Last week there wasn’t anything too, too special… oh, except Louisville players taking to social media instead of actually taking the field, right? The Cardinals’ loss at the hands of Houston ends their playoff dreams this season, but there’s still College Football Playoff decisions to be made. What better time to do it than rivalry week? I know #2 Ohio State vs. #3 Michigan headlines the week, but they’re not the only matchup we have on deck.
This week is busy for everyone, so I made it optional for the rest of our staff to send their picks in. I’ll calculate the final records and winning percentage next week. It’ll only be Gabe and I picking this time around, so here goes nothin’.
NOTE: All team rankings are based on the AP Top 25. For the College Football Playoff Standings, look here.
BYE: #7 Oklahoma, #10 Oklahoma State
#25 LSU V. #22 Texas A&M
Tyler: LSU dropped a tough, chippy game to Florida last week. Ultimately, Florida’s defense proved to be a good matchup for the Tigers’ run-first attack. While A&M also has a good defense, they don’t have a quarterback to keep up with the dynamic duo of Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice. LSU by 10.
Gabe: LSU by 7.
#6 Washington v. #23 Washington State
Tyler: For Washington to have any hope of making the playoffs, they must win this road game against their hated in-state rival. That’s a storyline straight out of a sports movie. Washington has won the last three meetings, and they mauled the Cougars last year. However, Jake Browning has begun to sputter down the stretch, as he looked sloppy even in a win last week. Even in a loss, Luke Falk, on the other hand, has gotten better as the season progressed. The Cougars have the better offense, and despite a loss last week to Colorado, they have the momentum in my opinion. Cougars by 3 in a classic.
Gabe: Washington State by 3.
#20 Boise State v. Air Force
Tyler: I’m thankful for your service, Air Force. Boise State by 24.
Gabe: Boise State by 14.
#17 Nebraska v. Iowa
Tyler: I have a hunch. No other reasoning. Strictly a hunch. Hawkeyes by 6.
Gabe: Nebraska by 4.
Toledo v. #14 Western Michigan
Tyler: Toledo LOVES their football, man. Western Michigan by 17.
Gabe: Western Michigan by 10.
#18 Houston v. Memphis
Tyler: Houston has been one of the hardest teams to predict this season. I could see them falling flat on their face due to complacency, but Tom Herman should coach his guys up to build on their momentum from last week and finish strong. Cougars by 12.
Gabe: Houston by 10.
Kentucky v. #11 Louisville
Tyler: I’d be really excited if this was a basketball game. I could reason a decently-close game because Louisville has shown their immaturity over the last week via social media, and I could see them getting complacent. They still have more talent, though. Cards by 17.
Gabe: Louisville by 20.
#3 Michigan v. #2 Ohio State
Tyler: This is the best rivalry in all of college sports, period. Michigan came back from a halftime deficit to beat Indiana last week, but going to The Shoe in a must-win game for both teams will speak volumes. I think OSU has the advantage offensively, as they haven’t really lost any key players the way Michigan has. The Buckeye offensive line needs to be better than it was last week, and the run defense has to really zone in on De’Veon Smith. LJ Scott tore apart the Buckeyes last week, but JT Barrett was able to put points on the board when they needed it most. That’ll be the rhetoric in this game, too. Bucks by 7 in another instant classic.
Gabe: Michigan by 4.
#16 Auburn v. #1 Alabama
Tyler: I think Auburn is a good-but-not-great football team. Alabama has an edge because of their undefeated mark along with being the home team. I think it’s hard to argue for Auburn in this one. However, if ‘Bama is going to lose in the regular season, I think this is the week. I’ve been burned by going against the Tide several times, but screw it. War Eagle by 2.
Gabe: ‘Bama by 3.
Notre Dame v. #12 USC
Tyler: *Sighs*. #BringCharlieStrongToSouthBend. Trojans by 21.
Gabe: USC by 20.
#19 West Virginia v. Iowa State
Tyler: Game was over before it even started. WVU by 28.
Gabe: West Virginia by 20.
Michigan State v. #8 Penn State
Tyler: If this game was in East Lansing, I’d really be sitting on an upset. Penn State has made noise since their win against Ohio State, but beating teams like Rutgers doesn’t impress me. Penn State, for all intents and purposes, should find themselves in the Big 10 Championship regardless. Michigan State gave the Bucks a good run last week, but they lost steam when it mattered most. Nittany Lions by 14.
Gabe: PSU by 10.
Minnesota v. #5 Wisconsin
Tyler: Minnesota is a sneaky-good team this year. But being at home in the last week of the season should be enough for Wisconsin as they gear up for the Big 10 Championship. Badgers by 10.
Gabe: Wisconsin by 8.
#21 Utah v. #9 Colorado
Tyler: I like Colorado because of the high altitude and vaunted defense. Utah is still going to be reeling from a surprising, last-second loss to Oregon last week. Buffs by 14.
Gabe: Colorado by 17.
South Carolina v. #4 Clemson
Tyler: Jokes. Clemson by 22.
Gabe: Clemson by 20.
#24 Tennessee v. Vanderbilt
Tyler: Just think, that people thought Tennessee would be a playoff team at the beginning of the season. In theory, they can still win the SEC. I’m not sure if that’ll happen, but Butch Davis’s squad will take care of business against Vanderbilt.
Gabe: Vols by 8.
#13 Florida v. #15 Florida State
Tyler: I know how good Florida’s secondary is, but the rest of their team truly doesn’t impress me. I think that a disappointing season will have a happy ending for the Seminoles, who have really fallen off the national radar. Expect a big win at home. ‘Noles by 17.
Gabe: Florida State by 7.
BONUS – UMass v. Hawaii
Tyler: Traveling cross-country is never an easy task. Hawaii by 14.
Gabe: Hawaii by 7.
BONUS – Boston College v. Wake Forest
Tyler: BC is a bad football team. Wake by 10.
Gabe: Wake by 7.
Cover photo from heavy.com.