My older daughter and I were talking the other day about college football and the Crimson Tide and how spectacular they are this year. She’s a big fan. I was telling her there are other threats to this Bama football team in Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU is in that conversation, and maybe Penn State. She said without hesitation, “Tua time.” I thought that was an awesome answer. He is a difference maker. Tua is 36 of 50 this season, 72%, for 646 yards, 8 TDs and 0 interceptions. That’s sensational stuff. And then you have Jerry Jeudy (11 receptions, 287 yards, 6 TDs), DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III, Irv Smith, Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs to go along with a massively physical and dominant offensive line. I also like what quarterbacks coach Dan Enos has done with Jalen Hurts. Jalen is 19-of-28, 68%, for 248 yards, 4 TDs and 1 int. This offense is a powder keg waiting to explode every Saturday. Then you’ve got a defense led by linebackers Mack Wilson, Christian Miller, Anfernee Jennings, Dylan Moses and safety Delonte Thompson. One of my best friends said to me last Saturday that this is the best team Alabama has ever fielded and that includes the Bear Bryant years. if this keeps up, I agree. Life is good for Alabama partisans, and there isn’t any slowing down. The preparation and player development never sleeps. There are other contenders, but the No.1 Crimson Tide looks to be the best at this point. The others I listed above are certainly capable of winning it all. The Tide faces a constantly improving Texas A&M team this week, a team that Jimbo Fisher has already turned around and has them believing they can knock anybody off. So an interesting matchup in Tuscaloosa Saturday at 2:30 PM CT on CBS.
Auburn had a heartbreaking ending last Saturday at home versus LSU. Down 8 points deep into the fourth quarter, Bengal Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow connected with wide receiver Derrick Dillon for a 71 yard TD that cut the Tigers’ lead to 2. LSU kicker Cole Tracey converted a 42 yarder for the Bengal Tigers as time expired for a 22-21 victory. It was a disappointing finish for Gus Malzahn and Jarrett Stidham and the Auburn defense which allowed the long TD pass and committed 2 pass interference penalties on LSU’s game winning drive. Auburn is back to the drawing board with the struggling Arkansas Razorbacks coming to town on Saturday for a 6:30 PM CT kickoff on the SEC Network.
Some other solid matchups in the SEC. The No.2 Georgia Bulldogs go to Missouri and face Tigers quarterback Drew Lock in what could be a test. Florida is @ Tennessee, Mississippi State is @ Kentucky in a pretty solid matchup, and the Vanderbilt Commodores host the South Carolina Gamecocks. A couple of solid national matchups with No.7 Stanford traveling to Autzen Stadium to face No.20 Oregon, and No.17 TCU plays @ Texas among others.
Here’s a look at this week’s slate.
Last week: 16-6
Overall: 63-17 (79%)
All game times are Central. All games are on Saturday unless otherwise noted.
Texas A&M (2-1) @ No.1 Alabama (3-0)
Brad, Gary, Jamie Erhdal
Bama by 26
While I like the way A&M is playing under Jimbo Fisher, particularly quarterback Kellen Mond, this is a tall order for the Aggies on the road. The Crimson Tide is cookin and there is no looking back for this team. I like Tua and the Tide to have a big day.
Alabama 45, A&M 17
Arkansas (1-2) @ No.9 Auburn (2-1)
Tom Hart, JRodg, Cole
Auburn by 30
While the Tigers may be ranked a little higher than they should be, Arkansas lost last week to North Texas, 44-17, so that tells you all you need to know about this Razorbacks team. North Texas is a pretty good football team, but to get blown out by them at home shows this program and Chad Morris have a long way to go to be competitive in the SEC. And there’s a chance they may never get there.
Auburn 42, Arkansas 10
No.2 Georgia (4-0) @ Missouri (3-0)
Memorial Stadium/ Faurot Field, Columbia, MO.
Steve Levy, Grease, McShay
Dawgs by 14 1/2
The Dawgs could be tested for a while in Columbia, but I like them to pull away in the second half. Jake Fromm and the offense click, and Drew Lock and the Missouri offense can’t do enough to keep up.
Georgia 48, Missouri 20
No. 14 Mississippi State (3-0) @ Kentucky (3-0)
Kroger Field, Lexington, KY.
Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman
State by 9 1/2
Pretty good matchup in the Bluegrass State. Kentucky is playing good football and running back Benny Snell is a horse. But I like Nick Fitzgerald and the Bullies to get the job done on the road. I don’t know if Fitzgerald is a championship quarterback because he’s inaccurate throwing the ball at times, but he’s pretty stellar at other times. He and his team have a shot to do some major work in the west. I do see this as a good game though. Snell keeps the Wildcats right in it till the end.
State 35, Kentucky 30
Florida (2-1) @ Tennessee (2-1)
Neyland Stadium, Knoxvegas
Adam Amin, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich
Gators by 4 1/2
I see Jeremy Pruitt turning the Tennessee program around eventually and making it a viable contender in the SEC East, but not this year. Mullen and the Gators get a big win in the East on Saturday Night in the SEC.
Florida 24, Tennessee 17
South Carolina (2-1) @ Vanderbilt (2-1)
Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville
Taylor Zarzour, Stinch, Kris Budden
SC by 2 1/2
Derek Mason and his Dores went into South Bend and barely missed upsetting the No.8 Fighting Irish, losing 22-17. South Caroiina didn’t play last week because of Hurricane Florence. I like the Dores to get over the top here. Really good game.
Vanderbilt 31, South Carolina 28
Louisiana Tech (2-0) @ No.6 LSU (3-0)
Tiger Stadium Baaton Rouge, LA.
Mike Couzens, Kirk Morrison
LSU by 21
I love the way LSU fought back against Auburn and how they blasted Miami in the first week of the season. I’m bullish on Joe and O.
LSU 41, LA Tech 17
Kent State (1-2) @ Ole Miss (2-1)
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford
Dave Neal, D.J, Shockley, Dawn Davenport
Ole Miss by 28 1/2
I like the Rebels to bounce back from a trouncing by the Crimson Tide.
Ole Miss 52, Kent State 10
No. 7 Stanford @ No. 20 Oregon
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
Chris, Kirk, Maria
Stanford by 2
I like the Cardinal a little more than the Ducks in this one despite the fact it’s in the raucous Autzen Stadium. Bryce Love gets the Cardinal over the top. One of the better names in football, Jet Toner, kicks a field goal for the victory.
Stanford 31, Oregon 28
No. 17 TCU @ Texas
Darrell Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin
Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Bruce Feldman
TCU by 3
TCU played a very good game against Ohio State last Saturday Night at AT&T Stadium in Dallas despite losing 40-28. The Buckeyes are strong. I like the Frogs to take care of business on the road.
TCU 38, Texas 31
Clemson 45, Georgia Tech 28
2:30 PM, ABC
Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Molly McGrath
No.5 Oklahoma 48, Army 16
6 PM, Fox Sports Network
Brendan Burke, Gary Reasons, CT Steckel
Kyler Murray is having a phenomenal season at OU. He’s 49-of-73, 67%, for 863 yards, 8 TDs and 1 int. He’s also rushed for 169 yards and 2 TDs. He’s an absolute stud as are Tua and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State.
No.4 Ohio State 56, Tulane 10
2:30 PM, Big Ten Network
Kevin Kugler, Matt Millen, Rick Pizzo
Dwayne Haskins has completed 66-of-91 passes, 72%, for 890 yards, 11 TDs and 1 int. He’s another superb signal caller nationally.
No. 10 Penn State 45, Illinois 10
8 PM, Fox Sports 1
Justin Kutcher, Petros Papadakis, DeMarco Murray
I want to see the Nittany Lions play a massive game like next Saturday against Ohio State at Happy Valley before i start thinking they’re for real. That will be an epic.
No. 18 Wisconsin 31, Iowa 30
7:30 PM , FOX
Gus, Joel, Jenny Taft
Whisky snaps back but it’s a tough one on the road in Iowa City.
No.16 Central Florida 48, Florida Atlantic 41
6 PM, ESPN, Friday
Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Olivia Dekker
I see Kiff giving UCF a good game.
USC 35, Washington State 31
9:30 PM, ESPN, Friday, Gregory, Lugues
This should be a fun game to watch if you want to stay up late on Friday Night. Like the Trojans at home but Leach and the Cougars will give them everything they want.
No. 15 Oklahoma State 62, Texas Tech 45
6 PM, Fox Sports 1
Brian Custer, Bewn Leber
I see a high powered shootout in Stillwater. I’m a believer in Mike Gundy’s team after its 44-21 blasting of Boise State last week. Tech can put up some points though.
No. 10 Washington 48, Arizona State 21
9:30 PM, ESPN
Bob Wiaschuan, Brock Huard, Allison Williams
I like the Huskies to dominate the Sun Devils at home.
Virginia 38, Louisville 35
11:30 AM, ACC Extra Network on the computer.
Wes Durham, James Bates, Rebecca Kaple
I’m looking at a really competitive game here. The Cavaliers are 2-1 and they play some good offense.
No. 12 West Virginia 49, Kansas State 45
2:30 PM, ESPN
Clay Matvick, Dan Orlovsky, Paul Carceterra
This is the type of game that Dana Holgerson can lose, but his team looks stronger this season.
No. 19 Michigan 38 Nebraska 17
11 AM, Fox Sports 1
Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, Holly Sonders
Michigan’s season is still to be determined. They at least get the job done in the Big House over a struggling Scott Frost Nebraska team.
No. 8 Notre Dame 31, Wake Forest 30
11 AM, ABC
Sean McDonough, Todd, Holly
I’m not buying the Fighting Irish to be a serious contender for the playoff. There schedule is also brutal the rest of the season. Wake gives them trouble in Winston-Salem.
Navy 48, SMU 41
11 AM, ESPN News
Bill Roth, Mike Golic Jr.
Like another Texas shootout with the Midshipmen coming out on top in Dallas.
Boston College 45, Purdue 35
11 AM, ESPN 2
Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks
I’m bullish on BC. They’ve got a shot to give Clemson some trouble when the Tigers visit Chestnut Hill on Nov. 10th. They’re my sleeper team in the ACC.
No.13 Virginia Tech 45, Old Dominion 10
2:30 PM, CBS Sports Network
Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor, John Schriffen
Pretty high on this Hokies team after they demolished FSU on the road in game 1.