Week 6 Predictions – 2018

Last Week:  Ohio State just won what might be the biggest regular season game in 2018. It is certainly the top game for September. Penn State’s Coach Franklin said it best, “OSU is an elite team, Penn State is not” For the second year in a row, Ohio State staged a 4th quarter rally to defeat the Nittany Lions by 1 point, and last time I checked, 1 point is all you need. The Buckeyes just need to continue to improve and maybe heal up a few injured players over the next few weeks and get ready for November’s slate. For our weekly staff predictions results, we had a little shuffling at the top of the leaderboard but everyone is still very close after the first month. Steven parlayed his combination of regular game predictions as well as his ‘Upset Special’ success to find himself alone on top.

This Week’s Games: After the victory over Penn State, the Buckeyes are clearly in the driver seat for a spot in Indianapolis and a playoff berth. If the win out, they are in.  This week they take on a Hoosier team that has given them some fits the past few years but in the end, OSU found a way to win. Will the dominate like they should, or will they have a bit of a hangover from the trip to Happy Valley and lose like they did last year to Iowa?  ….  In a clash of college football royalty, Oklahoma and Texas face-off in the Cotton Bowl on the Texas State Fairgrounds. For the first time in 6 years both teams come into this ranked, and it will go a long way to determine who might win the Big 12. Can Coach Herman pull off the upset?  …..  In an SEC battle of East vs West, LSU heads to the Swamp for the second straight year. Can Joe Borrow win another close SEC contest?  ….. The Irish, like Ohio State may have their toughest games behind them.  Will this be the first game on the road to the playoffs or will the Virginia Tech spoil the party?    

Buckeye Greats: As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our weekly prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax(1980-83) back with us as for the fourth straight year.

Here we go once again … our Week 6 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg

Indiana  @  (3)Ohio State

Bbaver:  Pick: Ohio State – This is a game where Indiana may hang around for awhile. OSU is banged up and of course is off the huge win over State Penn. I think Ohio State pulls away in the second half…too much talent differential. I’d like to see OSU rest anyone that is dinged up here, especially Dre’Mont Jones.

Cory:  This week is a tough one for Ohio State, not because of the opponent – Indiana – but because of how difficult it can be to avoid a hangover after a big win. The Buckeyes rallied past Penn State late last week and escaped Happy Valley with a win. Primetime, whiteout, nationally televised – all eyes were on this game and no doubt the Buckeyes were aware of that. Now the Buckeyes have to find motivation to play against an underrated Indiana team. The Hoosiers are 4-1 with their only loss coming to Michigan State. They have a balanced offense led by quarterback Peyton Ramsey, and a defense that’s better than those Indiana defenses of the past. That said, as long as the Buckeyes can find some motivation for this game it likely will not be much of a contest. The Hoosiers may be able to put up a fight for a bit but expect Ohio State to pull away in the second half.     Ohio State 45, Indiana 21

Dave:  Ohio State 32  Indiana

Gregg:  This should be the time of the season where the Buckeyes need to take care of business each week, advance and stay healthy.  They will be the favorite every game the rest of the year.  Indiana should not be a problem but they come in 4-1 and have the ability to score points. I expect the Buckeyes will continue to focus on the pass as Dwayne Haskins has been very accurate all season long.  His numbers are better after 5 games than what Troy Smith had his Heisman winning year.  If things go well, he should only see action into the 3rd period and let Tate Martell have some snaps.  If they do rely on the run, JK Dobbins may get the bulk of the carries as Weber is still nursing an injury. As a side note, if Dobbins can get another 217 yards, that will put him over 2,000 on his career.  With Weber already at that level, it will be the first time OSU has had two 2,000 yard running backs on the same squad. (they have had one running back and one quarterback at the same time). The defense will be fine even without Bosa so hoping a lot of the bench gets to play in the second half. Don’t expect to see Drue Christman too much this week but his 47 yard average over Penn State may have been the difference.  Ohio State takes care of business early and coasts to a victory.    Ohio State 51  Indiana 13

Jason The Buckeyes will try to avoid an emotional letdown as they return home to host Indiana following the big win in State College a week ago.  A year ago, following a comeback win over the Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes took the field at Iowa City and it didn’t go well.  The Hoosiers are much improved defensively, leading the conference in takeaways and they have an offense too.  The 4-1 Hoosiers stroll out the best running QB in the Big Ten not named Trace McSorley in Peyton Ramsey.  Ohio State is prone to give up chunk yardage too.  The Buckeyes have given up too many explosive plays for Urban Meyer’s liking.  In 2 of the last 3 weeks, the Buckeyes have allowed the longest running play (TCU) and passing play (Penn State) from scrimmage in school history.  Ramsey has demonstrated the ability to create big plays feet so the Ohio State defense should be wary.  Ramsey is hitting on 71% of his passes as well, but he is 11th in the conference and 127th in the nation in yards per completion so he likes to dink and dunk defenses and then get them with his ability to scramble.  Fortunately for the Buckeyes, he won’t burn them deep and the bad news for the Hoosier defense is the Buckeyes don’t turn it over.  Indiana may hang for a while, but with the explosive playmakers all over the offense that QB Dwayne Haskins likes to utilize, Ohio State can turn it on at a moment’s notice and a close game can turn into a blow out quickly.  The Hoosiers have to play a perfect game to get out of Columbus with a win, but even if the Buckeyes don’t play their A game, it probably won’t be enough for Indiana to come away with a victory.  Look for the Hoosiers to make some plays early, but the Buckeyes will impose their will and cruise to 6-0.     Ohio State 45 Indiana 17

Joe-S-U: Ohio State over Indiana – This game’s a foregone conclusion, so how about discussing where Binjimen Victor’s catch ranks in OSU annals? Up there with Austin Mack’s catch against TBGUN last year? Gonzo’s snag in Ann Arbor in ’05? Cris Carter’s catch among 3 Illini defenders in the ’84 comeback? Rickey Dudley’s catch at Happy Valley in ’95? What a game changer it was, and hopefully a career changer for Victor

John Don’t be too surprised if this one is still close into the fourth quarter.  I think a letdown after the emotional game last week in Happy Valley is somewhat inevitable, even after the big letdown in Iowa City last year following the Penn State game.  College football is very much a game of emotion, and the are still college kids playing the game, not seasoned pros.  That said, with the game in Columbus, the home crowd should eliminate any possibility of an upset. Bucks win, but closer than some will like.     Ohio State 35 Indiana 21

JoshIndiana is coming into this game after a close win against Rutgers, and is 4-1 for the season. I remember the 2017 season, we went to Bloomington on the Thursday of the opening weekend of football and gave up over 400 yard passing. Indiana still has some playmakers on offense, but we will need to slow them down. The biggest opponent for Ohio State though for this game isn’t really the Hoosiers, but a let down. They are coming into this game after an emotional high from the Penn State game that they could be a little unfocused. All any of the leaders of the team needs to do is remind them of the Iowa game last year, and that should hopefully stop any post game hangover. Ohio State has another chance to work on its running game, and keep developing Haskins’ confidence. I am sure we will see the electric Tate Martell in this one, after not playing a snap against Penn State. Ohio State stays focused and wins big for this late afternoon kickoff.         Ohio State 42 – Indiana 17  

Dr. Mark:  OSU 42-21 – This will be close in the first half but pass rush will wear their O-Line down in the second half

PJSBuck:  Clearly, the Hoosiers have improved and I like their QB.  However, I think the Bucks will be really energized as they learned many valuable lessons last week including how to deal with adversity and fight to the last whistle.  I think there will be a fair amount of scoring so it will be entertaining.    OSU wins 52 to 28  

Pia PeteBucks over Hoosiers

Coach Rick:  I have Ohio State starting off slow in this game and then coming on strong to end the game. I see Ohio State winning 54 to 10.

Steven:  With the tough stuff over with for a while, Ohio State basically gets 5 weeks off until they have their next test in East Lansing.  There are mere speedbumps until November 10, (4 speedbumps and an off week).  Look for OSU to emphasize the run game both offensively and defensively.  If OSU can establish the run game and defend it effectively for the rest of the year they have an excellent chance of winning the Big Ten and making the College Football Playoff.     OSU 55-10

Trout:  The Buckeyes will win this game. And I think they will win big. However, I think they will get off to a slow start. Firstly, the Buckeyes are coming off the toughest game of their season against Penn State. Any team would start off sluggish after such a monumental challenge the week before. Not to mention, Indiana has given the Buckeyes fits in the past. Having said that, I still think the Buckeyes easily win the game. Once Hawkins and the offense get things going, the Hoosiers will have a hard time stopping them. Indiana might scores few points early, but not enough to keep up with Ohio State. Ohio State wins comfortably.      (Ohio State, 49-14)   

VaughnIndiana will provide some excitement this weekend for Homecoming. However, that excitement will be short lived as the Buckeyes blast the Hoosiers 49-21.   

Final Score:  Ohio State 49   Indiana 26

(19)Texas  vs.  (7)Oklahoma

Bbaver:  Pick: Oklahoma – I don’t like picking this game, because I never seem to have a good read on it. Oklahoma I think is the better team, so I will to with the Sooners. Will root for Texas though.

Cory:  The Longhorns have reeled off four consecutive wins after a season-opening loss to Maryland, and three of the those wins came over USC, TCU, and a tough Kansas State team. It is premature to say Texas is back, but a good performance against Oklahoma this week would say a lot. On the other hand, Oklahoma looks every part like a playoff team. Not surprisingly, the Sooners have an explosive offense led by the do-everything quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray has almost 2,000 all-purpose yards already, and has scored 21 touchdowns. Oklahoma hasn’t really been tested yet – the Sooners’ toughest game was against Iowa State – so Texas may be able to put up a fight in this one, especially with it being a rivalry game. Though Texas is much improved, the Longhorns don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with Murray and the Sooners.     Oklahoma 38, Texas 24

Dave:  Oklahoma 42  Texas 38

Gregg:  We are only done with September’s schedule and there are only two teams left in the Big 12 with a zero in the loss column …. WVU, Oklahoma and Texas. As things are shaping up right now, it may be difficult for a Big 12 team to reach the playoffs with a loss. So this game may end up being an elimination game. And both of these teams still have to play West Virginia. As for this game, Kyler Murray has stepped into Baker’s shoes and the Lincoln Riley offense marches onward.  Texas looked shaky in the opening week game against the Terps but hey, they are 3-1 now so maybe they are better than advertised too.  Coach Herman and his teams have looked good in games where he is the underdog, and I expect no different in this one.  He should have got the win over the Sooners last year but fell a little short.  I think that is what will happen again this year, as the Oklahoma Offense is running too well to lose right now.  Oklahoma 28  Texas 24

Jason:  The biggest rivalry west of the Mississippi is renewed as the Red River Shootout (Rivalry) pits Texas and Oklahoma, who are two of the hotter teams in college football.  Oklahoma is playing at a very high level, save the Army game, which is a different animal in and of itself.  QB Kyler Murray, who is playing his last season of football ever, having signed a multi-million dollar deal to play outfield for the Oakland A’s, is playing at Heisman level and making Sooner fans quickly forget about Baker Mayfield.  The Heisman candidate threw for over 400 yards and 6 TD’s a week ago against Baylor.  Oh, and he also ran for another 45 and a touchdown.  Texas has been playing better football since the unexplainable loss at Maryland to start the season, but they haven’t seen anything like they are about to see in the Sooner offense.  The Longhorns strength on defense has been at stopping the run, however, they have struggled to pressure the quarterback and Murray can sling it with a quick release that could cause the Longhorns difficulty despite a secondary that has picked off 6 passes thus far.  Texas will need to play ball control and keep it out of the quick strike Oklahoma offense’s hands to have any chance to make this a four-quarter game.  I expect Texas to have some success early moving the football, but will they make it uncomfortable for Murray defensively?  If he gets comfortable, look out.  Texas is better, but not yet to the level of Oklahoma athletically.  The Longhorns will hang for a half but Oklahoma’s quick strike offense gets going in the second half and pulls away for a comfortable win.     Oklahoma 42 Texas 20 

Joe-S-U:  Oklahoma over Texas – These 2 have played several slobberknockers recently, and that 10 points the ‘Horns are getting on my spot card….uh, for entertainment purposes only…looks pretty good. But for our purposes here, I’ll roll with Boomer Sooner  

JohnWill the real Texas please raise your hand?  Not sure how a team that lost to a bad Maryland team and struggled to beat a so-so Kansas State team managed to handily bead good USC and TCU teams.  Maybe the common denominator is location.  Both wins being at home, the loss/close win being on the road.  This is a true “neutral” site game.  Yes the game is in Dallas, but the crowd should be close to 50/50.  That won’t be enough for the ‘Horns.  Oklahoma is a touchdown favorite, and that sounds about right.     Oklahoma  28  Texas 21

Josh:  Texas is riding on an emotional high right now, after losing to a mediocre Marlyand team, they have won 3 staight, including wins over TCU and USC. Tom Herman is 22-1 as the underdog since being a offensive coordinator at Iowa State, Ohio State, and his head coaching rolls. Texas kept the game close last year against Oklahoma, but they need to observe the Army game plan to slow down the high powered sooner offense. Even without Baker Mayfield, Lincoln Riley has his offense humming and has been putting up some big numbers. You could argue they were running up the score against Baylor last week with keeping their starters in deep into the 4th quarter, but they are a good team. I think this one will be close, but Oklahoma gets another win in the rivalry game, and goes back to normal with the giant golden cowboy hat. Oklahoma 31 – Texas 26. 

Dr. Mark:  OK 35-28 – Texas seems to be returning to some consistent play but I’ll go with Sooners QB in this one  

PJSBuck:  Great game to watch or record.  The Sooners are as good a team as advertised and they have just too much offense for Texas.  Oklahoma by 21  

Pia PeteOU over Texas

Coach Rick:  This should be a good game in the beginning and then Oklahoma will pull away with the win. I have Sooners winning by 35 to 21.

Steven:  Texas coach Tom Hermann has brought the Longhorns back to respectability after an opening week loss to Maryland.  Look for them to drop back out of the top 25 this week after Oklahoma shows them just how far they have yet to go.  Expect a Texas sized curb-stomping.  Oklahoma runs away with it and QB Kyler Murray makes a jump in the Heisman race.    OU 48-20

Trout:  The Sooners should win this game, but I see Texas putting up a challenge. In week one, they lost to a middle of the road (at best) Big ten team in Maryland. But then they were about to get two good wins over USC and TCU. I don’t think they are a great team. Tom Herman has yet to get his team back to what they used to be, but I think they are on upswing. But, Oklahoma is still the best team in the Big 12. They are not without their shortcomings, but they have managed to score a lot of points and remain unbeaten. Oklahoma’s superior talent should be able to get them past the longhorns, but I think it will be a tight game until the end. Oklahoma squeaks out a victory in the Red River Rivalry.      (Oklahoma, 31-27)   

Vaughn The Red River Shootout is a huge event and it is on my bucket list of events. I still cannot believe that this Texas team lost to Maryland two years in a row. That is why I am picking Oklahoma to win. The Sooners blast the Longhorns 35-17.    


Final Score:  Texas 48  Oklahoma 45

(5)LSU  @  (22)Florida

Bbaver:  Pick: Florida – I will go with the upset here. Dan Mullen has Florida playing pretty well now and their lost to Kentucky isn’t looking so bad now.

Cory:  I am still trying to figure out if LSU is legitimate or not. We’ve seen many times where the Tigers start out hot and get a single-digit number next to their name, only to lose a couple of inexplicable games after that. Traveling to the Swamp, even against a mediocre Florida team, will be no picnic. Florida is 4-1 and ranked again after upsetting Mississippi State last week. The LSU defense is legitimate. They’ve got 25 tackles for loss and seven interceptions, and they’re giving up just 3.0 yards per carry to running backs. On the other side of the ball, quarterback Joe Burrow is really starting to hit his stride. After struggling completing his passes in the beginning of the season, Burrow completed 57.1 percent of his passes against Louisiana Tech, and 72 percent of his passes against Ole Miss. Expect a tight game, but one in which the Tigers hang on late.                           LSU 24, Florida 20

Dave:  LSU 30  Florida 24

GreggI am a big fan of Joe Burrow and hope success for him this season. But I think they have been on the verge of their first loss, and I think if finally comes this week. Expect this to be close and very low scoring.     Florida 15  LSU 13

Jason:  The SEC has the marquis game in college football east of the Mississippi this week as the Bayou Bengals travel to the Swamp to take on the Gators. Florida has it rolling defensively, allowing just under 6 yards per completion and the defense has shown an ability to force turnovers, which puts their offense in a position to move the ball in short field scenarios.  LSU QB Joe Burrow has thrown for big yardage against their two most difficult opponents thus far, but his completion percentage hasn’t been fantastic, completing just 15 of 35 against Auburn and 11 of 24 against Miami.  He had his best game against Ole Miss a week ago, and he has yet to throw a pick but Florida may very well be the best defense he’s seen thus far.  If Burrow can manage the game and take care of the football, the Gators aren’t going to beat them with their offense, so LSU will be in a good position to get a big road win.  The winner of this game has the inside track to challenge Georgia for the East crown and in this one, defense should rule the day.  The Gators have the athletes to pressure Burrow and make things uncomfortable for him.  If he makes a mistake, the Gators will take advantage.  Playing at home, Florida will get a late score to win a relatively low scoring game in front of a rabid home crowd.     Florida 24 LSU 21

Joe-S-U:  LSU over Florida – Saban and Swinney probably wish they’d have had a Joe Burrow as their starter turned backup. I realize Joe already had his degree and hadn’t really played here, but when he was told, like Hurts and Bryant, that he wouldn’t be starting, he did what he felt he had to do maturely. No media s**tstorm….  

John:  Well, we find out if Jeaux Bureaux is the real deal or not.  I doubted the Tiger’s at Auburn.  Fool me once, and all that.    LSU  21  Florida 17

Josh:   LSU had the 6th toughest schedule in the country for the first 5 games, and has the hardest remaining schedule for the last 7 games of their schedule. This rivalry will have a lot of tension, and Florida will be coming into this game newly ranked and with a bit of swagger after taking down Mississippi State last week.  Joe Burrow has been solid for LSU, posting for over 300 yards of total offense last week against Ole Miss, and their defense stepped up big for this in this game. LSU continues to grow as a team, and the Burrow train keeps on rolling, winning this one by at least 10.       LSU 31 – Florida 21.

Dr. Mark:  Fla 28-24 – don’t quite trust LSU yet although the have 2 big wins so far- this will be an upset  

PJSBuck:  I am truly happy for Joe Burrow.  I don’t think this will be close – sorry Gators.  LSU by 21  

Pia PeteLSU over Florida

Coach Rick:  I do not think that this will be a close game at all. I have LSU winning by a lot.

Steven:  LSU’s offense is evolving around QB transfer Joe Burrow, who looks a lot like Craig Krenzel in 2002.  Burrow isn’t flashy by any means, but the fact that he’s taken a moribund Tiger offense and made it respectable, leading the team to a 5-0 start, beating Miami, Auburn and Ole Miss in the process is pretty awesome.  The Tigers meet another ranked team Saturday, this time taking on the Florida Gators in the Swamp.  Much like Texas, Florida has gotten into the top 25 without really being good.  Back to “others receiving votes” guys.  Can someone call up Mike Bianchi and find out how this Gator loss is Urban’s fault?  The world needs to know.  LSU 28-21.LSU’s offense is evolving around QB transfer Joe Burrow, who looks a lot like Craig Krenzel in 2002.  Burrow isn’t flashy by any means, but the fact that he’s taken a moribund Tiger offense and made it respectable, leading the team to a 5-0 start, beating Miami, Auburn and Ole Miss in the process is pretty awesome.  The Tigers meet another ranked team Saturday, this time taking on the Florida Gators in the Swamp.  Much like Texas, Florida has gotten into the top 25 without really being good.  Back to “others receiving votes” guys.  Can someone call up Mike Bianchi and find out how this Gator loss is Urban’s fault?  The world needs to know.     LSU 28-21

Trout:  This game will be close. I think the LSU Tigers should win this game, but I think the gators will keep it interesting. LSU has clearly been the better team this year, but their offense, lead by Joe Burrow isn’t anything dynamic. Not to say, Burrow is bad, its actually the opposite. He is very proficient, but he doesn’t have the “wow” factor. Florida is better than they have been this year, but the have yet to play a quality opponent. And no, Tennessee does not count. They can clearly score points, but its still yet to be seen if they can score against a good team like LSU. I see the game being a low scoring game, but Joe Burrow and the LSU offense scores enough to get by the Florida Gators.   (LSU, 17-9)  

VaughnLSU is riding the legs and arm of former Buckeye Joe Burrow, and are seeing some measured success. Amazing how a Big Ten QB can go down to the mighty SEC and rule. Florida is still a work in progress and my dream is to see LSU and OSU in the playoffs. I am picking LSU over Florida 27-17.   


Final Score:  Florida 27   LSU 19

(6)Notre Dame  @  (24)Virginia Tech

Bbaver:  Pick: Notre Dame – both schools had big wins last week, but ND’s was obviously bigger. I do like Ian Book at QB and think ND should prevail here.

Cory:  It’s time to consider Notre Dame as a legitimate playoff contender. The Fighting Irish didn’t have much trouble with No. 7 Stanford last week, beating the Cardinal 38-17. A large part of that is Notre Dame has finally found a quarterback. Ian Book got his first start last week and responded with 278 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Notre Dame this week with a trip to Virginia Tech. The Hokies have one of the worst losses of the season when they lost at home to Old Dominion a few weeks ago, but they rebounded with an upset over No. 22 Duke last week. Like Notre Dame, Virginia Tech have a new starter at quarterback. Ryan Willis started against Duke last week and threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Though Virginia Tech is better than they’ve shown so far, expect Notre Dame to come out on top this week.    Notre Dame 31, Virginia Tech 21

Dave:  Notre Dame 34  Virginia Tech 28

GreggBoth of these teams know the importance of this game. It masks as an ACC contest but we all know it is not really a conference game and it is just another way to let the Irish stay independent. And even though they don’t want to play by everyone else’s rules, they want special rules for themselves so they will be considered an elite team worthy of discussion for the playoffs. Truth is, the media like to talk about them because they are polarizing and they bump up ratings. But the truth be told, with the insertion of  Ian Bock at quarterback, replacing Brandon Wimbush has actually allowed Notre Dame to look like a legitimate contender. Lane Stadium is a tough environment to enter, but the Fighting Irish see that almost ever week. I don’t think the Hokies know if they are still in the hunt for an ACC title or they are Power 5 team that got their lunch handed to them by Old Dominion. The better team will win this one and that is not Virginia Tech.     Notre Dame 24  Virginia Tech 17  

Jason:  The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be looking to stay unbeaten when they visit Lane Stadium for maybe their last true test, a showdown against the Virginia Tech Hokies. Notre Dame cleared a major hurdle in their playoff push, defeating Stanford in South Bend.  The Hokies could very well be unbeaten as well if not for the 4th quarter meltdown on the road at Old Dominion.  The Irish offense has been the story of late.  Since Ian Book took over as the starting QB, the Irish offense has been rolling.  Coming off the bench at Vanderbilt, he hasn’t sat since, completing 25 of 34 of his passes with 2 TD’s and rushing for another 43 and 3 touchdowns in a rout of Wake Forest, then last week he completed 24 of his 33 attempts for 278 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks in the win over Stanford.  The passing game has opened things up on the ground as well as the two-headed monster, Tony Jones Jr. and Jafar Armstrong are averaging better than 5 yards per carry and combined for 548 rushing yards. For the Hokies, they bounced back with a huge road win over Duke last week as backup quarterback Ryan Willis threw for 332 yards and a career-high three touchdowns as the Hokies racked up 413 total yards of offense.  The Hokies seemed to gain a little of their swagger back, but Duke is not Notre Dame and even in Lane Stadium, the Irish have too much for Virginia Tech.  Now that the offense is getting it going, the defense isn’t on the field as often and with a fresh defense full of athletes, the Hokies will be frustrated offensively all night.  Notre Dame rolls out of Blacksburg with another win and continues its march to a potential berth in the College Football Playoff.     Notre Dame 42 Virginia Tech 24  

Joe-S-U:  Domers over Va. Tech – Playing at Blacksburg at night is never a picnic, and I don’t see Notre Dame going undefeated, but they’ll be undefeated still after this one  

JohnStill can’t believe that the Hokies lost to Old Dominion.  With the game in Blacksburg, I think Tech puts a dent in the golden dome.  Hokies in the upset.  Va Tech  31  Notre Dame 28

Josh:   Ian Book might be the answer that the Irish needed on what would take them to that next step. Since his has been in, Notre Dame has scored over 40 points for 2 straight weeks, including a playoff defining game last week against an previously undefeated Stanford. Looking ahead at Notre Dame’s schedule, it is hard to see where they might lose, but I think this will be the on that gets them. Virginia Tech came up big against Duke last week, and Bud Foster will have an answer to slow down the Irish, getting a big win at home. Virginia Tech 24 – Notre Dame 21

Dr. Mark:  ND 31-24  – Irish rolling but can their new QB avoid an early bad game?  

PJSBuck:  ND might just be real this season.  I am not a fan of coach Kelly but the Irish are playing tough and with confidence.  Notre Dame by 17  

Pia PeteND over VT

Coach Rick:  Last real game that Notre Dame will have the rest of the season.  I do not think that it will be all that close and I have the Irish winning by 17 points.

Steven:  Tech got back in the win column last week downing the pesky Blue Devils in Durham.  This week won’t be so easy.  Despite getting back home to Blacksburg, the Hokies have a solid Irish team coming in.  This is not your typical Bud Foster defense as Tech is giving up 388 yards per game.  On the positive side, they are pretty stingy against the run and are facing a QB that was just inserted into the starting lineup last week.  That and $3.50 might get you a cup of coffee.  Aforementioned newish quarterback Ian Book is good and the Hokies back end is a sieve.  Book could easily pass for 400 yards in this one, but probably won’t need to.  300 should suffice.  Any way you sliceit, the Hokies will have to have a monumental effort just to stay in the game.     ND 33-17

Trout:  Notre Dame is clearly the better team. Virginia Tech will get some wins over small schools (besides Old Dominion) and over some of the lesser teams in the ACC, but they are not a match for the Irish. Clearly the Irish’s confidence is rising after their big victory over Stanford. Not to mention, after the QB change, their offensive output has increased.  Although I don’t know how well their fare with other Playoff hopeful teams, they can clearly handle themselves against teams like Virginia Tech. I see the Hokies putting up a challenge for a little while, but the Irish pulling away in the second half. (Notre Dame, 38-14)  

VaughnSince Notre Dame had made the switch at quarterback it appears to have switched the lights on to their offense. I am still trying to figure out how Virginia Tech is even in the top 25 after a loss at home to Old Dominion??? The Fighting Irish throw sand in the eyes of Sandman and thrash the Hokies 45-20.   

Final Score:  Notre Dame 45   Virginia Tech 26


#13 Kentucky @ Texas A&M (- 5 1/2)

FINAL Texas A&M 20  Kentucky 14 (OT)

Bbaver:  Texas A&M over Kentucky – I keep waiting for Kentucky’s fortune to turn…is this the week?  

John:  Nothing brings traditionally mediocre programs back to Earth like a road game in a hostile environment after a little success.  Kentucky remembers why the are a basketball school after this week.     Texas A&M  28  Kentucky 21

Josh:  So this is an interesting scenario, but Kentucky comes into this game as the higher ranked team, and is the underdog. Texas A&M left Jerry World last week with a win against Arkansas, but returns home to face a team with a big rushing attack, lead but “heisman candidate” Benny Snell. I think Kentucky will win a close one on the road, and be the biggest challenge threat to Georgia for the SEC East. Now, looking at the teams in the SEC East that could be Alabama, Kentucky doesn’t have much of a chance, and Georgia the best bet as of now, but its a long season, and a statement like this will keep the Wildcat train rolling. Kentucky 35 – Texas A&M 28

Dr. Mark:  Maybe by ranking only will pick Texas AM over Kentucky

Vaughn:  My upset pick of the week is Kentucky losing to Texas A&M 30-21



Utah  #14 Stanford (- 5 1/2)

FINAL: Utah 40   Stanford 21

Joe-S-U:  A’s over the Yankees in the AL Wildcard game…..wait a second, let me turn the TV on…..uh, on second thought, scratch that…..Utah over Stanford



Northwestern  #20 Michigan State (3 1/2)

FINAL: Northwestern 29   Michigan State 19

Trout:  The Wildcats should that they could compete with teams like Michigan last week. They  were just unable to strike the final blow to the Wolverines. But I think they get their redemption this week against Sparty. Michigan State is clearly not playing their best. I think the still have the potential to be a nine to ten win football team, but they are clearly not as in sync as they have been these past few years. It should be a very tight, very defensive heavy game. The game will come down to the wire, with game still on the line until the final whistle. In the end, I see the Northwestern Wildcats pulling off the upset  against Sparty.    (Northwestern, 19-17)



Arizona State  #21 Colorado (4 1/2)

FINAL: Colorado 28   Arizona State 21

Steven:  There’s not much there this week, but the one possibility that jumps out is ASU at Colorado.  “You play to win the game!”  Onward fightin’ Herms!  ASU 24-22.



Boston College  @  #23 North Carolina State (-4)

FINAL: North Carolina 28   Boston College 23

Cory:  There were some good games to consider for the upset special this week (Florida State @ Miami; Iowa State @ Oklahoma) but in the end I took the easy route out. Boston College beating North Carolina State is technically an upset, but there won’t be much surprise if the Eagles come away with the win. The Wolfpack are only a 3.5-point home favorite, and Boston College is 4-1 with their only loss coming to Purdue. Boston College has a balanced offense, but most of the focus will be on running back A.J. Dillon. Dillon already has 652 rushing yards on a 6.2 average yards per carry, and seven total touchdowns. It would be easy to criticize Boston College’s schedule so far, but look at who North Carolina State has played so far: James Madison, Georgia State, Marshall, and Virginia. The Wolfpack were supposed to play West Virginia but that game was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. Look for Boston College to edge past North Carolina State this week and get back into the top 25.     Boston College 28, North Carolina State 21

Gregg:  I am very tempted to go with Northwestern over Michigan but with the Wildcats losing there running back to career-ending injury, I think they will not be able to generate the amount of offense needed to win in the Big House. However, I do think Boston College is a pretty good team from what I have seen so far.  I thought they might challenge in the ACC until they lost to Purdue, but maybe that was just a bad week for them.  On the other side of the ball, NC State has a decent record but no quality wins. I think BC goes in and steals a victory on the road.     Boston College 31  North Carolina State 28

Jason:  The Boston College Eagles opened the season with three victories before falling in West Lafayette to Purdue, but the Eagles bounce back with a win over Temple. The Wolfpack come off a win over Virginia and remain the only undefeated team in the Atlantic Coast Atlantic conference alongside Clemson. The Eagles running game was the story last week as AJ Dillon and Ben Glines who combined for 281 yards and three scores. Boston College has a top 20 rushing offense that is averaging 243.4 yards per ballgame but they are facing a solid Wolfpack’s defense that allows only 132.2 yards on the ground. The issue for BC is Dillon, who left Saturday’s game with a left ankle injury and is questionable for Saturday.  If he doesn’t go, the pressure will be on QB Anthony Brown who has 61 completions on 108 attempts for 861 yards, 12 touchdowns, and four interceptions and on Glines to carry the ground game.  The Pack have a QB of their own in Ryan Finely who has completed 105 passes on 153 attempts for 1,313 yards, eight touchdowns, and an interception, for the rating of 156.7. Finley is coming off his best game in the win over Virginia completing 22 passes on 32 attempts for 257 yards and three touchdowns so the BC defense will be on high alert.  The Pack defense is going to be tested for the first time, they have been up to the challenge so far this season allowing just over 15 ppg, and their strength is facing the run. If Dillon is unavailable, the challenge will be greater for the Eagles, but they will be up for the challenge and escape Raleigh with the upset win.     Boston College 28 NC State 24

Coach Rick:  I have Boston College winning over NC State.



Iowa State  @  #25 Oklahoma State

FINAL: Iowa State 48   Oklahoma State 42

Pia Pete:  Iowa State over Oklahoma State 



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