Top ranked Ohio State (8-0), #3 Alabama (8-0), and #4 LSU (8-0) all have this week off, but Clemson (8-0) is in action—sort of. The #2 Tigers (8-0) will show their claws for a good half before settling back and coasting to a 52-21 win over Wofford (4-4) of the FCS.
In the best of the ranked matchups, #10 Georgia (6-1) travels to #11 Florida (7-1). There is a lot on the line in this one because the loser will drop out of contention for the SEC East championship. Florida is undefeated at home while Georgia is undefeated on the road. UGA’s defense will be the difference in a 27-21 Bulldog win.
Twenty-second ranked Memphis (7-1) is favored by our system to knock #23 SMU (8-0) out of the top spot of the AAC West with a 35-34 win at home. If so, the Tigers will be in control of the West since they already have a win over Navy (6-1), the division’s only other challenger.
In the PAC-12 . . .
North division leader #7 Oregon (7-1) takes its revitalized rushing attack to Los Angeles to face South division leader #31 USC (5-3).
Last week, Oregon struggled against Washington State’s air attack and now the Ducks face USC, a team with a similar scheme but better athletes.
Oregon’s performance lines in our Index are consistent and positive whereas USC’s have been slightly positive overall but erratic and nearly unpredictable. Oregon’s defense has been one of the best in the nation especially at the third level while USC continues to give up big plays in the Helton era.
Two weeks ago, we projected that a strong Oregon passing attack would succeed and last week that a strong rush attack was needed. This week, the Index tells us that both teams will need to present balanced attacks.
Our system favors the Ducks 33-24 but warns that this game has one of the highest upset ratings in the nation.
Colorado (3-5) visits revitalized UCLA (3-5) in a battle between two teams that performed well last week. The Buffs nearly upset USC while the Bruins pounded previously-ranked Arizona State 42-32 to move into third place in the PAC-12 South. The surprising Bruins are favored 38-27 against Colorado.
Oregon State (3-4) travels to Tucson to play plummeting Arizona (4-4), a team that spent the past three weeks giving up 44 points per game before firing long-time defensive coordinator Marcel Yates over the weekend. Oregon State has posted better performance lines but Arizona has better talent. We’re projecting OSU in a 35-34 upset.
Our system is 428 – 129 (77%) in predicting games this season.
To see all 45 of our game predictions for this week, click here.