College Football Picks: Week 10 Predictions for Every Game
The 2022 college football season started rocky with upsets and constant changes in the Top 10, but clear candidates for the College Football Playoff have emerged.
Still, a fight for the top four will get even tougher in the next few weeks.
Week 10 features the biggest game of the year, with AP No. 1 Georgia facing off against No. 2 Tennessee. The Volunteers head to Athens, Georgia, where both teams will compete to hand each other their first loss of the season. Some of the other exciting matchups include Alabama at LSU and Texas at Kansas State.
There's no surprise that the biggest games of the week are filled with SEC talent.
Multiple teams from the conference are in the running for the top four after the initial CFP rankings release, as are usual challengers Ohio State, Clemson and Michigan. This week will show just how good the SEC is, and just how underrated the Big 12 is, with incredible conference games on deck.
All Top 25 games Saturday unless otherwise noted.
AP Nos. 25-21
No. 25 UCF at Memphis, 3:30 p.m. ET
The 6-2 UCF Knights are in the AP Top 25 for the first time in the Gus Malzahn era. They defeated a ranked Cincinnati team to propel themselves into the rankings, despite losing the previous week to East Carolina.
It looks like they'll keep a position there since they're playing a Memphis team that's on a three-game losing streak, had a 1-4 record in October and has fielded one of the worst defenses in the AAC.
Memphis may be able to go shot-for-shot with UCF's offense, but the Knights are only allowing 17.6 points per game, while the Tigers have given up an average of 31.1 points. Both quarterbacks have had trouble taking care of the ball at times, so whichever defense can make the biggest impact will give its team the edge. UCF may be on the road, but a game at Memphis never hurt anybody.
Prediction: UCF 24, Memphis 19
No. 24 Oregon State at Washington, Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET
Aside from its loss to Utah, Oregon State has been a legit team the entire season. The Beavers are 6-2, with their only downfalls coming against Utah and USC.
They were inches from defeating the Trojans and have continuously put away teams that they're favored against. Despite starting quarterback Chance Nolan (concussion protocol) being out for multiple games, the Beavers are on a three-game winning streak.
Washington has also played relatively well throughout the season, except for a major hiccup against Arizona State. The Huskies offense is incredibly underrated, averaging over 40 points and 500 yards per game. This is a matchup that usually favors the home team, but Oregon State's hot streak will continue in Washington.
Prediction: Oregon State 34, Washington 28
No. 23 Liberty at Arkansas, 4 p.m. ET
This week, Liberty earned a spot in the Top 25 for the first time this season, but it looks like that will be short-lived. The Flames are 7-1, with their best wins coming against BYU and Southern Miss. Each of their games has been extremely tight, and they're two points away from being one of the few undefeated teams standing.
But other than their battle against Wake Forest, Liberty has played a weak schedule.
They're set to face an SEC opponent, and although Arkansas isn't at the top of the conference, the Flames don't have the talent to beat the Razorbacks in Fayetteville.
Arkansas had high hopes heading into the season behind an established quarterback in KJ Jefferson, but a three-game losing streak in late September and early October had the Razorbacks' heads down. They turned it around with back-to-back wins to get to 5-3, and the victory against Liberty should be another solid building block.
Prediction: Arkansas 36, Liberty 24
No. 22 Syracuse at Pittsburgh, 3:30 p.m. ET
Syracuse got a lot of hype earlier in the season, but it quickly went back in its shell after facing real talent. The Orange have decent wins against Purdue and Louisville, but the formula for stopping them has become clear.
Instead of dealing with quarterback Garret Shrader and running back Sean Tucker in a top-six run game, opponents gain an advantage when they make Syracuse throw.
The Panthers were another team with high expectations heading into the season, but transfer QB Kedon Slovis and Co. have sputtered to 4-4. The Orange simply have more cohesiveness throughout their roster that should favor them, even on the road. This will be the definition of a run-heavy game, with Tucker and Pittsburgh running back Israel Abanikanda going jab for jab.
Prediction: Syracuse 27, Pittsburgh 24
No. 21 NC State vs. No. 20 Wake Forest
See No. 20 Wake Forest for prediction
AP Nos. 20-16
No. 20 Wake Forest at No. 21 NC State, 8 p.m. ET
This would've been a very exciting matchup with a healthy Devin Leary, who's out for the year with a torn pec. But NC State is led by backup quarterback Jack Chambers, who's had trouble moving the ball.
Chambers threw for 31 yards on six completions against Virginia Tech last week, and an effort like that will be nowhere near enough to keep up with Wake Forest's offense. The Wolfpack would be booted from the Top 25 if they're dominated by the Demon Deacons at home.
It's always a toss-up in a night game at Carter-Finley Stadium, but matchups like this usually favor the more experienced team. Quarterback Sam Hartman and wide receiver A.T. Perry will lead Wake Forest to an important ACC win on their road of vengeance toward the conference title.
NC State's best quality is its linebacker room and schemes it runs on the defensive end, but that won't be able to stop Hartman each quarter.
Prediction: Wake Forest 33, NC State 24
No. 19 Tulane at Tulsa, Noon ET
The Green Wave have quietly notched a 7-1 record, with a perfect 4-0 record in conference play. Tulane is on a five-game winning streak, averaging 33.6 points on the season. While the spotlight has been pointed toward the offense, Tulane's defense has allowed only 17.4 points per game. It's been a nice ride for the Green Wave, but the train is coming to a stop with a loss this week.
Coming off a bye, the Golden Hurricane will make their name known this weekend by taking down a ranked opponent. Tulsa is 1-4 in its last five games, mostly because of a subpar defense that can't stop the run. There's trap games every week and Tulane is going to get caught in one this weekend.
Prediction: Tulsa 28, Tulane 23
No. 18 Oklahoma State at Kansas, Noon ET
This all depends on the health of Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders. The Cowboys had one their worst games in recent memory, losing to Kansas State 48-0 on the road. It was definitely a "burn the tape" game for Oklahoma State since it had Sanders for most of the contest.
Despite the miscues from the Cowboys, Kansas hasn't been the same with starting quarterback Jalon Daniels out with a shoulder injury. After one of the best starts in program history, they've lost three straight conference games.
Daniels may be able to put Kansas back on track when he's available, since he's eyeing a return this season. If Sanders is able to suit up against Kansas, the Cowboys will leave town with a victory, but it's a toss-up if Daniels is back in the lineup.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 26, Kansas 24
No. 17 North Carolina at Virginia, Noon ET
The Tar Heels are steamrolling through the ACC, with four straight conference wins. Quarterback Drake Maye hasn't gotten the credit he deserves, especially with the production he's displayed as a freshman. Maye is tied at No. 1 in the nation with 29 touchdown passes, and No. 4 with a 90.2 QBR and 2,671 yards. It's just disrespectful at this point that he's not talked about with higher regard.
North Carolina is averaging 41.8 points on the season, but its defense has barely been able to stop anyone. There isn't much to worry about since the Tar Heels are playing a Virginia team with quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who's recorded nine interceptions this season. The Cavaliers just don't have the firepower to keep up with Maye and UNC's offense.
Prediction: North Carolina 28, Virginia 16
No. 16 Penn State at Indiana, 3:30 p.m. ET
It's been a rough three weeks for the Nittany Lions, but it's been a rough year for the Hoosiers. Penn State has lost two of its last three games, which is discouraging, but the recent competition has been fierce. PSU has played Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State, so there's reason to keep the Nittany Lions in the Top 20. They're led by a quality defense that forces turnovers.
Indiana's season is nothing short of unusual. The Hoosiers started the year 3-0, and they haven't won since. That streak will continue this weekend when Indiana is unable to find any yards on the ground and has trouble scoring. Penn State won't be a riser after a win against Indiana, unless it demolishes the Hoosiers on the road.
Prediction: Penn State 32, Indiana 17
AP Nos. 15-11
No. 6 Alabama at No. 15 LSU, 7 p.m. ET
See No. 6 Alabama for prediction
Michigan State at No. 14 Illinois, 3:30 p.m. ET
There aren't many teams that let one player carry their entire offense, but the Fighting Illini ride the success of running back Chase Brown. He has over 100 rushing yards in every game this season. It doesn't seem like Brown shows many elusive moves on the field compared to backs across the country, but he carries the ball more than most.
While the story of the Illinois season has been centered around Brown, the defense has been elite. It is allowing just 8.9 points and 75.6 yards on the ground. Michigan State lost to its in-state rival Michigan last weekend, and the losing streak will continue against Illinois.
Prediction: Illinois 24, Michigan State 16
Texas at No. 13 Kansas State, 7 p.m. ET
Texas lost its previous game to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, but a win against Kansas State is on its way. The Longhorns were on a bye week last weekend, which came at a great time as they try to make a late-season push.
Quarterback Quinn Ewers had a frightful performance against the Cowboys, but Texas had a chance to regroup. Kansas State is fresh off a 48-0 win against the Cowboys, but they weren't at full strength. This just seems like a trap game for the Wildcats. It should be a high-scoring affair with Ewers back in his comfort zone and Texas looking to make a statement.
Prediction: Texas 36, Kansas State 27
Arizona at No. 12 Utah, 7:30 p.m. ET
Two offenses with the ability to regularly put the ball in the end zone will face off in Salt Lake City this weekend. The Pac-12 matchup features the 6-2 Utah squad, which has faired well in conference play with a 4-1 record. Arizona is 3-5 with three straight losses. The Wildcats have given up 39 or more points in each of their losses.
The Utes are still in the hunt for the top spot in the Pac-12 rankings, currently trailing USC, Oregon and UCLA. Arizona's poor defense that gives up 475 yards per game won't be able to stop the Utes. Quarterback Cameron Rising will lead Utah to their seventh win of the season.
Prediction: Utah 37, Arizona 23
No. 11 Ole Miss: bye week
AP Nos. 10-6
No. 10 UCLA at Arizona State, 9:30 p.m. ET
These are two programs on completely opposite paths. Arizona State is searching for its next head coach, while UCLA is back near the top of the college football world. One of the biggest stories of this season has been high-scoring offenses, which is a common story for teams in the Top 10.
The Bruins are averaging 39.6 points on the season, with over 500 yards a game. Arizona State hasn't been terrible, with a 3-5 overall record, but it is unlikely to stop UCLA's offense. The Bruins will be playing in Tempe, which should bring a bigger crowd than they are used to, but those fans will trickle out when the Bruins lead a couple of big-play drives.
Prediction: UCLA 36, Arizona State 21
California at No. 9 USC, 10:30 p.m. ET
USC quarterback Caleb Williams will keep writing his application for the Heisman Trophy this weekend. Williams will have a top-notch performance against a conference opponent. The Trojans are averaging 307.9 yards in the air, with Williams recording 24 touchdowns and only one interception.
California started the season with some solid showings, but now it is riding a four-game losing streak, all of which came against Pac-12 opponents. The Golden Bears will make that five straight losses.
Prediction: USC 36, California 17
No. 8 Oregon at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. ET
This won't be a close one, at all. Oregon is 7-1 with its only loss coming against No. 1 Georgia. Colorado is giving up 483.8 yards a game, with one of the worst point differentials in the nation. The Buffaloes average 16.3 points, and that won't be nearly enough to keep up with a high-scoring Ducks offense.
Quarterback Bo Nix has played great for Oregon with the help of first-year offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham. The Ducks will head to Buffaloes territory and pummel Colorado on the road.
Prediction: Oregon 45, Colorado 17
Texas Tech at No. 7 TCU, Noon ET
Quarterback Max Duggan and the TCU Horned Frogs continue to be underrated, despite multiple wins against ranked opponents. TCU might be the sneakiest undefeated team in the country with an electric offense that's averaging 44.3 points per game. The Horned Frogs are putting an average of 518.6 yards on the board, and no team has been able to find the blueprint to stop them.
There hasn't been many teams as streaky as the Red Raiders, beating teams like Texas and West Virginia but losing four of their last six. TCU is going to be one of the few undefeated teams left in the country after this week, which should give it a bright spotlight.
Prediction: TCU 43, Texas Tech 27
No. 6 Alabama at No. 15 LSU, 7 p.m. ET
Head coach Brian Kelly and the Tigers started the season slow with a loss in Week 1, but it's been mostly positive from there. The only loss after their opening game came against the juggernaut Tennessee Volunteers. It's been an up-and-down road for the Tigers, but they've had back-to-back weeks scoring more than 40 points against SEC opponents.
The Tigers would have a good chance to keep the streak alive if they were playing basically anyone other than Alabama in their division. The Crimson Tide know that it's time to hit the gas if they want to be playing for the national championship. It may not be the season that head coach Nick Saban drew out, but a win against LSU this weekend will give the Tide more momentum.
Prediction: Alabama 42, LSU 32
AP Nos. 5-1
No. 5 Clemson at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. ET
Clemson is fresh off a bye week headed to South Bend to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who have finally found some life. Notre Dame has back-to-back wins, defeating Syracuse and UNLV. This would've been a more favorable matchup for ND if the Tigers didn't have two weeks to get back to the drawing board. Clemson has had two close bouts against Syracuse and Florida State in their last two games.
The Tigers are more vulnerable to an upset than their Top Five ranking would seem. With Notre Dame's offense hitting over 40 points in two straight games, the Fighting Irish may have found the key to saving their season. They will continue their hot streak and defeat the Tigers at home.
Prediction: Notre Dame 32, Clemson 26
No. 4 Michigan at Rutgers, 7:30 p.m. ET
The Wolverines are rolling through their schedule. They haven't had a game end with a one-score difference since defeating Maryland in September. Michigan is playing phenomenally well on defense, and the rushing attack is one of the best in the country behind speedy running back Blake Corum. The Wolverines are looking to get back in the CFP after a mortifying appearance in 2021 against Georgia.
Michigan has a new look and confidence to them behind quarterback J.J. McCarthy. He doesn't put up fancy numbers or many Heisman-level performances, but the Wolverines live through their success on the ground, and a team like Rutgers won't have an answer for that.
Prediction: Michigan 38, Rutgers 13
No. 2 Ohio State at Northwestern, Noon ET
This is another contest that won't be close. Ohio State is one of the most explosive teams in the country, and Northwestern will have no answer for its offensive attack. The Wildcats have allowed 28.8 points per game, and that number will rise after Saturday's outing. The Buckeyes haven't lost a game this season, and they'll be playing a team that's allowed over 30 points in three straight games.
The Buckeyes need to be dominant in this matchup to continue to show the selection committee just how good they are, and they'll be exactly that.
Prediction: Ohio State 52, Northwestern 16
No. 2 Tennessee at No. 1 Georgia, 3:30 p.m. ET
The wait is finally over. One of the most explosive teams in the nation is headed to Athens to face the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs. The Tennessee Volunteers are averaging 49.4 points and 553 yards this season, taking down teams like Alabama, Florida and LSU. Georgia averages 41.8 points and allows just 10.5 points per game.
The major factor for this matchup is the Bulldogs defense giving Georgia the better overall talent edge, since Tennessee has had trouble against the pass this season. Georgia will take down the Volunteers to give them their first loss since last season.
Prediction: Georgia 44, Tennessee 38
Best Unranked Clashes
Florida at Texas A&M, Noon ET
Two disappointing teams will face off in College Station for what was projected to be an important game in SEC title picture prior to the start of the season. Headlines have been swirling around both these teams for the past few months, and many of them haven't been favorable. These are two football states, though, so eyes will be on the SEC matchup, even if the teams are substandard.
Texas A&M hasn't won a game since the end of September and Florida is on a two-game losing streak. The Gators defense has been deficient this entire season, giving up big plays. This has to be one of the most difficult games to predict because the Aggies have home-field advantage, but Florida has better weapons.
Prediction: Florida 28, Texas A&M 24
Florida State at Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET
Head coach Mike Norvell and the Seminoles headed into the 2022 season with their backs against the wall. They needed to make a winning impact, and although the month of October was a difficult stretch for the Noles (1-3 record), they appear to be on the right path. Miami first-year head coach Mario Cristobal knows how important a game like this would be to get the Hurricanes back on track.
The teams have a combined 3-5 record in the last month, and both are in need of a victory. This should be another classic in-state rivalry that gives FSU its second straight head-to-head win against the Canes.
Prediction: Florida State 34, Miami 27
Air Force at Army, 11:30 a.m. ET
Both Air Force and Army can light up the scoreboard, mostly using a rushing attack. Running back Brad Roberts is the leader for the Falcons, recording 13 touchdowns and 943 yards this season. There isn't much "star power" aside from Roberts, since Army has a litany of contributors on the ground.
The Falcons should be the favorites in this matchup, since they have the better defense that's allowing just 16.8 points a game. It should be a classic game that brings hard hits and goal-line attacks for both parties.
Prediction: Air Force 32, Army 23
Rest of the Slate
Central Michigan at Northern Illinois, 7 p.m. ET: Northern Illinois 27, Central Michigan 18
Western Michigan at Bowling Green, 7 p.m. ET: Bowling Green 30, Western Michigan 21
UTEP at Rice, 7 p.m. ET: UTEP 27, Rice 23
Appalachian State at Coastal Carolina, 7:30 p.m. ET: Appalachian State 32, Coastal Carolina 17
UMass at UConn, 7 p.m. ET: UMass 28, UConn 14
Duke at Boston College, 7 p.m. ET: Boston College 27, Duke 24
Kentucky at Missouri, Noon ET: Kentucky 31, Missouri 23
Minnesota at Nebraska, Noon ET: Minnesota 26, Nebraska 18
Iowa at Purdue, Noon ET: Purdue 23, Iowa 17
Western Kentucky at Charlotte, Noon ET: Western Kentucky 31, Charlotte 14
Maryland at Wisconsin, Noon ET: Maryland 28, Wisconsin 27
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech, 12:30 p.m. ET: Virginia Tech 17, Georgia Tech 14
South Florida at Temple, 2 p.m. ET: Temple 23, South Florida 18
Marshall at Old Dominion, 2 p.m. ET: Marshall 28, Old Dominion 17
Baylor at Oklahoma, 3 p.m. ET: Baylor 32, Oklahoma 23
Georgia State at Southern Miss, 3 p.m. ET: Southern Miss 27, Georgia State 14
Middle Tennessee at Louisiana Tech, 3 p.m. ET: Middle Tennessee 21, Louisiana Tech 13
Washington State at Stanford, 3:30 p.m. ET: Washington State 23, Stanford 17
West Virginia at Iowa State, 3:30 p.m. ET: Iowa State 28, West Virginia 23
New Mexico at Utah State, 3:30 p.m. ET: Utah State 24, New Mexico 18
UTSA at UAB, 3:30 p.m. ET: UTSA 26, UAB 19
Navy at Cincinnati, 4 p.m. ET: Cincinnati 31, Navy 17
South Alabama at Georgia Southern, 4 p.m. ET: Georgia Southern 24, South Alabama 16
FIU at North Texas, 4 p.m. ET: North Texas 17, FIU 16
Troy at Louisiana, 5 p.m. ET: Louisiana 27, Troy 19
Texas State at Louisiana Monroe, 5 p.m. ET: Texas State 20, Louisiana Monroe 14
BYU at Boise State, 7 p.m. ET: BYU 28, Boise State 16
UNLV at San Diego State, 7 p.m. ET: San Diego State 23, UNLV 18
Houston at SMU, 7 p.m. ET: Houston 32, SMU 26
Auburn at Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m. ET: Mississippi State 37, Auburn 16
South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 7:30 p.m. ET: South Carolina 34, Vanderbilt 23
JMU at Louisville, 7:30 p.m. ET: Louisville 36, JMU 16
Colorado State at San José State, 10:30 p.m. ET: San José State 17, Colorado State 10
Hawai'i at Fresno State, 10:30 p.m. ET: Fresno State 28, Hawai'i 14