Damn. I think that’s the only word appropriate for the last weekend of college football. I was in the process of preparing a CFB Playoff prediction, but after that, I had to go right back to the drawing board. We’ve got a plethora (I love that word) of teams in position to pounce and grab the last playoff spot. As for our writers? Well, we tried….
Tyler: 14 – 10 (163 – 49, 76.9%) Gabe: 14 – 10 (172 – 64, 72.9%) Sean: 16 – 8 (177 – 59, 75%) TJ: 13 – 11 (142 – 64, 68.9%) Will: 15 – 9 (170 – 66, 72%) Mikey: 14 – 10 (170 – 66, 72%) Kevin: N/A (91 – 32, 74%)
NOTE: Rankings are based upon the AP Topo 25 Poll. To see the College Football Playoff Standings, check it out here.
As a staff, we all picked Clemson, Michigan, Auburn, Texas A&M, and UNC to win. We were all wrong. All but one of us picked Washington to win (yours truly predicted that USC upset).
TJ is sitting this week out, and we miss him already. Let’s get into it.
No ranked teams are on a bye week this week.
#3 Louisville v. Houston
Tyler: What a great game this was supposed to be, huh? Well, we all know the story about Houston really falling off this season. Louisville, however, finds themselves in an interesting spot, given Clemson’s loss. At this point, the Cards need to do what they do best and blow the Cougars out of the water. That’s what I’m expecting this week. Louisville by 24.
Gabe: Why not? Houston by 4.
Sean: Remember when we thought Houston was a potential College Football Playoff team. Good times. Louisville has been cooking for the last two weeks, while Houston has narrowly beat Tulane and UCF. Houston is still a quality football team at 8-2. However, there’s no stopping Lamar Jackson this season. Cardinals by 17.
Will: Louisville is on the verge of getting themselves back into the playoff discussion. With three losses in the top four, Louisville just needs to win out and then I have them in the #4 spot. Louisville by 17.
Mikey: The future Heisman Trophy winner is an unstoppable force of nature, and as good as Tom Herman’s boys are, they won’t prevent the Cardinals from getting their 10th win of the year. Louisville by 28.
Kevin: Outside of a win against Oklahoma, Houston has underperformed and only beaten lesser opponents. They’re also running into an angry Louisville team who’s ready to beat up on someone. Lamar Jackson might have his best game this season against the Cougars. Louisville by 32.
Arkansas State v. #25 Troy
Tyler: Yo TJ, Troy is ranked now, LOL. Troy by 10.
Gabe: Troy by 21.
Sean: Troy is ranked too low and deserves to be in consideration for the CFP. They are the best college football team in the state of Alabama. They are one of the best teams in the nation. Arkansas State doesn’t stand a chance against this absolute powerhouse of a program. Go Trojans. Troy by 40.
Will: Can’t believe any team can make the top 25 immediately after beating UMass. Must be saying a lot about UMass, huh. A fan can dream. Troy by 30.
Mikey: Troy by 22.
Kevin: Haven’t seen either team play at all this year. Trojans by 31.
UNLV v. #22 Boise State
Tyler: UNLV beat Wyoming last week. But that wasn’t on a blue football field, now was it? But seriously, I think their triple-OT win last week was rather flukey. Broncos by 17.
Gabe: Broncos by 17.
Sean: All hail the blue turf. Broncos by 31.
Will: Boise State lost to Wyoming. UNLV just beat Wyoming. Coincidence? I think not. UNLV by 6.
Mikey: UNLV is bad. State isn’t. BSU by 17.
Kevin: Go Broncos! Boise State by 37.
Texas-San Antonio v. #23 Texas A&M
Tyler: People forget that the Aggies lost last weekend, because of how the other dominos closer to the top fell. Well, no matter. They’ll come back against this cupcake. A&M by 45.
Gabe: HAHAH. Aggies by 30.
Sean: Next. TAMU by 47.
Will: Texas A&M is basically out of contention at this point after their loss to Ole Miss last week. It’s too bad they couldn’t pull that one out, considering the shake-up of the top four, but I’m sure they’ll let out their frustrations on UTSA this week. Texas A&M by 20.
Mikey: A&M is without Trevor Knight for the rest of the year, but they should still dominate UTSA. Aggies by 49.
Kevin: Not an exciting game for the Aggies this week. A&M by 41.
#13 Oklahoma State v. TCU
Tyler: While Mason Rudolph has been one of college football’s top passers, the Cowboys’ defense has given up over 80 points in the last couple of games. If they can’t improve, then it’s on Rudolph to avoid turnovers against a Horned Frogs defense that’s better than one would expect. I like the home team, and I like the rested team. TCU by 6.
Gabe: Oklahoma State by 6.
Sean: If it wasn’t for a controversial loss against Central Michigan, Oklahoma State would be in the top 10. But they’re still in good shape going into this game against the Horned Frogs. I’m worried about the Cowboys overlooking this game to focus on the Bedlam Game versus Oklahoma in two weeks. TCU still sucks, but have played better over the past month, and they’re at home and have had two weeks to prepare for this game. TCU by 10.
Will: Oklahoma State narrowly escaped a devastating loss to Texas Tech last week, and playing at TCU may be deja vu for OKSU. Oklahoma State seems to have been getting all the luck ever since their last second loss to Central Michigan, so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt in this game. Oklahoma State by 8
Mikey: Another Big 10 shootout. Should be another win for Oklahoma State. OKSU by 10.
Kevin: I already picked TCU for a big upset this year so I can’t do it again, but expect them to keep it close. Cowboys by 10.
Maryland v. #19 Nebraska
Tyler: Good God, what a tough stretch for the Terps. They’re coming off road games at Indiana and at Michigan before returning home…. To play Ohio State, only to jump back on a plane and go to Nebraska. Sad! Huskers by 33.
Gabe: Maryland will have the cooler uniforms, but Nebraska will have more points. Huskers by 17.
Sean: The Terps have played Michigan and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks and now have to play an extremely talented Nebraska team that may or may not have Tommy Armstrong. The Terps had a hard fought win against Minnesota last week, and Minnesota is better than Maryland. Cornhuskers by 24.
Will: Nebraska needs Tommy Armstrong to win for sure, but even if he can’t suit up, I trust Nebraska to pull this one out. Nebraska by 10.
Mikey: Nebraska has started to struggle a little bit, but playing the inferior Terrapins, they’ll get a win. Cornhuskers by 27.
Kevin: Nebraska got absolutely destroyed two weeks ago by Ohio State and then struggled against Minnesota last week. I have a feeling Maryland can pull off the upset. Terps by 3.
#2 Ohio State v. Michigan State
Tyler: This is Ohio State’s final tune-up before they play That Team From Up North. Plus, this is a shot at revenge against a program that ended their playoff hopes last year. Sparty is reeling and playing for pride, but it won’t matter against OSU. Not only am I expecting a blowout, but I think Ohio State will play a near-perfect game. Bucks by 38.
Gabe: Ohio State by 28.
Sean: The final hurdle for the Buckeyes before their showdown with Michigan. MSU has fallen flat on their faces this year. OSU by 23.
Will: With Ohio State getting another shot at the playoffs, I’m trusting they won’t give it up so easily this time around. Ohio State by 17.
Mikey: OSU now has a very good chance to sneak into college football’s Final Four, which includes a chance for an easy victory against the Spartans. They’ll take advantage and improve to 10-1. Buckeyes by 31.
Kevin: Michigan State has played in a lot of close games this year and come out losing. They have a talented roster, but they can’t keep up with the Buckeyes. Look for them to prove why they’re the number 2 in the country. Ohio State by 21.
#6 Wisconsin v. Purdue
Tyler: The Badgers have dealt with injuries of their own, but they haven’t skipped a beat. Wisco by 21.
Gabe: Wisconsin by 13.
Sean: Purdue isn’t good, and Wisconsin is the grittiest team in college football. Badgers by 19.
Will: Easy, safe win here for Wisconsin. Wisconsin by 30.
Mikey: The Badgers continue to be underappreciated, but after the mess that was last weekend, they could also sneak into the playoff picture, and that can only be aided by a win against Purdue. Wisconsin by 20.
Kevin: The first of two easy games to finish off the regular season for Wisconsin. Purdue won’t put up much of a fight against Wisconsin’s rushing attack. Badgers by 24.
#21 Florida v. #16 LSU
Tyler: There’s no secret to what LSU relies on offensively – Leonard Fournette didn’t even lead the team in yards last week and they still gained almost 400 rushing yards. Florida’s rushing defense looks good statistically, but they’re missing several starters. Plus, they’re on the road. I like the Bayou Bengals by 10.
Gabe: Florida by 3.
Sean: Florida has pretty much locked up the SEC East, and while LSU cant win the West, they still have a lot riding on this game. The Gators have the best defense in college football, while the Tigers have the most talented offensive player in the nation in Leonard Fournette. Fournette was shut down the last time he faced a legit opponent, and could have similar struggles this week. However, I like LSU at home in Death Valley in what should be one of the best games of the weekend. LSU by 2.
Will: I don’t think it can be understated how big of an impact Coach O has on this LSU team. I’d pretty much take them in any game as long as they aren’t playing ‘Bama (Roll Tide). LSU by 20.
Mikey: Florida has a great defense, but only Alabama is capable of stopping Leonard Fournette. He’ll have a monster game as they beat the short-handed Gators. LSU by 14.
Kevin: LSU has played phenomenal under Coach O, and in a defensive battle, I’m gonna take LSU. The Gators have the best secondary in college with two elite first round corners, but they will struggle to stop Fournette, who has excelled against pretty much everyone outside of Alabama. Tigers by 14.
Oregon v. #11 Utah
Tyler: Oregon is putrid this year. Utah by 33.
Gabe: Utah by 18.
Sean: Oregon has fallen off a cliff this season. They possess one of the worst defenses in football. Justin Herbert has been the lone bright spot in a year to forget for the Ducks. Utah just annoys me at this point, but they’re a solid program. Utes by 25.
Will: Oregon has been an absolute disaster this year and should be a no problem for Utah. Look for Utah at Colorado next week to be a deciding game in the PAC-12 standings. Utah by 17.
Mikey: Oregon has been awful this year. Utah hasn’t. Utah by 35.
Kevin: It’s a down year for the Ducks to say the least. They really don’t stand a chance against Utah. Utes by 27.
Indiana v. #4 Michigan
Tyler: Michigan lost to a clearly-inferior Iowa team last week, and they lost Wilton Speight to a broken collarbone. Granted, they still have De’Veon Smith in the backfield, but the Hoosiers were able to hold Penn State star Saquon Barkley to 58 yards (though still two touchdowns). Indiana lost because they gave up big passing plays, but I don’t think John O’Korn and Shane Morris present the same threat. Watch out Michigan, here comes a losing streak. You heard it here first. Indiana by 6.
Gabe: Michigan will struggle to get the offense rolling without Wilton Speight, but they have more talent regardless. Blue by 10.
Sean: Michigan shouldn’t be #3 for the CFP after their loss to an Iowa team that is better than their record indicates. The loss of Wilton Speight is huge, as he’s surpassed all expectations. This team is still built around De’Veon Smith, Jabrill Peppers and an insanely talented defense. The Hoosiers don’t stand a chance in the Big House. Wolverines by 28.
Will: Indiana sure gave Penn State a ride last week. I hope they enjoyed it because Michigan is not giving up their shot at the playoffs. Michigan by 17.
Mikey: Even without Wilton Speight, Michigan is so much better than Indiana that they should win this game with ease. Wolverines by 17.
Kevin: This should be an easy game for the Wolverine,s but they should also take this opportunity to start working Jabrill Peppers into the offense more so he can be doing everything he can when they face stronger opponents. Michigan by 28.
#17 Florida State v. Syracuse
Tyler: Florida State is in a disappointing season, but they’ve still played like one of the better teams in the country at times, especially against lesser opponents. Syracuse does, in fact, fall into the “lesser opponents” category. FSU by 22.
Gabe: Florida State by 17.
Sean: The Seminoles are 7-3, but they have not lived up to the hype that surrounded this team at the beginning of the year. Freshman Deondre Francois has played as well as a freshman not named Jameis Winston could, and Dalvin Cook has been his usual self. Those two should have a huge game against a Syracuse team that allows 471 yards of offense game. The Orange are at home and rested, so this game could wind up being pretty close. FSU by 15.
Will: Syracuse may be dead after losing 54-0 to Clemson two weeks ago. Should be easy for FSU to beat a dead team. FSU by 21.
Mikey: After a slow start, FSU has recovered well, and Syracuse is a fairly easy team to beat. FSU by 21.
Kevin: Syracuse is no match for the Seminoles even if they’re playing at home. Seminoles by 25.
#20 Washington State v. #12 Colorado
Tyler: Losing record-setting receiver River Cracraft isn’t ideal for Washington State, but Luke Falk has been able to string together an impressive season. Colorado has a top-10 defense in the country, but they have yet to play a quarterback who has thrown for 3600 yards and 33 touchdowns with a 74% completion percentage… Plus, I’m no nature expert, but I’m pretty sure Cougars eat Buffaloes. Washington State by 10.
Gabe: Washington State by 7, because of Luke Falk’s arm.
Sean: Two emerging programs in the PAC-12 face off in a game with major conference championship implications. Each are winning their respective divisions, and WSU needs this win to stay one game ahead of Washington before the meet up in the Apple Cup. Colorado needs this win to stay ahead of USC, who owns the tiebreaker over the Buffs. When in doubt, either pick the team with the better defense, or whichever team is at home. Colorado is both in this situation. Buffaloes by 6.
Will: Washington State’s offense is on point right now. They’ve scored a total of 126 points in the past two games and I don’t think Colorado has faced an offense quite like this one. While Colorado’s defense could be the equalizer, my trust lies with Mike Leach and Washington State. Washington State by 10.
Mikey: I really like the way Washington State is playing right now, and they should ride that momentum to a victory over Colorado. WSU by 10.
Kevin: This might be the best game of the weekend. These teams are extremely close and make a great matchup, but I think Colorado will win at home in a nail biter. Colorado by 7.
Buffalo v. #14 Western Michigan
Tyler: Well, well, well. Look who decided to FINALLY play a game on a Saturday. They’ve inconvenienced the entire N2K staff the last few weeks with their odd, MAC schedule. But they’re better than the Bulls. WMU by 17.
Gabe: Why haven’t we given Western Michigan any playoff consideration? #MACtion. Broncos by 28.
Sean: Shoutout to Western Michigan for not playing on Tuesday and making me mad at them. Broncos roll easy by 45.
Will: I don’t know much about either team, but I do know that Buffalo is 2-8. Would be an upset for the ages in the MAC if Buffalo pulls it out. Western Michigan by 14.
Mikey: Buffalo is awful. WMU by 42.
Kevin: The Broncos are on their way to an undefeated season and this should be an easy win to keep it going. Western Michigan by 31.
#24 San Diego State v. Wyoming
Tyler: Wyoming beat Boise State this year at home, so why not San Diego State? Well, they did just give up over 650 yards of offense last week to UNLV (not a typo, I know what I said), and they’re going against a Heisman candidate in Donnel Pumphrey. Wyoming has enjoyed somewhat of a Cinderella run, but their defense is simply struggling. Aztecs by 18.
Gabe: SDSU by 17.
Sean: So happy I finally get to talk about Donnel Pumphrey, who is fourth all time in rushing yards in NCAA history. He has an outside shot of passing Ricky Williams for second all time before this game is over. Wyoming already has a big win under their belt by beating Boise State. Aztecs by 18.
Will: San Diego State has the Heisman candidate, so I’m rolling with them in this game. SDSU by 14.
Mikey: SDSU by 12.
Kevin: Give me the Aztecs. SDSU by 27.
Chattanooga v. #1 Alabama
Tyler: Ha. Tide by 71.
Gabe: ‘Bama by 13.
Sean: … BAHAHAHAHA. Tide by 60.
Will: Sheeeeesh. Alabama by 40.
Mikey: C’mon. Alabama by 38.
Kevin: This should be no contest for the National Championship favorites. Crimson Tide by 45.
#5 Clemson v. Wake Forest
Tyler: I think it’s important that teams know how to win close games. And I know that Clemson beat Louisville head-to-head, but I think Clemson’s escaped several, several times. I like Clemson to win here and win big, because Dabo knows that they have to go make some statements. Clemson by 24.
Gabe: The Tigers will come out with vengeance. Keep the score 44-12 in mind, as Clemson will look to beat that differential from a week ago, when the Deacons played Louisville. Clemson by 30.
Sean: The Tigers are coming off a heartbreaking loss to a solid Pitt team. They are still in great shape to make the CPF with an explosive offense with an embarrassment of weapons. DeShaun Watson has been loose with the football at some points during this season, and it cost his team against the Panthers. However, Wake Forest’s offense is pretty much inept at putting up the numbers to compete with the Tigers. Clemson by 35.
Will: Sorry Wake Forest, but the beating doesn’t end with Louisville last week. Clemson by 40.
Mikey: Wake Forest has low-key had a quality season, but Clemson needs to rebound after that loss to Pitt. Dabo will have them ready to go. Clemson by 7.
Kevin: Wake Forest has given top talent teams some good competition this year and won games they shouldn’t have. They can compete, but when it comes to clutch time, their lack of talent shows and this should be no different against the Tigers. Clemson by 10.
Alabama A&M v. #18 Auburn
Tyler: Low-key, Auburn lost last week too, behind 27 passing yards from Sean White. The Tigers get themselves a cupcake game before trying to derail ‘Bama’s season. Expect a bounce back. War Eagle by 34.
Gabe: Auburn by 28.
Sean: I didn’t even take the time to look up with AAMU stood for. Tigers by 38.
Will: Real bummed out Auburn lost this past week. All comes down to ‘Bama next week. Auburn by 30.
Mikey: Again, c’mon. Auburn by 20.
Kevin: Easy dub. Auburn by 23.
Arizona State v. #7 Washington
Tyler: I think last week’s loss knocks Washington out of the playoff race. While Arizona State does lead the all-time series, they also don’t have Adoree’ Jackson, who seems to be Jake Browning’s kryptonite. Huskies by 17.
Gabe: Washington needs to win out and win big. Huskies by 20.
Sean: Washington let me down big time last weekend, getting dominated by USC at home. Jake Browning was not himself and was badly outplayed by Sam Darnold. ASU can’t stop a nosebleed so this should be a big time bounce back week for the Huskies. Washington by 33.
Will: Washington has already come this far, I don’t expect them to just fall down and die at this point. Washington by 14.
Mikey: Like UM and Clemson, Washington needs to bounce back after a tough loss last week, and they will go against America’s party school. Washington by 20.
Kevin: After a tough loss to USC, the Huskies should rebound this week and get their offense back in stride. Washington by 23.
#8 Oklahoma v. #10 West Virginia
Tyler: This is the most competitive game according to the AP rankings. West Virginia escaped on the road against Texas, but they run into one of, if not THE hottest teams in the country in Oklahoma. If last week proves anything, it’s that nothing is predictable. That means Bob Stoops’s guys are going to play like they still have a shot. Sooners by 10.
Gabe: There will be lots of points and yards in this one. This is truly a toss-up for me, but I believe in Baker Mayfield more than Skyler Howard. Oklahoma by 3.
Sean: Baker Mayfield, Joe Mixon and DeDe Westbrook are the best QB, RB, WR combination in college football. To me, this is West Virginia’s second legit test. Their first one? A loss at Oklahoma State by 17. Oklahoma hasn’t lost since September, and have been creaming just about everyone they have played in the process. They are a long shot to make the CFP because of the BIG XII’s stupidity, but that won’t stop Baker Mayfield from trying to get them there. Sooners by 17.
Will: What a game. I’ll admit that West Virginia has been a surprise and continues to roll through the competition, but they don’t have the juice to beat Oklahoma. West Virginia has not been challenged enough this season and that will hurt them in this game. Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma have been looking for a chance to jump back into contention, and a road game against a top 10 team is the perfect opportunity. Oklahoma by 6.
Mikey: Another Big XII shootout, but this one is between two ranked teams. Oklahoma will get the win against a good Mountaineers team.
Kevin: Oklahoma’s defense has looked spotty all year and let up a lot of points. West Virginia hasn’t been great but they are better. They also have a capable offense that could perform very well against Oklahoma. The game is also being played in West Virginia so they have that advantage as well making this a good game for the Mountaineers. West Virginia by 10.
#9 Penn State v. Rutgers
Tyler: Penn State has two of the worst teams in the Big 10 standing between them and the conference championship. They control their own destiny. There’s a shot they lose next week, but there’s simply no shot they lose this week. Nittany Lions by 20, behind three Saquon Barkley touchdowns.
Gabe: Damn. Penn State by 23.
Sean: Rutgers isn’t good at much. Football included. Saquon Barkley goes for 200+ in this one. Nittany Lions by 37.
Will: Looking through Rutgers season schedule was straight depressing. They have some bad losses to some even worse teams. Much to my disapproval, Penn State will remain in the top 10 for sure. Penn State by 40.
Mikey: It’s Rutgers football. That’s why. Penn State by 24.
Kevin: Rutgers is absolutely terrible and will be involved in another blowout this week. Penn State by 38.
#15 USC v. UCLA
Tyler: USC played a complete game against Washington last week. They gained 400 yards of total offense, held the ball longer and grabbed nearly twice the amount of first downs as the Huskies. Most importantly, their defense played phenomenal. Against a rival that has struggled all year long, this shouldn’t be a tough game for the Trojans. USC by 17.
Gabe: It will be such a USC moment when they get ranked 15th, and then lose the next week. UCLA by 3.
Sean: UCLA has fallen flat on their face, while USC has had a renaissance of sorts since inserting Sam Darnold as the starting quarterback. Darnold has the looks of the next great QB at USC. He’s helped by Ronald Jones II and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has woken up the last month. Trojans by 13.
Will: If USC can win at Washington, UCLA is not an issue. USC by 17.
Mikey: USC has really turned it around this year, and without Josh Rosen, UCLA doesn’t stand a chance. USC by 21.
Kevin: The Trojans have greatly improved after switching quarterbacks this year and starting Sam Darnold. JuJu Smith has also had some great games and should look to have another one against UCLA who is having a tough season. Trojans by 20.
BONUS – Connecticut v. Boston College
Tyler: UConn stinks. BC by 7.
Gabe: BC by 14.
Sean: UConn could really use a win in any sport after their men’s basketball team lost their first two games. I don’t think they’ll get that win against a strong Eagles defense playing at home in Chestnut Hill. BC wins by 16.
Will: BC has been getting blown out of stadiums, but so has UConn. This is a historically great matchup between two awful teams that have coaches without a doubt taking this game way too seriously. Should be fun to watch. BC by 2.
Mikey: I flipped a coin. BC by 7.
Kevin: Another big win for the Eagles as we slowly work on our climb back to greatness. Eagles by 9.
BONUS – UMass v. BYU
Tyler: Mitt Romney is a Mormon bishop. BYU by 3.
Gabe: BYU by 20.
Sean: UMass is a garbage football program. BYU by 38.
Will: If UMass can’t pull this one out, at least we have Hawaii next week. UMass by 3.
Mikey: I like the home team in this one. BYU by 14.
Kevin: It’s a tough season for the Minutemen. BYU by 17.
BONUS – Virginia Tech v. Notre Dame
Tyler: Every part of my body is telling me to not pick the Irish in this one. But, it’s the last home game of the season, they are mathematically in contention for a bowl, and their defense has come around the last couple of games. Supposing DeShone Kizer can go toe-to-toe against Jerod Evans in what could possibly be his last game in South Bend, and supposing the special teams doesn’t screw anything up, the Irish can win this one. Golden Helmets by 6.
Gabe: ND by 4.
Sean: I have rarely picked against the Fighting Irish this season, and it’s come back to bite me in the rear end most of the time. They’re coming off an impressive win over Army, while Georgia Tech dominated VT in a game that was a bigger blowout than a 30-20 score would indicate. Give me the Irish again by 15.
Will: Tech has found themselves in rut at the worst time in the season. A win against Notre Dame would be nice, but it doesn’t take away the bad losses they’ve had this season. After destroying Notre Dame last week, I’m giving them a shot in this one to pull off the upset. Notre Dame by 3.
Mikey: The Irish have started to improve, but I like the Hokies to pull this one out on the road. VT by 7.
Kevin: As much as I hate Virginia Tech, it’s gonna be nice to see Notre Dame lose another game this year. VT by 21.
Cover Photo from AL.com.