Honorable Mention - (15) Auburn vs. Ole’ Miss
The Tigers are on a hot streak and just beat up Arkansas 56-3 and Mississippi State 38-14 the week before. The Rebels are going the other, losing to LSU 38-21 and 34-30 to Arkansas the week before. Head coach for the Tigers Gus Malzhan turned over the offensive play calling duties a few weeks ago, which has resulted in some big offensive performances since then. Now they go into Ole’ Miss territory with a defensive line that has 18 sacks on the year and will get to quarterback Chad Kelly all game long.
Prediction: Auburn wins 35-30
#5 - (8) Baylor vs. Texas
Baylor has played some bad teams thus far this season, but still has yet to lose. While most are waiting for this team to fail, I like their offense and it will be hard for a Big 12 defense to knock this team off. Baylor averages 43.7 points a game and the Longhorns defense gives up 32.6 points a game. Texas does not have the defense to stop the explosive Baylor offense.
Prediction: Baylor wins 45-31
#4 - (2) Michigan vs. Michigan State
While Michigan is one of the very best teams in college, we all know how this game ended last season, with a blocked punt taken to the house in the final seconds for an MSU win. The point spread on this game is 24.5 points in favor of Michigan. Despite the difference in talent, MSU will show up for this rivalry game and keep this from being a blowout.
Prediction: Michigan wins 30-21
#3 - (4) Washington vs. (17) Utah
Washington is a really good team, better than most thought they would be this year. They have been beating up on the PAC-12 and have a real shot at the playoffs. While this is their toughest challenge, Utah’s strength is their running game which the Huskies have had no problem stifling this season. The combination of Jake Browning through the air and Myles Gaskin on the ground will be too much yet again. Browning has had at least 200 passing yards and three touchdowns while Gaskin has had 100 or more yards rushing and a touchdown in each of the last three Huskies outings.
Prediction: Washington wins 41-28
#2 - (7) Nebraska vs. (11) Wisconsin
Nebraska feels like this years Iowa team, everyone loves them till they crumble in their first really competitive game. Wisconsin on the other had has lost to Michigan and Ohio State by only a combined 13 points. This is a very good team that has 19 sacks and eight interceptions on the year and played one of the hardest schedules in college football. Nebraska lets up 124.4 rushing yards a game while Wisconsin runs for 173 yards a game. The Badgers will be able to run the ball enough to take the pressure off their defense, just like they have been doing all year long to some of the best teams in college.
Prediction: Wisconsin wins 27-17
#1 - (3) Clemson vs. (12) Florida State
This game is probably the last chance for any team to knock off Clemson this year before the playoffs. Clemson has to go into FSU and grab a win against a team that has turned around since a 40 point loss to Louisville. While there has been injuries, most notably to star defensive back Derwin James, the Seminoles have gotten back to winning by leaning on Dalvin Cook and the running game. Even though the Tigers have had some close games against lesser opponents, their defense has never taken a game off and keeps this game from being a trap. The Tigers consistently show up for big game, see the Louisville game, and their defense only let up 3.3 yards a rushing attempt and have recorded 25 sacks this year. Their defense will take care of business whether the offense shows up or not. On offense all the Tigers have to do is stop turning the ball over, as they coughed up four fumbles last week and a pick. Clemson tightens up the ship this week.
Prediction: Clemson wins 31-27
Bonus prediction: Deshaun Watson has 500 passing yards.