Predictions are back again, and in a special format this week. There was a delay in getting predictions from our panel of writers, so I'm waiting to publish those tomorrow. But with the big Auburn-Kansas State game tonight, I wanted to get these in now.
With only 3 games involving Big 12 teams this week, I'm pulling in more Top 25 ranked teams this week.
#5 Auburn (2-0) @ #20 Kansas State (2-0) Thursday 6:30pm CT TV:ESPN
This is probably the best chance for the Big 12 to make a statement this year. If Kansas State can upset the Tigers tonight, whoever wins the Big 12 will get a big boost when it comes time to pick the playoff teams. Kansas State had a lot of issues with Iowa State two weeks ago, but some of those concerns were allayed when Iowa state went out and beat Iowa on the road.
While I think this is going to be a good game and KSU will cover the spread, I don't think home field advantage will be enough to overcome the superior talent of the Tigers. Auburn 35, Kansas State 31
Virginia (2-1) @ #21 BYU (3-0) Saturday 2:30pm CT TV:ESPN
Virginia pulled the upset that probably shouldn't have been an upset over Louisville, and I was slightly surprised the Cavaliers weren't ranked this week. Their strength is their defense, but BYU has one that is even better. The spread seems a little high, but I fully expect BYU to win. BYU 34, Virginia 24
Florida (2-0) @ #3 Alabama (3-0) Saturday 2:30pm CT TV:CBS
The line here is 15, and that is either way too high or way too low. I'm having a hard time trusting a Florida team that needed 3 overtimes to beat a mediocre-at-best Kentucky team. While Alabama hasn't looked like a normal Alabama team this year, they are still way too talented bet against. Alabama 34, Florida 14
Indiana (1-1) @ #18 Missouri (3-0) Saturday 3:00pm CT TV:SEC Network
Indiana lost at the end of last week's game at Bowling Green, and nothing from that games leads me to believe that Indiana has any realistic shot of winning this game. They might keep it close, but Missouri has too many weapons for Indiana to handle. Missouri 31, Indiana 20
Mississippi State (3-0) @ #8 LSU (3-0) Saturday 6:00pm CT TV:ESPN
Both of these teams have good defenses, but the offenses aren't too shabby either. Even though the over/under is 50, I get a feeling this will be a defensive struggle. LSU 13, Mississippi State 10
#4 Oklahoma (3-0) @ West Virginia (2-1) Saturday 6:30pm CT TV:FOX
This isn't quite the cakewalk we were expecting a few weeks ago, as West Virginia has legitimately surprised some people with all 3 of their performances. That being said, there is no reason that Oklahoma shouldn't take care of business. Oklahoma 34, West Virginia 21
Miami (2-1) @ #24 Nebraska (3-0) Saturday 7:00pm CT TV:ESPN2
The only real team either of these two have played is Miami in a loss to Louisville. They failed that test miserably, but Nebraska hasn't necessarily looked much better against the cupcakes they have played. Nebraska is favored, but I'm convinced that this is only because they are at home and have the better record, not because they are actually better. Although those are pretty much the same reasons I'm picking them to win. Nebraska 31, Miami 28
#22 Clemson (1-1) @ #1 Florida State (2-0) Saturday 7:00pm CT TV:ABC
The suspension of Jameis Winston for the first half makes this one interesting. It almost makes the contest seem like those backyard games as a kid where one team is obviously better, so you spot them 3 touchdowns at the beginning to try and even it up. The real question here is how many points FSU spots Clemson before Winston is allowed to take the field. My guess is that Clemson shuts down the FSU offense before half, but are only able to take a 17-6 lead at the half. After the half, it is all Seminoles. Florida State 41, Clemson 24