Photo by Steve Cheng

Week Seven College Football Viewing Guide

Oct. 15 -- Here's our look at the upcoming week in college football...

THURSDAY

No. 18 UCLA at No. 15 Stanford
7:30 P.M. ESPN
Stanford -6.5

Unrelated: I’m 0-4 picking UCLA to win against Stanford.

Stanford 35, UCLA 28

SATURDAY

No. 17 Iowa at No. 20 Northwestern
9:00 A.M. ABC/ESPN2
Iowa -1

We have reached that point in this apocalypse of a football season: undefeated Iowa is a road favorite over a team that beat Stanford. The Hawkeyes have given no indication that they are actually very good — their claim to fame is a 10-6 win over a Wisconsin team that has turned out to be pretty mediocre. I guess? Northwestern was shut out by Michigan last week, but the ’99 Rams would probably fare about the same against Harbaugh at this point. We say the Wildcats bounce back this week and save us all from the nightmare of a 12-0 Iowa.

Northwestern 23, Iowa 20

No. 13 Ole Miss at Memphis
9:00 A.M., ABC/ESPN2
Ole Miss -10.5

This could be a sneaky good game. While Ole Miss has far more talent, Memphis has a far, far better coach in Justin Fuente, who is quickly becoming one of the hottest names in coaching. The Rebels just had a nice tuneup against New Mexico State, but they’re still two weeks removed from suffering through a Biblical whooping at the hands of Florida. It would not be a shock at all if Memphis pulled off the win.

Ole Miss 31, Memphis 28

No. 10 Alabama at No. 9 Texas A&M
12:30 P.M. CBS
Alabama -4

It would be nice if someone spent some time explaining how Alabama, which has one loss to what’s turning out to be a good-not-great Ole Miss team at home, is ranked just one spot behind undefeated Texas A&M, which has won its three games over Power 5 opponents by an average of nearly 14 points. Well, whatever. Alabama is going to attempt to win a game in College Station against one of the most fearsome pass rushes in college football with something called a Jake Coker playing quarterback. Not a recipe for success!

As always, Lane Kiffin remains employed as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.

Texas A&M 38, Alabama 31

No. 7 Michigan State at No. 12 Michigan
12:30 P.M. ESPN
Michigan -7.5

As fans of other college football teams, we need to all internalize the idea that Jim Harbaugh is the best coach in football and there isn’t a close second. Mark Dantonio is a nice coach, and Urban Meyer is great, sure, but they’ve never done what Harbaugh has done: win games with Jake Rudock as his starting quarterback. That dude was throwing balls straight at Utah’s defense in the opener! And suddenly he’s looking halfway competent! Oh yeah, and Michigan has shut out three straight teams, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in 20 years at this level of football. Harbaugh is an alien wearing a human suit.

Michigan 24, Michigan State 13

Oregon State at Washington State
1:00 P.M. Pac-12 Network
Washington State -8

We’re ready to concede that Oregon State is flat terrible. We’ve been thinking for a while that Oregon State would get over its lack of talent and either play close or win a game it shouldn’t, and it’s clear that the Beavers aren’t equipped to do anything more than suffer quietly through a shellacking. Washington State took double overtime to beat some cupcake last week, so the Cougars aren’t world-beaters either, but Oregon State is a full rung below. The drive for six will remain alive in Pullman.

Washington State 45, Oregon State 24

No. 8 Florida at No. 6 LSU
4:00 P.M. ESPN
LSU -7.5

UGH more SEC football. Florida is without its quarterback (who tested positive for PEDs? What quarterback needs PEDs?), and in another league, we’d say that’s a big problem, but this is the SEC, where rolling a ball of yarn out to play quarterback is not just accepted but encouraged. Florida’s defense is still damn good, and if anyone is finally going to put the clamps on Leonard “LSU’s entire offense” Fournette, it’s going to be the Gators. Meanwhile, LSU’s defense is good as well, so we’ve got LSU winning, but we’d bet it’s a close, ugly game, like almost every game LSU plays.

LSU 21, Florida 17

USC at No. 14 Notre Dame
4:30 P.M. NBC
Notre Dame -7

OH TROJANS. At the rate they’re going through former Pete Carroll assistants, Yogi Roth is going to get his stab at the job by the midpoint of next season. Pat Haden is a mind-blowingly awful athletic director who wears his reading glasses way too far down his nose. Clay Helton is probably a decent offensive coordinator and is now USC’s interim head coach for the second time in a little under two years. All of which is going to make it all the more delicious when USC’s dead cat bounce this week sends Anger McRedface into an apoplectic fit.

USC 27, Notre Dame 24

Penn State at No. 1 Ohio State
5:00 P.M. ABC
Ohio State -17

Someone drunk is handling Ohio State’s point spreads this year. The Buckeyes haven’t covered since the opener against Virginia Tech, and this once again seems like a line that is set way too far in favor of a team that has looked positively average at times this year. Penn State isn’t some patsy either. Well, that’s not true, they are, but by Big Ten standards, they’re not bad at all. The Nittany Lions lost to Temple, sure, but we’re talking about undefeated Temple, the juggernaut of the East. Anyway, no one is beating Ohio State until Harbaugh, but this should be another close one for the Buckeyes

Ohio State 31, Penn State 24

Arizona at Colorado
6:00 P.M. Fox Sports 1
Arizona -8

This is a very hard game to care about.

Arizona 35, Colorado 24

Arizona State at No. 4 Utah
7:00 P.M. ESPN
Utah -7

ASU is suddenly, quietly in control of its own destiny in the Pac-12 South. The Utes are as well, but ASU’s path is probably easier after this game, with winnable games against Oregon, @ Washington State, Washington, and Arizona before a regular season showdown with Cal. Utah, on the other hand, still has to play both L.A. schools, in addition to a road contest at Husky Stadium. So, it would probably be smart for you to root for Utah to win, but we can’t shake the idea that ASU’s run defense is actually really good, and Devontae Booker could be in for a really tough day running the ball.

Arizona State 23, Utah 20

Oregon at Washington
7:30 P.M. ESPN2
Washington -1.5

Are you ready to live in a world where Oregon has a losing record seven games into a season? Because Vernon Adams or no Vernon Adams, that’s what you’re going to get. Washington’s defense is near-elite, Oregon’s offense is one-dimensional, and Oregon’s defense is a burned-out trash can husk. Even Jake Browning’s noodle arm is going to look good in this game.

Washington 31, Oregon 21

Last week ATS: 7-3. Season ATS: 45-35. UCLA picks ATS: 5-0.


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