One week is in the books in college football and we are already starting to see the top tier separate itself from the pack with Florida State flying up the polls after defeating LSU on a neutral site matchup.
Florida State is up to No. 4 in the AP Poll as the team faces a far worse opponent, yet frisky Southern Mississippi team, but the most eyeballs will gravitate towards Texas traveling to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to face the new-look Crimson Tide wiht Jalen Milroe under center in a rematch from last year's thriller that Alabama rallied to win.
We have best bets for every Top 25 team in action on Saturday in what should be another chaotic and exhilarating weekend of college football.
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Ball State vs. Georgia Prediction and Pick
PICK: Georgia -42
UNLV vs. Michigan Prediction and Pick
PICK: Michigan -36.5
Texas vs. Alabama Prediction and Pick
PICK: Alabama -7
Southern Mississippi vs. Florida State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Southern Mississippi +31.5
Youngstown State vs. Ohio State Prediction and Pick
Stanford vs. USC Prediction and Pick
PICK: USC -29
Delaware vs. Penn State Prediction and Pick
Tulsa vs. Washington Prediction and Pick
PICK: Washington -34
Austin Peay vs. Tennessee Prediction and Pick
Notre Dame vs. North Carolina State Prediction and Pick
PICK: North Carolina State +7.5
Utah vs. Baylor Prediction and Pick
PICK: Baylor +7.5
The Bears looked really bad on defense last week, allowing 42 points to Texas State, but Utah may not be able to score like the Bobcats did. Even in the loss, Baylor outgained Texas State, 524-441 and finished the game gaining 6.9 yards per play. It’s a definite downgrade going to Sawyer Robertson, but Utah is also playing a backup QB.
Florida should have been able to hang around with Utah much more. They gained 346 yards in the game compared to Utah’s 270, but Florida only ran the ball for 13 yards. Utah only went 3/13 on third down and punted six times.
They got a gift of an interception from Graham Mertz that went off the hands of a Florida receiver and gave Utah the ball at Florida’s 13 yard line, which turned into points. The Utes also started the game with a 70-yard bomb touchdown to Money Parks, so they weren’t exactly putting drives together.
Oregon vs. Texas Tech Prediction and Pick
PICK: Texas Tech +6.5
Grambling State vs. LSU Prediction and Pick
Troy vs. Kansas State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Troy +16.5
UC-Davis vs. Oregon State Prediction and Pick
Appalachian State vs. North Carolina Prediction and Pick
PICK: Appalachian State +18
North Carolina's defense was the story in the win against South Carolina. This unit has struggled under Gene Chizik over the past few years, but was overwhelming in this one, allowing -0.06 yards per carry against the Gamecocks. Yes, that's a negative total. Further, the team racked up nine sacks.
However, I believe App State may be up to the task to hang around in this game.
South Carolina has a new offensive coordinator that raised a lot of eyebrows when hired in Dowell Loggains and a suspect offensive line. Meanwhile, App State has QB questions (more on that in a bit), but does return three starting offensive linemen, its top three receivers and Nate Noel, who averaged nearly seven yards per carry on 87 rushes last season.
The Mountaineers offensive line was elite last season, and while it loses two All-Sun Belt players, there is enough in tact to remain formidable. The unit allowed the 16th fewest tackles for loss last season and was 13th in line yards.
SMU vs. Oklahoma Prediction and Pick
PICK: SMU +15.5
Wisconsin vs. Washington State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Wisconsin -6.5
Ole Miss vs. Tulane Prediction and Pick
PICK: Tulane +7
Lafayette vs. Duke Prediction and Pick
Nebraska vs. Colorado Prediction and Pick
PICK: Nebraska +3.5
Texas A&M vs. Miami Prediction and Pick
PICK: Texas A&M -4.5
While Miami has talent in the secondary, namely All-American safety Karmen Kinches, this defense was a disaster last season, bottom 10 in explosive pass defense and allowed more than eight yards per pass. This wasn't tested against the RedHawks, but surely will against Texas A&M's stable of wide receivers that includes Evan Stewart, Ainias Smith and Moose Muhammad.
I'm not sure Miami deserves that big of a boost, while there is more room to the upside with this new look Aggies offense.
I'd lay it with the road team who has a negligible home field advantage.
Charleston Southern vs. Clemson Prediction and Pick
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!