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Staff Picks - College Football Week 7

Auburn ain’t on, but we’ll be watching everyone else get knocked off.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

We’re spending the bye week licking our wounds, and thankfully we don’t have to take part in some of the big games this weekend. It seems like Auburn’s been the focal most every weekend so far this year, and it’s nice to sit back for once.

Relax, and watch Florida lose.

Florida @ LSU (-13.5) (O/U 55)

I’m excited for this one. This is a matchup of one of the best pass offenses in the country and one of the best pass defenses in the country. Is Joe Burrow really for real? Can Florida do it on the road? I think this one really comes down to the less glamorous matchup. I like LSU’s defense a lot better than I like Florida’s offense with the game in Baton Rouge. I still think the number is a little too big though. LSU 30, Florida 20 - James Jones

Why in the Wide World of Sports did CBS not pick this game. Even if Auburn doesn’t Gus it’s self last week, this is still far and away the game of the week in the conference? Oh well, have fun with that. This should be a fantastic game. LSU has an insane offense and a suspect defense while Florida is good enough on offense and not bad at all on defense. I think LSU wins and covers but it won’t be until late in the ballgame. Tigas 38-20 - Drew Mac

It’s a primetime game in Baton Rouge so you know Death Valley will be rocking! The Gators come into this one on a extreme high after beating Auburn last Saturday in the Swamp. LSU’s offense will face by far their toughest test to date in Florida’s defense who frustrated Bo Nix all afternoon last week. LSU has scored 42 or more points in all 5 games so far this year but in some games, their defense has been questionable (how do you give up 38 points to Vanderbilt!!!!) I honestly haven’t watched a ton of LSU this year so I’m looking forward to getting a chance to watch this game to see what Auburn’s going to face in a few weeks. I like LSU to win but I’m gonna take the Gators to cover. LSU 34 Florida 24 - Will McLaughlin

Despite these two schools seemingly despising playing each other annually, I think this may be the most fun rivalry in the SEC for bystanders. This will be an interesting game to watch for Auburn fans specifically, too. If Florida plays LSU close, it may make us feel better about a lackluster performance last week. If LSU blows Florida out of the bayou and the Gators #7 ranking looks a little fraudulent? We may not be as happy. I think LSU is going to win this game, but I’m not quite ready to give them two touchdowns even at home. LSU wins but doesn’t quite pull away, 31-20 - Ryan Sterritt

The biggie. Florida just notched a huge win over Auburn. LSU’s offense vs Florida’s defense. Death Valley, prime time. I reckon 90k liquored up Tigah fans may impact the result. LSU 35, Florida 21 - Josh Dub

I’m looking forward to this one. Can LSU’s scoring juggernaut of an offense be slowed down? Can Florida’s offense hit a few big plays on another defense? No part of me thinks Florida can get this done on the road. Give me the home Tigers in victory. LSU 34 Florida 20 - Josh Black

I still don’t know what to think about LSU at this point. This will give us a good idea of what we are really up against in a few weeks. I still don’t rate Florida very highly so I don’t think they can go into red stick and win, but this is definitely one to watch. LSU 33, Florida 17 - AU Chief

LSU is terrifying to me. Florida was the best defense auburn has played so far. I think Florida is really good and has an incredibly talented roster. That said, LSU is going to win this game because they are at home and that offense is humming. LSU 38, UF 20 - Son of Crow

A Florida win might put some wind back into some Auburn fans’ sails this weekend. I mean if that Gator team Auburn SHOULDA beat goes on the road & knocks off an undefeated LSU team, well then that’s one hell of a quality loss!

But here’s the thing... I still don’t think Florida is that great. Kyle Trask now gets to experience what Bo Nix did last week & it wouldn’t shock me if his performance takes quite the dip as well. The only thing that gives me pause is that UF’s defense has the pieces to stop LSU’s offense. They got an elite secondary & an outstanding pass rushing defensive line. LSU hasn’t really showed the propensity to line up & run at folks which is where I think the Gators weakness is up front. So UF winning an ugly affair would not at all surprise me. However, I just don’t see it happening. I think Trask throws 2 picks, LSU’s offense starts slow but connects on some big plays & Ed O’s squad pulls away late. LSU 38 UF 21 - AU Nerd

I actually think Florida winning here would be a good thing for Auburn, but Kyle Trask is going to get a taste of what the Auburn offense dealt with last week. There won’t be a wilder atmosphere this season in college football until the Iron Bowl in Auburn. LSU 30, Florida 24 - Jack Condon

Texas vs Oklahoma (-10.5) (O/U 71)

A Texas pass defense that struggled against LSU gets tested again. I think this one will be high flying. Oklahoma’s defense has improved, but they’re still not an elite unit. Texas’s best chance is to hold onto the ball and try to keep Jalen Hurts off of the field. I think they do it enough to cover and hit the under, but it won’t be enough to beat 10 and the hook. Oklahoma 34, Texas 24 - James Jones

This one will also be fun, but if I may ask, where did all the talk about this being the best rivalry in college football come from? Sure its at a fair that deep fries everything insight but this does not a good football rivalry make. While it is definitely in my top 5 and on my list to go to and take in (along with some deep fried oreos and whatever hell else those people want to feed me) it is a solid 5 behind the Iron Bowl, Army/Navy, Michigan-tOSU, and the Egg Bowl before them. Anywho, for this game, in classic Big 12, or however many they have, fashion, neither team has a defense to really speak of while points come in bunches for both. Therefore lets go with the over and a Sooners win to cover! Sooners 48-35 - Drew Mac

Jalen Hurts has played in the Iron Bowl and so the Red River Rivalry is just another game for him. He has played his tail off so far this year and now he gets a crack at a big time school from his home state. Texas has talked a whole lot this week and I’m afraid that’s gonna come back and bite them. Throw in the fact Texas pulled the upset in this matchup last year and Lincoln Riley will surely have his team ready for this one. Sorry Texas, you aren’t back. Oklahoma 48 Texas 27 - Will McLaughlin

Another top ten matchup means another team in front of Auburn loses! Red River along with LSU/Florida makes for a decent Saturday of football, but my feeling here is the opposite of what I said before. Jalen Hurts and the Sooners are going to poor points on Texas, who right now have the #66 defense in the country. Texas will try to make a run here after half time, but it won’t be enough. 41-31 Horns Down - Ryan Sterritt

The Red River Rivalry isn’t even as competitive as a game between second biggest rivals in the state of Alabama. Lincoln Riley cruises. HORNS DOWN, FLAG ME TOM HERMAN. Oklahoma 45, Texas 31 - Josh Dub

For Texas to win this game, they are going to have to call more runs with the quarterback and Jalen Hurts is going to have to turn it over a few times. I think one of those happens. Oklahoma 45 Texas 31 - Josh Black

Repeat after me: Texas is not back. Not that it would matter, even if they were the Horns would still lose this one. The University of Oklahoma 45, Texas 24 - AU Chief

Whoaaaa Nellie from the state fair of Texas itself! Big Tex will be overseeing the affair from his perch at the world’s largest state fair, and I think he will see a great one. Texas looks like a really good team and Jalen hurts has Oklahoma motoring along. Did you know the corn dog was invented at the Texas state fair? Even though LSU has never played there! I like mine with mustard and ketchup. OU 41, UT 35 - Son of Crow

Texas players are downright offended that a QB who has started in the hardest division in college football and has played in multiple championship games might not be overwhelmed by the intensity of the Red River Shootout. I mean the disrespect!!!

They might instead be focused on some of the massive holes in their own team, namely the lack of a consistent rushing attack outside of the QB and a defense that gives up big plays. The Longhorns pulled off the upset last season because they were able to punch the Sooners in the mouth out the gate then hang on for dear life. I don’t see that happening this time around. It’s entertaining early but Sooners keeps landing haymakers offensively and that proves the difference. OK 45 TX 35 - AU Nerd

Texas’ defense is really bad, like, people just stop living watching them play. Oklahoma’s offense is exceptional and Jalen Hurts is an actual good quarterback and I openly wish that he’d chosen to come play at Auburn. The Sooners are hitting 40, it just depends on how long it takes. I say right as the third quarter dies. Oklahoma 50, Texas 28 - Jack Condon

Alabama (-16.5) @ Texas A&M (O/U 61)

SP+ and Bud Elliot both like A&M to cover the number in this one. It’s a huge spread for a road favorite, and Alabama has shown some vulnerability on defense. Unfortunately, I think most of that vulnerability involves the QB run game, and I just don’t see Kellen Mond being willing to make those plays. Alabama 42, Texas A&M 21 - James Jones

YAWN! I feel bad for my buddy who will be at the game, not pulling outwardly for an A&M win while at the same time holding in the laughter of exactly what Alabama is doing to Texas A&M in front of their fans. Stay strong will be over soon enough. Bama covers 52-24 - Drew Mac

Gary loves him some Alabama doesn’t he? I’m guessing CBS didn’t to feature Florida and/or LSU in back to back weeks and so we get this game in the 2:30 window this week. Gross. Alabama 51 Texas A&M 17 - Will McLaughlin

Yeah, so remember when Texas A&M was going to make a run this year? Losses to Clemson and Auburn (respectable) and a near miss vs Arkansas (not respectable) has killed that momentum. The Aggies aren’t a bad team, but they’re not on the same level as the top teams this year. Alabama is going to take it to them in Kyle Field, too, dropping Jimbo to 3-3 before the schedule lightens up for a month or so. Kellen Mond is going to be far and away the best quarterback Bama’s played yet, and he’ll make a few plays here, but it won’t be enough to keep up. Bama takes it 48-28 - Ryan Sterritt

This game won’t be close. Tua will throw for a thousand yards or probably more like 325. I can’t believe CBS decided to pick this game over Florida/LSU. Alabama 56, Texas A&M 24 - Josh Dub

Before I give a mediocre level of analysis for how this most likely awful game will go, I just want to go on the record as saying that I hope this game is hotter than the sun. A&M can’t run the ball. I wouldn’t sweat the giant spread. Bama covers. Alabama 52 Texas A&M 17 - Josh Black

There is just no way Saban is losing to Jimbo. I’m not even sure they let them score more than a couple of touchdowns. Alabama 52, Texas A&M 17 - AU Chief

The thing to do with a corn dog is to sit down and eat it. I know that sounds weird, because the whole thing is about mobility, but if you’ve got a drink in one hand and a corn dog in the other it makes it difficult to do anything else—-like order a fried pop tart at the Texas state fair. Alabama 45, Aggy 21 - Son of Crow

The Crimson Broadcasting Station made the smart pick for their brand in choosing this game this week. Nothing brings redneck eyeballs like violence on TV. I think Aggies end up holding up better than folks expect thanks to that stout DL and Kellen Mond’s tendency to play better at home. But Jimbo’s insistence on sticking to 12 and 21 personnel sets instead of going 4 wide all day will sink the Aggies again. Tua will throw some 5-10 yard slants/bubble screen that go for 60+ per usual. Aggies though put some points on the board to continue the questions about this Tide defense. Bama 48 A&M 28 - AU Nerd

I heard a radio commercial with Johnny Manziel talking about insurance or something. Rock bottom. No way up today. Bama can do what it wants on offense against all but about three teams. A&M ain’t one of those teams. Bama 52, A&M 21 - Jack Condon

Penn State (-3.5) @ Iowa (O/U 41)

Whew, that’s a total line only Tommy Tuberville could love. If you run out the math, Vegas predicts something like Penn State winning 23-20 or 21-17. I think Penn State has shown enough that they can get to their number. I’m just not sure Iowa gets to theirs. I really don’t like that this pushed to 3 and a hook instead of 3 or under, but here we go. Penn State 23, Iowa 17 - James Jones

Now we get in to some power football stuff here. I had Iowa last week and they let me down...NOT AGAIN HAWKEYES! This time I will go with the deep blue Lions for the W and the cover in a defensive yawner. Nits cover 17-12 - Drew Mac

This matchup lost some luster with Iowa putting up a measly 3 points last week in Ann Arbor. I’m sure I’ll regret this but I think the Hawkeyes not only cover, but get the big win at home. Iowa 19 Penn State 16 - Will McLaughlin

After last week’s 10-3 barn-burner of a loss to Michigan, and O/U of 41 even feels generous. I’m mostly curious about this game for Penn State, though. They’ve been blowing people’s brakes off so far this year, but they’re firmly in the “AIN’T PLAYED NOBODY” camp, and they’re probably the quietest top 10 team so far this season. I’m leaning taking Penn State here, but I really don’t know enough about them to be confident. 28-17 PSU - Ryan Sterritt

The total is 41? Seems way too high. Penn State is flying under the radar right now. An Ohio State and Wisconsin are hogging all the attention, but James Franklin doesn’t mind. Penn State 17, Iowa 10 - Josh Dub

Do offenses go to die in Iowa City? Aside from Michigan’s, we shall see. Penn State has outscored their last two opponents 94-7 after a close call with Pitt. Iowa is one of those weird places to play in the B1G, so this will be close. Penn State 21 Iowa 13 - Josh Black

So I just finished this movie, Mid ‘90s, and it is fantastic. Its the best movie I have seen this year and I cannot recommend it enough, especially if you grew up in the 90s or like skateboarding or good music. It gets a 5/5 from your boy Chief. Available for free if you subscribe to Amazon Prime. Watch it instead of this game. Penn State 28, Iowa 22 - AU Chief

The fried pop tart is delicious and probably my favorite state fair food. I take that back, I just remembered a guy made a fried thanksgiving dinner one time and that was out of bounds good (guy fieri voice). Penn state 21, Iowa 14 - Son of Crow

The sneaky team to watch in the Big 10 this year is Penn State. Not sure people realize how much talent is on this roster. Per 247 Team Talent Rankings, Nittany Lions have the 10th most talented roster in CFB sitting ahead of Auburn thanks to James Franklin’s strong recruiting. At the same time, it’s REALLY hard to trust Franklin to not frick something up along the way. Playing in Kinnick Stadium is not for the faint at heart and this just kinda feels like one of those Hawkeye night game spectaculars. I think Penn State is the better team but I am gonna take the Hawkeyes at home in another thriller where no one scores any points. Iowa 20 Penn State 17 - AU Nerd

Do you know how much of either of these teams that I’ve watched this year? None. But Big Ten football has regressed to a sludgy goo. I did hear that Penn State might not be bad, so I’m actually taking the over in this one. PSU 28, Iowa 16 - Jack Condon

Hawaii @ Boise State (-12.5) (O/U 60)

I’m very happy this one will occur mostly after Florida/LSU is done. Hawaii just plays a fun brand of football, and Boise State has been leaning on their defense most of this season. I think the Broncos force Hawaii into their game early, but we get fireworks late to hit the over. Solid back door cover potential here. Boise State 37, Hawaii 31 - James Jones

YES!!!! MOUNTIAN WEST AFTER DARK!! On paper, this is a heck of a ballgame as the Rainbow Warriors pull in to Boise with a 4-1, a loss to Washington the only blemish on a not too bad record. I mean they have a 2-1 Pac-12 mark this season (wins over Zona and Oregon State with the loss to Wash.). Meanwhile Boise is 5-0 including poundings of their last 3 and solid wins over FSU and Marshall to boot. I think the Broncos get the win but I don’t think they cover in what could be the showstealer game of the weekend! Rainbow Warriors and the points but Boise 38-31 - Drew Mac

Ryan Sterritt’s Hawaii Rainbow Warriors make their way to the blue turf this weekend to take on Boise this weekend. I haven’t watched a second of Boise football since their win in Tallahassee Week 1 but I see they continue to roll along. Sorry Ryan, but I’ve got to take Boise here. Boise State 41 Hawaii 27 - WIll McLaughlin

Now THIS is a football game you can drink to. Boise is on pace to be the cream of the G5 crop again this year, but Hawai’i possibly poses the largest stumbling block on their schedule. Nick Rolovich has turned the Bows into a really fun, likable program, and this would be a signature win for him here in year 4 at his alma mater. Unfortunately, I just don’t quite think they pull it off. Boise stomps out the upset late, 35-31 - Ryan Sterritt

Finally, a real game! I think I’ve picked against the murder Smurfs once already and it didn’t go well. I shan’t make that mistake again. Boise State 28, Hawaii 17 - Josh Dub

This should be a super fun game that is most likely going to be dictated by Boise State. They ain’t losing at home. Boise State 41 Hawaii 28 - Josh Black

This is a perfect nightcap for a day of watching college football (with maybe a movie thrown in). Hawaii is always fun to watch, as is Boise more often than not. I don’t think I have any real commentary to add to this one, and I think my 2 week old just peed on me while sleeping so I guess it’s time to give a score. Boise State 34, Hawaii 28 - AU Chief

It’s basically a turkey meatball, wrapped in dressing and mashed sweet potatoes then deep fried. Then you dip it in cranberry sauce. You guys, it’s incredible. Y’all should all go to the state fair some October in your life, because it is a food journey like no place on earth. Boise 50, Hawai’i 10 - Son of Crow

This game should be fun to watch. The Broncos have their own stud true freshman QB while Hawaii brings a darkhorse NFL prospect at QB in Cole McDonald. Both teams will put some points on the board and given Hawaii’s schedule to date, they won’t be scared of the moment. But the Murder Smurphs at home on the blue turf proves too much. Broncos 38 Hawaii 28 - AU Nerd

Boise = Uncle Rico. Hawaii = Napoleon. Take the steak, Rainbows. Boise blue turfs its way to a win in a game that most people will read about tomorrow. Boise 44, Hawaii 37 - Jack Condon