2. USC Trojans
Opponent: Fresno State | Time: Saturday, Sept. 17, 10:30 p.m. ET | Spread: USC -12.5
There is absolutely no question that Caleb Williams and Lincoln Riley have brought their offensive magic to USC. Whether it was against Rice or against Stanford, the Trojans look absolutely unstoppable whenever they have the ball in hand.
However, there are remaining questions about this defense under Alex Grinch. Stanford, albeit with some garbage time help, put up 28 points and Rice even moved the ball well early but committed too many turnovers. Now they’re up against one of the better quarterbacks in the country in Jake Haener and a potent Fresno State offense.
I don’t see the Bulldogs stopping USC often — but the truth of the matter is that this game could be a shootout if the Trojans don’t shore up the defense quickly. And in a shootout, all bets are off.
1. Texas A&M Aggies
Opponent: Miami | Time: Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 p.m. ET | Spread: TAMU -5.5
Even more so than the Oregon/BYU game, what in god’s name has Texas A&M done to A. still be ranked or B. be favored against a Top 15 team in the country?
Jimbo Fisher’s offense has looked completely impotent as they struggled against Sam Houston State early and managed only one touchdown (the other was a return TD) against an Appalachian State defense that conceded 63 points to North Carolina just one week prior. Moreover, the defense has not been a rock wall against mundane offenses to this point.
To be fair, we don’t know much about Miami either after they beat up on Bethune and then stumbled off the starting blocks against Southern Miss. But even on the road, I’m not remotely in a place where I can trust Texas A&M to beat a quality opponent based on what the team has put on the field.