College Football Week 7 Predictions: Last-Second Breakdowns of Every Top 25 Game
If college football teams want to be in consideration for the national championship, they must prove they can win on the road.
Week 7 is a good chance for that, as eight of the top 11 teams in the nation spend Saturday away from home.
For many undefeated teams, this will be the biggest test of the season. They better come prepared, or else there will be a lot of stormed fields across the country.
Here are full predictions for every Top 25 game this weekend.
No. 1 Alabama at Missouri
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Missouri was only able to score 15 points in a home loss to Vanderbilt last week. It is scary to think about what will happen against the No. 1 scoring defense in the country.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron still has yet to throw an interception this season, and avoiding doing so against the Tigers is basically all he needs to do to help his team remain undefeated. The Tide's quest for another championship will not be stopped this week.
Prediction: Alabama 31, Missouri 10
No. 3 South Carolina at No. 9 LSU
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This is likely the most highly anticipated matchup of the week, but it would be even better if LSU hadn't stumbled last week on the road against Florida.
The Tigers have struggled on both sides of the football this season. The defense allowed 22 points to Towson, and the offense has been held to 14 points or less on two occasions.
They also allowed Florida running back Mike Gillislee to run for 146 yards and two touchdowns last week. It is unlikely they will figure out a way to stop Marcus Lattimore in a week of preparation.
South Carolina is the underdog in this game, but it has the talent to pull the "upset" on the road.
Prediction: South Carolina 13, LSU 10
No. 4 Florida at Vanderbilt
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Another SEC team, another Top Five ranking.
Florida proved that it has the defense to defeat any team in the country in last week's 14-6 win over LSU. This should continue against Vanderbilt, which boasts the No. 102 scoring offense.
The Gators have already proven they can win a tough game on the road; now they just need to keep focused and not look ahead on the schedule to South Carolina and Georgia.
Prediction: Florida 35, Vanderbilt 7
No. 5 West Virginia at Texas Tech
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It does not seem like anyone is going to stop Geno Smith and the West Virginia offense at this point.
Texas Tech's defense was torched last week by Oklahoma. This does not bode well for defending the quicker, faster-paced Mountaineers.
Better teams than Texas Tech have tried to win a shootout and failed, and the Red Raiders will be just another victim.
Prediction: West Virginia 49, Texas Tech 35
No. 6 Kansas State at Iowa State
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An undefeated Top 10 team should have no problem traveling to Iowa State and defeating the unranked Cyclones. Well, that is what Oklahoma State thought last season too.
Instead, Iowa State was able to pull off a 37-31 double-overtime victory to derail the Cowboys' perfect season.
Kansas State has been incredibly solid on both sides of the football, and the team is finally getting the respect it deserves, but this is a game that the Wildcats should not look past. The Cyclones are coming off their best game of the season, a two-touchdown victory over TCU on the road, and they have the defensive talent to keep it close to the end.
Collin Klein should do enough to pull out the victory, but it will be closer than most think.
Prediction: Kansas State 27, Iowa State 24
No. 17 Stanford at No. 7 Notre Dame
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Stanford has been struggling to find its identity since Andrew Luck left for the NFL.
The Cardinal were impressive defensively in a win over USC, but the team needed a great offensive effort to top Arizona two games later. In between was a loss to Washington.
Notre Dame has no such issues. The defense is one of the best in the country, and it will prevent Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes from doing anything on Saturday. Even if the Irish struggle offensively, they will not need many points to win this game.
Prediction: Notre Dame 20, Stanford 7
No. 8 Ohio State at Indiana
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Quarterback Braxton Miller is a one-man show for Ohio State this season. He is an efficient passer and is seventh in the nation in rushing yards. Until someone learns how to stop him, the Buckeyes will keep on winning.
Indiana has struggled both at home and on the road and will struggle to get wins for the remainder of the season.
Prediction: Ohio State 31, Indiana 17
No. 10 Oregon State at BYU
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Oregon State has entered the Top 10, but it has done so with the No. 93 scoring offense in the country. What makes matters worse is that starting quarterback Sean Mannion is out for the near future with a torn meniscus.
Now the Beavers must travel to BYU to face a defense that has only allowed 10 points in the past three games combined.
The Cougars are prone to lapses offensively, but Oregon State will struggle much more with a new quarterback in a hostile environment.
Prediction: BYU 14, Oregon State 13
No. 11 USC at Washington
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Washington does have an impressive win over Stanford on its resume, but the team was blown away in two other games against superior competition.
USC has too much talent on the offensive end to keep playing this poorly. Matt Barkley must stop throwing interceptions—he already has five this season compared to seven all last year—and the rest of the skill players need to continue making plays.
The Huskies have been solid at home this year, but the Trojans should have enough to leave with their fifth victory of the year.
Prediction: USC 27, Washington 20
Boston College at No. 12 Florida State
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The perfect season is now gone for Florida State after a last-second loss to North Carolina State last week. This is bad news for Boston College, which will receive the brunt of the anger from this squad.
Quarterback E.J. Manuel just could not get the offense going in the loss, but he should have no such problems at home against BC. The Eagles do not have a single win against an FBS team and have allowed more than 30 points in three of four losses.
The Seminoles will likely turn this into a blowout early in order to get the voters back on their side.
Prediction: Florida State 56, Boston College 14
No. 15 Texas vs. No. 13 Oklahoma
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The Red River Rivalry is one of four games this week featuring two ranked teams, but it would not matter in this game. These teams could be winless and this matchup would still be a great game to watch.
Texas has not lived up to expectations as a great defense after being dominated on that side of the ball by Oklahoma State and West Virginia in consecutive weeks. Oklahoma will present just as much of a challenge with the experienced Landry Jones running things offensively.
The Sooners have gotten over the loss to Kansas State and look to get back into the BCS discussion with a win over their most hated rivals.
Prediction: Oklahoma 28, Texas 24
No. 18 Louisville at Pittsburgh
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Pittsburgh thought its season was headed in the right direction after a win over Virginia Tech, but it turned out the Hokies were not as good as expected. Instead, the victory over the 3-3 Hokies represents the Panthers' only win over an FBS team.
Louisville has had some close calls lately—the past three wins have been decided by a touchdown or less—but the team has done what it takes to win. That theme should not change this week.
Prediction: Louisville 24, Pittsburgh 13
Tennessee at No. 19 Mississippi State
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This is a class matchup between a great offense and great defense.
Tennessee is led by one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Tyler Bray, but he needs to stop giving the ball to the other team. On the other hand, Mississippi State is very adept at forcing interceptions with a senior-led secondary.
Yes, Mississippi State has had a relatively easy schedule to get to 5-0 on the season. However, the defense is no joke and will cause the Volunteers enough problems to keep the game close.
In the end, the home team should be able to get a late field goal to win.
Prediction: Mississippi State 31, Tennessee 30
Syracuse at No. 20 Rutgers
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Syracuse has kept every game competitive this year. Unfortunately for the Orange, they have not been able to pull out most of the games.
The defense has gotten better, but the offense seems to have gotten worse over the past few weeks. Rutgers should be able to slow Syracuse to a crawl at home and continue its undefeated season.
Prediction: Rutgers 20, Syracuse 17
Fordham at No. 21 Cincinnati
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Fordham is an average team in the FCS, and Cincinnati is an undefeated team ranked in the Top 25. This is a little late for cupcakes on the schedule, but that's exactly what this is for the Bearcats.
This should be a good opportunity for the Big East contenders to work on a few things, like improving quarterback Munchie Legaux's accuracy.
Prediction: Cincinnati 38, Fordam 14
No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 23 Louisiana Tech
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This is a makeup game that was originally scheduled in Week 1. Texas A&M has improved greatly since that time with freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, but Louisiana Tech has done the same.
The Bulldogs have a very fast-paced offense that it uses to beat many of the weaker teams around the country. However, the Aggies have an SEC-level defense that Louisiana Tech is just not used to facing.
Texas A&M should be able to handle the challenging road game and get back to SEC play next week.
Prediction: Texas A&M 45, Louisiana Tech 31
Fresno State at No. 24 Boise State
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Although Boise State lost Kellen Moore and Doug Martin from the offense after last season, the concepts remain the same.
The Broncos continue to win games at an exceptional rate, with the only blip on the radar coming against Michigan State in Week 1.
Junior Joe Southwick continues to improve and has thrown six touchdowns over the past two weeks.
Even with one of the best running backs in the nation in Robbie Rouse, Fresno State should not be able to come in and win against one of the most successful home teams in the nation over the past few years.
Prediction: Boise State 27, Fresno State 20
Illinois at No. 25 Michigan
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Even with a 3-2 record, Michigan should still be considered one of the top teams in the country. A neutral-site loss against No. 1 Alabama and a road loss to No. 7 Notre Dame are nothing to be ashamed of.
Denard Robinson does not have much help on the offense, but he proved once again against Purdue that he does not need it.
He should be able to lead the Wolverines to victory over Illinois with only a little help from the defense.
Prediction: Michigan 28, Illinois 17