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College Football Top 25 Preview

3 Michigan (9-0) -4.5 vs. 10 Penn State (8-1)


All eyes on you, Michigan. Can you imagine how hard college football as a whole is going to pour on Michigan if they fail this first test amid sign-scandal 2023? James Franklin is due to pull a big one and needs this to stay in the CFP conversation. Will he? He’s 2-7 in Top 10 matchups when he is also ranked Top 10. Michigan ran for 418 yards on Penn State last year. Yes, you read that correctly. Expect more from J.J. McCarthy and his 10.4 yards per pass attempt this year as far as attacking Kalen King and the Penn State secondary. I don’t believe Drew Allar and the Nittany Lions are ready for this Michigan defense or pull it off until I see it. Michigan wins.


8 Alabama (8-1) -11.0 vs. Kentucky (6-3)


Alabama controls its own destiny in the SEC West at this point. The Tide has turned since Jalen Milroe’s struggles against Texas in the sole loss. The Tide have won seven straight and Milroe has thrown for 215+ yards a game for the last four games with confidence. Can Ray Davis and his 140 yards per game eat up enough clock for Kentucky to hang around? Tide roll.


Texas Tech (4-5) vs. 16 Kansas (7-2) -4.0


Regarding motivation, Texas Tech needs to pick up two wins in their next three games against Kansas, UCF, and Texas to be bowl-eligible. Consistency is hard to find when you’re having to trot three different quarterbacks out throughout the season due to injuries. The Raiders are 8th in the Big 12 in scoring at 30.6 points per game. They’re going to need to amp it up to keep up with Kansas’s 3rd ranked 35.1 ppg offense. The loss of Jalon Daniels to a back injury can’t be overstated, but Jason Bean has shown time and again he’s capable. Bean can win games. Jayhawks win.


Tulsa (3-6) vs. 23 Tulane (8-1) -24.0


Tulsa’s four-game losing streak is not excited to face Michael Pratt in an attempt to right the ship. Pratt’s 1,597 passing yards (70.2%) with 15 TDs and just three picks shows the consistency this Tulane has aerially. New Orleans proves to be too much for a Tulsa team struggling with a “lack of discipline” according to their head coach.


21 Arizona (6-3) vs. Colorado (4-5) -10.0


This quoted stat was great company for Arizona: “No. 21 Arizona Wildcats are one of only three FBS teams (Texas, Alabama) to have defeated three ranked teams this season.” The one-score loss against now #5 Washington and Triple OT loss to Southern Cal shows how close this Arizona team has been to even further improving this year. Coach Prime’s Colorado team has lost five of their last six. Are they due? Shedeur Sanders has thrown for 2,882 yards (third nationally) with 24 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. Again, it’s not enough. Go Cats.


Baylor (3-6) vs. 25 Kansas State (6-3) -21.0


Baylor being at the bottom of the country in scoring offense and scoring defense isn’t anything to make you feel good about going on the road in the Big 12 against a team with the talent of Kansas State. Kansas State on the other hand is a top 20 scoring offense and defense. This one isn’t complicated. Dave Aranda will have to pull something wild off.


Miami (6-3) vs. 4 Florida State (9-0) -14.5


Let’s remember that Miami got absolutely spanked 45-3 in this matchup last year. This is your biggest rival on the road in the ACC and they’re headed for the College Football Playoff at this pace. Tyler Van Dyke you have nothing to lose. Mario Cristobal you have nothing to lose. Even then, it won’t be enough. Van Dyke has ten interceptions in four games of ACC matchups and FSU enters the game as a team that ranks top 20 in the country in scoring offense and scoring defense.


18 Utah (7-2) vs. 5 Washington (9-0) -8.5


Michael Penix Jr. is averaging 355.7 yards per game with this multitude of weapons featuring potential first-round prospects Rome Odunze and Ja'Lynn Polk. Bryson Barnes’s 103 yards per game is not going to be able to keep up, particularly on the road. The Utes’ 25-points-per-game offensive average just isn’t going to be able to keep up, even with a stellar 10th-ranked defense.


13 Tennessee (7-2) -2.5 vs. 14 Missouri (7-2)


Who is going to be #2 in the SEC East? This Mizzou team went to the end with the Georgia Bulldogs last week. Tennessee has them next week. Missouri is going to show Tennessee where it stands. Missouri has a 97 percent success rate on offense in scoring position. Tennessee is 55th on the other hand in red zone coverage. This Mizzou team seems to have it this year and get the nod here at home. Cody Schrader, ole reliable, ranks 1st in the SEC with 101 rushing yards per game and 2nd in the conference with 10 rushing TDs. Random statement: Luther Burden III is the first WR taken in 2025.


15 Oklahoma State (7-2) -2.5 vs. UCF (4-5)


Last weekend, Oklahoma State took down rival Oklahoma in the teams' final Bedlam Series game as Big 12 opponents. How do they respond? Are they flat or do they steamroll Gus Malzahn’s squad? Cowboys Sophomore RB Ollie Gordon II has himself in the Heisman category with 1,224 yards and 12 TDs. It’s enough against John Rhys Plumlee and the Knights.


Rutgers (6-3) vs. 22 Iowa (7-2) -1.5


Iowa is getting some legendarily low over/unders recently with 29.5 for Northwestern and 30.5 for Minnesota. It is 28.5 for this matchup. Buckle your chinstrap and hit somebody in the mouth football. Rutgers gave #1 Ohio State a fight and ran for 232 yards against a Buckeyes defense only averaging 114.4 yards per game. Iowa is on upset alert against Greg Schiano’s Scarlet Knights.


Stanford (3-6) vs. 12 Oregon State (7-2) -21.0


Stanford won as a 14-point road dog last week against Washington State. They also covered against a demonic Washington offense the week before 43-33. Stanford won’t win this game, but they’re a cover candidate for sure. Some shoutout props to quarterback DJ Uiagaleilei for having this team score 35+ a game and repping an 18:4 touchdown-interception ratio.


9 Ole Miss (8-1) vs. 2 Georgia (9-0) -10.5

Game of the week. Do you want to talk about some tailgating and drinking going on Saturday? Buddy. Lane Kiffin is going to have to work to quiet the external and internal noise this week as we all know. Can he get his biggest tenured win with all this going on? On the road? Against the Champs? Georgia's 45-14 loss to Ole Miss in 2016 still stands as Georgia coach Kirby Smart's largest margin of defeat. The Rebs remain the only SEC team Kirby hasn’t bested. No way Kirby doesn’t have the Dawgs ready. Dawgs come for blood Saturday with a Brock Bowers return.


West Virginia (6-3) vs. 17 Oklahoma (7-2) -11.5


Upset alert? The Mountaineers have scored a combined 78 in their last two outings against UCF and BYU and the Sooners flushed their Texas high and CFP hopes with back-to-back losses to Kansas and rival Oklahoma State. Oklahoma couldn’t stop Kansas from running down their throat (41 carries, 225 yards, four TDs) or Oklahoma State from bashing them in the head (38 carries, 147 yards, three TDs) the last two games. Can Head Coach Brent Venables get his Sooners ready and off the hangover? Again, upset alert.



Michigan State (3-6) vs. 1 Ohio State (9-0) -31.5


Ohio State is going to win by a lot. That’s about all you need to know.


7 Texas (8-1) -12.0 vs. TCU (4-5)


Starting quarterback Quinn Ewers is back after a two-game injury hiatus. This is the best team start for the Longhorns in nearly 15 years and it has to keep going against an inferior talented TCU team, regardless if it is in Fort Worth. TCU has to try and work toward getting bowl-eligible next week after a CFP run last year. Weird man. Odd.


Florida (5-4) vs. 19 LSU (6-3) -15.0


Not being condescending, what is Billy Napier going to do in Gainesville? It’s one thing to acknowledge that the Dawgs are up and have control of the East right now and for the foreseeable future, but it’s time for Florida to no longer suck. This team is headed for .500 this weekend because they aren’t stopping Jayden Daniels and his 27:4 TD/INT ratio in Death Valley. Nope.


Duke (6-3) vs. 24 North Carolina (7-2) -13.0


We all know Drake Maye is going to be a Top 5 pick in April in the 2024 NFL Draft. Duke QB Riley Leonard was flirting with first-round potential before his recent toe injury sidelined him. Can Duke keep the offensive firepower to hang with Maye and company? Maye and the Heels average 39.1 points per game, but face a 7th-ranked Blue Devils defense allowing only 15.7 points per game. This spread is a tad wide for this rivalry game, even if the Heels are going to win.


USC (7-3) vs. 6 Oregon (8-1) -16.0


47.4 points per game for Oregon. Southern Cal’s defense is foul. It stinks. It ceases to exist. Say what you want about Caleb Williams this year or your opinions of him: this defense is horrible. Dan Lanning has this Oregon program humming with energy and sniffing the CFP. He’s not letting his Ducks get out of row Saturday night.


 

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