Weekend offers sweet lineup

The Associated Press

You are going to need extra snacks. Maybe some of your kid’s Halloween candy.

The college football schedule on Saturday looks sublime. Seven games feature a matchup of ranked teams, and all of them have implications ranging from the College Football Playoff to conference races to the Heisman Trophy.

And it’s not just those seven games. College football fans have come to learn that often the best weekends are the ones without a bunch of high-profile games because that’s when things get weird.

There is potential for some of that, too: No. 3 Ohio State is at Iowa, trying follow-up last week’s comeback victory over Penn State; No. 5 Notre Dame, coming off two huge victories, hosts feisty Wake Forest; No. 10 TCU faces Texas, which has been oh so close to getting Tom Herman a signature win in year one; and No. 15 UCF tries to stay unbeaten at upstart SMU in a matchup of two rising coaches.

Sit back, relax and enjoy. Check that. It’s probably going to be tough to sit back and relax. Just enjoy. And go easy on the candy corn.

The picks:


No. 22 Memphis (-11¢) at Tulsa: The Tigers are weekday warriors, now 13-0 in games not played on Saturday since 2014 … Memphis, 35-27.



The day’s big games in order of most intriguing and potential for excitement:

1) No. 8 Oklahoma (+3) at No. 11 Oklahoma State: For goodness sakes, it’s called Bedlam; the Cowboys are favored for only the sixth time since 1980, according to RJ Bell of Pregame.com … Oklahoma, 42-38, Upset special.

2) No. 6 Clemson (-7) at No. 20 North Carolina State: Tigers have won eight straight games against ranked teams, but if the defending champions don’t make it nine they are pretty much out of the playoff race … Clemson, 23-20.

3) No. 23 Arizona (+7) at No. 17 USC: Have you seen spectacular Wildcats QB Khalil Tate? Here’s your chance, though you might have to stay up late #PAC12AfterDark … USC, 42-30.

4) No. 13 Virginia Tech (-2 ¢) at No. 9 Miami: First place in the ACC Coastal and a straight shot to the conference title game on the line. Also, the Hurricanes are somehow still unbeaten … Miami, Fla. 24-20.

5) No. 18 Stanford (+2¢) at No. 25 Washington State: Heisman contender Bryce Love will be a game-time decision after missing last week’s game. If he doesn’t play, this gets a lot less interesting … Stanford, 31-27.

6) No. 7 Penn State (-7 ¢) at No. 24 Michigan State: Saquon Barkley could use a big performance against a tough defense to bolster his Heisman case … Penn State, 28-17.

7) No. 19 LSU (+21) at No. 1 Alabama: Maybe the Tigers can challenge the Tide. Maybe? … Alabama, 31-14.


South Carolina (+24¢) at No. 2 Georgia: Bulldogs’ closest SEC game so far is 25 points against Missouri … Georgia, 42-17.

No. 4 Wisconsin (-10¢) at Indiana: Hoosiers are winless in the Big Ten, but the last three losses were by an average of six points … Wisconsin, 28-20.

No. 15 UCF (-13¢) at SMU: In seven games this season, Knights coach Scott Frost has become the hottest commodity in coaching, but SMU’s Chad Morris is doing a really nice job, too … UCF, 45-35.


No. 3 Ohio State (-17) at Iowa: Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett ended last week’s game with a school-record 16 straight completions; the Hawkeyes did not allow a TD pass in October … Ohio State, 35-14.

Wake Forest (+13) at No. 5 Notre Dame: Notre Dame has started a website to promote RB Josh Adams as a Heisman contender … Notre Dame, 38-17, Best Bet.

Texas (+6¢) at No. 10 TCU: Freshman QB Sam Ehlinger (concussion) returned to practice this week … TCU, 28-23.

Oregon (+21) at No. 12 Washington: Last time the Huskies won two straight against the Ducks was 2002 and ’03 … Washington, 42-14.

No. 14 Iowa State (+2 ¢) at West Virginia: Cyclones could hold sole possession of first in the Big 12, via tiebreakers, if Oklahoma wins Bedlam … Iowa State, 28-24.

No. 16 Auburn (-5) at Texas A&M: Road team has won every meeting since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012 … Auburn, 28-17.


UMass (+28) at No. 21 Mississippi State: Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has three straight 100-yard rushing games … Mississippi State, 45-14.


Northern Illinois (+9) at Toledo, Thursday night — @nburzych: As is so often the case, first-place in the MAC West on the line … Toledo, 31-24

Georgia Tech (-9¢) at Virginia — @therealdcunna: After 5-1 start, Cavaliers are now scrambling to get bowl-eligible … Georgia Tech, 24-17.

Baylor (-8) at Kansas — @dtanner2194: Bears are the only remaining winless Power Five team and they are favored — which pretty much sums up the state of Kansas football … Baylor, 31-21.

Florida (+3 ¢) at Missouri — @FernParkGator: Hard to know what kind of effort to expect from the Gators … Florida, 35-31.

Northwestern (+1) at Nebraska — @Hey–TW1: Wildcats have won three straight to bounce back from a 2-3 start … Northwestern, 24-21.

Record last week: 13-7 straight up; 8-12 against the spread. Record this season: 151-49 straight up; 90-96-5 against the spread. Upset specials: 3-6 (straight up). Best bets: 6-2 (against the spread).