Sometimes a husband and wife do not see eye to eye, and this can lead to trouble. When it comes to picking college football games, my wife and I clearly are not seeing eye-to-eye with the slate of games I have cooked up for us to pick this weekend. First, a quick update on what unfolded last weekend.
Pittsburgh did me no favors in getting off to a good start last week, although the rest of the week went well for me. We both picked Oregon to beat Stanford and TCU to beat West Virginia, so we each picked up a pair of wins there. I evened things up with a correct pick of Auburn over Ole Miss, Stef picked the Rebels. As the games moved into the evening and late night hours, I pulled away with a pair of correct picks in the Pac-12. My wife will call it west coast bias here, but I escaped with wins by UCLA and Arizona State last week while she picked Arizona and Utah. That gave me a 5-1 mark last week, while Stef ended the week 3-3.
Entering this week, my overall record is 37-23. Stef is hanging in there with a record of 33-27. With just a few more weeks in the season to play, we are tied in the weekly head-to-head match-ups though, now tied 5-5. The pressure is most certainly on. I have built a little bit of a cushion, but things can change quickly any given week. This week could see some changes as well.
Here are this week’s picks. A reminder that rankings are now using the College Football Playoff rankings and all times are eastern.
No. 15 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 Baylor, 12:00 p.m. FOX Sports 1
Before the season started this looked like the de facto Big 12 championship game. Now the Bears and Sooners are playing for second place at best in the Big 12 it would seem. Baylor still has a shot at the Big 12 championship, but the defending conference champs will need a little help elsewhere. Oklahoma may be out of the running, but if Trevor Knight is locked in then Baylor could be in some trouble in Norman. Can Oklahoma find a way to slow down Baylor’s offense enough to send them home with a loss? I think so, but my wife likes the BEars this weekend.
I Say: Oklahoma
Wife Says: Baylor
3:30 p.m. No. 9 Arizona State vs. No. 10 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. ABC
Notre Dame absolutely needs to win this game if the Irish are going to make a final push for the College Football Playoff. I am still counting on the Irish tripping up before the end of the season, but there is juts something about this week that has me thinking they get out of Arizona with another win. Everett Golson will be tested against an Arizona State defense that has played well at home (except for that one time). I like Arizona State in the Pac-12 South, but I’m going to go with the Irish this weekend. Don’t worry Sun Devil fans, my wife has your back.
I Say: Notre Dame
Wife Says: Arizona State
No. 6 TCU vs. No. 7 Kansas State, 7:30 p.m. FOX
Forget about Oklahoma-Baylor, because this is the biggest game left on the Big 12 schedule this season. The winner will take over first place in the conference, whether it is Kansas State remaining the conference’s only unbeaten team in Big 12 play or TCU setting up a two-team or three-time tie (three teams if Baylor beats Oklahoma). TCU has been hot of late, but were they exposed by West Virginia last weekend? Kansas State is likely to play well on defense and be safe with the football on offense, which should cut down on opportunities for the Horned Frogs. But TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin is a Heisman Trophy candidate for good reason and could be a difference in this one.
I Say: Kansas State
Wife Says: TCU
No. 16 LSU vs. No. 5 Alabama, 8:00 p.m. CBS
One thing we know about college football is it is difficult for teams to go to Baton Rouge and return home with a win. It is certainly not impossible, but teams clearly earn a victory in Death Valley when they do. Alabama is my pick to represent the SEC in the College Football Playoff, so I am obviously optimistic about this weekend. That said, LSU has helped to derail the Ole Miss playoff train and should be considered a lethal threat to Alabama’s playoff hopes as well.
I Say: Alabama
Wife Says: LSU
No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 14 Ohio State, 8:00 p.m. ABC
Those who have been following my commentary this season know I am much more optimistic about Ohio State than most. I actually have the Buckeyes cracking the College Football Playoff bracket as well, but will not happen without a solid victory in East Lansing this weekend. I think Michigan State is not as good as last season and the Buckeyes look to be on a roll right now. This is a statement game for both programs though. I think Ohio State’s defense is a bit underrated and J.T. Barrett is going to be capable of making some plays against this Spartans defense. Stef likes the Spartans though.
I Say: Ohio State
Wife Says: Michigan State
No. 17 Utah vs. No. 4 Oregon, 10:00 p.m. ESPN
Finally, a game we both agree on. This may have been the easiest pick to make this week, but let us not sell Utah short here. No team in the Pac-12 is playing defense as well as the Utes, and their running game should be able to get things going against Oregon. For Utah, slowing the pace of the game down will be key, because it is not quite equipped to handle a shootout with the Ducks. But Utah playing at home has become an obstacle for visitors in the Pac-12, so Oregon is not likely to walk in and have their way. A win by Oregon pretty much puts them on a nice clean path to a Pac-12 championship and likely spot in the College Football Playoff. We think they get it this week.
I Say: Oregon
Wife Says: Oregon
So there you have it. Leave a message in the comments to share your picks or predict which one of us will have the better weekend. And do not forget to check back next week for more picks and an updated look at our performance this season.