Where did the season go? We've reached week 10, and Saturday is November first. Slow down, college football!
The first weekend of November does present several appetizing games, and with the first college football playoff rankings out, I suppose these are supposed to feel bigger. #EveryWeekCounts or something.
Florida State (-4) at Louisville
Another week, another controversy in Tallahassee with starting running back Karlos Williams being investigated for domestic violence charges. As of Wednesday evening, Williams appears set to play in a huge ACC contest for both teams. Louisville has spent most of the season flying just under the radar after tough road losses to Virginia and Clemson. But they sit at 6-2, and have home field on a Thursday night.
FSU has been flirting with disaster on an almost weekly basis, but of course have found a way to pull out close wins when it matters. But strange things happen on Thursday nights, and the Noles have not had to deal with a close road game. I don't know if the Cardinals get the outright win, but I will gladly take the 4 points I'm getting.
Auburn at Ole Miss (-2)
I know I have spent a fair amount of time blasting SEC poll bias the last couple of weeks, but man, I love this game. I'm not sure how you only give up 10 points and lose to LSU like Ole Miss did a week ago, but the Rebels D is legit. Auburn is probably a little lucky to have just the 1 loss (looking at you, K-State kicking game), but the Tigers offense has not missed a beat all season.
I don't know who Gus Malzahn pissed off to have this road schedule, but it must have been bad. On top of heading to Oxford, Auburn has not been impressive in their last 2 outings (L @ Mississippi State, 7 point win vs. South Carolina). I like home favorites, at night, especially when I'm only laying 2 points.
Arizona at UCLA (-6.5)
Remember when UCLA was a darkhorse playoff candidate? That was a fun week or so before the season. I love Brett Hundley, but the Bruins offensive line has looked more Penn State than Mississippi State this season, and it's cost UCLA. Meanwhile, Arizona is just 2 points away from sitting undefeated, and very much in the playoff conversation. By the way, Rich says hi, Michigan.
Remember last week when I said spreads that look too good to be true usually are? Well, LSU covering against Ole Miss was the only game I lost because I didn't listen to me. For the life of me, I can't figure out how UCLA is not only favored, but favored by a touchdown. I'll take those points you're giving me, and Bear Down!
TCU (-5) at West Virginia
If Auburn at Ole Miss is the "best" game of the weekend, this is most certainly going to be the most entertaining. Gameday in Morgantown, and two of the most explosive offenses in the country (quite literally in TCU's case). The Frogs rolled up EIGHTY TWO POINTS last week against Texas Tech, and average the most in the country at 50.4 per game. WVU checks in at a healthy 36.9.
WVU's defense is hardly the sieve it's been in past seasons (<3 U Scrap), but they are going to get a mighty test from TCU on Saturday. The home field has made them a better team, but they have not faced a test quite like TCU in Morgantown this season. I'm not crazy about it, but I will take the visitors here.
Utah at Arizona State (-6)
If I can kick this cold that I've somehow developed this week that is surely unrelated to screaming for 5 hours on Saturday night, I will be excited to watch this 11:00 PM kick. Utah is flying high after a big last second win over USC a week ago at home, and is still just a 28-27 loss to Washington State away from perfection. The Sun Devils have to be kicking themselves over that 62-27 beating suffered against UCLA back in September, which is still the only loss on the resumé.
The winner of this game will be sitting pretty in the Pac 12 South (although both have yet to face Arizona). The Utes have not been terribly impressive away from Salt Lake City (sorry Michigan), but have played very well in big games. Arizona State has not been overly impressive at home, but a 9:00 local kick should have Sun Devil Stadium rocking. I'll take that and give the 6.
AROUND THE B1G
Northwestern at Iowa (-4)
Wisconsin at BTPR (+11)
Indiana at Michigan (-7)
Illinois at Ohio State (-28.5)