(#8)Oregon at (#7)Washington
3:30 p.m., ABC
Yes, it’s on during Penn State-UMASS but I think you’re safe to keep an eye on this one. These teams have looked to be the clear top two of a stacked PAC-12 race, and the winner has the inside track to a playoff berth and could even receive some #1 votes come Sunday morning. The Ducks have looked to be the better overall team, although the Huskies are more reliable on offense and have the edge in firepower. They’ll also receive a boost from a revved up home crowd.
Prediction: Washington-44, Oregon-41
Auburn at (#22)LSU
7 p.m., ESPN
This series typically serves up some patented college football wackiness, so it’s always worth a watch despite a down year for Auburn, and LSU not being the national title contender they were thought to be in the summer. Considering the many issues with the LSU defense, any of their upcoming games have the potential to go down the wire in dramatic fashion.
Prediciton: LSU-34, Auburn-30
Wyoming at Air Force
7 p.m., CBSSN
There’s a strong argument to be made that this should be a ranked vs. ranked match-up. These two are fighting to be the eventual Non-5 champ at the end of the regular season, and we should see a battle of two undefeated teams going down the wire. I wasn’t expecting to include Wyoming on this list on such a regular basis, but here we are.
Prediction: Aire Force-30, Wyoming-28
(#10)USC at (#22)Notre Dame
7:30 p.m., NBC/Peacock
I’m not feeling great about either pick here. USC seems well overdue for a loss thanks to a leaky defense and overreliance on Caleb Williams’ heroics. Notre Dame’s offense has been stuck in neutral the last few weeks and the defense looked disappointing against Louisville last Saturday. Someone pulls it out, but will run into more problems down the road.
Prediction: Notre Dame-33, USC-31
(#25)Miami at (#12)North Carolina
7:30 p.m., ABC
This game comes down to two questions for me:
-Can Drake Maye put up the type of game you’d expect for someone who could be one of the first players drafted against a tough Miami front seven?
-Will we get a demorialized Miami team or an angry Miami team following the debacle last week agaisnt Georgia Tech?
Prediction: North Carolina-24, Miami-21
(#18)UCLA at (#15)Oregon State
FOX, 8 p.m.
There are some great options for prime time viewing this week, but if you’re looking for an old school physical slugfest, this is the one. Does that sound like a strange thing to say when one of those teams is led by Chip Kelly? Well, you can thank former Penn State standout defensive back D’Anton Lynn for that. Lynn has done a remarkable job in year one as the Bruins defensive coordinator, and is poised for many offers coming his way at the end of the season.
Predicition: Oregon State-17, UCLA-14