Here are our staff picks for this week’s top college football games., which are listed in standard Vegas rotational order.
Last week and year-to-date standings are at the bottom.
These teams haven’t met in three years, but it’s possible they could meet two weeks in a row. Cincinnati already has clinched the AAC East, and a Memphis win would give them the West. A loss by Memphis would mean Navy would represent the West with a win over Houston.
Memphis’ only loss is to Temple. They had a run of seven straight games that went over snapped last week, when they thumped South Florida, 49-10. The over/under was 59.5. Cincy’s only loss was to Ohio State, though they have failed to cover four of the last five.
Gotta think both coaches — Memphis’ Mike Norvell and Cincy’s Luke Fickell — are going to be targets for Power-5 teams with fresh job openings.
The Huskies are miserable. Their only win is against UMass (1-11) and only two teams at the FCS level give up more points (39.7 per game) than their defense: New Mexico State and UMass.
The Owls have covered three in a row overall and are 5-1 against the spread at the Linc.
Forget any thought of revenge. Ohio State has won 14 of the last 15 in this series. It was 13 of 14 last year before the Buckeyes hung a record 62 points on Michigan — IN REGULATION!
Ohio State (11-0) jumped Lousianna State for the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings. It’ll be fascinating to see what happens to those rankings should Ohio State lose a close one to a Michigan team (9-2) that is 13th in the CFP, but surging over the last month.
“Nothing matters if we don’t win the game,” said first-year Ohio State coach Ryan Day. “That’s the only way I look at it. We’ve got to win the game.”
Michigan has covered five in a row and seven of eight. Ohio State failed to cover its last two after a run of eight straight.
South Carolina running back Tavien Feaster was part of two championships with Clemson. He’ll be just the third player in the 116-year history of this rivalry to play for both schools. Means nothing, but I thought it was neat.
Clemson has won its last four games by at least 45 points, laying waste to Boston College, Wofford, N.C. State, and Wake Forest. If the Tigers beat Cocky by at least 45, they’d become the first team to do that five straight weeks in the AP poll era (since 1936).
Clemson has covered five of six, while South Carolina is on a 1-4 skid against the spread.
These teams are playing for Paul Bunyan’s ax, which is exactly what Illinois took to Wisky’s season when it pulled that upset back in October. Winner of this gets Ohio State in the Big 10 title game. The Badgers are 1-4 ATS lately. Minnesota won this game outright last season as 11-point underdogs.
Rutgers lost to Michigan State, 27-0, last week. It was their closest margin in a loss since September. If you’re still out running holiday errands, stop by Piscataway and drop off a resumé. The Scarlet Knights need a coach.
Penn State is just 5-5-1 against the spread and did not cover in their last two games against Rutgers.
It took seven overtimes, but A&M won this game last year, 74-72. LSU will play Georgia in the SEC title game next Saturday, so they should still be interested in putting a hurtin’ on A&M.
This will be the first road start from ’Bama quarterback Mac Jones, who is filling in for injured star Tua Tagovailoa. The Tide (10-1) can solidify their claim as the best one-loss team with a win here. Four of Auburn’s last five SEC games have finished with combined scores less than 50 points.
Oklahoma is on a 1-6 skid against the spread, but gets an OSU squad starting its second-string quarterback (Dru Brown). Oklahoma has covered three of the last four in this series, in which the average total is 87 points.
Stanford has won five in a row at home against the Irish, but Notre Dame’s defense is too good to let that grow to six. The Irish have covered its last three, winning by 30 each time.