Okay, now we’re getting down to the heart of the matter. The College Football Playoff Committee has finally spoken, and now we have some meaningful rankings to go on. It’s a dash to the finish, and there will be several games each week that will influence which four teams are left standing at season’s end.
There are some gems in this weekend’s lineup of games, as conference
All game times in Eastern Daylight Time.
DK’s 2015 Week 10 CFB Game Picks
Penn State @ Northwestern (Saturday, November 7th, 12:00 p.m., ESPNU)
This is one of several underrated contests in the B1G this week. Northwestern is favored (slightly) at home, but Penn State has been the more consistent of the two teams this season. I’ll take the fighting Christian Hackenbergs.
Pick: Penn State 31, Northwestern 28
Duke @ North Carolina (Saturday, November 7th, 12:00 p.m., ESPN2)
Here’s another critically important off-the-radar game, and a rivalry game to boot. Will Duke have a hangover after last week’s bizarre ending? I know that I would. The Blue Devils will also. UNC gets the win at home.
Pick: North Carolina 28, Duke 20
Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh (Saturday, November 7th, 12:00 p.m., ABC)
Notre Dame was ranked #5 in the initial CFP rankings. Is this too high? The Irish’s only loss was by 2 on the road at #1 Clemson. I’m betting that Brian Kelly wishes that the Domers had been ranked a bit less high. Pitt is a strong team in its own right, and would love to knock ND off its perch. The Panthers will do just that, in this week’s upset special.
Pick: Pittsburgh 27, Notre Dame 21
Florida State @ Clemson (Saturday, November 7th, 3:30 p.m., ABC)
The big mystery coming into this game is which QB will start for the Noles. Clemson is exactly where it wants to be: unbeaten and playing its toughest conference game of the season at home. Doesn’t matter which QB Jimbo Fisher selects (psst: it’ll be Everett Golson); the Tigers remain unbeaten and on track to play for a national title.
Pick: Clemson 38, Florida State 21
Arkansas @ Mississippi (Saturday, November 7th, 3:30 p.m., CBS)
Ole Miss controls its destiny in the SEC West, courtesy of its upset win over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. Arkansas is focused on gaining bowl eligibility, and looks to derail Hugh Freeze’s team from its goal. The Hogs will give the Rebels a hard time, but will fall just short.
Pick: Mississippi 28, Arkansas 24
Arizona State @ Washington State (Saturday, November 7th, 3:30 p.m., FS1)
These teams figure to be the two biggest surprises in the PAC-12 this year, but for opposite reasons. The Pirate has the Cougs playing really well this season, especially on the Palouse. Wazzu is favored, and will win again this week.
Pick: Washington State 41, Arizona State 31
TCU @ Oklahoma State (Saturday, November 7th, 3:30 p.m., FOX)
The Big XII round robin starts this week, when the Horned Frogs visit the Pokes in Stillwater. TCU was expected to be unbeaten at this point of the season; OK State was not. Mike Gundy’s group will put a good scare into TCU, but will ultimately fall just short.
Pick: TCU 45, Oklahoma State 42
California @ Oregon (Saturday, November 7th, 10:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Oregon has uncharacteristically struggled this season, but the Ducks are still in the PAC-12 North Division race…unless they lose to Cal this week and Stanford beats Colorado. Cal, on the other hand, has dropped three straight, and could slide out of conference relevance for the season. Make it four straight.
Pick: Oregon 52, California 31
Utah @ Washington (Saturday, November 7th, 7:30 p.m. FOX)
In the “what do they know that we don’t” Vegas line of the week, UDub is favored at home against Utah. It’s only been a couple of weeks since the Utes were the class of the PAC-12, and favorites to make the CFP. Utah is ranked 12th by the committee now, which is better than Ohio State was ranked at this point last season. Utah will grind out the win.
Pick: Utah 27, Washington 20
LSU @ Alabama (Saturday, November 7th, 7:00 p.m. CBS)
The national game of the week is in Tuscaloosa, as it typically is several times per season. LSU has the better resume and the better record, and it has sledgehammer Heisman Trophy front-runner Leonard Fournette. He’s done it before, but do you trust Les Miles to go into Bryant-Denny Stadium and come out with a win over a Nick Saban-coached team? Neither do I.
Pick: Alabama 24, LSU 22