By Chris Carlson
Week 6 saw statement wins by UCLA, Tennessee, & TCU along with tight contests across the Top-25 but not major upsets in Top-10. Week 7 features a plethora of marquee matchups in the SEC, Big Ten, Big-12, and Pac-12. Can USC get a win on the road or how will the Vols respond after a blowout win taking on Bama? Another week to separate the contenders from pretenders so once again strap in.
#3 Alabama vs. #6 Tennessee: Holy crap this is a humungous spot for the Vols to be in possibly facing the Crimson Tide without last year’s Heisman Trophy winner in Bryce Young. As of now Alabama head coach Nick Saban hopes Young can play on the flip side Tennessee wideout Cedric Tillman is still nursing an ankle injury so he’s closer to a game time decision. Vols head coach Josh Heupal did say starting left tackle Gerald Mincey will be back in time. Both teams are good at stopping the run but wow is Tennessee bad at giving up passing yards to a tune of 307 per game. If Young is back look for that to be the difference, if he isn’t the starter or very hampered this College Football podcaster at minimum likes the Vols to cover as super live underdog.
The Pick: Tennessee +7. Bama wins close one if Young is back.
#5 Michigan vs. #10 Penn State: It’s been a steady build this year for Michigan aiming for their first true test on paper in the Nittany Lions and no I did not forget about the Maryland Terrapins. After a scare on the road to a quality foe in Purdue Penn State has taken care of business even in a sloppy down pour game against Northwestern. These Big Ten East rivals are pretty much evenly matched stat wise with the Wolverines scoring more points and Penn State giving up more passing yards. The key will be 6-year QB Sean Clifford’s ability to make something out of nothing. Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy has to make the passing play when presented and cash in inside the redzone.
The Pick: Michigan -7 UM grinds out the win down the stretch.
Under The Radar
#8 Oklahoma State vs. #13 TCU: Another week of College Football means another meaningful matchup in the Big-12 which has been on fire this year. Both programs scored entertaining victories in crucial games but which team will be able to buckle down the hatches and get up for another wild one? Neither squad is elite on defense so the over is looking doable at 68.5. TCU relies on the ground game whereas OKST airs it out a tad more the down side is the Cowboys give up 304 passing yards per game. Pick’em type game so that equates to siding with the home field.
The Pick: TCU -3.5 does just enough to get the ‘W’.
#7 USC vs. #20 Utah: The Trojans struggled at times with a down Stanford, good clubs in Washington State and Oregon State. And that’s why they find themselves as a +3.5 dog on the road at a somewhat reeling Utah. The Utes kept trying to comeback against the surprise team in the Pac-12 UCLA but weren’t able to close the gap. It’s no secret that Utah will look to run the ball, control the clock, and play smart/stout defense especially in the redzone. USC’s brand new coach Lincoln Riley can use the underdog status to his benefit as a motivator to his players. Two things that stand out to me, one is Utah the normal Utah on defense? The other item is my belief in USC QB Caleb Williams to will the Trojans to victory.
The Pick: +3.5 USC. Trojans find a way to get the job done.
Saturday Upset Special
Memphis upsets East Carolina as a +5.5 road dog.
#15 NC State vs. #18 Syracuse: Give credit where credit is due the Wolfpack bounced back after losing to Clemson by inching past FSU. It hasn’t always been pretty for the Orangeman who slithered by Purdue then fought tooth-and-nail to beat Virginia. If it wasn’t for the uncertainty with an injury to QB Devin Leary for NC State the pick would favor the Wolfpack but that’s not the case and Cuse is at home in the dome.
The Pick: Syracuse -3.5
#24 Illinois vs. Minnesota: Gophers Running back Mo Ibrahim is back for Minnesota and they will need him traveling on the road to a near-mirror image as far as how programs are built. Illini RB Chase Brown is leading the big ten in yards after contact something Mo thrives on as well. This important Big Ten West game moved from -3 to -6.5 in favor of the Gophers, so what gives? Injuries to QB Tommy Devito and three other starters left the Iowa game last week is the main cause for the widening of point spread. Something to note Devito has not been ruled out officially.
The Pick: Minnesota -6.5 unless Devito is back then +6.5
Against The Spread
Kansas +9 vs. Oklahoma
Iowa State +16 vs. Texas
Memphis +5.5 vs. East Carolina
Podcast Link: https://t.co/6gFQdR7kv9
Quick Hits Recap
-TCU WR Quetin Johnson grabbed 14 balls for 296 receiving yards and a touchdown in a great win by the Horned Frogs over Kansas 38-31.
-Leading Heisman Trophy candidate QB CJ Stroud threw 6 touchdowns in easy 49-20 victory for the Buckeyes over Michigan State.
-Tennessee’s domination of LSU 40-13 was the largest margin of victory in the regular season by the Vols against an AP-ranked opponent since 1995.
-Texas smacked around a down trotted Oklahoma club 49-0 which was the programs largest victory in series history.
-Also it was the first shutout by a Longhorns defense dating back to 1965 against the Sooners.
-Ole Miss WR Jonathan Mingo put up 247 yards receiving breaking a school record in a 52-28 rout of Vanderbilt.
-Pitt RB Israel Abanikanda carried the ball 36 times pilling up 320 yards rushing and 6 TD’s in a win over V’Tech 45-29.
-This performance from Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell needs to mentioned, 4 interceptions on the day and astounding 2 Pick-Six returns. Toledo won the game against Northern Illinois 52-32.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio &
Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio