Welcome back, college football fans! Week seven of the season is upon us and there are some huge games this week that have national title implications.
Also, several teams are on upset alert and a few of my selections may surprise you. If you are new to my weekly predictions, I choose every game in the AP Top 25 and also a handful of intriguing games outside of the top 25.
Feel free to comment with your own picks or disagreements! Last week I had a good week and hope to have another good one this weekend. I have one top 10 team going down...click my slideshow to find out who.
Record last week: 26-4
Record on the season: 129-38
There have been a ton of midweek upsets the last few seasons, but I don't think tonight's game will be one of them.
Boise State has too much offense for Tulsa to contain and they have a good enough defense to slow down the typically powerful Golden Hurricanes' passing game. This game will be a battle of quarterback play, and Kellen Moore of Boise State is as good as advertised. Look for a 300-yard passing night tonight.
Game may be closer than some expect, but Tulsa doesn't have enough.
Winner: Boise State 38-23
Could we possibly have yet another Thursday night upset? Maybe, but the Cincinnati Bearcats appear to be for real and South Florida is trying to prove that they are as well.
USF quarterback B.J. Daniels has done a magnificent job replacing senior Matt Grothe, who is out for the season, and honestly, I think USF's offense is better with Daniels than it was under Grothe. The defense has holes in the secondary and up front, but they make up for it with fundamental play and a ton of heart.
The Bearcats have some impressive wins this season including one at Oregon State. Oregon State is a tougher place to play than USF and I expect Cincy's passing game to be successful. I also expect a tough game that will go down to the fourth quarter, but Cincy has too much for the Bulls.
Winner: Cincinnati 31-21
The Red River Rivalry game is upon us, and I think we are all in for a early Halloween treat of a game. The Sooners are being under-appreciated, period.
Do they have a chance to pull the upset? You bet, and Texas better be ready to buckle down.
Colt Mccoy is a flat-out baller, and in my opinion he is the most valuable player on any team in America (Besides Tebow). He can throw, run, and lead all equally well.
However, McCoy and UT are missing one thing though: a rushing attack. The Longhorns do not run the ball well, and so far this season they haven't needed to. This week they need to, and better find a way to do so.
Bradford and the Sooners may already have two losses, but both occurred while Bradford was on the sidelines injured (BYU game he was out the second half). When he plays, they are a much different team and even without their star tight end, I like their balance on offense.
Look for Oklahoma to try to establish a run game and Murray to have a couple of touchdowns.
Will OU get redemption and upset UT? I think so.
Winner: UPSET ALERT! Oklahoma 28-24
The Buckeyes' defense has been very stingy and has outplayed the offense for the entire season. Terrelle Pryor has not looked too good but the Buckeyes' overall team play has carried him to some nice victories.
Purdue has an explosive offense, but their defense is less than impressive. I look for OSU to open up their offense and expose Purdue's lack of coverage down field. Purdue did play Notre Dame's offense well, but I don't like the matchup for them in this one.
OSU's defense scores a another touchdown in this one.
Winner: Ohio State 30-14
Iowa has surprised many with their undefeated start, but if you look at their team defense and solid quarterback play, it really shouldn't be a surprise.
Wisconsin will be another tough road test for Iowa but the Badgers' defense needs to step up. In addition, Wisconsin's offense turned the ball over against Ohio State way too much, and if they want to beat Iowa, they need to be perfect.
Wisconsin needs to be able to throw the ball well, and it will be a tough task.
Weather may be a factor again and Iowa has proven they can win in any conditions. I look for another close, tough win for Iowa. Don't be shocked to see the Badgers in the lead or close for most the game though.
Winner: Iowa 27-20
Florida was impressive defensively last weekend vs. LSU, but offensively they looked like a one man show. However, Arkansas does not have anything close to the defense LSU has, so expect the Gators to put up points in this one.
I do think that Arkansas has a better offense than LSU and I think their playmakers may give Florida a few fits. The Hogs' quarterback Ryan Mallet is a flat out gun-slinger and UF better be ready in the secondary to stop him. Both teams have fast running backs and this may be a better matchup than some think.
Florida should win easily but I see Arkansas putting up a few points as well.
Winner: Florida 41-23
Could this game decide Charlie Weis's future? Can the Fighting Irish finally get over the hump that is USC and gain some national respect?
First things first, this is the best chance the Irish have had at beating USC in some time. In addition, USC is a very young team and Notre Dame is a veteran team, for the first time in a long time.
Second, which quarterback will make costly mistakes, Clausen or Barkley? Both men have tremendous futures and have cannons for arms. The USC run game is much better than the Irish's. USC's defense also has the advantage but the question is, who comes out with more heart?
Notre Dame says they believe they will win for the first time in a while, but we have heard teams say this before...Can they back it up? Whichever team plays the best red zone defense will win because both teams can move the ball between the 20s, who will score touchdowns and who will miss fourth down conversions and field goals?
Winner: UPSET ALERT! Notre Dame 28-27 (USC is the better team, but something has me worried here as a USC fan. Plus, every time I pick against USC they win so...)
Minnesota started hot but has gone cold in the past few weeks. The Nittany Lions played arguably their best game last weekend, and I don't see the Gophers doing much offensively in this one.
Darryl Clark has struggled for some of this season but I expect him, bad weather or not, to have a good game against Minnesota. I do expect PSU to give up some passing yards, but overall, it will be a bend but don't break defensive game.
Winner: Penn State 28-17
Nebraska is miracle finish from being undefeated and their defense is a big reason why. They play very aggressive and make opposing quarterbacks beat them.
The offense is led by quarterback Zac Lee who has had a remarkable first half to the season and I expect the same this weekend against Texas Tech. The rushing attack is also top notch so the Red Raiders really can't stack the box.
Texas Tech is in a bit of a rebuilding year and it definitely shows. They did play Texas tough and nearly pulled off a win against Houston; however, their offense puts up a lot of yards but doesn't always finish the job in the red zone. The defense has been very inconsistent. One week TTU looks like a very good team and other weeks they look mildly average.
I think Nebraska is much more balanced than Texas Tech and it will show in execution.
Winner: Nebraska 31-21
Houston's loss two weeks ago to UTEP was unexpected and quite ugly. They came back last weekend with a huge win over an SEC team, Mississippi State.
Their offense played tremendously and the defense improved from the week before but still had a ton of holes.
Tulane is not a good team and has zero shot to win this game, sorry Tulane fans.
Houston's offense will have fun on Saturday.
Winner: Houston 42-17
Colorado State began the season 3-0 and after the next three games, the Rams find themselves at 3-3. The offense has fallen asleep and the defense has gone into a coma. Idaho outscored them and Utah stuffed them. The Rams are playing the best team they have played so far this season, and it is hard to see anything else but a TCU win.
The Horned Frogs have a solid defense that can match up with most any team, and their offense is much more efficient than in years past. I look for them to score early and score often and make the Rams doubt their abilities. TCU wins comfortably.
Winner: TCU 35-15
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets came out last weekend in Tallahassee with an offensive game-plan that was nearly perfect. Their triple option offense is unique, fast, and tough for any team to prepare for.
Virginia Tech had their best outing last weekend against Boston College, so this game should really provide us with some ACC answers. VT has a solid offense and a solid defense. They are very balanced and possess a great playmaker in Tyrod Taylor.
This game comes down to turnovers. Win the turnover battle and win the game. If GT can run their offense with no mistakes, I find it hard to think VT can stop them. If Tyrod Taylor and company can hold the ball and make GT turn it over, I see a Hokie win.
Winner: UPSET ALERT! Georgia Tech 31-28 (Toughest game for me to call, VT is a good team)
BYU is a solid team with both offense and defense. SDSU is not very good and this game will not be one for SDSU fans to enjoy.
Not much analyzing here because BYU and Max Hall will go up and down on the field and win with ease.
Winner: BYU 49-14
Kansas defense is much better than Colorado's and their offense is much better as well. KU has looked vulnerable at times and I think CU may challenge them here but not sure they have what it takes for the upset.
The key in this game will be KU's ability to stop Colorado's rushing game. If they do, they will win because Cody Hawkins makes too many mistakes and does not have enough weapons at receiver.
Colorado needs to take care of the ball and run the ball to open the passing game. Also, they need to blitz KU and Todd Reesing all day long to get him to make some bad throws.
Overall, I see a close game and KU pulls it out. CU has had an awful year but they will pray for pride at home.
Winner- Kansas 34-26
Miami and quarterback Jacory Harris are rolling again and it should continue on this week as they take on their neighbors of the north in Orlando.
Miami's offense is on fire and the defense is also playing at a high level. Expect more of the same as UM should dominate UCF.
Winner: Miami 44-13
Alabama has been the most consistent team all year and their team is by far the most balanced overall. Their running game is solid, passing game is solid, and the defense is very good.
South Carolina has a great defense and an average or below average offense. They have the best offense they have had in a few years, but it still lacks any huge play threat, especially against a team like 'Bama.
If S.C. wants to win this game they need to make 'Bama make mistakes. 'Bama will not lose unless S.C. can force fumbles and intercept passes. Sounds redundant but this is really the only way I can see an upset here.
I don't think this game will be very close, especially for a top 25 matchup.
Winner: Alabama 30-7
It is hard to figure out the Oklahoma State Cowboys this season...One week they look as talented as anyone, and at other times they don't look like a top tier team.
Quarterback Zac Robinson is the leader of the team and the offense and Missou will have a tough time figuring out how to stop him. Dex Bryant is probably not going to play because he is still suspended, which could be a big loss for the Cowboys. I still like their overall depth and home field advantage. Missou has the offense to compete and make it a shootout, Cowboys at home.
Winner: Oklahoma State 35-32
UNLV has been very uninspiring lately and I expected them to handle their in-state rival Nevada, which they didn't.
Utah is not nearly as good as they were last year and they do have some issues on defense, especially in the secondary, but I can't see UNLV beating the Utes.
The Utes will have a big day on offense.
Winner: Utah 34-17
College girl of the day is a special guest...Brooke Burns and her Texas Longhorns undies!
Here are my predictions for other intriguing games this weekend:
Washington at Arizona State: Washington's magic continues, stunner here.
Winner: Washington 28-26
Stanford at Arizona: Stanford rebounds from the loss at Oregon St.
Winner: Stanford 27-24
Georgia at Vanderbilt: Georgia takes a close one.
Winner: UGA 28-14
Wake Forest at Clemson: Wake beats the Tigers at their place.
Winner: Wake Forest 30-27
Marshall at West Virginia: WV wins the battle of the state.
Winner: West Virginia 37-24
California at UCLA: NorCal beats SoCal. Bears rebound.
Winner: Cal 27-17
Baylor at Iowa State: Baylor takes the Cyclones down.
Winner: Baylor 31-22