Saturday, September 24thNotre Dame (-7) vs. Pittsburgh, Noon - ABC
Pitt dropped an absolutely crushing loss to Iowa last week as they gave up a 17-point fourth quarter lead to drop to 2-1. RB Ray Graham is averaging over 130 yards/gm and 2 TDs per contest. That's some good stuff, and if Pitt gets ahead in this game he'll definitely get a lions share of the workload for this Pitt offense. Meanwhile, Notre Dame (who I still don't fully trust) got it turned around last week for Michigan State as they notched their first win of the season. It's no secret that Notre Dame struggles to keep possession of the football. They're currently tied for first in the country in giveaways with 13 so far this year. I have to imagine Coach Brian Kelly has been making this a focal point of their practices. They have all the talent to compete with the top teams in the nation they just need to take care of the ball. I'll side with the Irish on the road- but if Pitt gets ahead I don't expect another late game collapse.
No. 7 Oklahoma St vs. No. 8 Texas A&M (-4.5) , 3:30pm - ABC
This should definitely be a shootout. Both teams put up tons of points so the over is probably a strong play here. Oklahoma State has averaged 52 pts/gm and has WR Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma St. who just had his 100 yard receiving streak snapped at 14 last week. He's an absolute monster. Texas A&M averages 41.5 pts/gm and is strong on both sides of the line as they've accumulated 11 sacks and given up none. For me, I look for Oklahoma St. to pull this one out and will take them on the road setting up a late year matchup with the Sooners for conference supremacy.
No. 11 Florida St. vs. No. 21 Clemson (-2.5) , 3:30pm - ESPN
Tough loss to Oklahoma last week for the Seminoles. Although if there one was thing that stuck out to me it was the composure of Redshirt Freshman QB Clint Trickett. If starting QB EJ Manuel can't go I think the game swings in Clemson's favor a little more, but I still have confidence that Trickett can lead this Florida St. team. This Clemson team had a big win against Auburn last week and QB Tajh Boyd has gotten off to an impressive start this year. He averages over 300 yards / gm and has a 10 TDs vs. only 1 Int. That's pretty good. I still think this Seminoles team is going to be too much for the Tigers to handle. I'll take the Seminoles plus the points in this one.
No. 14 Arkansas vs. No. 3 Alabama (-11) , 3:30pm - CBS
There's no denying that this Alabama team has an awesome defense. Arkansas definitely has a pretty impressive offense as well. In this matchup of Offense/Defense I think Alabama will come out with the win at home, but that 11 points looks too tempting for me to pass up. I think that the Razorbacks are definitely no walkover a la Penn St. for Alabama. I'll take Arkansas plus the points to keep it close in this one.
No. 2 LSU (-6) vs. No. 16 West Virginia, 8pm - ABC
For the nightcap we have LSU and West Virginia. Apparently the administration in West Va. is very concerned with expletive-laced shirts that students have been wearing. I'd be more worried about that mullet, but who's keeping track. LSU has a 35-game regular season non-conference winning streak in tact. Their defense has been ridiculous this year allowing only 200 yards of offense and less than 50 ids rushing per contest. I think LSU will be too much for the Mountaineers to handle in this one. I'll take the Tigers on the road to continue that non-conference winning streak.
Hope everyone has a good weekend - I'll be at the Yankees / Sox tonight, Agassi / Sampras tomorrow, and LeBron, Durant, Melo, and CP3 on Sunday. Like Bart Scott said "CAN'T WAIT!"
Last Week: 4-1
Season Record: 6-3-1