Well last week we started making some weekly picks, and it turns out that in order for it to actually qualify as “weekly” you have to, ya know, do it more than once. With that in mind, let’s launch straight into this week’s picks, which we’re thrilled to say includes the Syracuse University football team’s game at South Florida!
13 Northwestern (5-0) at 18 Michigan (4-1)
Jeff: If I had to pick a team just based on which one I dislike less, it’d be Northwestern all day, because screw Jim Harbaugh. That said, Michigan’s only loss came against a very good Utah team, and they’ve dominated every opponent since (albeit against a weak schedule). Northwestern has beaten Stanford and Duke, but also scraped by Ball State. I’m going with Michigan, 24-20.
Justin: Stat-wise, these teams are very evenly matched. However, I don’t think Northwestern will pass on Michigan. Coaching is the tiebreaker in this one. Hate to say it, but Michigan wins this one. UM 28, NW 17.
Sterling: Two stout defenses go head to head in this matchup where neither team has allowed more than 40 points in total all season. At home look for Michigan to do just enough to sneak by with the win and Harbaughmania blasts into overdrive. 21-17 Michigan.
Jeremy: Northwestern has found a way to win in a variety of ways this year and they have definitely exceeded expectations. That said tough game on the road with a defense playing extremely well. Close game with Michigan pulling it out late 24-21.
Georgia Tech (2-3) at 6 Clemson (4-0)
Jeff: What the hell happened to Georgia Tech? They were a popular choice to challenge for the ACC title, and now they’re one of the biggest disappointments in the nation. Clemson, meanwhile, looked a lot better than I expected last week against Notre Dame. The Tigers take this one 41-17.
Justin: Who is Georgia Tech and what have they done with last years team? Clemson is good. Very good. Georgia Tech won’t be able to put up a fight in Death Valley. Clemson wins running away. Clemson 34, GT 16.
Sterling: After looking like a possible playoff contender through the first couple weeks of the season, the wheels have started to come off for the Yellow Jackets and it doesn’t get much easier for them. On the other sideline Clemson will look to keep momentum going after coming of a big win versus Notre Dame. 33-17 Clemson.
Jeremy: Clemson got ambushed by GaTech last year after losing their starting QB to injury early in the game. With Watson healthy and Georgia Tech really struggling the game looks a blowout waiting to happen. Don’t be fooled this will be closer then the experts think. Clemson 35, GTech 28.
Navy (4-0) at 15 Notre Dame (4-1)
Jeff: I’d love to see the Irish go down for the second straight week, and I still think they’re vastly overrated, but I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger and call for a Midshipmen upset. I’m going with Notre Dame over Navy by a final score of 22-13.
Justin: Love watching this game – wish it was at Navy. Great rivalry, but I think running room will be hard to come by for Navy. The Irish have already seen option this year against GT, so I say Notre Dame wins 28-7. (BTW – F Brian Kelly).
Sterling: Led by one of the most prolific scorers in NCAA history the Midshipmen head to South Bend looking to knock off a Notre Dame team that can not allow themselves to get caught off guard by a sneaky good Navy team. 27-24 Notre Dame.
Jeremy: Some analysts have called this the best Navy team ever. While that might be true, ND knows how to defend the option better than anyone. ND 31, Navy 20.
21 Oklahoma State (5-0) at West Virginia (3-1)
Jeff: Last week the Mountaineers got worked by one Oklahoma team, and the same thing is going to happen this week. Oklahoma State looks less than stellar, and that 5-0 record is terribly misleading (they’ve beaten Texas, Kansas State, and Central Michigan by a combined 16 points) but I still think they get it done here. OSU 37, WVU 27.
Justin: Get ready for a shootout! Two offenses that can sling it. West Virginia is horrible on defense and their secondary got weaker this week with a season ending injury to a starter. (F)WVA can’t keep up with Oklahoma St. If I were a man and 40 years old – I’d say the score ends up Oklahoma State 44, (F)WVU 28.
Sterling: In this Big 12 matchup both teams will look to put points on the board as quickly as possible. It will be tough for the Cowboys to head east to Morgantown, but with the game not starting until 7:00 PM there should be no excuse for them not to show up. 44-35, Oklahoma State.
Jeremy: Two teams who can score but whose defenses leave something to the imagination. OK State should be careful WVU seems to upset a higher ranked opponent at home every year. Don’t be surprised if it happens again. OK State 45, WVU 38.
Miami (3-1) at 12 Florida State (4-0)
Jeff: I think Florida State is one of the most overrated teams in the nation, and I think they’re ripe for an upset. I would almost pick the ‘Canes for the upset here, but getting pretty easily handled by Cincinnati last week doesn’t instill me with much confidence. FSU escapes this one 20-16.
Justin: We are just waiting for the nail on Al Golden’s coffin. A lot of depressed fans for a team that is 3-1, but I suppose they just know what they’re in store for. Miami has the athletes, but Jimbo outcoaches Big Al. FSU wins 24-7.
Sterling: Miami fans demand excellence from their football team and Al Golden’s seat got a little hotter after a loss to Cincinnati last week. Florida State will have its hands full with their instate rivals and needs to lean on Dalvin Cook to get through this game with a win. 36-33 Florida State in OT.
Jeremy: Two teams still struggling to find themselves despite the 7-1 combined record. Miami has too many issues to capitalize on a bad QB situation for FSU. FSU 27, Miami 14
23 California (5-0) at 5 Utah (4-0)
Jeff: Outside of pounding Grambling and San Diego State, Cal has had to fight and scrape to get to that 5-0 record. Utah, on the other hand, absolutely decimated Oregon the last time they took the field, and also has a win over Michigan. I’m going with a Ute win by a final score of 41-24.
Justin: Utah is legit. Get ready for another shootout. They’ve already shown they can slow down offensively skilled teams. The same will happen on Saturday night. Cal can put up points, but they can’t stop anyone. Utah wins 49-30.
Sterling: California has gotten off to a quietly good start at 5-0 this season and their confidence should be at a high heading into this matchup with Utah. The Utes put the nation on notice in their last game with a 62-20 romping of Oregon, look for more of the same here. 52-27 Utah.
Jeremy: Raise your hand if you penciled in this game as the marquee matchup in the Pac 12 this year? Cal 24, Utah 20.
NC State (4-1) at Virginia Tech (2-3)
Jeff: Is there a way for both of these schools to lose? Please? Can we just declare a forfeit for both sides and be done with it? That’s how much I dislike each of these programs. Right now, I dislike Virginia Tech slightly less because I don’t like kicking programs when they’re down (unless we’re talking about UConn and Rutgers). That said, Tech is spiraling right now with two straight losses. NC State is still a paper tiger, but I think they give the Hokies a third straight defeat, 28-20.
Justin: My former employer, the North Carolina State Wolfpack, padded their non-conference schedule with the likes of Broughton High School, University of Mount Olive, and some North Carolina school of the blind. In their first test of the season, Louisville dominated the line of scrimmage – which has been a problem for the Wolfpack for a couple of years now. Virginia Tech needs a win, and I think they get one this week. VT 21, NCSU 20.
Sterling: Virginia Tech is like a car crash you can’t look away from, and it will only get worse this week as the host conference foe North Carolina State. The Wolfpack could really use this win to avoid falling to 0-2 in conference and will come out with a big win. 31-17 North Carolina State.
Jeremy: Both teams were exposed badly last week. NC State’s god awful OOC schedule finally caught up with them and Va Tech has an offense that looks like it would struggle to score against some high school teams. Wolfpack 24, Va Tech 13.
Duke (4-1) at Army (1-4)
Jeff: Army has played a couple Power 5 teams tough (Wake Forest and Penn State) but, let’s be honest, they just aren’t very good. Duke wins this one going away, 42-10.
Justin: Not much of a contest for Army. Love the character, love the old school offense, but the Blue Devils have too many athletes. Close contest in the 1st quarter, but Duke pulls away late and wins 34-7.
Sterling: Duke comes out flat early and lets army hang around, but in the end Duke’s superior talent will overwhelm the Black Knights. Duke also has the advantage of seeing the triple option just a few weeks ago in a solid win over Georgia Tech. Duke 45-10.
Jeremy: A week after not scoring a TD and somehow still getting the win Duke will have no problem finding the endzone this game. Duke 38, Army 10.
Virginia (1-3) at Pittsburgh (3-1)
Jeff: Personally, I think these teams are each pretty abysmal. Selfishly, I’m hoping Virginia picks up the win since Chris Clark will be in attendance, and I’d love to see his other finalist, the Panthers, get worked over. But I don’t think it’ll happen. Pitt wins an ugly game 13-3.
Justin: SU fans will be watching intently as their next two opponents square off in Pittsburgh in front of a half-empty stadium. Pitt will be looking to find their offensive identity still, but should win this one rather easily, in a boring game. Lots of running plays in the Keystone State here. Pitt wins 21-7.
Sterling: If Virginia loses this game it will all but assure they miss on a bowl game yet again, which will likely be the end of Mike London in Virginia. Pitt’s defense will smother the Cavilers’ offense in a fairly one-sided game. 28-16 Pittsburgh.
Jeremy: One team can’t get out of its one way and the other can’t keep people healthy. Pitt has a slight edge but all bets are off if they lose someone else to injury. Pitt 23, Virginia 15.
Wake Forest (2-3) at Boston College (3-2)
Jeff: Both teams have strong defenses, and both have suffered from some pretty major injuries. BC has suffered more injuries, though, and I think if Wake is going to get a conference win, this might be the week to do it. Deacs steal this one 19-16.
Justin: Can this game end in a tie? I’ll be honest, I’ve done no research on BC and I don’t intend on it. I’d rather 5 minutes in a sauna with RutgersAl than watch tape of BC. Never liked them, and never will. Wake is suffering with the loss of their QB. Two pretty good defenses square off here. Unfortunately, BC wins 17-14.
Sterling: Without their star quarterback Wake Forest will struggle mightily to score against the top ranked scoring defense in the nation and Boston College’s offense does enough to get the job done. 24-9 Boston College.
Jeremy: The bad offense theme of the ACC continues here. BC has a great defense but it’s offense has been brutal since losing its top 3 rb’s and its gotten very little from the QB position. Wake has showed some signs of life and with clearly the better player at QB; watch out for the upset. Wake 14, BC 10.
Syracuse (3-1) at South Florida (1-3)
Jeff: Eric Dungey is back. Erv Philips is back. South Florida has a decent defense and a decent running game, but Syracuse is a horrible matchup for them since the one thing Syracuse does well on defense is stop the run, and the one way to exploit the Orange defense, passing the ball, is the one thing that the Bulls just cannot do. Syracuse’s offense was starting to look explosive against CMU until Dungey went down, and I think it gets rolling as the Orange win 38-13 on the road.
Justin: Syracuse is on the way to being relevant again. Dungey is special and as long as he has no ill-effects from his upper body injury sustained against that MAC school nobody likes, Syracuse wins this one easily. People are nervous, because this would be a typical game Syracuse comes into unfocused, but ‘Cuse fans can relax now. This is a different squad with a team on the rise. USF can’t pass, and they sure as hell won’t be able to run on this defense. ‘Cuse wins going away 33-17.
Sterling: The Orange go on the road for their first road game of the season against a Bulls team that needs a win to keep any hope for a bowl alive and kicking. However the Orange are rested and well prepared after coming of a bye and cruise to a convincing victory. 41-24 Syracuse.
Jeremy: Statement game for a Syracuse team trying to show it’s back in the discussion nationally as a team to reckon with. USF is no slouch but has almost nothing in the passing game and was hammered by a bad Maryland team. Syracuse 31, USF 17.