(#6)Oklahoma vs. (#11)Texas
Is it just me, or does the The Red River Shootout/Showdown feel like the start of the “meat” of the season as the weather becomes more football-appropriate and games become more meaningful? This match-up is always worth watching, regardless of the records or state of the programs. This year has some extra juice as both teams find themselves in the top 11 with major aspirations for the rest of the season. This should be an entertaining battle as always, but an improved Sooners defense and an outright spectacular Jalen Hurts will be too much for the Longhorns to win this game two years in a row.
Prediction: Oklahoma-45, Texas-35
Michigan State at (#8)Wisconsin
3:30 p.m., BTN
The Spartans defense played admirably against Ohio State until the Buckeyes playmakers took over (it also didn’t help that the Sparty offense couldn’t stay on the field or keep coughing up the ball). The Badgers passed tests against Michigan and Northwestern as they gradually gain more national attention. Jonathan Taylor and company will now face its stiffest test as they hope to remain unbeaten heading into a showdown with the Buckeyes on Oct. 26. This should be your classic Big Ten slugfest early on before the Badgers ultimately pull ahead in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Wisconsin-27, Michigan State-16
(#7)Florida at (#5)LSU
8 p.m., ESPN
The Gators looked much better than expected against Auburn last week, but now they have to follow it up with a trip to Death Valley. LSU’s offense has also exceeded expectations, but face its stiffest test by far in 2019 against a stout Florida defense. Tigers quarterback and Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow has been phenomenal so far this season, completing nearly 80 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns to just three interceptions. This still has the feeling of a low-scoring game where every single yard is contested. Penn State fans will miss most of this one, but hopefully will be able to flip over for a thrilling conclusion once the Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes wrap things up.
Prediction: LSU-24, Florida-19
LATE NIGHT PICK ‘EM
Hawai’i at (#14)Boise State
10:15 p.m., ESPN 2
Wyoming at San Diego State
10:30 p.m., CBSSN
Washington at Arizona
11 p.m., ESPN
If the Penn State-Iowa game is anything like the last time they played in Kinnick, you’re going to be wired late into the night. Fortunately, there are three promising late-night games this week to keep you entertained until the adrenaline wears off. Hawai’i actually has a shot at upsetting Boise State. So far, the Rainbow Warriors have taken down two PAC-12 opponents, and blasted the Nevada team that beat Purdue in week one. Wyoming and San Diego State should be a competitive game, and Cowboys’ coach Craig Bohl does not get nearly enough credit for the job he’s done in a place where it’s awfully hard to build a program and put together winning records every season. Washington-Arizona isn’t the most impactful game, but does give you an excuse to watch college football until close to 3 a.m.
Predictions: Boise State-42, Hawai’i-37
Wyoming-30, San Diego State-27