1.) Nebraska @ #5 Ohio State – 12 p.m. Saturday – FOX – OSU -26, O67.5
This must-watch has nothing to do with Nebraska, instead, it has everything to do with Ohio State. Ohio State is the only team in the top 5 of the AP polls yet to play a game (through no fault of their own) and is looking to come out and make a statement.
The Buckeyes, led by preseason Heisman favorite QB Justin Fields will be traveling to #8 Penn State next week for the biggest conference game of the year so look for this to be a warmup game. This Ohio State team has national championship dreams and national championship talent to match, that journey begins with this game. I expect a dominant performance by Justin Fields and Ohio State as they make a statement that they are a force to be reckoned with in the college football world.
Prediction: Ohio State -26, O67.5
2.) Georgia Southern @ #25 Coastal Carolina – 12 p.m. Saturday – ESPNU – CCU -5.5, O51.5
Coastal Carolina is full of firsts these past two weeks, last week they knocked off the first top 25 team in program history, (Louisiana Lafayette) in dramatic fashion with a last-second field goal, and this week they play host to Georgia Southern at home on the blue turf in their first game as a ranked team in school history. Georgia Southern will not be a gimme as they were on the opposite end of a last-second field goal earlier in the season to the same team CCU defeated last week. Georgia Southern is coming off an easy victory last week over, in my humble opinion, the worst team in college football, UMass. However, CCU, led by standout redshirt freshman quarterback Grayson McCall, looks to continue their undefeated season and move up the polls, a victory this week would certainly help them with that.
Prediction: CCU -5.5, O51.5
3.) #17 Iowa State @ #6 Oklahoma State – 3:30 p.m. Saturday – FOX – OKST -3.5, O51.5
When the Cyclones stroll into Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, it will be the first time Oklahoma State has taken the field competitively since their October 3rd stomping of Kansas. A bye week followed up by the cancellation of the Baylor game last week has given OSU their longest break within a season in over a century, will rust play a factor?
Iowa State and Brock Purdy are coming off their scheduled bye last week, having beat Texas Tech in impressive fashion the week prior. Iowa State has the run defense to moderately contain Chubba Hubbard, if they can force OSU to move the ball through the air they have a legitimate chance to pull off this upset.
However, on the other side of the ball, OSU also has the defense to slow down Brock Purdy and Breece Hall, and should Hubbard have himself a game they are more than capable of cracking this game wide open and dominating. I see this game being a very close, high scoring game (shocking for a BIG 12 conference game, I know) with Oklahoma ultimately coming out on top when the clock hits all zeros.
Prediction: Iowa State +3.5, O51.5
4.) #9 Cincinnati @ #16 SMU – 9:00 p.m. Saturday – ESPN2 – SMU -2.5, O57
This battle between the two ranked teams within the American Athletic Conference should be a good one pitting SMU’s number 7 ranked offense against Cincinnati’s number 7 ranked defense. Much like Oklahoma State, Cincinnati has not stepped on the field since October 3rd due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program.
SMU will be without their star wide receiver Reggie Roberson for the remainder of the season as he suffered a torn ACL in their win against Memphis in week 5. Cincinnati has held all three of their opponents to under 21 points and showed flashes of an elite defense, however, this week they will be put to the test for the first time by one of the highest-scoring offenses in the country. I think the loss of Roberson will prove deadly for SMU and Cincinnati’s defense will be the story of the game.
Prediction: Cincinnati +2.5, U57
5.) Oklahoma @ TCU – 12 p.m. Saturday – ABC – OU -6.5, O59
Although this is a battle of two unranked opponents with losing records, I consider every Oklahoma game from here on out a must-watch, until they lose again, as they look to prove themselves and earn a spot in the CFB Playoff.
Oklahoma came into the season ranked #7 in the country led by redshirt freshman QB Spencer Rattler, a 5-star recruit who was on the preseason Heisman award watchlists of every major sports site in the country and have seemed to be running in place ever since. After their 48-0 spanking of Missouri State in week 1, they have been outscored 120-118, including a loss to Kansas State and a then unranked Iowa State.
However, they are coming off a huge quadruple overtime bounce-back win over #22 Texas in which Spencer Rattler started off slow but finished the game looking like the Heisman candidate he was projected to be. I see Oklahoma coming out and winning big in this statement game and getting back on track to make a late-season run up the polls. Look for a high scoring blowout in Oklahoma’s favor.
Prediction: Oklahoma -6.5, O59