SATURDAY NOV. 11 Noon/ET FOX
MICHIGAN STATE (7-2) @ OHIO STATE (7-2) by 7
These are the two most surprising teams in the big Ten this season to my eyes. I have no idea how the Spartans have compiled their record, with a very young and relatively inexperienced roster. Usually by this time of year URBAN MEYER has molded his young, but talented roster, into a powerhouse making a run for a Final Four spot. I’m still trying to figure what happened last weekend at Iowa. Therefore, even though the Buckeyes are the more talented team here it certainly does appear that Mark Dantonio and his staff in East Lansing are doing a better job teaching and prepping their roster for game day action than Meyer and his guys this season. I’ll go ahead and pick the Buckeyes here, but I certainly am concerned about an Ohio State Defense that has given up 38 & 55 points over the past two games. Where’s LUKE FICKELL when you really need him? (Answer…Cincinnati). Plenty of prospects to watch for the Buckeyes, but the Spartans are very young and still developing.
Michigan State prospects: #65 BRIAN ALLEN/OC/G; #23 CHRIS FREY/OB; #3 L.J. SCOTT/RB; DEMETRIUS COOPER/DE.
Ohio State prospects: #16 J.T. BARRETT/QB; #85 MARCUS BAUGH/TE; #54 BILLY PRICE/OC; #74 JAMARCO JONES/OT; #6 SAM HUBBARD/DE/JR; #86 DRE’MONT JONES/DT/RSO; #59 TYQUAN LEWIS/DE; #35 CHRIS WORLEY/IB; #33 DANTE BOOKER/OB; #12 DENZEL WARD/CB/JR; #7 DAMON WEBB/FS.
SATURDAY NOV. 11 3:30PM/ET CBS
GEORGIA (9-0) BY 5 @ AUBURN (7-2)
UGA is pretty much tied with Alabama in many folks minds as the No.1 team in the country. Now the task is not to stumble and fall before the projected matchup between the two teams in the SEC Championship battle. Georgia proved something important in last week’s win over South Carolina. Their true frosh QB JAKE FROMM can indeed move his team through the air. Auburn meanwhile showed that they are still a tough out, with a road win in College Station. The Bulldogs Defense is seasoned, deep and talented. They will need to hunker down and contain the Auburn running attack, led by junior KERRYON JOHNSON, and perhaps KAMRYN PETTWAY, if healthy. A 10-point lead at halftime, would make either team a favorite to hold on for a win. I call this as a potential slugfest with CHUBB/MICHEL going head to head with JOHNSON/PETTWAY. For those of you with a liking for old-fashioned games, dominated by the running games, then this contest is for you.
Georgia prospects: #27 NICK CHUBB/RB; #1 SONY MICHEL/RB; #83 JEB BLAZEVICH/TE; #77 ISAIAH WYNN/OT; #97 JOHN ATKINS/DT; #17 DAVIN BELLAMY/OB; #7 LORENZO CARTER/OB; #35 AARON DAVIS/CB; #24 DOMINICK SANDERS/FS.
Auburn prospects: #21 KERRYON JOHNSON/RB/JR; #73 AUSTIN GOLSON/OL INJ?; #71 BRADEN SMITH/OT; #38 DANIEL CARLSON/K; #95 DONTAVIUS RUSSELL/DT/JR; #30 TRE WILLIAMS/OB; #6 CARLTON DAVIS/CB/JR; #28 TRAY MATTEWS/SS.
SATURDAY NOV. 11 3:30PM/ET ABC
IOWA (6-3) @ WISCONSIN (9-0) by 3
The Hawkeyes look like the Big Ten spoiler again this season. They almost topped Penn State and they beat down the Buckeyes. The good news for the Badgers should be that they play at home in this one. IOWA is much more formidable at home in front of their rabid fans. But they do play the patient, run the clock game that can frustrate even the Badgers. The Badgers Offense will have to be patient, but most of all start faster than in previous games where they have sometimes looked to be in a daze for the 1st Quarter. They must also avoid turnovers in both the pass and run games. Bucky may be without their best wideout in Soph QUINTEZ CEPHUS, who is injured. Iowa will push this game to the limit, though Bucky has more depth and overall talent, but that never stops the Hawkeyes from hanging tough and keeping the score tight. My final advise to the Badgers is to be sure to be ready from the opening kick-off, and make sure you are not playing from behind against this Iowa team. If ahead they can beat the Hawkeyes at their own game behind the running game powered by true frosh RB/JONATHAN TAYLOR and a huge, brawling OL.
Iowa prospects: #25 AKRUM WADLEY/RB; #89 MATT VANDEBERG/WR; #79 SEAN WELSH/OG; #41 BO BOWER/OB; #43 JOSEY JEWELL/IB; #15 JOSHUA JACKSON/CB/JR; #19 MILES TAYLOR/FS.
Wisconsin prospects: #81 TROY FUMAGALLI/TE; #63 MICHAEL DEITER/LT/JR; #66 BEAU BENZSCHAWEL/OG/JR; #57 ALEC JAMES/DE; #94 CONOR SHEEHY/DL; #53 T.J. EDWARDS/IB/JR; #14 D’COTA DIXON/S.
SATURDAY NOV. 11 8:00PM/ET ABC
NOTRE DAME (8-1) @ MIAMI (F) (8-0) by 3
I think we are past the Catholics versus Convicts stage of this rivalry, but I am sure a lot of older football fans will still be looking for signs of those days of yesteryear. This is only year two of the Mark Richt coaching era in South Florida, and he looks to be ahead of schedule in rebuilding THE U into a facsimile the Jimmy Johnson era of dominance. There may actually be more pure talent on the Hurricanes squad than the Irish contingent, but BRIAN KELLY looks to have flip-flopped the Irish from a 4-8 debacle in 2016 to a run at the Final Four. I look for the Irish to try to slow down the pace and rely on their running game (headed by Josh Allen) to control the clock and the scoreboard. For you prospect watchers Notre Dame may have the best left side of an OL in college football with McGLINCHEY/NELSON! One of these teams takes a big stumble down the standings after this one. I’ll take the Hurricanes at home in a nail biter.
Notre Dame prospects: #33 JOSH ADAMS/RB/JR; #6 EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN/WR/JR; #80 DURHAM SMYTHE/TE; #56 QUENTON NELSON/OG/RJr; #68 MIKE McGLINCHEY/OT; #5 NYLES MORGAN/IB; #23 DRUE TRANQUILL/OB.
Miami prospects: #23 CHRIS HERNDON/TE; #52 KC McDERMOTT/OT; #73 TREVOR DARLING/OT; #15 MICHAEL BADGLEY/K; #9 CHAD THOMAS/DE; #80 RJ McINTOSH/DT/JR; #22 SHELDRICK REDWINE/FS.
SATURDAY NOV. 11 8:00PM/ET FOX
T.C.U. (8-1) @ OKLAHOMA by 7 (8-1)
Get ready to acknowledge the very likely champ of the Big 12 when this game concludes. Oklahoma State has been exposed again as a good team that can’t win the showdown games in their own conference. So it leaves TCU as the only team left with a legit chance to keep the Sooners out of the Final Four of College Football. TCU, under HC GARY PATTERSON may be the closest thing to a defense oriented team in the Big 12. But that still leaves the daunting task for the Horned Frogs of having to contain QB/BAKER MAYFIELD. Good luck guys. In fact, if the Sooners come out on top to go to 9-1, and MAYFIELD has his typical 400-500 yards total offense game, you can start polishing the Heisman Trophy for presentation to him in about a little over a month. Now that’s a heck of a back-story.
TCU prospects: #7 KENNY HILL/QB; #21 KYLE HICKS/RB; #2 TAJ WILLIAMS/WR; #68 JOSEPH NOTEBOOM/OT; #32 TRAVIN HOWARD/SS/LB; #11 RANTHONY TEXADA/CB; #18 NICK ORR/FS.
Oklahoma prospects: #8 BAKER MAYFIELD/QB; #81 MARK ANDREWS/TE/JR; #78 ORLANDO BROWN/OT/JR; #92 MATTHEW ROMAR/DT; #31 OGBO OKORONKWO/OB/ER; #7 JORDAN THOMAS/CB; #10 STEVEN PARKER/SS; EMMANUEL BEAL/OB.
We are headed down the home stretch of the college football season. Just look at the match-ups above and you can just tell there will be some serious upsets before games conclude on Saturday night. ENJOY!