Ole Miss versus Vanderbilt (Vanderbilt, -2.5)
JD: Something has to give. Ole Miss and Vandy both have just one SEC win with two games to go. With Ole Miss on a three-game losing streak, I think they come out with some fire in the first half. It’s going to be tough for the Rebels to contain the Commodores’ rushing attack, but they will have some success. Vanderbilt can’t really pass the ball, so Ole Miss won’t have to worry about that too much. Ole Miss wins outright, 34-28.
BM: Rebs, no contest. 38-31.
No. 12 Syracuse versus No. 3 Notre Dame (Notre Dame, -10)
JD: Odd to see Syracuse in the top-25 of the college football polls, but they’ve been playing extremely well with only two losses to Clemson and Pittsburgh. However, Notre Dame is legit this year and should have quarterback Ian Book back this week. I just don’t see any scenario in which Notre Dame doesn’t make the playoff. Notre Dame wins and covers, 35-17.
BM: In what has been a great season to be a college football fan, the most surprising turn of events in the entire year has been the Syracuse Orange being ranked at No. 12. They have impressed in all eight of their wins and even played Clemson to within four. Quarterback Eric Dungey has had some seriously impressive performances and in games where his production dropped off, the running game has picked up the slack. Unfortunately, Notre Dame is the best its been in years, and I do not see Syracuse being the team to stop the Fighting Irish. 35-17.
No. 16 Iowa State versus No. 15 Texas (Texas, -3)
JD: In the past three weeks Texas has lost two games by a combined four points, head coach Tom Herman got into a shouting match with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy at midfield and then Herman was called out on Twitter by former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith for cheating on his wife. Regardless of all that, I’m a big fan of Longhorn quarterback Sam Ehlinger. I think he leads Texas to cover and the victory, 45-35.
BM: Brock Purdy has his Cyclones rolling right now on a huge win streak that includes a dominant win over No. 9 West Virginia. Their score lines and success have been bizarrely similar to those of Texas overall, but Texas has been handed two close losses in the past three weeks. With these two teams looking very parallel, I’m taking the Cyclones to ride their hot streak to another win. 42-34.
No. 24 Cincinnati versus No. 11 UCF (UCF, -7.5)
JD: There’s no way UCF loses this game. I know Cincinnati is 9-1, but that doesn’t matter to me because they haven’t really played anybody. Plus, they lost to Temple by seven. UCF continues its run of dominance and rolls over Cincy and covers, 44-21.
BM: Cincinnati have played largely the same competition as UCF, with just one loss in the mix. They’ve dominated some teams that UCF only narrowly beat, but that doesn’t change the fact that UCF will not lose this game. Golden Knights fans will get to enjoy yet another win with College Gameday in Orlando. 45-34.
No. 9 West Virginia versus Oklahoma State (West Virginia, -5.5)
JD: As much as I love Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, he just doesn’t have the talent in his locker room to win this game. Will Grier is going to absolutely tear up the Cowboys’ defense on Saturday to keep the Mountaineers’ slim playoff hopes alive. West Virginia wins and covers, 49-35.
BM: Oklahoma State has not had the best year, but has still managed to pull off some wins and close games against really good teams. Nonetheless, Will Grier and his offense are way too hot right now to get slowed down by anything less than a playoff-quality opponent. Mountaineers win again, 42-28.