Stanford at Notre Dame (-5.5)
College football fans will be treated to two top-10 clashes in primetime on Saturday night this week. One such game is the Ohio State Buckeyes heading to Beaver Stadium to face the Penn State Nittany Lions in Big Ten action. The other, however, will take place in the unruly confines (okay, actually quite rule-y) of South Bend with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish welcoming the Stanford Cardinal to town to do battle.
After an season-opening win in dominant fashion over the Michigan Wolverines, the Fighting Irish started to raise some concerns about their team. They only beat Ball State by eight points in Week 2 and followed that up with a five-point win over Vanderbilt. Those wins left head coach Brian Kelly with a decision to make, and he ultimately elected to shake things up, starting Ian Book at quarterback last week against Wake Forest over Brandon Wimbush.
Against a solid Wake team, the move looked like a stroke of genius as Book went out and hung 325 yards and two touchdowns through the air on the Demon Deacons and added 43 yards rushing with three more trips to the end zone on the ground. This was a Notre Dame team that needed a spark and Book looked the part of someone ready to ignite the flame.
When you then look at a Stanford team that is traveling halfway across the country, that is coming off of an emotional and grueling comeback last week and that has looked shaky, this seems like an all Irish Saturday afternoon affair to me, so I’m taking the home favorites easy.