) @ #13UCF (3-0) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: UCF 40, Pittsburgh 22

#18Texas (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) @ Kansas State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) – 3:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Texas 30, Kansas State 21

Western Michigan (2-2) @ Miami OH (1-3, 1-0 MAC) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Michigan 31, Miami OH 29

Purdue (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten) @ Nebraska (0-3, 0-1 Big Ten) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Purdue 36, Nebraska 25 <- BEST BET ALERT

Florida State (2-2, 0-2 ACC) @ Louisville (2-2, 0-1 ACC) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Florida State 28, Louisville 23

#14Michigan (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) @ Northwestern (1-2, 1-0 Big Ten) – 4:30 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Michigan 33, Northwestern 22

Utah (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) @ Washington State (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) – 6 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Prediction: Washington State 27, Utah 24 <- UPSET ALERT

Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0 ACC) @ #22Duke (4-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Duke 25, Virginia Tech 24

Florida Atlantic (2-2) @ Middle Tennessee (1-2) – 7 PM ET, Facebook

Prediction: Florida Atlantic 41, Middle Tennessee 32 <- BEST BET ALERT

Boise State (2-1) @ Wyoming (2-2) – 7 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Boise State 36, Wyoming 20

Iowa State (1-2, 0-1 Big 12) @ TCU (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) – 7 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: TCU 31, Iowa State 21

Louisiana Tech (2-1) @ North Texas (4-0) – 7:30 PM ET, beIN Sports

Prediction: North Texas 39, Louisiana Tech 31

#20BYU (3-1) @ #11Washington (3-1) – 8:30 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Washington 33, BYU 17

Ole Miss (3-1, 0-1 SEC) @ #5LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC) – 9:15 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: LSU 37, Ole Miss 26

#19Oregon (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) @ #24California (3-0) – 10:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Oregon 30, California 27

Toledo (2-1) @ Fresno State (2-1) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Fresno State 38, Toledo 33

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FCS)

Louisiana (1-2) @ #1Alabama (4-0) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Alabama 55, Louisiana 9

Central Michigan (1-3) @ #21Michigan State (2-1) – 12 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Michigan State 36, Central Michigan 16 <- BEST BET ALERT

Indiana (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) @ Rutgers (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Indiana 33, Rutgers 13

Army (2-2) @ Buffalo (4-0) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Buffalo 32, Army 24

Bowling Green (1-3) @ Georgia Tech (1-3) – 12 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Georgia Tech 42, Bowling Green 21

UMass (2-3) @ Ohio (1-2) – 2 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Ohio 39, UMass 28

UL Monroe (2-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) @ Georgia State (1-3) – 2 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: UL Monroe 28, Georgia State 27 <- BEST BET ALERT

Kent State (1-3) @ Ball State (1-3) – 3 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Ball State 25, Kent State 18

Tennessee (2-2, 0-1 SEC) @ #2Georgia (4-0, 2-0 SEC) – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

Prediction: Georgia 45, Tennessee 15

Cincinnati (4-0) @ UConn (1-3, 0-1 American) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Cincinnati 38, UConn 19

Old Dominion (3-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) @ East Carolina (1-2) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: East Carolina 27, Old Dominion 24

Coastal Carolina (3-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) @ Troy (3-1, 1-0 Sun Belt – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Troy 36, Coastal Carolina 24

South Alabama (1-3, 1-0 Sun Belt) @ Appalachian State (2-1) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Appalachian State 44, South Alabama 15

Rice (1-3) @ Wake Forest (2-2) – 3:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Wake Forest 45, Rice 21

Southern Mississippi (2-1) @ #10Auburn – 4 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Auburn 38, Southern Mississippi 17

Nevada (2-2) @ Air Force (1-2, 0-1 MW) – 4 PM ET, ESPN News

Prediction: Air Force 34, Nevada 33 <- BEST BET ALERT

Liberty (1-2) @ New Mexico (2-1) – 6 PM ET, TBD

Prediction: New Mexico 30, Liberty 25

Arkansas State (3-1) @ Georgia Southern (2-1) – 6 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Arkansas State 30, Georgia Southern 23

Northern Illinois (1-3, 1-0 MAC) @ Eastern Michigan (2-2, 0-1 MAC) – 6 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Eastern Michigan 27, Northern Illinois 22

UTEP (0-4) @ UTSA (1-3) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: UTSA 26, UTEP 13

Hawai’i (4-1, 1-0 MW) @ San Jose State (0-3) – 7 PM ET, Spectrum

Prediction: Hawai’i 33, San Jose State 20

Charlotte (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) @ UAB (2-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: UAB 38, Charlotte 19

Marshall (2-1) @ Western Kentucky (1-3) – 7:30 PM ET, Stadium

Prediction: Marshall 28, Western Kentucky 25

Oregon State (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) @ Arizona State (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12) – 10 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Prediction: Arizona State 38, Oregon State 18

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Tennessee State @ Vanderbilt (2-2) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Prediction: Vanderbilt

Houston Baptist @ SMU (1-3) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: SMU

Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Florida Intl (2-2) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Florida Intl

Week Four Predictions

ATS Best Bets

Temple (-6.5) vs Tulsa – 7:30 PM ET on Thursday
Akron (+20) @ Iowa State – 12 PM ET
Western Kentucky (+3.5) @ Ball State – 3 PM ET
FIU (+27) @ Miami – 3:30 PM ET
Kansas State (+17) @ West Virginia – 3:30 PM ET
Army (+31) @ Oklahoma – 7 PM ET
New Mexico State (-2.5) @ UTEP – 7:30 PM ET
Arizona State (+18) @ Washington – 10:30 PM ET

Tier One Games (Must-Watch)

Washington State (3-0) @ USC (1-2, 0-1 Pac-12) – 10:30 PM ET on Friday 9/21, ESPN

These are two teams that I think the country as a whole are pretty down on but are still floating up near the top 30-40 of my computer rankings. It doesn’t really need to be said, but USC absolutely needs this win, and that is why despite them disappointing me the past two weeks when I picked them to upset Stanford and Texas, I’m sticking with the Trojans. The defense has been ok, and they should be able to contain the deadly Washington State passing attack. My biggest concern is the Trojan offense, especially the run game. With Ronald Jones now gone in the NFL, USC has not been able to respond anywhere near to the effect that teams like Penn State, LSU, and San Diego State have so far this year when losing NFL backs. The past two games were on the road, and this one will be at home for USC so I am picking the Trojans, hoping they’ll be motivated coming off of back-to-back losses, but I am by no means confident about it.

Prediction: USC 32, Washington State 29

#2Georgia (3-0, 1-0 SEC) @ Missouri (3-0) – 12 PM ET, ESPN

Missouri has taken care of business the first three weeks, including a road victory over Purdue last week, and they have slowly crept up to the top 40 in my model. Georgia on the other hand, has been pretty much perfect, racking up 135 combined points over their first three games, and allowing just 24 over that same span, including a 41-17 win over a South Carolina team that I see as roughly an equal to Missouri. I don’t expect this game to be quite that much of a blowout, but Jake Fromm, who has been excellent thus far (80% completion rate, six touchdowns, 10.4 YPA, just one interception) will lead the Bulldogs to a convincing, double digit victory that won’t be close after halftime.

Prediction: Georgia 39, Missouri 27

#22Texas A&M (2-1) @ #1Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC) – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

My model likes Texas A&M even more than the pollsters, the Aggies are up at #17 in the most recent update to the model, but Alabama is just such far and away the best team in the country that even a top 20 team has practically no shot at walking into Tuscaloosa and coming out with a victory. I talked about how Georgia has outscored their opponents 135-24, well Alabama has outscored their’s 170-28, and that is without an FCS opponent on the docket (although Louisville is pretty close this year). Tua Tagovailoa has put up an incredible 12.9 YPA, a 72% completion rate, eight touchdowns, and ZERO interceptions this year. This should be Alabama’s toughest test yet, but they will still win by 20.

Prediction: Alabama 43, Texas A&M 20

South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 SEC) @ Vanderbilt (2-1) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network

You may be surprised to see this game on the tier one list, but despite each team already having dropped a game, the model sees this as a top 35 vs top 35 matchup, and those are hard to come by, it also expects this game to practically be a coin flip so it should be entertaining down to the final minutes. Vanderbilt probably should have beaten Notre Dame last week, but turnovers and giving Brandon Wimbush all the time in the world to make plays cost them. It is hard for me to put my trust in either team here, and the model actually gives Vandy a slight edge, but I will have to disagree and go with the South Carolina squad that didn’t have to play last week because of the hurricane. Jake Bentley will rebound from a poor performance in week two, and the Gamecocks will win in a squeaker.

Prediction: South Carolina 25, Vanderbilt 21

#17TCU (2-1) @ Texas (2-1) – 4:30 PM ET, FOX

Texas is not back, but with a win here against a team ranked 10th in the country in my model, you could start making that case. The commanding victory over USC may have quelled any thoughts of pushing Tom Herman out, but a win here over Gary Patterson in front of the home crowd will wipe the memory of the Maryland loss out of the minds of many Texas fans. The problem, TCU looked really good last week, giving Ohio State all they could handle and actually moving up in the model despite a loss. The TCU defense may be one of the best in the country, and I don’t really think I could put that same faith in this UT D. I don’t expect either team to crack 30, but my lack of faith in the Longhorns’ defense is leading me to pick TCU on the road here, but it will be a close one.

Prediction: TCU 29, Texas 25

#14Mississippi State (3-0) @ Kentucky (3-0, 1-0 SEC) – 7 PM ET, ESPN2

This is the type of game where you could definitely make a case for an upset, Snell and the Wildcats already pulled one two weeks ago against Florida, but you could also make the case for Mississippi State absolutely wiping the floor with Kentucky, and that is the side I’m taking. Kentucky QB Terry Wilson has already thrown three interceptions this year, and the Wildcats as a whole are averaging three turnovers per game in their two games against FBS opponents so far this year, and they haven’t faced a defense anywhere near the caliber of this Bulldogs squad. MSU has held opponents to under nine points a game so far this year and on the back of Benny Snell, big blue should top that number, but even with an NFL caliber back, I don’t see how this Kentucky offense is going to be able to keep up with dual-threat sensation Nick Fitzgerald. Give me Mississippi State by double digits.

Prediction: Mississippi State 35, Kentucky 20

#7Stanford (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) @ #20Oregon (3-0) – 8 PM ET, ABC

Oregon has been a pretty fake top 25 team so far this year, and they fell out of my computer’s top 30 after failing to match the spread against San Jose State by nearly 30 points. Of course, AP voters didn’t care and continued moving the Ducks up in front of their blockbuster matchup with Stanford which Vegas sees as practically a tossup. It’s hard for me to get a read on Oregon because they’ve played three cupcakes so far, so I am putting my trust in a Stanford team that has proven themselves with commanding wins over USC and San Diego State. We aren’t sure if Bryce Love will be 100%, but even if he isn’t at full strength, expect the Heisman contender to make up for some early season blunders and easily hit triple digits en route to a tight victory that will be a lot lower scoring than you might think of when talking about Oregon.

Prediction: Stanford 30, Oregon 28

#18Wisconsin (2-1) @ Iowa (3-0) – 8:30 PM ET, FOX

My model has both of these teams a little higher than the AP poll, Iowa at #23, and Wisconsin at #15 despite the home loss to a pretty average BYU team last week. That BYU game wasn’t a fluke though, the Cougars deserved to win. Alex Hornibrook had a tough game, and the Badgers, who might have the best offensive line in the country, couldn’t give him any time to throw. Defensively, the problems continued as the pass rush did practically nothing for WU. That’s not going to get much better as preseason All-American Andrew Van Ginkel is listed as questionable for this game. BUT. This offensive line is still as good as some NFL lines, and they will bounce back. With a Heisman contender at running back, I’ve got Jonathan Taylor and the Badgers walking into Kinnick and stealing a win late in the fourth quarter in what has the potential to be the top game of the day.

Prediction: Wisconsin 28, Iowa 23

Tier Two Games (Maybe Watch)

Florida Atlantic (2-1) @ #16UCF (2-0) – 7 PM ET on Friday 9/21, ESPN

Prediction: UCF 46, Florida Atlantic 32

#8Notre Dame (3-0) @ Wake Forest (2-1) – 12 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Notre Dame 32, Wake Forest 27

Nebraska (0-2) @ #19Michigan (2-1) – 12 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Michigan 36, Nebraska 15

#23Boston College (3-0) @ Purdue (0-3) – 12 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Boston College 34, Purdue 31

Buffalo (3-0) @ Rutgers (1-2) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Buffalo 30, Rutgers 22

Minnesota (3-0) @ Maryland (2-1) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Maryland 21, Minnesota 20

Louisville (2-1) @ Virginia (2-1) – 12:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Louisville 27, Virginia 26 <- UPSET ALERT

#3Clemson (3-0) @ Georgia Tech (1-2, 0-1 ACC) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Clemson 36, Georgia Tech 20

Kansas State (2-1) @ #12West Virginia (2-0) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: West Virginia 35, Kansas State 28 <- BEST BET ALERT

Kansas (2-1) @ Baylor (2-1) – 3:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Baylor 21, Kansas 15

Louisiana Tech (2-0) @ #6LSU (3-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: LSU 35, Louisiana Tech 19

Texas Tech (2-1) @ #15Oklahoma State (3-0) – 7 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Oklahoma State 49, Texas Tech 34

Troy (2-1) @ UL Monroe (2-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Troy 38, UL Monroe 22

NC State (2-0) @ Marshall (2-0) – 7 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: NC State 28, Marshall 24

Florida (2-1, 0-1 SEC) @ Tennessee (2-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Florida 26, Tennessee 22

#24Michigan State (1-1) @ Indiana (3-0) – 7:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Michigan State 27, Indiana 22

Arizona State (2-1) @ #10Washington (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12) – 10:30 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Washington 33, Arizona State 21 <- BEST BET ALERT

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

Tulsa (1-2) @ Temple (1-2) – 7:30 PM ET on Thursday, 9/20, ESPN

Prediction: Temple 33, Tulsa 20 <- BEST BET ALERT

#10Penn State (3-0) @ Illinois (2-1) – 9 PM ET on Friday, 9/21, FS1

Prediction: Penn State 41, Illinois 14

Kent State (1-2) @ Ole Miss (2-1) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Ole Miss 45, Kent State 22

Akron (2-0) @ Iowa State (0-2) – 12 PM ET, FSN

Prediction: Iowa State 30, Akron 17 <- BEST BET ALERT

Ohio (1-1) @ Cincinnati (3-0) – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Cincinnati 29, Ohio 25

Nevada (2-1) @ Toledo (1-1) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Toledo 44, Nevada 29

Navy (2-1, 1-0 American) @ SMU (0-3) – 12 PM ET, ESPN News

Prediction: Navy 35, SMU 22

Pittsburgh (2-1, 1-0 ACC) @ North Carolina (0-2) – 12:20 PM ET, ACC Network

Prediction: Pittsburgh 28, North Carolina 21

Western Michigan (1-2) @ Georgia State (1-2) – 2 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Michigan 33, Georgia State 26

Miami (OH) (0-3) @ Bowling Green (1-2) – 3 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Miami (OH) 29, Bowling Green 23

Western Kentucky (0-3) @ Ball State (1-2) – 3 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Western Kentucky 27, Ball State 22 <- UPSET ALERT, BEST BET ALERT

Tulane (1-2) @ #4Ohio State (3-0) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Ohio State 51, Tulane 17

#13Virginia Tech (2-0) @ Old Dominion (0-3) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Virginia Tech 40, Old Dominion 13

Florida Intl (2-1) @ #21Miami (2-1) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Miami 39, Florida Intl 18 <- BEST BET ALERT

Charlotte (2-1) @ UMass (1-3) – 3:30 PM ET, Eleven Sports

Prediction: UMass 30, Charlotte 21

Northern Illinois (1-2) @ Florida State (1-2) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Florida State 25, Northern Illinois 19

Arizona (1-2) @ Oregon State (1-2) – 4 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Prediction: Arizona 37, Oregon State 27

UConn (1-2) @ Syracuse (3-0) – 4 PM ET, ESPN News

Prediction: Syracuse 47, UConn 19

North Texas (3-0) @ Liberty (1-1) – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: North Texas 38, Liberty 23

Army (2-1) @ #5Oklahoma (3-0) – 7 PM ET, PPV

Prediction: Oklahoma 47, Army 23 <- BEST BET ALERT

Rice (1-2) @ Southern Mississippi (1-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Southern Mississippi 37, Rice 20

Texas State (1-2) @ UTSA (0-3) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: UTSA 31, Texas State 21

UNLV (2-1) @ Arkansas State (2-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction; Arkansas State 38, UNLV 29

Coastal Carolina (2-1) @ Louisiana (1-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Louisiana 31, Coastal Carolina 27

Arkansas (1-2) @ #9Auburn (2-1) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Auburn 41, Arkansas 16

New Mexico State (0-4) @ UTEP (0-3) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: New Mexico State 23, UTEP 15 <- BEST BET ALERT

East Carolina (1-1) @ South Florida (3-0) – 8 PM ET, ESPN News

Prediction: South Carolina 43, East Carolina 23

South Alabama (1-2) @ Memphis (2-1) – 8 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Memphis 48, South Alabama 20

Air Force (1-1) @ Utah State (2-1) – 10:15 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Utah State 35, Air Force 25

Eastern Michigan (2-1) @ San Diego State (2-1) – 10:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: San Diego State 32, Eastern Michigan 21

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Illinois State @ Colorado State (1-3) – 3 PM ET, AT&T Sports Network

Prediction: Colorado State

Maine @ Central Michigan (0-3) – 3 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Central Michigan

Gardner-Webb @ Appalachian State (1-1) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Appalachian State

North Carolina Central @ Duke (3-0) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Duke

McNeese @ #25BYU (2-1) – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: BYU

Texas Southern @ Houston (2-1) – 8 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Houston

Duquesne @ Hawai’i (3-1) – 11:59 PM ET, Stadium App

Prediction: Hawai’i

Week Three Predictions

ATS Best Bets

Rutgers (+3) @ Kansas – 12 PM ET
UAB (+3.5) vs Tulane – 1 PM ET
Duke (+6) @ Baylor – 3:30 PM ET
Central Michigan (+14) @ Northern Illinois – 3:30 PM ET
Colorado State (+20.5) @ Florida – 4 PM ET
UTSA (+21.5) @ Kansas State – 4 PM ET
Ohio (+7) vs* Virginia – 4:30 PM ET
San Jose State (+41.5) @ Oregon – 5 PM ET
Arkansas State (+1.5) @ Tulsa – 7 PM ET
Texas State (+11.5) @ South Alabama – 7 PM ET
USC (+3) @ Texas – 8 PM ET

All Rankings are via AP top 25 poll. You can see my computer’s 1-130 rankings here.

Currently only updated for the weekday games, the rest of the schedule will be uploaded later in the week.wat

Tier One Games (Must-Watch)

#12LSU (2-0) @ #7Auburn (2-0) – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

This conference opener got much more interesting after both teams pulled off big week one neutral site victories against top-15 teams. LSU’s 27-24 win last year may have kept Auburn out of the college football playoff, so the Tigers will be out looking for revenge on their home turf. While I think I’ve been higher on Joe Burrow than the consensus, he certainly hasn’t lit the world on fire, the OSU transfer played well against Miami, but his stats actually took a bit of a hit against FCS competition last week. This game is going to center around the quarterback battle given that both squads have excellent defenses and run games, and with home field advantage, there is no way you are going to convince me that Burrow, as promising as he was against Miami, is going to outduel NFL prospect Jarrett Stidham. Expect a low scoring affair, and a couple Burrow picks late in the second half to seal LSU’s fate in what may be the most entertaining game of the week to crown Alabama’s top contender in the SEC West.

Prediction: Auburn 26, LSU 20

#14West Virginia (2-0) @ NC State (2-0) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

CANCELLED

#17Boise State (2-0) @ #24Oklahoma State (2-0) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN

Both of these teams have been brilliant so far, winning their games by a combined score of 231-57. While neither team played an opponent that was ranked in the top half of my rankings, those numbers are impressive none the less and this should be a shootout between two awesome offenses as Boise will get a chance to show what they can do against a high-level power five opponent on the road. A Bronco victory will almost assuredly put Boise in control of their own destiny for a New Year’s Six bowl as the G5 representative. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, Oklahoma State QB Taylor Cornelius has been incredibly efficient through two starts, averaging 9.71 YPA and throwing at a 67% completion rate. To add to that, the crown jewel of the Cowboy offense, Justice Hill, has rested most of the first two games, rushing just 19 times (and averaging 8.1 yards per carry while doing it). That isn’t to sell Boise short, in fact, Brett Rypien has emerged as a Heisman darkhorse with his 11.9 YPA and 73% completion rate, and I’d much rather be Boise on the defensive side of the ball. My model favors Bryan Haskin’s team by 1.5 points on a neutral field, but this isn’t a neutral field, and I expect the home crowd in Stillwater to carry the Pokes to a tight victory.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 39, Boise State 36

#1Alabama (2-0) @ Ole Miss (2-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN

I’ve watched Ole Miss a lot this year, their week one game against Texas Tech was during a noon time slot that wasn’t too great, and they looked terrific. Last week, after Georgia killed South Carolina, many, including me, flipped over to the SEC Network to see the Rebels in a shootout with Southern Illinois. Matt Luke’s team turned the jets on in the second half, winning 76-41, but the defense was just atrocious for the first 30 minutes. Alabama, on the other hand, cruised over an Arkansas State team that could crack the top-50 this year after doing the same to Louisville in week one. Jordan Ta’amu and his excellent wide receiving core will probably put up more points on the Tide than Louisville and Arkansas State combined, but they won’t be able to keep pace with Damien Harris and Tua Tagovailoa, expect Alabama to go for at least 50 points for the third straight week and cruise to a victory.

Prediction: Alabama 50, Ole Miss 24

#4Ohio State (2-0) vs #15TCU (2-0) in Arlington, TX – 8 PM ET, ABC

College Gameday will be live from Arlington, TX for this neutral site top-15 clash between two powers. Ohio State just really likes testing itself against Big 12 teams it seems, after they went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma the past two years, the Buckeyes have moved on to TCU. The first two games of the year have been absolutely perfect for OSU, cruising to victories over Oregon State and Rutgers, but now the real test comes as they will have to travel to Texas to face the Horned Frogs of TCU. While Oregon State is probably the worst team in the power five and Rutgers, while improved, still isn’t setting the world on fire, the OSU offense has put up an incredible 1,300 yards in those two games. TCU on the other hand, took a while to get going vs SMU last week, maybe you can chalk it up to the weather delay, but if they don’t put on the gas from the gun this week, the Horned Frogs are going to get killed, because Ohio State will.

Prediction: Ohio State 38, TCU 24

#10Washington (1-1) @ Utah (2-0) – 10 PM ET, ESPN

This is certainly the most underrated matchup of the weekend, and despite the lack of focus on it (#EASTCOASTBIAS) this is one of those ten eastern games that even the non-hardcore college football fans should stay up for. Both of these teams have faced one FBS opponent this year, and neither was able to put up 20 points, Washington scoring 16 against Auburn and Utah putting a 17 on the scoreboard @ Northern Illinois. That is to say, expect a slow start in this one as both defenses look to lock down the opposing offense (both teams also held their opponents under 20 in their lone FBS game). Expect this one to be tight late, and then for all-time Washington rushing leader Myles Gaskin to take control, racking up over 100 yards and two touchdowns in a hard-fought, single possession victory over the Utes.

Prediction: Washington 30, Utah 22

Tier Two Games (Maybe-Watch)

Boston College (2-0) @ Wake Forest (2-0) – 5:30 PM ET on Thursday, 9/13, ESPN

Prediction: Boston College 29, Wake Forest 21

#5Oklahoma (2-0) @ Iowa State (0-1) – 12 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Oklahoma 37, Iowa State 17

#18UCF (2-0) @ North Carolina (0-2) – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

CANCELLED

#21Miami (1-1) @ Toledo (1-0) – 12 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Miami 32, Toledo 28

Troy (1-1) @ Nebraska (0-1) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Nebraska 27, Troy 23

Florida State (1-1) @ Syracuse (2-0) – 12 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Florida State 27, Syracuse 25

Rutgers (1-1) @ Kansas (1-1) – 12 PM ET, FSN

Prediction: Rutgers 20, Kansas 16 <- UPSET ALERT, BEST BET ALERT

Georgia Tech (1-1) @ Pittsburgh (1-1) – 12:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Pittsburgh 28, Georgia Tech 27

Vanderbilt (2-0) @ #8Notre Dame (2-0) – 2:30 PM ET, NBC

Prediction: Notre Dame 27, Vanderbilt 17

Duke (2-0) @ Baylor (2-0) – 3:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Duke 26, Baylor 25 <- BEST BET ALERT & UPSET ALERT

North Texas (2-0) @ Arkansas (1-1) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Prediction: Arkansas 32, North Texas 30

Houston (2-0) @ Texas Tech (1-1) – 4:15 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Houston 33, Texas Tech 30

Ohio (1-0) vs Virginia (1-1) in Nashville, TN – 4:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Ohio 24, Virginia 18 <- BEST BET ALERT & UPSET ALERT

Arkansas State (1-1) @ Tulsa (1-1) – 7 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Arkansas State 37, Tulsa 28 <- BEST BET ALERT & UPSET ALERT

Missouri (2-0) @ Purdue (0-2) – 7:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Missouri 36, Purdue 26

Marshall (2-0) @ South Carolina (1-1) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPNU

CANCELLED

#22USC (1-1) @ Texas (1-1) – 8 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: USC 31, Texas 27 <- BEST BET ALERT & UPSET ALERT

#23Arizona State (2-0) @ San Diego State (1-1) – 10:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Arizona State 27, San Diego State 23

Fresno State (1-1) @ UCLA (0-2) – 10:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Fresno State 28, UCLA 22

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

Old Dominion (0-2, 0-1 C-USA) @ Charlotte (1-1) – 4 PM ET on Thursday, 9/13, ESPN3

Prediction: Old Dominion 27, Charlotte 24

Georgia State (1-1) @ Memphis (1-1) – 7 PM ET on Friday, 9/14, ESPN

Prediction: Memphis 37, Georgia State 15

Georgia Southern (2-0) @ #2Clemson (2-0) – 12 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Clemson 42, Georgia Southern 13

Kent State (1-1) @ #11Penn State – 12 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Penn State 41, Kent State 7

Hawai’i (3-0) @ Army (1-1) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Army 32, Hawai’i 24

Ball State (1-1) @ Indiana (2-0) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Indiana 29, Ball State 12

Temple (0-2) @ Maryland (2-0) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Maryland 30, Temple 14

UTEP (0-2) @ Tennessee (1-1) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Tennessee 31, UTEP 7

East Carolina (1-1) @ #13Virginia Tech (2-0) – 12:20 PM ET, ACC Network or ESPN3

CANCELLED

Tulane (1-1) @ UAB (1-1) – 1 PM ET, Stadium

Prediction: UAB 30, Tulane 26 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

BYU (1-1) @ #6Wisconsin (2-0) – 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Wisconsin 38, BYU 14

SMU (0-2) @ #19Michigan (1-1) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Michigan 42, SMU 11

Southern Mississippi (1-1) @ Appalachian State (1-1) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

CANCELLED

Miami (OH) (0-2) @ Minnesota (2-0) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Minnesota 27, Miami (OH) 18

Central Michigan (0-2) @ Northern Illinois (0-2) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Northern Illinois 29, Central Michigan 21 <- BEST BET ALERT

South Florida (2-0) @ Illinois (2-0) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: South Florida 35, Illinois 22

UTSA (0-2) @ Kansas State (1-1) – 4 PM ET, FSN

Prediction: Kansas State 31, UTSA 16 <- BEST BET ALERT

Colorado State (1-2) @ Florida (1-1) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Florida 34, Colorado State 21 <- BEST BET ALERT

San Jose State (0-2) @ #20Oregon (2-0) – 5 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Oregon 47, San Jose State 13 <- BEST BET ALERT

Texas State (1-1) @ South Alabama (0-2) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: South Alabama 25, Texas State 20 <- BEST BET ALEET

Eastern Michigan (2-0) @ Buffalo (2-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Buffalo 34, Eastern Michigan 28

Oregon State (1-1) @ Nevada (1-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Nevada 32, Oregon State 31

Middle Tennessee (1-1) @ #3Georgia (2-0) – 7:15 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Georgia 44, Middle Tennessee 16

Louisiana (1-0) @ #16Mississippi State (2-0) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Prediction: Mississippi State 47, Louisiana 15

UL Monroe (2-0) @ Texas A&M (1-1) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Texas A&M 42, UL Monroe 20

Western Kentucky (0-2) @ Louisville (1-1) – 7:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Louisville 37, Western Kentucky 20 <- BEST BET ALERT

UMass (1-2) @ Florida Intl (1-1) – 7:30 PM ET, beIN Sports

Prediction: Florida Intl 29, UMass 28

Akron (1-0) @ Northwestern (1-1) – 7:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Northwestern 33, Akron 16

New Mexico (1-1) @ New Mexico State (0-3) – 8 PM ET, Eleven Sports

Prediction: New Mexico 27, New Mexico State 21

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Campbell @ Coastal Carolina (1-1) – 2 PM ET on Wednesday 9/12, ESPN3

Prediction: Coastal Carolina

Tennessee Tech @ Utah State (1-1) – 8 PM ET on Thursday, 9/13, MWC Facebook

Prediction: Utah State

Rhode Island @ UConn (0-2) – 12 PM ET, SNY or ESPN3

Prediction: UConn

Murray State @ Kentucky (2-0) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Prediction: Kentucky

UC Davis @ #9Stanford (2-0) – 2 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Stanford

Lehigh @ Navy (1-1) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Navy

Wofford @ Wyoming (1-2) – 4 PM ET, Stadium

Prediction: Wyoming

Eastern Kentucky @ Bowling Green (0-2) – 4 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Bowling Green

New Hampshire @ Colorado (2-0) – 5 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Colorado

Idaho State @ California (2-0) – 6 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: California

Norfolk State @ Liberty (1-1) – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

CANCELLED

Bethune-Cookman @ Florida Atlantic (1-1) – 6 PM ET, Stadium

Prediction: Florida Atlantic

Alabama A&M @ Cincinnati (2-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Cincinnati

Delaware State @ Western Michigan (0-2) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Michigan

Northern Iowa @ Iowa (2-0) – 7:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Iowa

Eastern Washington @ Washington State (2-0) – 8 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Washington State

Prairie View @ UNLV (1-1) – 10 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: UNLV

Southern Utah @ Arizona (0-2) – 11 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Arizona

Week Two Predictions

This Week’s ATS Best Bets

Army (-7.5) vs Liberty – 12 PM ET
Eastern Michigan (+17) @ Purdue – 12 PM ET
Southern Mississippi (-5.5) vs UL Monroe – 7 PM ET
Florida Intl (+2) @ Old Dominion – 7:30 PM ET
USC (+6) @ Stanford – 8:30 PM ET

Note: All Top 25 rankings are the current AP, you can see my computer rankings here

Tier One Games (Must-Watch)

#3Georgia (1-0) @ #24South Carolina (1-0) – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

Georgia and South Carolina both beat up on lesser opponents last week, for Georgia, it was a 45-0 drubbing of Austin Peay, and for USC, who actually did face an FBS opponent, the Gamecocks had no trouble with Coastal Carolina, dominating from start to finish en route to a 49-15 victory. I don’t expect either team to hang 40 on the other, in fact, despite two high powered up tempo offenses, I see this one being more of a defensive minded game, at least from the Georgia side as the Dawgs will have to find a way to contain South Carolina on the road. Georgia gets vertical threat Terry Godwin back from injury, and I just don’t have enough confidence in Jake Bently to keep up with a Georgia offense that features the blinding duo of Demetris Robertson and D’Andre Swift at running back. I expect Georgia to shock some people and control this one from start to finish, establishing themselves as national title contenders.

Prediction: Georgia 29, South Carolina 16

#2Clemson (1-0) @ Texas A&M (1-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN

Both of these teams destroyed FCS opponents last week (Furman and Northwestern State), by a combined score of 107-14. This week’s game will be very storyline driven, as former Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher faces as arch rival, Dabo Swinney once again despite now being at a new school. A&M had over 500 rushing yards alone last week, but I don’t see the Aggies quite running over the Tiger’s front four like they did Northwestern State’s. This Clemson D-Line may be the best position group in all of college football, and I see it shredding the Aggies’ offensive line, putting a lot of pressure on Kellen Mond and/or Nick Starkel, and leading the Tigers to a smooth victory on the road as Jimbo continues to struggle with Clemson.

Prediction: Clemson 29, Texas A&M 13

#17USC (1-0) @ #10Stanford (1-0) – 8:30 PM ET, FOX

The game of the week is a rematch of last season’s Pac-12 Championship Game (a USC victory, the Trojans also beat Stanford in the regular season last year) as the national spotlight will be on the Pac-12. Both teams picked up wins over Mountain West opponents last week, Stanford with a 31-10 win over San Diego State, and USC with a 43-21 win over UNLV that was a lot closer than that score indicates. Despite the tough loss, San Diego State held Stanford to 1.8 YPA on the ground, holding Heisman contender Bryce Love to just 29 total rushing yards. If USC can employ the same tactics that the Aztecs did, essentially selling out their secondary and forcing the Cardinal to beat them through the air, I have a lot more faith in the Trojan secondary to bail them out. I see a lot of potential in USC QB JT Daniels, and I expect him to progress a ton as he learns from his week one mistakes. I’ve got USC going on the road and picking up a big conference win.

Prediction: USC 29, Stanford 28 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

Tier Two Games (Maybe-Watch)

#16TCU (1-0) @ SMU (0-1) – 8 PM ET on Friday 9/7, ESPN2

Prediction: TCU 38, SMU 18

#18Mississippi State (1-0) @ Kansas State (1-0) – 12 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Mississippi State 30, Kansas State 23

Arizona (0-1) @ Houston (1-0) – 12 PM ET, ABC or ESPN2

Prediction: Arizona 35, Houston 34 <- UPSET ALERT

Duke (1-0) @ Northwestern (1-0) – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Northwestern 26, Duke 19

Georgia Tech (1-0) @ South Florida (1-0) – 12 PM ET, ABC or ESPN2

Prediction: South Florida 26, Georgia Tech 25 <- UPSET ALERT

UCLA (0-1) @ #6Oklahoma (1-0) – 1 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Oklahoma 45, UCLA 13

Arkansas State (1-0) @ #1Alabama (1-0) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Alabama 41, Arkansas State 14

Rutgers (1-0) @ #4Ohio State (1-0) – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Ohio State 42, Rutgers 10

Colorado (1-0) @ Nebraska – 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Nebraska 25, Colorado 24

Iowa State @ Iowa (1-0) – 5 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Iowa 21, Iowa State 16

Maryland (1-0) @ Bowling Green (0-1) – 6 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Maryland 30, Bowling Green 20

Kentucky (1-0) @ #25Florida (1-0) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Florida 29, Kentucky 18

Utah (1-0) @ Northern Illinois (0-1) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN News

Prediction: Utah 28, Northern Illinois 22

Fresno State (1-0) @ Minnesota (1-0) – 7:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Fresno State 28, Minnesota 21 <- UPSET ALERT

#13Penn State (1-0) @ Pittsburgh (1-0) – 8 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Penn State 34, Pittsburgh 25

Cincinnati (1-0) vs Miami (OH) (0-1) in Cincinnati, OH – 8 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Miami (OH) 27, Cincinnati 24

California (1-0) @ BYU (1-0) – 10:15 PM ET, ESPN2 or ESPNU

Prediction: BYU 25, California 21

#15Michigan State (1-0) @ Arizona State (1-0) – 10:45 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Michigan State 30, Arizona State 28

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

New Mexico (1-0) @ #5Wisconsin (1-0) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Wisconsin 43, New Mexico 10

Western Michigan (0-1) @ #21Michigan (0-1) – 12 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Michigan 34, Western Michigan 14

Eastern Michigan (1-0) @ Purdue (0-1) – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Purdue 33, Eastern Michigan 21 <- BEST BET ALERT

Liberty (1-0) @ Army (0-1) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Army 31, Liberty 17 <- BEST BET ALERT

Nevada (1-0) @ Vanderbilt (1-0) – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Vanderbilt 28, Nevada 20

Georgia State (1-0) @ NC State – 12:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: NC State 32, Georgia State 12

Air Force (1-0) @ Florida Atlantic – 2 PM ET, Facebook

Prediction: Florida Atlantic 33, Air Force 20

Kansas (0-1) @ Central Michigan – 3 PM, ESPN+

Prediction: Central Michigan 22, Kansas 14

Ball State (1-0) @ #8Notre Dame (1-0) – 3:30 PM ET, NBC

Predection: Notre Dame 39, Ball State 8

Buffalo (1-0) @ Temple (0-1) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Temple 27, Buffalo 23

Memphis (1-0) @ Navy (0-1) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Memphis 34, Navy 28

North Carolina (0-1) @ East Carolina (0-1) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: North Carolina 32, East Carolina 22

UMass (1-1) @ Georgia Southern (1-0) – 6 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: UMass 25, Georgia Southern 23 <- UPSET ALERT

Appalachian State (0-1) @ Charlotte (1-0) – 6 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Appalachian State 31, Charlotte 11

UL Monroe (1-0) @ Southern Mississippi (1-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Southern Mississippi 40, UL Monroe 28 <-BEST BET ALERT

UAB (1-0) @ Coastal Carolina (0-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: UAB 33, Coastal Carolina 21

Baylor (1-0) @ UTSA (0-1) – 7 PM ET, Facebook

Prediction: Baylor 27, UTSA 19

Wyoming (1-1) @ Missouri (1-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN2 or ESPNU

Prediction: Missouri 30, Wyoming 15

Virginia (1-0) @ Indiana (1-0) – 7:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Indiana 26, Virginia 21

Arkansas (1-0) @ Colorado State (0-2) – 7:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Arkansas 38, Colorado State 32

Florida Intl (0-1) @ Old Dominion (0-1) – 7:30 PM ET, beIN Sports

Prediction: Florida Intl 29, Old Dominion 24 <- UPSET ALERT & BEST BET ALERT

Tulsa (1-0) @ Texas – 8 PM ET, LHN

Prediction: Texas 39, Tulsa 16

New Mexico State (0-2) @ Utah State (0-1) – 8 PM ET, MWC Facebook

Prediction: Utah State 37, New Mexico State 18

South Alabama (0-1) @ Oklahoma State (1-0) – 8 PM ET, FSN

Prediction: Oklahoma State 47, South Alabama 18

UTEP (0-1) @ UNLV (0-1) – 9 PM ET, AT&T Sports Network

Prediction: UNLV 35, UTEP 14

UConn (0-1) @ #20Boise State (1-0) – 10:15 PM ET, ESPN2 or ESPNU

Prediction: Boise State 47, UConn 14

San Jose State (0-1) @ Washington State (1-0) – 11 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Washington State 44, San Jose State 13

Rice (1-1) @ Hawai’i (2-0) – 11:59 PM ET, Stadium

Prediction: Hawai’i 41, Rice 26

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Towson @ Wake Forest (1-0) – 12 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Wake Forest

Holy Cross @ Boston College (1-0) – 1 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Boston College

William & Mary @ #12Virginia Tech (1-0) – 2 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Virginia Tech

Portland State @ #23Oregon (1-0) – 2 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Oregon

Wagner @ Syracuse (1-0) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Syracuse

Howard @ Kent State (0-1) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Kent State

Morgan State @ Akron – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Akron

Lamar @ Texas Tech (0-1) – 4 PM ET, FSN

Prediction: Texas Tech

Southern Illinois @ Ole Miss (1-0) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Prediction: Ole Miss

East Tennessee State @ Tennessee (0-1) – 4 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Tennessee

North Dakota @ #9Washington (0-1) – 5 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Washington

Savannah State @ #22Miami (0-1) – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Miami

Youngstown State @ #14West Virginia (1-0) – 6 PM ET, AT&T Sports Network

Prediction: West Virginia

South Carolina State @ #19UCF (1-0) – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: UCF

Eastern Kentucky @ Marshall (1-0) – 6:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Marshall

Southeastern Louisiana @ #11LSU (1-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN2 or ESPNU

Prediction: LSU

UT Martin @ Middle Tennessee (0-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Middle Tennessee

Southern @ Louisiana Tech (1-0) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Louisiana Tech

Indiana State @ Louisville (0-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Louisville

Texas Southern @ Texas State (0-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Texas State

Florida A&M @ Troy (0-1) – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Troy

Samford @ Florida State (0-1) – 7:20 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Florida State

Alabama State @ #7Auburn (1-0) – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Prediction: Auburn

Western Illinois @ Illinois (1-0) – 7:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Illinois

Maine @ Western Kentucky (0-1) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Western Kentuckyol

Incarnate Word @ North Texas (1-0) – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: North Texas

Nicholls @ Tulane (0-1) – 8 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Tulane

Southern Utah @ Oregon State (0-1) – 8 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Oregon State

Sacremento State @ San Diego State (0-1) – 9 PM ET

Prediction: San Diego State

Week One Predictions

This Week’s ATS Best Bets

Army (+13.5) @ Duke – 7 PM ET on Friday, 8/31
Western Kentucky (+36.5) @ Wisconsin – 9 PM ET on Friday, 8/31
San Diego State (+14.5) @ Stanford – 9 PM ET on Friday, 8/31
Maryland (+13.5) vs* Texas – 12 PM ET
Florida Atlantic (+21) @ Oklahoma – 12 PM ET
Appalachian State (+24) @ Penn State – 3:30 PM ET
Central Michigan (+17) @ Kentucky – 3:30 PM ET
Marshall (+2.5) @ Miami (OH) – 3:30 PM ET
UTSA (+18.5) @ Arizona State – 10:30 PM ET
Hawai’i (+14) vs Navy – 11 PM ET

Note: All Top 25 rankings are the current AP, you can see my preseason rankings here

Tier One Games (Must-Watch)

Florida Atlantic @ #7Oklahoma – 12 PM ET, FOX

The Florida Atlantic Owls come into this game riding on a ten game winning streak, one of the longest in the country. This is a game that many college football fans have had circled on their calendar all summer as Lane Kiffin gets a chance to make a statement on national TV against a preseason top ten team. This will be a battle of two of the best running games in the country. FAU halfback Devin Singletary (1,918 yards, 32 touchdowns, 6.4 YPA) was one of the best in the nation last year, but Oklahoma’s top rusher Rodney Anderson (1,161 yards, 13 touchdowns, 6.2 YPA) will step into an even bigger role with the departure of QB Baker Mayfield. Overall, I expect the depth and the talent in the trenches for Oklahoma to overpower Kiffin’s owls, but I think this game will be a lot closer than many expect.

Prediction: Oklahoma 43, Florida Atlantic 33 <- BEST BET ALERT

#6Washington vs #9Auburn in Atlanta, GA – 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Both teams need this win after disappointing ends to last year, both came up short in New Year’s Six bowl losses. The Tiger defense will still be one of the best in the country despite some key losses, but Washington’s offense can say the same thing. Myles Gaskin is back at running back after three straight 1,000 + yard seasons, as is the majority of his offensive line. QB Jake Browning will look to return to his 2016 form after taking a step back in 2017, and the key to that will be how his top wideout, Chico McClatcher comes back from his injury last year. The Washington defense might actually be the best unit in this game, and I see the brutal secondary shutting down Jarrett Stidham. I’m calling for Washington to go into SEC country and get a huge win for the PAC-12 conference as a whole.

Prediction: Washington 30, Auburn 29 <- UPSET ALERT

#14Michigan @ #12Notre Dame – 7:30 PM ET, NBC

For the first time since 2014, the Michigan vs Notre Dame rivalry is back. I’m quite honestly shocked Michigan is a favorite here, I have Notre Dame ranked higher (as does the AP) and the Fighting Irish are taking this game at home. Both of these teams are fringe playoff contenders with tough schedules, so a loss may send their season spiraling out of control. I like Michigan’s defense a lot, but Notre Dame’s D is tremendous too, led by LB Te’Von Coney and CB Julian Love. I’m also more confident about Notre Dame’s quarterback situation, something I don’t say often. Shea Patterson went down with an injury last year at Ole Miss and his backup lapped him, leading to his transfer, making me quite skeptical on how he’ll do in a new system against one of the best defenses in the nation. I’ve got the Irish picking up a close win in a low scoring game, putting Jim Harbaugh in a tough spot.

Prediction: Notre Dame 24, Michigan 23 <- UPSET ALERT

Louisville vs #1Alabama in Orlando, FL – 8 PM ET, ABC

Alabama seems to always murder teams in these week one showcases, so if you’re Louisville, you have to come out swinging. Lamar Jackson may be gone, but his replacement, Jawon “Puma” Pass, is going to have to step up big and go right after an Alabama secondary that loses Ronnie Harrison and Minkah Fitzpatrick. If we’re being honest though, this is going to be 35-10 at the half. We’ll get to see both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, and while I think Tua will be the starter, don’t be surprised if Hurts shocks you and has the better game, he’s been in the system for longer and is used to the big stage. A Louisville win however, would shock me.

Prediction: Alabama 41, Louisville 20

#8Miami vs #25LSU in Arlington, TX – 7:30 PM ET on Sunday 9/2, ABC

Washington-Auburn is probably the biggest game of the week, but this might be the most interesting to me. I’m lower on Miami than most, higher on LSU than most, and the Tigers should have the benefit of some sort of home field edge in Arlington. Miami may have the turnover chain, but I would probably point to the LSU defense as the best in this game, LB Devin White and DB Greedy Williams are both All-American contenders, and I would not be shocked if we saw Miami take a big step back on defense as we normally do see after a big turnover margin year. LSU QB Joe Burrow, an Ohio State transfer, is going to make the world know his name, and all the people that left LSU out of their preseason top 25’s are going to regret it.

Prediction: LSU 27, Miami 25 <- UPSET ALERT

#20Virginia Tech @ #19Florida State – 8 PM ET on Monday 9/3, ESPN

These are two teams that I’m almost in perfect agreement with the AP on, I have FSU at 20, and VT at 21. Florida State was a team with real national title hopes last year, and while the coach is new after a disappointing year, much of the talent remains. With the home crowd and the national spotlight on Tallahassee, the narrative will be all set up for the ‘Noles to take their rightful place back at the top of college football, but then they will run into the Virginia Tech special, Bud Foster’s defense. Tech loses a lot, including maybe my favorite player in all of college football last year, Tremaine Edmunds, and they’ve also dealt with a lot of injuries over the summer, but this Hokie team will control the game, and I as I said in my team preview, the Hokies could return zero starters and I would never doubt Bud Foster. I see the Hokies keeping FSU under 30, but the problem will come on offense for Justin Fuente and company. The ‘Noles will edge out a Tech offense that will struggle to score against a defense loaded with five stars for FSU, but it will be a lot closer than many think.

Prediction: Florida State 26, Virginia Tech 23

Tier Two Games (Maybe-Watch)

Northwestern @ Purdue – 8 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, ESPN

Prediction: Northwestern 25, Purdue 24 <- UPSET ALERT

Wake Forest @ Tulane – 8 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, CBSSN

Prediction: Wake Forest 31, Tulane 23

Army @ Duke – 7 PM ET on Friday 8/31, ESPNU

Prediction: Duke 25, Army 22 <- BEST BET ALERT

San Diego State @ #13Stanford – 9 PM ET on Friday 8/31, FS1

Prediction: Stanford 28, San Diego State 22 <- BEST BET ALERT

#23Texas vs Maryland in Landover, MD – 12 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Texas 31, Maryland 23 <- BEST BET ALERT

Ole Miss vs Texas Tech in Houston, TX – 12 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Texas Tech 39, Ole Miss 36

Appalachian State @ #10Penn State – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Penn State 37, Appalachian State 20 <- BEST BET ALERT

Tennessee vs #17West Virginia in Charlotte, NC – 3:30 PM ET, CBS

Prediction: West Virginia 31, Tennessee 22

Marshall @ Miami (OH) – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Marshall 30, Miami (OH) 27 <- BEST BET ALERT & UPSET ALERT

Northern Illinois @ Iowa – 3:30 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Iowa 27, Northern Illinois 20

Washington State @ Wyoming (1-0) – 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Wyoming 23, Washington State 22 <- UPSET ALERT

North Carolina @ California – 4 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: California 30, North Carolina 25

#22Boise State @ Troy – 6 PM ET, ESPN News

Prediction: Boise State 31, Troy 23

Middle Tennessee @ Vanderbilt – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Prediction: Vanderbilt 25, Middle Tennessee 24

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

#21UCF @ UConn – 7 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, ESPNU

Prediction: UCF 47, UConn 21

New Mexico State (0-1) @ Minnesota – 7 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, BTN

Prediction: Minnesota 30, New Mexico State 19

Syracuse @ Western Michigan – 6 PM ET on Friday 8/31, CBSSN

Prediction: Western Michigan 32, Syracuse 28 <- UPSET ALERT

Utah State @ #11Michigan State – 7 PM ET on Friday 8/31, BTN

Prediction: Michigan State 34, Utah State 15

Western Kentucky @ #4Wisconsin – 9 PM ET on Friday 8/31, ESPN

Prediction: Wisconsin 39, Western Kentucky 13 <- BEST BET ALERT

Colorado vs Colorado State (0-1) in Denver, CO – 9:30 PM ET on Friday 8/31, CBSSN

Prediction: Colorado 37, Colorado State 28

Oregon State @ #5Ohio State – 12 PM ET, ABC

Prediction: Ohio State 52, Oregon State 10

Kent State @ Illinois – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Illinois 26, Kent State 12

Texas State @ Rutgers – 12 PM ET, BTN

Prediction: Rutgers 28, Texas State 15

Coastal Carolina @ South Carolina – 12 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: South Carolina 38, Coastal Carolina 12

Houston @ Rice (1-0) – 12 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Houston 38, Rice 17

UMass (1-0) @ Boston College – 1 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Boston College 37, UMass 22

Central Michigan @ Kentucky – 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Kentucky 28, Central Michigan 19 <- BEST BET ALERT

UNLV @ #15USC – 4 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: USC 43, UNLV 18

Old Dominion @ Liberty – 6 PM ET, TBA

Prediction: Old Dominion 30, Liberty 29

Louisiana Tech @ South Alabama – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Louisiana Tech 34, South Alabama 23

Cincinnati @ UCLA – 7 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: UCLA 35, Cincinnati 22

Indiana @ Florida Intl – 7 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Indiana 36, Florida Intl 24

SMU @ North Texas – 7:30 PM ET, Stadium

Prediction: North Texas 40, SMU 37

Bowling Green @ #24Oregon – 8 PM ET, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Oregon 44, Bowling Green 19

Akron @ Nebraska – 8 PM ET, FOX

Prediction: Nebraska 34, Akron 18

UTSA @ Arizona State – 10:30 PM ET, FS1

Prediction: Arizona State 30, UTSA 23 <- BEST BET ALERT

BYU @ Arizona – 10:45 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Arizona 38, BYU 22

Navy @ Hawai’i (1-0) – 11 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Navy 36, Hawai’i 27 <- BEST BET ALERT

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Central Connecticut @ Ball State – 7 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, ESPN+

Prediction: Ball State

Kennesaw State @ Georgia State – 7 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, ESPN+

Prediction: Georgia State

Southeastern Louisiana @ UL Monroe – 8 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, ESPN+

Prediction: UL Monroe

Savannah State @ UAB – 8 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, ESPN+

Prediction: UAB

Missouri State @ Oklahoma State – 8 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, FS1

Prediction: Oklahoma State

Weber State @ Utah – 8 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, PAC-12 Network

Prediction: Utah

Northwestern State @ Texas A&M – 8:30 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, SEC Network

Prediction: Texas A&M

UC Davis @ San Jose State – 10 PM ET on Thursday 8/30, TBA

Prediction: San Jose State

Monmouth @ Eastern Michigan – 6:30 PM ET on Friday 8/31, ESPN+

Prediction: Eastern Michigan

Portland State @ Nevada – 9 PM ET on Friday 8/31, Stadium

Prediction: Nevada

Southern @ #16TCU – 12 PM ET, FSN

Prediction: TCU

James Madison @ NC State – 12 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: NC State

Villanova @ Temple – 12 PM ET, ESPN News

Prediction: Temple

Furman @ #2Clemson – 12:20 PM ET, ACC Network

Prediction: Clemson

Alcorn State @ Georgia Tech – 12:30 PM ET, ACC RSN

Prediction: Georgia Tech

Stony Brook @ Air Force – 2 PM ET, MWC Facebook

Prediction: Air Force

Howard @ Ohio – 2 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Ohio

Austin Peay @ #3Georgia – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN

Prediction: Georgia

Albany @ Pittsburgh – 3:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Pittsburgh

UT Martin @ Missouri – 4 PM ET, SEC Network Alternate

Prediction: Missouri

Eastern Illinois @ Arkansas – 4 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Arkansas

Fordham @ Charlotte – 6 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Charlotte

North Carolina A&T @ East Carolina – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: East Carolina

Elon @ South Florida – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: South Florida

Richmond @ Virginia – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Virginia

Deleware State @ Buffalo – 6 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Buffalo

South Carolina State @ Georgia Southern – 6 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Georgia Southern

Grambling @ Louisiana – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Louisiana

VMI @ Toledo – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Toledo

Southeast Missouri State @ Arkansas State – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Arkansas State

Mercer @ Memphis – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Memphis

Central Arkansas @ Tulsa – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Tulsa

Jackson State @ Southern Mississippi – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Southern Mississippi

Nicholls @ Kansas – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Kansas

South Dakota @ Kansas State – 7 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Kansas State

Stephen F. Austin @ #18Mississippi State – 7:30 PM ET, ESPNU

Prediction: Mississippi State

Charleston Southern @ Florida – 7:30 PM ET, SEC Network

Prediction: Florida

Northern Arizona @ UTEP – 7:30 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: Northern Arizona <- UPSET ALERT

Abilene Christian @ Baylor – 8 PM ET, FSN

Prediction: Baylor

South Dakota State @ Iowa State – 8 PM ET, Cyclones.TV

Prediction: Iowa State

Incarnate Word @ New Mexico – 8 PM ET, ESPN3

Prediction: New Mexico

Idaho @ Fresno State – 10 PM ET, MWC Facebook

Prediction: Fresno State

Week Zero Predictions

This Week’s ATS Best Bets

None for this week.

Tier One Games (Must-Watch)

None for this week.

Tier Two Games (Maybe-Watch)

None for this week.

Tier Three Games (FBS vs FBS)

Hawai’i @ Colorado State – 7:30 PM ET, CBSSN

Prediction: Colorado State 43, Hawai’i 27

Wyoming @ New Mexico State – 10 PM ET, ESPN2

Prediction: Wyoming 27, New Mexico State 20

Tier Four Games (FBS vs FCS)

Duquesne @ Umass – 5:30 PM ET, Eleven Sports

Prediction: UMass

Prairie View @ Rice – 7 PM ET, ESPN+

Prediction: Rice

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