#8 Oklahoma (-5.5) at #13 Baylor – November 13, 11:00 AM, FOX
We all know what happened with the Bears last week, getting slapped by our Frogs to dash all the big-picture hopes they had for this season, while OU got to rest up on its Bye week and smell the blood in the water. Despite being an undefeated Power 5 with blue-blood brand name, the Sooners haven’t been able to crack the top of the rankings yet, but for the most part you don’t hear a lot of whining about it from Norman. Oklahoma has its three toughest games to close out the season, plus a rematch in the conference championship - - they know if they take of business they are in the Playoff. Given what Chandler Morris and the TCU Offense just did to Dave Aranda’s defense, I shudder to think of the heinous acts Caleb Williams and Lincoln Riley will perform in Waco. With Gus Johnson on the call for Big Noon Saturday, it’s possible this game gets weird, and perhaps the Bears got caught sleeping by looking ahead to this one and can get back into the race, but I’m not buying it.
My pick: Oklahoma wins (-220); Oklahoma covers (-5.5); Total Under 62
#6 Michigan (-1.5) at Penn State – November 13, 11:00 AM, ABC
These two were the subject of much of the backlash from the latest CFP Committee rankings: Michigan being ahead of Michigan State, despite losing head-to-head in the Wolverines’ only top-level game; Penn State was left off the rankings entirely despite defeating the Committee’s #17 & #18 teams. Let’s go ahead and kill two birds with one stone here, as the Nittany Lions defend Happy Valley to jump into the rankings and knock the Wolverines off their high horse. PSU WR Jahan Dotson is unstoppable right now, recording 22 catches for 369 yards and 4 total TDs over the last two games. Even if Michigan brackets Dotson, PSU has other highly capable weapons to take advantage of the open space. If the Penn State offensive line can hold up to a vicious Wolverine D-Line just enough, the home team could roll in this one
My pick: Penn St. wins (+105); Penn St. covers (+1.5); Total Under 49
#9 Notre Dame (-5.5) at Virginia – November 13, 6:30 PM, ABC
The Irish are lurking in the Playoff rankings, with the very real possibility to eventually jump the undefeated Cincinnati team that convincingly defeated them in South Bend. I’ve been waiting for a savior to rid us of the Notre Dame problem and the Cavaliers may be our last hope, as the remaining schedule is paper-thin with Georgia Tech and Stanford. UVA QB Brennan Armstrong needs to get more spotlight, he is a thrill to watch – a true dual threat with 3,828 total yards and 34 total TDs – this could be his national breakout opportunity. UVA may not have the defense to stop even the Jack Coan-led offense, but it may do enough for Armstrong to pull some magic in Charlottesville.
My pick: Virginia wins (+180); Virginia covers (+5.5); Total Over 64
Nevada at San Diego State (-3) - November 13, 9:30 PM, CBSSN
Another instance of the unstoppable offense vs. the immovable Aztecs. The Mountain West’s top scoring offense vs. its top scoring defense. That formula did not work out well for SDSU when it was Jake Haener and Fresno, and it might go the same way with Carson Strong and the Wolf Pack. The winner will be in the driver’s seat for the MWC West division. Does Strong come out and show why he should be a 1st Round Draft Pick vs. a top-flight defense or can Aztec punter Matt Ariaza win the field position battle to put Strong in tough spots? With Nevada head coach Jay Norvell a popular candidate for some of the big job openings, this could be his crown jewel to secure his spot in the coaching carousel. In this case, I’m rocking with the home team and the elite defense to win the day
My pick: SDSU wins (-145); SDSU covers (-3); Total Under 45.5
Others Receiving Votes
North Carolina at #21 Pitt (-6.5) – Get the fun started on Thursday night. Can the Tar Heels knock off another Top-25 team? Sam Howell will look to outduel Kenny Pickett like he did with Sam Hartman last week.
#19 Purdue at #4 Ohio State (-21) – The Spoilermakers have taken down two top-5 teams already and looking to slay the biggest giant yet. Jeff Brohm’s squad has derailed the Buckeyes in the past, but won’t have the surprise factor this time. However, even if tOSU were to suffer a “quality loss” here, wouldn’t expect the Committee to move the Buckeyes much.
#11 Texas A&M (-2.5) at #15 Ole Miss – An intriguing match of wits between the Aggies elite defense and the Rebels elite offense. Can A&M keep pace and hope Alabama has another slip up or will the Lane Train keep on chugging?
#16 NC State at #12 Wake Forest (-1.5) – Another Tobacco Road rivalry match for the Demon Deacons after dropping last week’s shootout with the Tar Heels. NC State is sneaky, and their early loss in Starkville is not looking as bad as it did at the time (though the loss at Miami is still rough). Wake is likely out of the Playoff discussion now, but can still go win the ACC. The winner here becomes the top team in the ACC Atlantic for a chance to lock in a spot in a NY6 bowl.
Kansas at Texas (-30.5) – The point-and-laugh potential is high. Check in, if only for the LOLs. The Longhorns have monkeyed around and lost four straight since escaping Fort Worth with a win, but still think the Jayhawks should heal what ails them.