×

Season reads like a TV series

The Associated Press

If this college football season was a television series, you could jump right in this weekend without needing to catch up on previous episodes.

The first six weeks have been entertaining, sure, but really not much has happened. No plot twists. No significant new story lines. Take a glance at the Top 25 and your friends can get you up to speed in five minutes.

Week 7 feels like the first of the season you can’t miss. A season-high four games match ranked teams, all involving at least one top-10 team. Two more top-10 teams are facing high-profile rivals that have been in turmoil. Pretty much every game is a conference game. Both Death Valleys should be rocking Saturday.

The Red River Rivalry is a good place to start with its noon ET kickoff. No. 11 Texas has emerged from several years of mediocrity to again be a legitimate threat to No. 6 Oklahoma in the Big 12. The Longhorns and Sooners split two games last season, including the Big 12 championship. Final combined score: Oklahoma 84, Texas 75.

The headliner under the lights is No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU. The Gators are playing in a second-straight top-10 matchup after a home victory against Auburn. The annual SEC crossover rivalry has been one of the most competitive in the conference in recent years. The last seven meetings have been decided by 11 points or fewer, including six one-possession games.

In between, No. 1 Alabama visits No. 24 Texas A&M; No. 2 Clemson hosts Florida State; No. 10 Penn State is at No. 17 Iowa; and No. 9 Notre Dame faces Southern California.

A note of caution: The odds makers are not forecasting as much drama as the rankings and/or history suggests with most of the marquee matchups. Only one (Penn State-Iowa) has a point spread of less than 10 points as of Wednesday.

The picks:

FRIDAY

Colorado (+21) at No. 13 Oregon: QB Justin Herbert has only occasionally looked like a future top-tier NFL draft pick this season, but the Buffs’ pass defense has been dreadful (9.5 yards per pass, 126th in the nation) … Oregon, 34-17

No. 20 Virginia (+2) at Miami: This probably won’t be much consolation to ‘Canes fans, but with just a few breaks Miami would be 4-1 … Miami, 24-20

SATURDAY

No. 1 Alabama (–16¢) at No. 24 Texas A&M: Johnny Manziel isn’t walking through that door for the Aggies … Alabama, 38-20

Florida State (+27) at No. 2 Clemson: Tigers have won the last two meetings by a combined 90-24 and it feels like Clemson is due to break out after a close call at North Carolina; Or maybe FSU can show it has turned a corner under Willie Taggart and keep things competitive … Clemson, 45-21

South Carolina (+24¢) at No. 3 Georgia: Bulldogs have won four straight (36-15 average) to flip the rivalry back to its traditional state after the Gamecocks won four of five … Georgia, 36-15

No. 7 Florida (+13) at No. 5 LSU: This is a huge ask for the Gators to go on the road and pull the upset … LSU, 35-20

No. 6 Oklahoma (–11¢) vs. No. 11 Texas at Dallas: The winning quarterback — either OU’s Jalen Hurts or UT’s Sam Ehlinger — becomes the Big 12’s Heisman front-runner … Oklahoma, 48-35

Michigan State (+10¢) at No. 8 Wisconsin: Badgers star RB Jonathan Taylor, meet Spartans star LB Joe Bachie … Wisconsin, 28-20

USC (+11) at No. 9 Notre Dame: Trojans will get QB Kedon Slovis (concussion) back after he missed most of the last two games … Notre Dame, 35-21

No. 10 Penn State (–3¢) at No. 17 Iowa: Kinnick Stadium at night and a solid Hawkeyes defense should provide a good test for a Penn State team that hasn’t faced many so far … Penn State, 27-20

Hawaii (+11¢) at No. 14 Boise State: Broncos have won six straight against the Rainbow Warriors, none close … Boise State, 38-24

No. 15 Utah (–14) at Oregon State: Utes should have their hands full with Beavers WR Isaiah Hodgins, second in the nation in yards receiving per game (126.4) and TD catches (nine) … Utah, 42-31

No. 16 Michigan (–23) at Illinois: Status of former Michigan QB Brandon Peters (upper body injury), who transferred to the Illini, is uncertain … Michigan, 31-14.

Washington State (–1) at No. 18 Arizona State: Cougars have lost two straight and have not dropped three straight regular-season games since 2014 … Arizona State, 31-27

Louisville (+6¢) at No. 19 Wake Forest: Demon Deacons trying to go 6-0 for the first time since 1944 … Wake Forest, 35-27

Texas Tech (+11) at No. 22 Baylor: Baylor tries to avoid a loss and likely becoming the fourth Big 12 team to spend just one week ranked, joining TCU, Kansas State and Oklahoma State … Baylor, 28-20

No. 23 Memphis (–6) at Temple: Start of a season-defining stretch for the Owls: No. 21 SMU next week and UCF after that … Temple, 28-24

No. 25 Cincinnati (–7¢) at Houston: What can the Bearcats do to follow-up last week’s big victory against UCF? … Houston, 31-27. UPSET SPECIAL

TWITTER REQUESTS

Nebraska (+7¢) at Minnesota — @mjsayler: Gophers are the only undefeated Power Five team still unranked … Minnesota, 30-21

Iowa State (–10¢) at West Virginia — @PCBounds: Mountaineers hung tough against Texas last week … Iowa State,m 34-21

Washington (–6) at Arizona — @bkbeban: Who would have thought the Wildcats would be better positioned in Pac-12 than the Huskies at this point? … Washington, 38-33

Wyoming (+3¢) at San Diego State — @barredindc: Cross-division game that could be pivotal to the Mountain West races … San Diego State, 24-17

Mississippi (+12) at Missouri — @ConnorClaxton: Tigers have been steamrolling opponents since they left Wyoming with a surprising opening loss … Missouri, 42-41. BEST BET

Last week: 16-5 straight; 10-9-2 against the spread; Season: 104-33 straight; 74-58-4 against the spread; Upset specials: 2-4 (straight up); Best bets: 2-3-1 (against the spread).

COMMENTS