The Obstructed NCAA Preview for Week 7

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

We have pretty much hit the halfway point of the college football season.  There have been some surprises, disappointments, hopes that fizzled and fast, and great games.  What will the rest of the season hold?  Not sure, but I will zero in on a week with a few big games and some other good ones.  And I will shy away from my ugly picks last week (8-8) for a 46-25 record so far.

NC STATE @ (3) CLEMSON, 12:00, ABC:  On first glance, this should be a walk in the park for Clemson.  But the Wolfpack are 4-1 (though the lone loss was an ugly one in East Carolina) and have historically known to spoil teams in the ACC.  This year they do have a good balance on both sides, and they do have some momentum winning the Hurricane Bowl against Notre Dame last week.  But Clemson has flexed their muscles now and it is in Death Valley so that will be a huge issue for the Wolfpack.  It should be competitive for at least a half and maybe after 3, but the talent the Tigers have might be way too much for NC State.  MY PREDICTION: CLEMSON 41, NC STATE 28

KANSAS STATE @ (19) OKLAHOMA, 12:00, ESPN:   Funny how beating TEXAS has put Oklahoma back on the map and many in the media consider them once again as a Big 12 favorite and a sleeper for the playoff.  Sorry, 2 losses in the Big 12 means you're done for in any playoff race.  That said, the Sooners have way more talent than Kansas State, though it could be a little tough for Oklahoma to put points up on the board on a team in the Big 12 that ATTEMPTS to play defense.  But it is in Oklahoma and the Wildcats are probably a year away from really making this an upset.  A game, sure.  MY PREDICTION: OKLAHOMA 37, KANSAS STATE 30.

(20) WEST VIRGINIA @ TEXAS TECH, 12:00, FS1:  So lemme get this straight: the Mountaineers are undefeated and they are still below the Sooners?  AND how much respect do the Mountaineers have around?  Not even ESPN acknowledged they were in the top 25 this week when they talked abou the Big 12.  Now, for much bashing I do give Texas Tech (and rightfully so), they do have a good offense and this game could be a massive shootout.  I think however the Mountaineers get a few stops to go their way.  MY PREDICTION: WEST VIRGINIA 48, TEXAS TECH 44

(24) WESTERN MICHIGAN @ AKRON, 3:30 CBSSN: Okay, probably not a good idea of putting this one here, but you have to commend Western Michigan for being the state's 2nd best college football team since Michigan State has fallen off a cliff.  But this should be a good one as Akron isn't a major pushover anymore in the MAC.  However, the Broncos might be too much, even on the road.  MY PREDICTION:  WESTERN MICHIGAN 28, AKRON 21

(10) NEBRASKA @ INDIANA, 3:30, ABC/ESPN:  The Huskers have it made if they can take care of business and pray the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin.   That said, Indiana has shown they will not be any pushover to the stars.  Yes, they still got slapped by the Buckeyes, but it wasn't an utter beatdown in Columbus.  And Indiana after their win 2 weeks ago in Michigan State should have a live house.  And honestly, I am not sold on Nebraska yet as they really haven't faced anybody as Oregon is probably the worst team in the PAC-12 right now.  With the Hoosiers playing better ball, this could be Nebraska's toughest challenge to date.  MY PREDICTION:  INDIANA 30, NEBRASKA 27

WAKE FOREST @ (14) FLORIDA STATE, 3:30, ESPN:  Technically Wake Forest does have a better record than FSU, but how much momentum do the Noles have after upending Miami last week?  It COULD have saved their season.  Now, Wake Forest has probably overachieved so far (biggest win has been Indiana), but they can play defense and it could be one of those games that if the Noles aren't ready for, they could slip up.  It is possible, and I think there will be a small letdown.  It will be how much offense can the Deacons get and if they can make a few stops.  This might be closer than what many think.  MY PREDICTION:  FLORIDA STATE 23, WAKE FOREST 20

NORTH CAROLINA @ (16) MIAMI, 3:30, ABC/ESPN:  Both teams suffered major setbacks last week and in different manners: UNC got destroyed by Virginia Tech at home while Miami was stung against Florida State at home off a blocked XP.  It will be which team will recover first from that.  I think Miami will play a bit more vicious while North Carolina will have their 2nd Florida trip in 3 weeks happen.  Maybe too much of a wear-out for the Heels.  I don't see Miami losing for a second straight week at home.  If they get a few turnovers, this game might be over at half, and pretty much seals UNC's Coastal Division fate.  MY PREDICTION:  MIAMI 28, NORTH CAROLINA 17

(1) ALABAMA @ (9) TENNESSEE, 3:30, CBS:  It seems like this rivalry has took a major spike once again with the Volunteers in the top 10 and Alabama rolling.  That said, the Vols lost a nail-biter against Texas A&M after another almost impossible comeback.  But you cannot expect to win if you are down by double digits against Alabama, who probably has an offensive coordinator who will go for the jugular early on and try to blow out the game early on.  And the thing is, the defense for the Tide wasn't happy on how they handled the Razorbacks last week (gave up 30) and they might be out on a mission on Joshua Dobbs, who has been anything but consistent this year.  I had the Vols stunning Bama in Knoxville this year, but I am not sure if I can see that happen now even with Hurd back.  The defense is a little beaten up as well.  MY PREDICTION:  ALABAMA 38, TENNESSEE 28.

TULSA @ (13) HOUSTON, 7:00, ESPN2:  Well, the Cougars luster is now off after their loss to Navy.  But don't think the Cougars are down.  Tulsa has done well this year, but I don't think they have faced a program like Houston yet.  Houston will be ticked this game and Tulsa is in the wrong place at the wrong time.  MY PREDICTION: HOUSTON 45, TULSA 14

(12) OLE MISS @ (22) ARKANSAS, 7:00, ESPN:  This game, while a top 25 game, not many are talking about it, largely because the team need miracles to get to the SEC Championship at this point (which ironically was a miracle play by Arkansas that ended the Rebels chance to go to the SEC Championship instead of Alabama which would have caused major chaos).  But this is a rivalry game and it should be a fight.  The biggest news of this was Chad Kelly pulling a Johnny Manziel, knuckling up at his brother's high school football game so there is that and how much will that affect the already off-field maligned Rebels.  While I don't see either coach REALLY being on the hot seat, there might be mutters for both of them if they come out and lose.  Arkansas didn't stop fighting against Alabama which is huge and I think that effort plus homefield will give them the slight edge as the Rebs might have more problems than is led to believe.  MY PREDICTION:  ARKANSAS 38, OLE MISS 34

ARIZONA STATE @ COLORADO, 8:00, PAC12:  Well, the Sun Devils have semi-proved me wrong as their defense hasn't been that awful and are sticking in this PAC-12 South race.  But they need to beat the Buffaloes if they have a chance.  If they lose this game, forget it.  As for the Buffaloes, they had that hiccup 2 weeks ago but they are in Boulder and given how they have been this year, that will be a loud house and will give them that ultimate homefield.  I don't see the Sun Devils doing well away especially in a far different environment in Colorado.  MY PREDICTION:  COLORADO 35, ARIZONA STATE 21

(2) OHIO STATE @ (8) WISCONSIN, 8:00, ABC:  This game I originally had as Wisconsin winning, but the Badgers loss to Michigan was a tough one and made me re-think.  However, they had a bye to prepared for the Buckeyes.  It is in Wisconsin at night so Camp Randall will be crazy.  But it will be can the Badgers generate enough offense to win the game?  They did with Michigan State and then went backwards against Michigan.  So if they play smart, this will be a dogfight.  A classical dogfight.  I think it might be too much overall for the Badgers to overcome agianst the Bucks.  It will be close though.  MY PREDICTION: OHIO STATE 17, WISCONSIN 13

That's it for this week.  Enjoy the games!

-Fan in the Obstructed Seat

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