Good morning to all you NCAA Football fans! We have finally made it to the mid-point of the season.
So far, the 2019 season has been relatively calm. There have been a few big games like Auburn v Florida, but overall, play has been pretty much as expected. That all changes beginning with this week.
LSU and Florida go after each other this week with playoff implications on the line. The winner continues to pursue the Top 4 and the loser is out of Top 4 consideration. In other words, a typical SEC second half of the season.
Texas and Oklahoma meet in a game that should decide the Big 12 Title. It will also serve to define Oklahoma and may also play a huge role in Jaylen Hurts Heisman chances.
Oklahoma needs the win to continue chasing a Top 4 spot that may be available as the SEC teams knock each other out of the running.
So with that in mind, let’s get to the games.
No. 1 Alabama (-17) at No. 24 Texas A&M
A&M without a doubt has one of the toughest schedules in NCAA football. They have played Clemson and Auburn and lost. Now they get Alabama, with Georgia and LSU to come. For them to have any hope of making a game of it, the Aggies have to begin the game protecting QB Kellen Mond.
Bama continues to ride the play of QB Tua Tagovailoa with his stash of receivers to pass the ball to. They average 486 yards per game and have 24 td’s through the air.
Bama continues its run in the SEC and wins, and COVERS the spread.
Florida State at No. 2 Clemson (-25.5)
North Carolina gave Clemson all it could handle last week, something that happens one game each season. Expect Clemson to bounce back and play like the quality team they can be.
Trevor Lawrence continues to perform, but has not reached the high standards of play expected after his title game performance against Bama last year. He needs to step up his game now to get ready for the playoffs, but that may be tough since Clemson has an easy road the rest of the way.
Florida State comes to town after a bye week where they have prepped for the Tigers. But it does not matter, State does not have the talent to play long against Clemson.
Clemson wins but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
South Carolina at No. 3 Georgia (-24.5)
Georgia’s defense was tested early by South Carolina last week. They gave up several big plays, but got it together in the second half.
South Carolina comes to town having lost eight of the last ten games to Georgia. Expect nothing different in this game.
Georgia plays well enough to win, but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No 3 Ohio State – Bye Week
After an impressive win against Michigan State last week, Ohio State has the week off. Then comes the battle of the two unbeatens, Ohio State against Wisconsin. With the way each team is playing, this may be the first of two match ups, regular play and the conference title.
No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU (-13)
Last week Florida got Auburn. Now they get LSU.
Florida’s defense came together against Auburn and QB Bo Nix, but now must hold it together, especially when facing LSU QB Joe Burrow and the Tiger passing game. Burrow will not be the pushover that Nix was. He has thrown for 1,864 yards and 22 touchdowns versus 3 interceptions in his quest for the Heisman. But he will be facing a defense that has 26 sacks and 12 interceptions.
Back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has 360 yards and 5.5 yards per carry for LSU. He will be taking some of the heat off of Burrow making life a bit easier in the backfield. Dan Mullen will be trying to do the same for the same for Florida and QB Trask.
Give this one to LSU in a tough fought game. But LSU DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 6 Oklahoma (-11) vs. No. 11 Texas
In another major matchup of the season with both conference and playoff hopes on the line, OU takes on the Longhorns as 11 point favorites.
OU comes off an outing against Kansas where they actually trailed by 1 point in the game before taking control late in the first half.
Texas had their own issues with West Virginia early on with WV keeping it close, but the Texas defense came up big with 4 interceptions to take control.
Jaylen Hurts, the OU QB should continue in his own pursuit of the Heisman, both running and passing for big yards against the Texas defense that is suffering from injuries. Meanwhile, Sam Ehlinger will be trying to make his own statements about his quality of play.
The game will go a long way in firming up the college playoff picture along with the Florida/LSU game.
Oklahoma wins on the play of Jaylen Hurts. The DO NOT COVER the spread.
Michigan State at No. 8 Wisconsin (-10)
In another fun game to watch, Wisconsin entertains Michigan State as home as 10 point favorites.
Wisconsin has shown itself to be a team to watch out for since the start of the season. They have 3 shutouts for the season with their strong defense, similar to that of the 2015-2017 teams.
QB Jack Coan played much better than he did against Northwestern and should repeat the same type of performance. They key is not to let down before Oct 26, when they meet Ohio State.
Ten point spreads might be a bit much for this game. Wisconsin wins, but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
USC at No. 9 Notre Dame (-11.5)
After playing a totally deficient Bowling Green team last week, Notre Dame takes on USC at home. This game will be a tune up for the Michigan game in two weeks.
Though undefeated, Notre Dame must really pile on USC to stay in playoff contention. Anything less and it can pretty much finish playoff hopes.
This game for USC is bragging rights only. It means nothing in the scheme of things for a Rose Bowl appearance.
Notre Dame wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 10 Penn State (-4) at No. 17 Iowa
Poor Iowa. They just had Michigan and lost, now they get Penn State to lose again.
State’s upfront defense is getting stronger with every game played, something that they will need going forward. QB Sean Clifford put in a credible performance with 264 yards passing and 3 touchdowns.
Penn State keeps winning and it looks like only they can challenge Ohio State in the East.
Penn State wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 12 Auburn – Bye Week
Auburn needs the Bye Week after their hard fought loss to Florida last week. With LSU, Georgia and Alabama on the schedule in the coming weeks, this will give them a bit of time to retool and repair the things that went wrong last week.
Colorado at No. 13 Oregon (-20)
Colorado goes to Oregon in a game that the Ducks hope will give them a chance to rest from a sloppy game last week against Cal. QB Justin Herbert did not live up to his billing.
This game could be a “trap” for Oregon. If Oregon goes into the game looking to Washington the following, they could be quickly surprised.
Colorado has a good scoring team, averaging 34 points. That make a 20 point spread tough to overcome for the Ducks.
Oregon wins but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
Hawaii at No. 14 Boise State (-11.5)
Hawaii goes to Boise State having gotten used to playing Mountain West conference teams capable of scoring big. The last 6 games have not been close, and Boise State did not have as good of a team as now.
Boise State wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 15 Utah (-13) at Oregon State
After a Bye Week, Utah returns to the gridiron with a visit to Oregon State. In their previous game, the Utes thoroughly trashed Washington State.
Though having one conference loss, they still remain the team favored to win the PAC 12 South. Only Arizona State on Oct 19 should be in their way.
The Utes defense brings home the win. Utah with the victory and COVERS the spread.
No. 16 Michigan (-20.5) at Illinois
Michigan is trying to climb back into the ranks of the Top 10 teams, but their outlook for success is not good. Last week, it was the Michigan defense that sealed the deal over Iowa, but that cannot continue the rest of the season.
The Wolverine offense was ineffective most of the game, except for one big play in the first quarter. Fortunately, they play Illinois this week, which will allow them to work on both offensive and defensive play.
Michigan wins and COVERS the spread.
Washington State at No. 18 Arizona State (-3)
Washington State had high hopes at the start of the season, believing that a PAC 12 title was in its grasp. Those hopes were quickly dashed and now Washington State just hopes to play spoiler.
Arizona State Freshman QB Jayden Daniels has continued to improve as the season has processed. But he needs continued progression for Arizona State to continue to challenge for the PAC 12 South.
The Cougars are the perfect tune up game for Arizona State before meeting Utah in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, the tune up game will not turn out well for Arizona State.
Washington State plays the spoiler and UPSETS Arizona State.
Louisville at No. 19 Wake Forest (-6.5)
Wake Forest ranked #19? Are we looking at basketball or football?
Wake Forest has put together a good team in 2019. QB Jamie Newman leads the team and has the offense clicking on all cylinders. The defense continues to improve.
The Louisville QB Malik Cunningham throws a pretty good game. If he can have a good week, then Louisville may surprise.
Louisville surprises and UPSETS Wake Forest.
No. 20 Virginia at Miami (-1)
This should be a fun game to watch. Virginia, trying to return to the ranks of good teams faces a Miami team that gave Florida fits to start the season.
Virginia QB Bryce Perkins needed the Bye Week after being beat up by Notre Dame when he was sacked 8 times and lost 3 fumbles. Now, Virginia plays Miami and then North Carolina in games that will likely determine the Coastal Division winner.
It has been years since Virginia has won at Miami, but they change that this year. Virginia UPSETS Miami in a close one.
No. 21 SMU – BYE Week
SMU returns to the Top 25 for a brief appearance. The Bye Week will extend their stay. Next up is Temple, then Houston and Memphis.
SMU will have to work hard to remain in the Top 25.
Texas Tech at No. 22 Baylor (-10.5)
Baylor has been quite the surprise as Coach Matt Rhule continues to make them a resurgent program. Their win over Kansas State last week, 31-12, was their first road win conference victory in 12 years.
Baylor’s defense was suffocating against Kansas State, racking up 6 sacks and 15 tackles for losses, their best performance in over a decade.
The offense is a worry right now because QB Charlie Brewer left the game with an injury in the 4th quarter and it has not yet been announced if he will play this week.
The Bears have 4 games to go that they should be favored before matchups against Oklahoma and Texas.
Texas Tech had an impressive win last week against Oklahoma State, but don’t expect that to happen against Baylor.
Baylor wins in a tough game, but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 23 Memphis (-3.5) at Temple
Memphis is the 4th surprise team in the Top 25 this week. Their schedule has been easy expect for games against Ole Miss and Navy, which they defeated both.
Freshman running back Kenny Gainwell has run for over 100 yards in each of the last three games, a welcome surprise.
The Memphis defense is another matter. They gave up 575 yards last week to UL Monroe, not a powerhouse team by far.
Temple has a 4-1 record going into this game. They have victories over Maryland and Georgia Tech, but defeating the Rambling Wreck is not saying much.
This game is really a toss-up, no matter what the odds makers say. PU goes against the masses in his thoughts.
Temple wins in an UPSET.
No. 25 Cincinnati (-6.5) at Houston
Cincinnati makes a surprise appearance in the Top 25 this week after defeating favored UCF last week. This caused UCF to drop out of the rankings for the first time in years. The Bearcat team looked nothing like the early season team that lost to Ohio State 42-0.
This game could turn into a real shootout quite fast with both teams able to put up quick points. Houston qb Clayton Tune should have a very good game.
Give Houston the win in an UPSET!
There you have it. PU puts his amazing reputation and talents on the line once again for his deserving follower.
See ya next week after the dust has settled.