This might be the most exciting week of college football this season. Probably because we reached the 10th week of the season and Saturday's games just get tougher by the minute. Here are my picks:
No. 6 TCU at No. 5 Oklahoma, 6 p.m. on FOX
(8-1, 5-1 conf.) (8-1, 5-1 conf.)
The Big-12 needs love too, doesn't it? Well, this is an opportunity for both TCU and Oklahoma to get a jump in the playoff polls if either team wins. Will we have an encore performance by Heisman candidate Baker Mayfield? After throwing five touchdowns in the Sooners’ 62-52 victory over their in-state rival Oklahoma State. It won’t come easy, knowing that the Sooners’ offense has to deal with TCU’s seventh-ranked defense. A win over the Horned Frogs could move the Sooners up to the top four. For TCU, a win over the Sooners could bring the Horned Frogs back to the playoff discussion and keep the Sooners out for good.
Bold Prediction: Oklahoma 45, TCU 27
No. 1 Georgia at No. 10 Auburn, 1:30 p.m. on CBS
(9-0, 6-0 conf.) (7-2, 5-1 conf.)
With Georgia holding the No. 1 spot in the college football playoff rankings, the Bulldogs have a huge target on their backs going forward. Auburn could be the toughest challenge yet this season for the Bulldogs, other than the SEC Championship, where teams are most likely to face Alabama three weeks from now. Auburn is a team that’s hard to figure out but might be the best 7-2 team that no one is talking about. But Auburn’s defense will have their hands full against the Bulldogs’ running game led by two senior running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Both rushed for a combine of 1,577 yards and 18 touchdowns. If the Tigers can’t stop Georgia’s one-two punch, it’s going to be a long day for the Tigers.
Bold Prediction: UGA 24, Auburn 10
No. 20 Iowa vs No. 8 Wisconsin, 1:30 p.m. on ABC/ESPN
(6-3, 3-3 conf.) (9-0, 6-0 conf.)
After Iowa put a beatdown on Ohio State, who knows how this game is going to end up. Wisconsin has more to lose than to gain compared to the Hawkeyes, who don’t have that much to play for. This might be the Badgers’ toughest opponent, but a win over the Hawkeyes at home can help them stay relevant in the playoff hunt with two more games after this Saturday. The Big Ten’s leading back, Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin, will have a tough challenge going up against the Iowa’s defense, that has only given up 18.1 points allowed. Expect another defensive battle in this Big Ten matchup.
Bold Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Iowa 21
No. 3 Notre Dame at No. 7 Miami, 6 p.m. on ABC
(7-1) at (8-0, 6-0 conf.)
Arguably the most exciting game of the week because of the history of the two rivals. If you’re not familiar with it, you probably might want to look up the background. But about the game, this is the Hurricanes’ chance to prove to the doubters and committee that Miami should be in the playoff hunt. Are the Canes back? That has been the repetitive question every week because the Canes are 8-0. Defensively, the Canes are playing at an elite level. Their turnovers might have something to do with it. Yet this will be the defense’s toughest challenge starting from the defensive line going up against the Fighting Irish’s beefy offensive line which led by All-American candidate Mike McGlinchey at left tackle. With an O-line like the Fighting Irish, it’s no wonder their rushing attack led by running back Josh Adams, who averages eight yards a carry this season and their quarterback Brandon Wimbush, who has 639 rushing yards, is ranked third nationally in the running game. The Hurricanes' defense has averaged 17.6 points which rank 12th in the country but their biggest weakness is stopping the run. Expect a low-scoring, competitive match that might come down to the fourth quarter with a lot on the line between the two.
Bold Prediction: Miami 20, Notre Dame 17