College GameDay reveals Week 7 predictions
Who’s ready for separation Saturday in college football?
College GameDay is live from Baton Rouge for Florida-LSU, one of several Top 25 matchups with conference title and Playoff implications during the nation’s most important weekend of the season up to this point.
The appetizing slate begins with Texas-Oklahoma inside the Cotton Bowl, followed by Alabama-Texas A&M and then capped by two sizable prime-time showdowns, including this matchup in the SEC. The Gators and Tigers don’t like each other and have provided plenty of bulletin board material throughout the week in the lead-up to kickoff.
“Our coaches are going to be out there before the game starts. We don’t want nothing before the game,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “Obviously this is a heated rivalry, but we want to play the game when the ball is snapped until the whistle. Want it to be a clean game, but a hard fought game.”
Another game to watch is Florida State’s trip to Clemson to face a Tigers team that is playing for the first time since falling behind the Crimson Tide in the polls.
How many unbeatens will go down Saturday in college football? During a season largely free of major upsets, Week 7 should provide high drama with numerous title contenders facing tough competition.
Here are the picks from the College GameDay crew from Baton Rouge previewing Saturday’s best games. This story will be updated as more selections come in:
Washington at Arizona
“This is the first time the Huskies have seen Khalil Tate,” Rece Davis said. “Washington was inexplicably bad vs. Stanford. Let’s see if they can get it straightened out.”
“Early in the week, I thought Arizona might be an attractive early dog, but I’ve totally flipped,” Chris Fallica said. “Washington typically takes care of these teams. I think Washington wins comfortably.
“I think this is a good week for Washington’s offense because of the Arizona secondary,” Kirk Herbstreit said. “This is a shootout, but I think Jacob Eason and Washington win it.”
“This is Washington’s type of game,” Desmond Howard said. “I like Washington in a close one.”
“I like Arizona,” Lee Corso said.
Louisville at Wake Forest
“Wake Forest is not a legitimate threat,” David Pollack said. “(Dave) Clawson is 0-6 off byes. (Jamie) Newman has been great and I think they’ll win today.”
“I think Louisville in Scott Satterfield’s first year, I think they could beat Wake today,” Herbstreit said. “I’ll go ahead and call that.”
“I’ve got Wake,” Howard said.
Washington State at Arizona State
“Arizona State keeps finding ways to win,” Howard said. “I really like what I’ve seen from Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils. I like Arizona State (to get a big win).”
“I want to see how Washington State responds to their coach (Mike Leach) publicly coming after them,” Herbstreit said. “That’s going to be a really interesting game.”
Florida State at Clemson
“I think you’re going to see the best version of Clemson vs. Florida State,” Pollack said. “This is the perfect start for Dabo Swinney, a bye week and the first four weeks to hear you’re not the best team in college football. I think they’ll hit the reset button today.”
“Florida State has the athletes and I think they’re gaining some confidence,” Howard said. “I think Clemson will win, but don’t give Florida State confidence early.”
Penn State at Iowa
“This is a great opportunity I think (for Penn State),” Herbstreit said during Saturday morning’s appearance on SportsCenter. “Sean Clifford has done an incredible job in this system the way he has stepped in for Trace McSorley. I think low-scoring and Penn State on the road has the focus it needs to go into Kinnick and win at night.
“It you get Iowa behind the sticks like Michigan did, it’s a problem. If Nate Stanley is put in obvious passing situations, I think Penn State takes care of business and prepares for the whiteout next week.”
“Iowa is going to come into this game knowing they need to make a statement,” Howard said. “I like Penn State, but in a close one.”
“Penn State has won 11 straight vs. Big Ten West teams,” Corso said. “Take the under in this one.”
“I think we’re going to learn Penn State has a little better offense than Michigan did last week in one of the most difficult games to watch of the year to watch,” Paul Finebaum said Saturday on SportsCenter. “This is a difficult place to play, just ask Urban Meyer. But I think Penns Tate has a little more momentum. Iowa and Kirk Ferentz has been unable to beat James Franklin in recent years and I think that’ll continue in Iowa.”
Michigan State at Wisconsin
“Sparty’s defense has been good against the run until a week ago when the Buckeyes shredded them,” Howard said. “This is a time for redemption. This game will come down to which quarterback can make a throw late, Jack Coan or Brian Lewerke.”
“I feel like Michigan State’s offense is coming along,” Pollack said. “I know Jonathan Taylor is a freak show, but I think Michigan State can make a few plays through the air.”
“This is a low-scoring game and Michigan State rarely plays (bad) after a loss,” Herbstreit said. “This will be a very close game.”
“Wisconsin is the only team who hasn’t trailed in a game this year,” Corso said. “I’m going Wisconsin.”
Nebraska at Minnesota
“Not so fast, Nebraska in an upset,” Corso said.
“As long as it doesn’t come down to a field goal, Nebraska wins this game,” Herbstreit said.
Oklahoma vs. Texas
“This is when you really feel as though the Oklahoma defense is really going to have to step,” Howard said. “I think it’ll be a really close game. This is a rivalry game. You’re going to see a different Texas defense today vs. Oklahoma.”
“Oklahoma is playing well on third down,” Corso said. “Hello! You give that ball back to the Oklahoma offense, watch out. Oklahoma is the only team in the country that has scored more than 45 points in every game.”
“(Texas) is gonna have to outscore them,” Herbstreit said during Saturday appearance on SportsCenter. “I think it’ll be one of those type of games, typically with Lincoln Riley and Tom Herman and what they can do with their offensive systems. It puts a lot of heat on the defenses. Jalen Hurts right now as we know has been executing at a very high level and I think he fits in well. I think personally think we’re going to learn a lot more today about where he truly is as a quarterback in Lincoln Riley’s system.”
“The reality is, we know nothing about Oklahoma’s defense,” Herbstreit said. “Sam Ehlinger can attack and he’s healthy. Bigger picture, is Oklahoma good enough for teams like LSU and Alabama? I don’t know until we see it today. I’m going with Texas with Ehlinger out-dueling Jalen Hurts.”
USC at Notre Dame
“Kedon Slovis is back, but this Notre Dame defense will apply a lot of pressure,” Herbstreit said. “You know Ian Book will have a chance to make plays and Jafar Armstrong is back, which can really lift this Notre Dame offense.”
“Notre Dame over USC,” Howard said.
“Notre Dame has won 14 straight at home, make it 15, but real close,” Corso said.
“Notre Dame wins this game late with a turnover,” Herbstreit said.
Alabama at Texas A&M
“I think Alabama has been playing great football and this could be a statement game for the Tide,” Howard said. “They haven’t really be able to run the ball, but this could be a statement game.”
“Over the course of 60 minutes, Alabama will pull away and win big,” Herbstreit said.
“Alabama has won 19 of their last 20 SEC road games,” Corso said. “Give me Alabama.”
Florida at LSU
“The Gators’ defense is No. 1 in interceptions in the country — perfect for LSU,” Corso said. “Go Gators! The Gators have outscored opponents 112-17 in the second half this year. I’ll say very little and listen to this . “
Corso then put on the LSU mascot head.
“This offense has been from the stoneage the last couple years, but credit to Ed Orgeron from pushing this offense from where they were to where they are now,” Herbstreit said. “This kid is a future first-round pick. I think the matchup, Todd Grantham and Florida vs. Joe Burrow . it’s good against good and it’ll be a fun way to see where this game goes.”
“LSU’s defense will prevail,” Howard said.
“This will be a game in the trenches, but I’ve got to go LSU,” John Goodman said, waving a Tigers flag.