No. 9 Florida vs. No. 7 Georgia (Jacksonville)
JD: This Georgia team is nowhere near as good as last year’s squad. One game against top-10 level competition proved that last week with a 20-point loss to LSU. Florida, on the other hand, has been re-energized following its loss to Kentucky in week four. Although Jake Fromm has been impressive thus far, Florida has had two weeks to prepare for him. Florida wins, 33-21.
BM: Sure, Florida beat LSU, and LSU beat Georgia, but I don’t think UCF logic is going to prove true this week. I can’t yet admit that Florida is deserving of its No. 9 ranking. I’m hanging on by a thread to my belief that they just keep getting lucky, and I think this week the Bulldogs are going to strip them of that luck. 37-17, go Dawgs.
No. 17 Penn State vs. No. 18 Iowa
JD: I love James Franklin, but Penn State hasn’t impressed me at all this season, and I don’t see that changing on Saturday. Iowa has a stifling defense that hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in six of its seven games so far. The Hawkeyes go into Happy Valley and dismantle the Nittany Lions, 27-10.
BM: Penn State have been faltering as of late and have been extremely sloppy on offense all year. Meanwhile, the Hawkeye defense still sits at third in the country in yards allowed per game and fifth in points. Unless a major cleanup happens since last weekend’s struggle against Indiana, Penn State will not make it out of Beaver Stadium with a win. 24-14, Hawkeyes.
No. 14 Washington State vs. No. 24 Stanford
JD: Washington State quarterback and Flowood native Gardner Minshew shocked the world last week when his Cougars upset then-No. 12 Oregon 34-20. I picked Oregon in that game last week, but Minshew and head coach Mike Leach have proved they are a legit force in the PAC-12. Cougs win, 34-30.
BM: Stanford’s usually stout defense is just not as good as normal this year. Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew is just too good not to exploit that in this game. After surprising the nation last week with a win over Oregon, the Cougars are going to roll over Stanford to move to first place in the PAC-12 North. 35-20.
No. 16 Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State
JD: Mississippi State is favored over Texas A&M, and I have no earthly idea why. Texas A&M’s only losses this season have been to Alabama and Clemson, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation, while Mississippi State can’t muster any offense other than running a QB draw with Nick Fitzgerald every play. If you’re a gambler, go with A&M to win outright 37-14.
BM: This is a game that people would have been way more excited about before the season started. That being said, it’s never a bad time to watch a Mississippi State loss. Nick Fitzgerald does not know how to throw a football. That’s good news, because Texas A&M doesn’t have too strong of a pass defense. What they do have is one of the best run defenses in the country, which basically means State will have zero options on offense. Aggies win, 27-10.
No. 12 Kentucky at Missouri
JD: This one’s a lock. Missouri is going to destroy Kentucky in Colombia Saturday night. If you weren’t aware, Kentucky threw for 18 yards against a bad Vanderbilt team last week and won. Yes, you read that correctly, 18 yards through the air. Kentucky may even be worse than State in the passing game. Kentucky running back Benny Snell may well rush for 200, but it won’t be enough. Missouri gives the Wildcats their second loss of the season, 28-10, derailing their SEC Championship hopes.
BM: If this game were solely about the quarterback matchup, it would obviously be Missouri’s game. However, it is not. Kentucky’s defense has been absolutely stoning opponents this season, and the story won’t change against Drew Lock and the Tigers. Everyone knows how bad Turnover Terry is for the Wildcats, and everyone loads the box to stop Benny Snell. Even still, he churns out 150+ yard performances like it’s nothing. Somehow, Kentucky can’t stop winning even without a quarterback. That won’t stop against Mizzou. 28-14.