College Football Pick’em: Week of 9/28

Well, folks, clear your calendar this Saturday, stock your fridge and get ready for a good week of football. The Trojans aren’t playing this week, you say? Well, I think our team deserves a good break after stomping all over Sparky. And trust me, even though the boys in cardinal and gold aren’t playing this weekend, there’s still plenty of good football to watch. Sure, most people will be focusing on Notre Dame-Clemson and Alabama-Georgia. But don’t let those high-profile games distract you from a deep lineup of exciting games to watch. As the Oregon-Utah game showed us, there is no such thing as a predictable weekend in college football and things are going to get even more unpredictable in the best way possible.

For those of you who have been keeping track, as of last week we were at 78 percent accuracy overall. Due to several last-minute tips and botched punt attempts, we were 72 percent accurate last week (Our condolences go out to the state of Texas — y’all had a rough weekend of football). So our C+ days are over but you win some and lose some as Arkansas State knows well (They’re finally not in the Coaches Poll anymore!!).

A final comment before we get to this week’s games. The sharp-eyed college football fan will notice there are some odd predictions for this week such as Indiana over Ohio State or Idaho over Arkansas State. We realized that these odd predictions are due, in large part, to the structure of our model. Rather than mess with the numbers to protect our ego and our oh-so-precious accuracy, we are keeping those potentially erroneous predictions just in case someone is foolish to use these predictions as a basis for placing sports bets. Got to throw off the competition, you know? All jokes aside, we chose to keep these predictions in because they are the product of the model we created for this season and while it far from a perfect model, we wanted to see how this general model would fare throughout the season. Enough talk — it’s time for predictions!

Day Time Home Team Away Team Spread
Thu 04:30 PM Cincinnati Miami (Florida) 17
Fri 04:00 PM Charlotte Temple 20
Fri 04:00 PM South Florida Memphis 12.5
Fri 07:15 PM Brigham Young Connecticut -18
Sat 01:00 PM Auburn San Jose State -12
Sat 01:00 PM California Washington State -18
Sat 01:00 PM Oklahoma State Kansas State -15
Sat 01:00 PM Southern Methodist East Carolina -13.5
Sat 04:00 PM Arkansas State Idaho 7.5
Sat 04:00 PM Florida Mississippi 4
Sat 04:00 PM Louisiana State Eastern Michigan -20.5
Sat 04:00 PM Louisiana Tech Louisiana-Lafayette -19
Sat 04:00 PM Louisiana-Monroe Georgia Southern 18
Sat 04:00 PM Nevada Nevada-Las Vegas -14
Sat 04:00 PM Southern Mississippi North Texas -19
Sat 04:00 PM Tennessee Arkansas -1
Sat 04:00 PM Troy South Alabama 13.5
Sat 04:00 PM Utah State Colorado State 4
Sat 04:30 PM Texas A&M Mississippi State -13
Sat 04:30 PM UCLA Arizona State -13
Sat 05:00 PM Clemson Notre Dame 0
Sat 05:00 PM Maryland Michigan 19.5
Sat 05:00 PM New Mexico New Mexico State -3.5
Sat 05:00 PM Texas-El Paso Texas-San Antonio 16.5
Sat 07:00 PM Colorado Oregon -8.5
Sat 07:15 PM Boise State Hawaii -20.5
Sat 07:30 PM San Diego State Fresno State 17
Sat 07:30 PM Stanford Arizona -18
Sat 09:00 AM Iowa State Kansas -4.5
Sat 09:00 AM Michigan State Purdue -17
Sat 09:00 AM Missouri South Carolina 12
Sat 09:00 AM Northwestern Minnesota -16
Sat 09:00 AM Oklahoma West Virginia 13.5
Sat 09:00 AM Penn State Army -16.5
Sat 09:00 AM Texas Christian Texas -15.5
Sat 09:00 AM Tulane Central Florida 6.5
Sat 09:00 AM Tulsa Houston 19
Sat 09:00 AM Virginia Tech Pittsburgh -17.5
Sat 09:00 AM Wisconsin Iowa -5.5
Sat 09:30 AM North Carolina State Louisville -20
Sat 11:00 AM Akron Ohio -4.5
Sat 12:00 PM Ball State Toledo 9.5
Sat 12:00 PM Central Michigan Northern Illinois -9.5
Sat 12:00 PM Massachusetts Florida International -1.5
Sat 12:30 PM Appalachian State Wyoming -20.5
Sat 12:30 PM Buffalo Bowling Green State 17.5
Sat 12:30 PM Duke Boston College 18.5
Sat 12:30 PM Georgia Alabama 1
Sat 12:30 PM Georgia Tech North Carolina -17.5
Sat 12:30 PM Illinois Nebraska -2.5
Sat 12:30 PM Indiana Ohio State -12
Sat 12:30 PM Kent State Miami (Ohio) -17.5
Sat 12:30 PM Marshall Old Dominion -10.5
Sat 12:30 PM Navy Air Force 9
Sat 12:30 PM Rice Western Kentucky 16.5
Sat 12:30 PM Texas Tech Baylor 11
Sat 12:30 PM Wake Forest Florida State 17.5

West Virginia at Oklahoma (Spread: 13.5)
Come Saturday this game will have been beaten to death by all major sports media outlets, but don’t let that keep you from checking out this game. West Virginia racked up 601 total yards last week against Maryland (a large reason why they’re favored in our model despite Vegas thinking otherwise). The final score, 45-6, and West Virginia’s fake punt while up 38-0 shows that they still haven’t forgotten their 37-0 loss to Maryland in 2013.

Oklahoma, on the other hand, had a bye last week, so not much has changed since their 52-38 victory over Tulsa in Week 3. Something of note though is quarterback Baker Mayfield’s offensive production against Tulsa where he threw for 487 yards and scored four touchdowns. On the season he has thrown more than 1000 yards and gotten to the end zone 10 times.

Our model is favoring West Virginia because of their blowout wins but they’re going to have a much more difficult time against Oklahoma’s productive offense.

No. 3 Ole Miss at No. 25 Florida (Spread: 4)
I think it is safe to say that at the beginning of the season, few people believed both of these teams would be going into Week 5 undefeated. Ole Miss is now a team being discussed as a contender for the College Football Playoffs. Florida’s comeback victory over Tennessee last weekend showed they’re not a team to take lightly. They snatched that victory from Tennessee’s grasp with a 63-yard touchdown with less than two minutes to play on fourth down. It doesn’t get much colder than that. But that, my friends, is college football.

Now Florida’s prize following the win is playing one of the hottest programs. OK, they didn’t look too hot against Vanderbilt last weekend but we’ll cut them some slack after beating Alabama the week before that. Facing off against already offensively challenged team, Ole Miss’s defense is going to make this a tough game for Florida. But if the Gators’ defense can keep them in the game then maybe —just maybe — Florida can keep their undefeated dream alive.

No. 5 Baylor at Texas Tech (Spread: 11)
Last week I begged Texas Tech’s defense to think of the poor college students who love to toss their friends in the air after a touchdown. Clearly they didn’t hear my plea because they had yet another shootout against Texas Christian and almost upset them except for one tipped ball in the end zone.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, Texas Tech showed that they are better than everyone gave them credit. While defense is a big concern for Texas Tech, an even bigger concern is the health of quarterback Pat Mahomes. If you don’t know or didn’t see, Pat Mahomes injured his left knee in the first quarter of their loss to TCU last weekend. He wore a brace for the rest of the game and his mobility was limited. That didn’t seem to affect his throwing arm, though; he went on to throw for 392 yards and 2 touchdowns while giving up no picks. To beat Baylor, Texas Tech needs its quarterback. It’s as simple as that.

Against Rice, Baylor quarterback Seth Russell completed just 12 passes but six of those passes went for touchdowns and he still threw for 277 yards on 16 attempts. There’s really not much more to say about Baylor except that their offense is firing on all cylinders right now.

Both teams are going to score a lot but ultimately our model says Baylor will come out on top. Get your popcorn ready for this one — it’s gonna be a true shootout.

No. 13 Alabama at No. 8 Georgia (Spread: 1)

An Alabama team that Vegas thinks is an underdog? What a time to be alive. That’s not to say Alabama is suddenly a bad team, but questions — particularly at quarterback — still exist.

Georgia started the season with similar questions about their offense but promising performances from graduate transfer Greyson Lambert has helped put some of those questions to rest. While Georgia hasn’t had the toughest schedule of late, Lambert is 33 for 35 passing completions is nothing to sneeze at.

As a rivalry game, this game always means quite a bit for both teams, and this year is no exception. All we can do now is see what underdog Alabama has up its sleeve.

Data provided by
Team logos courtesy of

Patrick Vossler is a senior majoring in economics. His column, “College Football Pick’em,” runs every week.