What a week for college football we have ahead of us! There are five Top 25 matchups this week according to SP+, seven according to Sagarin, and six according to the human pollsters who for some reason view Colorado as a Top 25 team after last weekend. Those matchups aren’t all overlaps, either, so good games are abound.
The fun starts Thursday night with some Fun Belt action featuring an undefeated Georgia State squad (they haven’t really played anybody yet) playing at Coastal Carolina (only loss is at UCLA) and old friend Tim Beck. Coastal is the rightful favorite, but Darren Grainger has been lethal at QB for the Panthers, and they have plenty of big play weapons, including both leading receivers averaging over 20 yards/catch and Georgia State’s starting RB has 7 TDs in three games.
Friday is obviously all about the NC State vs Virginia game, but if you’re a betting person - and to be clear, never bet on college sports - SP+ projects Wisconsin to be 4.8 points better than the spread, NC State 5.7 points better, and Air Force 5.0 points better in their respective Friday night games.
Saturday kicks off with the ACC’s most anticipated game of the year, Florida State at Clemson. The game has lost some shine with the Tigers getting handled by Duke in the opener and FSU struggling against a bad BC team last week, but this game should be fantastic with A efforts from each.
In the midday slot, all the buzz is around Colorado at Oregon, but the Buffaloes looked horrendous last week, as the only thing that prevented their losing was the prevent defense that Colorado State went into in the last two minutes of the game. That was dumb, and so is expecting Colorado to be a Top 20 team after having beaten an overrated and rebuilding TCU team and a couple of tomato cans.
The two games you should be watching in that midday slate are UCLA at Utah and Ole Miss at Alabama. Utah has a dominant defense and UCLA’s offense is starting to take shape after losing their two best weapons from last year. Both teams are solid and that’s going to be a great game. Meanwhile in the SEC, Alabama appears to be in freefall... you know, by Alabama standards... and Ole Miss has an offense that’s primed to take advantage of that.
In the primetime slot, it’s all about that Ohio State at Notre Dame game. The Irish have been prone to slow starts over the last two weeks and the Buckeyes offense appeared to finally figure it out last week in a route of Western Kentucky. SP+ likes Ohio State by 1.4 points in a higher-than-expected scoring game. I, personally, hope Sam Hartman lights it up.
The other night game to watch is Iowa at Penn State. The Hawkeyes offense apparently remembered how to put the ball in the end zone, but still only just barely so, which takes pressure off their still stout defense. Penn State is always due to lay an egg under James Franklin, and this feels like the game where their NFL talent laden roster is going to do it.
Did I mention ‘Go Pitt’? No? Oh... Go Pitt!
Most importantly: Go Pack!
79/91 Georgia State @ 63/70 Coastal Carolina - 7:30pm - ESPN
25/26 Wisconsin @ 67/67 Purdue - 7:00pm - FS1
46/61 NC State @ 94/110 Virginia - 7:30pm - ESPN
57/39 Boise State @ 84/88 San Diego State - 10:30pm - CBSSN
59/60 Air Force @ 88/78 San Jose State - 10:30pm - FS1
13/17 Florida State @ 12/16 Clemson - 12:00pm - ABC
7/4 Oklahoma @ 50/45 Cincinnati - 12:00pm - FOX
85/87 Army @ 35/32 Syracuse - 12:00pm - ACCN
23/27 Auburn @ 16/14 Texas A&M - 12:00pm - ESPN
78/79 Virginia Tech @ 72/71 Marshall - 12:00pm - ESPN2
48/36 SMU @ 27/22 TCU - 12:00pm - FS1
76/69 Colorado @ 11/12 Oregon - 3:30pm - ABC
19/24 UCLA @ 17/18 Utah - 3:30pm - FOX
14/13 Ole Miss @ 6/3 Alabama - 3:30pm - CBS
32/37 Duke @ 132/144 UConn - 3:30pm - CBSSN
22/28 Miami @ 103/124 Temple - 3:30pm - ESPN2
83/81 Boston College @ 34/34 Louisville - 3:30pm - ACCN
47/41 BYU @ 55/49 Kansas - 3:30pm - ESPN
80/86 Georgia Tech @ 45/64 Wake Forest - 6:30pm - CW
33/35 Arkansas @ 15/10 LSU - 7:00pm - ESPN
20/20 Oregon State @ 38/33 Washington State - 7:00pm - FOX
75/55 Appalachian State @ 89/82 Wyoming - 7:00pm - CBSSN
1/2 Ohio State @ 4/11 Notre Dame - 7:30pm - NBC
28/21 Iowa @ 9/7 Penn State - 7:30pm - CBS
41/68 Memphis @ 37/59 Missouri - 7:30pm - ESPNU
26/23 North Carolina @ 44/58 Pittsburgh - 8:00pm - ACCN
29/25 UCF @ 21/15 Kansas State - 8:00pm - FS1
5/5 USC @ 82/97 Arizona State - 10:30pm - FOX
53/44 California @ 8/9 Washington - 01:30pm - ESPN