Honorable Mention - Arizona vs. (25) Washington State
The Cougars made the top 25 and now have an injury laden Wildcats team. Last week against the Beavers Luke Falk had three passing plays of 30 plus yards and the running game busted out two 20 yard runs. This team lives on the big, explosive play and the Arizona roster is just too beat up to stop them on the road.
#5 - TCU vs. (17) Baylor
After a crushing defeat, Baylor hosts the Horned Frogs in an attempt to rebound. These have been great games over the years particularly recently, as last season TCU won by seven and the two years before that were decided by three points in each of the games. They go into this one tied at 52 wins a piece against each other. This will be a close nail bitter to the end, but I’ll roll with Seth Russell over Kenny Hill in a tight game.
Prediction: Baylor wins 48-40
#4 - Syracuse vs. (2) Clemson
While this seems like it should be any easy game, Clemson is coming off a very tough game with FSU and this Syracuse offense is not to be slept on. Sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey is a very good quarterback, already throwing for 2,631 yards this season with 15 touchdowns. He has five games with 350 or more yards, he makes this team dangerous and is a potential trap game for the Tigers. But Deshaun Watson is a quarterback that can anchor the team through a storm.
Prediction: Clemson wins 31-20
#3 - (5) Washington vs. California
They were just pushed out of the top four despite a prefect record for a team with one loss, and two overtime wins to mediocre teams. Now the Huskies head to Cal in a game they can show the world why they deserve to be with the best of the best. Cal will try to make this a shootout game and while the spotlight will be on the quarterback face off of Jake Browning and Davis Webb, the biggest impact player will be Myles Gaskin against a soft Cal front seven.
Prediction: Washington wins 51-37
#2 - (10) Nebraska vs. (6) Ohio State
Nebraska came back to reality against Wisconsin and now Ohio State is going to kick them while their down. While JT Barrett and Tommy Armstrong Jr. is a great duel with both holding almost the same stat line and playing style, the real matchup is which defense plays better. Ohio State ranks first in college in sacks with 35 on the season. Their pass rush is oppressive and has also lead to 10 fumbles recovered. Nebraska’s offensive line does not stand a chance.
Prediction: Ohio State wins 28-13
#1 - (1) Alabama vs. (13) LSU
This is always one of the best games of the year as Leonard Fournette looks for redemption after being smothered in last years game. The offense of LSU has looked more balanced and dangerous after Les Miles departure. However, the Tide is rolling with a superior defensive line that has 32 sacks on the year and a quarterback in Jalen Hurts that gives defenses fits. The freshman has shown poise and discipline beyond his years. While he has been solid in the passing game, the biggest difference has been how dangerous he is on the ground. He has recorded 521 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. He will break the Tigers this year.
Prediction: Alabama rolls 31-21
Bonus prediction: Hurts rushes for three touchdowns.