With Oklahoma’s loss to Kansas State on Saturday as favorites of more than 3 TD’s, the College Football Playoff picture now looks fairly cut and dried.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and LSU who are all still undefeated are the obvious top four teams who would be competing in the playoffs if the season were to end today.
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Alabama will match up against LSU in two weeks in what I’m sure will be billed as the “Game of the Year” by many pundits. The loser of that massive game is likely still in the playoff mix even as a one-loss team.
The Sooners are now in a position where they are going to need a large amount of chaos to get themselves back into the top four. Oklahoma being in the Big 12 combined with the Sooners’ much lighter strength of schedule to this point means the road for them to get back into the playoff is an uphill one. Their loss has opened the door for whoever loses that Alabama/LSU game to still make the playoff as a top-four entry and potentially without an SEC Championship.
Notre Dame and Auburn took their names entirely out of the playoff conversation as both of them suffered their second loss of the season this past weekend. The playoff picture in just one week is much clearer and it looks once again like the chances for multiple SEC teams to be in the playoff are very real.
Here are my picks for this week:
Kansas State at Kansas, Total 58: I cashed with Kansas Over the total last week in this article and I believe it’s worth riding again here.
Kansas named Brent Dearmon as their new offensive coordinator two weeks ago during their bye and the results have been strong in two games since the change at OC with the Jayhawks scoring 48 and 37 points in their last two games which both soared Over the total against Texas and Texas Tech.
Kansas QB Carter Stanley is leading a balanced, faster-paced attack in two games since the change has been able to move the football and put up points in bunches.
Kansas State comes into this game after their best offensive performance of the season in their stunning 48-41 upset win against Oklahoma. Wildcats QB Skylar Thompson had one of his most efficient passing performances while the K-State RB duo of James Gilbert and Jordon Brown ran for 168 yards and should do significant damage here against a porous Kansas run defense that is allowed 222 rushing yards per game at 4.9 yards per carry. Expect plenty of points. OVER
SMU +6 at Memphis, Total 70.5: This matchup of AAC titans will be your ABC Saturday Night Football national TV game and it has the potential to be a terrific game.
Both teams possess fast-tempo, explosive offenses with two QB’s playing at a very high level right now in Shane Buechele for SMU and Brady White for Memphis. SMU is still undefeated and I’m surprised the money has poured in against them this week. The Mustangs have the better defensive stats than the Tigers in terms of yards per play allowed and SMU has accumulated it against a slightly tougher strength of schedule as well compared to what Memphis has faced.
SMU also has an impressive outright win as road ‘dogs at TCU on their resume. I like SMU plus the points here and the Over which is a combined 13-3 in games played by these two teams this season. SMU & OVER
Middle Tennessee State at Charlotte, Total 63.5: Charlotte is 7-1 to the Over in its eight games this season. The only Under came in a game against Western Kentucky which has arguably the best defense in Conference USA this season.
The 49ers have a solid and balanced offense with QB Chris Reynolds, RB Benny LeMay and a talented lead WR in Victor Tucker and they have piled up the big plays and points at an impressive clip of 31.9 points per game this season.
Unfortunately for Charlotte, the defense, which was actually pretty decent last season, has been a disaster. Charlotte is allowing 39.3 points per game on average and will be up against a surging Middle Tennessee State offense that has scored 80 points in its last two games combined.
The Blue Raiders rely more on their ground game which should have tons of success against the 49ers, who are yielding 200 yards per game on the ground at nearly 5 yards per rush. Charlotte game totals have been badly mispriced far too low all season. OVER
Last week: 2-1