Welcome back to the Funvee Tailgate BLOG, The THUNDERBLOG’s Weekly College Football Series. If you noticed the emphasis on BLOG, that is because this season we have the podcast tying in as well! Matty D and I had a great time recapping my trip to Nashville and the Preds/Capitals game. We also go deep into how the final weeks of the season might play out–as it could STILL go every which way. You definitely need to check it out and here’s the iTunes link to go subscribe. This weekend has a few great matchups and a few duds but we will be at the 153rd Lehigh/Lafayette game. Follow along on our social media accounts as it will be a ton of fun (@thunderblg on Twitter and ThunderBlogSports on Instagram). LET’S FIIIIRE IT UP!
Last Week’s Record:
9-3-2 ATS, 60-65-4 in 2017. Oh boy. I’m flirting with returning to the near-.500-range and I’m getting too excited. Not a good sign for this week, probably.
Not Necessarily the Best Saturday of 2017
So last week certainly lived up to the “Best of 2017” title I gave it. This weekend, however, is not going to. As much as I love Lehigh/Lafayette weekend, the FBS doesn’t fully match the rivalry firepower of the FCS. This is literally the one weekend a year I can say that so we might as well bask in it while we can. Next weekend is going to be outstanding for College Football’s top division. #1 Alabama, #2 Clemson, #4 Oklahoma, #6 Auburn, #7 Georgia, #9 Ohio State, and #10 Penn State are all MASSIVE favorites and should win. A lot of other ranked teams are at least two touchdown favorites. That’s good for the straight-up picks but intriguing for the gambling side of things. Then again, the last time the weekend looked to be boring, the chaos began. Let’s take a look at this Saturday’s slate:
- #24 Michigan (+7.5) at #5 Wisconsin at noon on FOX–We begin with the only matchup of ranked teams. Michigan comes in as a team out for vengeance. They’ve dropped a few Big Ten games with poor offensive showings. Their defense is stellar, better than UW’s I’d say, but Wisconsin’s offense should overpower them–especially when you consider the flip side of UW’s defense against that Michigan offense. Wisconsin wins and covers.
- Virginia (+19.5) at #3 Miami at noon on ABC–For those wondering where I cut off the “MASSIVE favorites” from games I pick ATS, the line needs to be bigger than three touchdowns. That said, UVA’s offense can move the ball a bit. The Cavs haven’t faced the U and their turnover chain yet, however. Canes win and cover.
- #12 TCU (-7) at Texas Tech at noon on FS1–TTU’s offense is just as high-flying, as you might remember them to be in the Michael Crabtree Era but their defense, is still pretty bad. TCU rockets by them–Horned Frogs win and cover.
- #15 UCF (-13.5) at Temple at noon on ESPNU–UCF should win this one. Temple’s offense isn’t what it was under Matt Rhule but the defense is still solid. Call me crazy, but that line is too high. UCF wins but doesn’t cover.
- #16 Mississippi State (-12.5) at Arkansas at noon on CBS–MSU got close to knocking off Bama–REALLY close. Arkansas has been trash all season. Bulldogs win and cover.
- SMU (+12.5) at Memphis at noon on ESPN News–Memphis’ defense has been lights out against most opponents that come to the Liberty Bowl. A rainy day makes me think the Tigers will key on SMU’s RB Xavier Jones and gobble him up. Tigers win and cover.
- Minnesota (+7) at Northwestern at noon–NW broke out last week–relatively. Minnesota has been shaky, especially on the road. The Wildcats should be able to pull away quickly in this one. NW wins and covers.
- Navy (+18) at #8 Notre Dame at 3:30 on NBC–ND got DUMMIED last weekend against the U-no easier way to put it. The Irish look to bounce-back against a very solid Midshipmen squad. Once again, call me crazy but the rain will mess around with the final outcome and keep it close. ND wins but doesn’t cover.
- Kansas State (+20) at #13 Oklahoma State at 3:30 on ESPN2–How big of a disappointment has KSU been? Matt and I both thought they could be battling for a title game appearance at this point. The line is well deserved and Mason Rudolph continues to march the Cowboys back down the path to redemption. OK State wins and covers.
- Maryland (+16) at #17 Michigan State at 4:00 on FOX–MSU is riding their hopes for the Big Ten Championship on a Michigan win next weekend. Until then, Sparty will THOMP the Terps. MSU wins and covers.
- #20 LSU (-16) at Tennessee at 7:00 on ESPN–UT is in complete turmoil right now. They finally canned Butch Jones and nothing has been going right for them. Derrius Guice is going to have a field day in Knoxville. LSU wins and covers.
- #19 NC State (+1.5) at Wake Forrest at 7:00 on ESPNU–The Wolfpack is in a tailspin. NC State rights the ship here though as the Demon Deacons are getting a sucker home-favorite. NC State wins outright.
- UCLA (+16) at #11 USC at 8:00 on ABC–Another “team that could’ve been” in UCLA. This one is the “QB Bowl” as Sam Darnold faces Josh Rosen. I’ve been riding the “USC is too shaky” train all season and I’m not getting off now. USC wins but doesn’t cover.
- Cal (+16) at #22 Stanford at 8:00 on FOX–Simple enough, Bryce Love runs all over the Golden Bears. Stanford wins and covers.
- Air Force (+17.5) at #25 Boise State at 10:15 on ESPN2–This is not the Boise State teams of the late 00’s but the Broncos are still solid. Air Force is not so solid. BSU wins and covers.
- Utah (+18) at #18 Washington at 10:30 on ESPN–Utah has been very solid at home but very shaky away. Expect Washington to bounce back from their loss in a big way here. Huskies win and cover.
Good lord, I’ve picked a lot of big favorites to win–it’s probably going to bite me in the ass hard.
Rivalry 153. Lehigh faces Lafayette once again. Two great defenses will take the field. A Lehigh offense that seems to have found themselves late in this season will be tested. Lehigh does have reigning FCS Offensive Playoff of the Week in RB Dom Bragalone. A Lafayette offense that doesn’t score too much will hope to do just enough for their defense to carry them, AGAIN. As I said at the top, look out for our social media accounts (@thunderblg on Twitter and ThunderBlogSports on Instagram) for our in-person coverage.Follow @geordo9