by Mike Ivcic
Week 10 College Football preview and predictions from Mike Ivcic:
21) Michigan @ 22) Michigan State
Saturday, 3:30pm, ABC
Line: Michigan State by 6
I don’t typically like when the Wolverines have to go to East Lansing. Dating back to my beginning as a Michigan fan, which developed around 1990, there have been a lot of tough trips to the middle of the state. Since 1993, Michigan is 4-6 on the road, despite holding a 12-8 series lead during that same time. This time the two teams come in separated by just one ranking, and both still maintain legitimate Big Ten title hopes – Michigan is 2-1, Michigan State is 4-0. Both teams also still have Nebraska and Iowa left on the schedule, so the Legends division is wide open. I haven’t particularly liked how Michigan has played on the road this season (Connecticut and Penn State) and I think their tough luck continues in this series, but I don’t see the Spartans being able to blow anyone out, so the Wolverines cover here.
Pick: Michigan State 27, Michigan 24
Navy @ 25) Notre Dame
Saturday, 3:30pm, NBC
Line: Notre Dame by 16.5
Navy has struggled on the road this year, losing three straight after an opening weekend victory over Indiana. What’s worse, the losses haven’t exactly come to what would be considered “elite” teams (Western Kentucky, Duke, and Toledo). Combine that with a surging Notre Dame team that has a legitimate opportunity to play in a major bowl game (even if it’s not a BCS game) and I just don’t see the Midshipmen being able to hang with the Irish for a full four quarters in South Bend.
Pick: Notre Dame 34, Navy 14
11) Auburn @ Arkansas
Saturday, 6:00pm, ESPN2
Line: Auburn by 8
If Auburn wants to be taken seriously as a challenger to Alabama – and for the record, I don’t think they are – then they need to dominate a weak Arkansas team regardless of venue. The Razorbacks are 3-5 and have lost five straight, starting with Rutgers and continuing through four straight SEC games (Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama). The last two games weren’t close, as the Gamecocks went into Fayetteville and won 52-7 before Alabama pasted Arkansas in Tuscaloosa 52-0. That’s the measuring stick for Auburn, and I think they will at least pass the “spread test,” but it could be a gambling nail biter late in the fourth quarter.
Pick: Auburn 31, Arkansas 21
18) Oklahoma State @ 15) Texas Tech
Saturday, 7:00pm, FOX
Line: Texas Tech by 2.5
I jumped off the Red Raider bandwagon at the correct moment, but I still have them a little too much credit in thinking they’d cover the Sooners last week. I say this so you have a full picture of my impressions of Tech when I take them to win and cover this week at home. The Cowboys are a bit of a surprise this season – they were expected to be good but stumbled against West Virginia and have been a bit underrated ever since. I think Mike Gundy has done a fantastic job with the Oklahoma State program, but Lubbock is a tough place to win and the Texas Tech offense is really good.
Pick: Texas Tech 34, Oklahoma State 31
Tennessee @ 9) Missouri
Saturday, 7:00pm, ESPN
Line: Missouri by 10.5
Just because the Tigers were upset in overtime by a very good South Carolina team isn’t reason to jump off the bandwagon just yet. A 10-point spread against a vastly underrated Tennessee team that beat South Carolina and took Georgia to overtime, however, is a reason.
Pick: Missouri 27, Tennessee 23
7) Miami FL @ 3) Florida State
Saturday, 8:00pm, ABC
Line: Florida State by 22
Two pretty cool notes on this game. First, this is the last time two undefeated teams can meet in any capacity outside of a bowl game – which means after this game, there will be only one undefeated team remaining in each of the power conferences: Alabama (SEC), Oregon (Pac-12), Ohio State (Big Ten), Baylor (Big 12), and whoever wins this game. Second, this is the largest point spread in history in any matchup between two top-10 teams. That speaks to just how dominant Florida State looked in their total dismantling of both Maryland and Clemson in the past month. They rank third in points scored (52.6), fourth in points allowed (13.0), and have this game at home. Ultimately, I think they may be the best team in the entire NCAA, but even with a win here – which they’ll get – I don’t know if that will be enough to beat out an undefeated Oregon or Alabama team because of the perceived weakness of the ACC.
Pick: Florida State 31, Miami 17
Georgia vs. Florida (at Jacksonville, FL)
Saturday, 3:30pm, CBS
Line: Georgia by 2.5
Who would have thought in the preseason that this matchup on November 2 would feature two unranked teams? I think Georgia is the better team and will ultimately force Florida into too many turnovers for the Gators to have a chance, but after our detailed breakdown regarding the SEC last week, I think this is just the perfect case study for anyone wanting visual evidence that the conference, on the whole, is simply overrated.
Pick: Georgia 28, Florida 20
Last Week: 5-2 straight up, 4-3 against spread
Season: 42-21 straight up, 23-39-1 against spread
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