Rivalry week is upon us, and for the first time since 2006, we’re going to get Michigan-Ohio State with both teams undefeated. The stakes for the Big Ten, the NCAA Football Playoff, and the rivalry to end all rivalries, is enormous.
One of the strangest NCAA football results of last weekend was Tennessee, not just getting upset by unranked South Carolina, but getting blown out. Their hopes of sneaking into the CFP are now over, and the injury to quarterback Hendon Hooker has ended his season.
No. 3 Michigan (+7.5) at No. 2 Ohio State
For the 13th time in the history of THE Game, Michigan and Ohio State are both ranked in the top five. This is the 26th time they have both been in the top 10 and the 49th time both have been ranked. There simply is no college football rivalry in America that compares.
Neither team excelled in their tune-up NCAA football games, but the Buckeyes, at home, are the most likely of the two to go back to normal. But will a Michigan defense allowing just 12 points per game in the Big Ten really lose by more than a touchdown? No. OSU wins, but the Wolverines cover.
Auburn (+21.5) at No. 8 Alabama
There is no path for Alabama to make it into the College Football Playoff, so they are just going to have to settle for beating their in-state rival this Saturday. And it’s something they enjoy doing. Alabama has won the last two Iron Bowls, six of the last eight, and they will win this one.
But the Tide hasn’t covered a point spread since October, and they won’t cover here either. Take the Tigers and the points.
No. 13 Notre Dame at No. 5 USC (-5.5)
Thanks to Michigan and Ohio State, we know that one of the top four teams is going to lose on Saturday. And there is USC, poised to take the loser’s spot and play their way into the NCAA Football Playoff.
Step One in that plan is to beat the rival Irish from Notre Dame, which they will do by more than a touchdown.
Kansas at No. 15 Kansas State (-12)
After a 5-0 start, the Kansas Jayhawks season has gone south. They are bowl eligible, but they have lost five of their last six NCAA football games. You know what would end the season on a high note? Beating their Kansas State rivals and keeping the Wildcats out of the Big 12 Championship.
It would be a great end to KU’s season, but their last four losses have all been by double digits, and K-State has everything to play for. The Wildcats win and cover and move on to the Big 12 Championship against TCU.
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