Ultimate bragging rights remain on the line between my wife, Stefanie, and I. Entering the fourth week of the college football season I am hoping to find a way to pad my head-to-head prediction record, but this looks like another tight week on the prediction front. My knack for rooting for an upset may cost me, but this week’s picks are in and final.
Before we move on to this week’s picks, let us recap last week’s picks. We both whiffed on Virginia Tech at home against East Carolina but we correctly predicted Oklahoma winning at home against Tennessee and Penn State winning on the road at Rutgers in a Big Ten opener. We split on the other three games though. I took Missouri over UCF and South Carolina over Georgia, but Stef scored the victory with UCLA getting by Texas. For the week, I went 4-2 and Stef went 3-3. That gives me a 2-1 lead in the week-by-week record and my overall record has improved to 12-6. Stef enters the week at a 10-8.
Let’s move on to this week’s picks…
No. 20 Kansas State vs. No. 5 Auburn, Thursday 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Talk about a clash of styles. Auburn’s Gene Chizik going against Kansas State’s Bill Snyder gives college football fans a battle of quick-offense against stalwart defense. Auburn brings loaded talent and Kansas State counters with scrappy walk-ons and junior college transfers. Kansas State is tough to beat at home, but Auburn should be unnerved about going on the road for this one. There will be plenty of offense to go around in this one, but I want to see if Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters can come up with enough key plays against Auburn. I also want to see how Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall handles the road situation. He handled things well at Texas A&M and Tennessee last season, so Kansas State should not be much different.
I Say: Kansas State
Wife Says: Auburn (“duh”)
No. 19 Wisconsin vs. Bowling Green, 12:00 p.m. ESPN2
Going into the 2014 season I circled this one as a potential upset alert for the Badgers. Bowling Green is the defending MAC champion and should not be taken lightly by Wisconsin, although the Falcons lost starting quarterback Matt Johnson for the season. Bowling Green still can offer some problems for Wisconsin, but ultimately talent should prevail as the Big Ten looks to avoid losing another game to the MAC this fall.
I Say: Wisconsin
Wife Says: Wisconsin
No. 18 Missouri vs. Indiana, 4:00 p.m. SEC Network
Missouri had an easier game than I anticipated against the Hoosiers last season, but at the time I was not expecting the Tigers to roll their way to the SEC East title and spot in the SEC Championship Game. This year I go into this game not taking Missouri for granted. Indiana’s offense should put up a better fight this season, Mizzou still has the better overall team and the ability to play defense. Indiana does not.
I Say: Missouri
Wife Says: Missouri
No. 8 LSU vs. Mississippi State, 7:00 p.m. ESPN
Mississippi State seems to be the SEC’s answer to the Big Ten’s Northwestern the past few years. The Bulldogs have improved as a football program but the bar can only be so high for the program. Despite a hot start to the season, Mississippi State has not been tested the way they will Saturday night in one of the most difficult environments to leave with a win. Let’s not overthink this one here. LSU at home on a Saturday night? Mississippi State isn’t Alabama. LSU wins.
I Say: LSU
Wife Says: LSU
West Virginia vs. No. 4 Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m. FOX
West Virginia’s defense took a hit this week but the Mountaineers look like a team capable of giving Oklahoma some problems. West Virginia has looked good in the first three weeks of the season, with the lone defeat coming against Alabama on a neutral field. West Virginia gave Alabama some problems, so I suspect they are capable of doing the same to Oklahoma. I’m inclined to go with the home team in a Big 12 upset that could have a huge impact on things down the line in the playoff hunt and the Big 12 race itself.
I Say: West Virginia
Wife Says: Oklahoma
No. 24 Nebraska vs. Miami, 8:00 p.m. ESPN2
There was a time when this would have been the biggest game of the weekend, but Miami and Nebraska have not been what they once were for some time now. You have to love the running back match-up in this one with Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Miami’s Duke Johnson taking center stage this weekend. You probably know I am a huge fan of Al Golden, and he could use a big win here. The Big Ten may be down, so a victory over Miami would be welcomed by the conference.
I Say: Nebraska
Wife Says: Miami
That’s how we’re picking the games this weekend. Come back next week to see how we did. You can also feel free to share your predictions and picks in the comments below if you so desire.