*Co-authored with Ishaan Chatterjee ’17
- Florida State
- Texas A&M
- Michigan State
- Ole Miss
- Notre Dame
- Mississippi State
- Southern California
- South Carolina
- Oklahoma State
- East Carolina
- Kansas State
- Ohio State
Hot or Not
Hot: Brady Hoke’s Seat
Michigan’s Brady Hoke is in hot water now after an abysmal start to the season and a decision to keep quarterback Shane Morris in the game after he showed concussion-like symptoms. The decision sparked outrage among the college football community, with many calling for Hoke’s firing. His 2-3 record this season includes home losses to Utah and Minnesota, which doesn’t help his case, if there even is a case for him to stay.
Not: Florida State
FSU should have dominated their game at North Carolina State. Jameis Winston should have put in a Heisman-caliber performance against a team which is 72nd in the nation in scoring defense. But instead, the game was a shootout between Wolfpack quarterback Jacoby Brissett and Seminole quarterback Winston, largely caused by Winston’s poor first half. FSU left Raleigh with a win, but their flaws were exposed; all a team has to do is stop Winston, and the Seminoles are beatable.
UCLA earned a much-needed win against Arizona State. Before the game, they had won three close games that should have never been as close as they were. Even though Arizona State’s star quarterback Taylor Kelly did not play due to injury, a win in the Pac-12 is still important.
Not: South Carolina
SC already has 2 SEC losses in its first 3 conference games. In the wide-open SEC East, though, they will likely have to go undefeated to have a shot at the division crown. That won’t be easy, as they still have Auburn, Tennessee, and Florida on their schedule. To make matters worse, they lost to a Missouri team coming off an upset courtesy of Indiana. Indiana, in turn, was coming off an upset by Bowling Green before the game. With that logic, Bowling Green is better than South Carolina. It’s a sad, sad time in Columbia now.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State, 12 PM EST, ESPN
Kenny Hill engineered a clutch comeback last week against Arkansas, and MSU is coming off a win in Death Valley against LSU. Dak Prescott and Kenny Hill will continue to impress Heisman voters with their dual- threat abilities, but A&M’s defense will be the deciding factor.
Prediction: A&M 45-31
Alabama at Ole Miss, 3:30 PM EST, CBS
In this SEC West duel, two of the best defenses in the country square off. Both teams have skilled quarterbacks to complement the defense, so something has to give. This time it will be Ole Miss’ defense, as Amari Cooper, TJ Yeldon, and Derrick Henry carry the Crimson Tide to a 5-0 start.
Prediction: Alabama 38-14
Stanford at Notre Dame, 3:30 PM EST, NBC
Notre Dame has a golden opportunity to make a statement to be considered as a College Football Playoff contender as an independent team. With a loss, though, Notre Dame will be brushed aside come time for the committee to pick the 4 teams for the inaugural playoff. Stanford needs this win as well, to regain its footing before another conference game.
Prediction: Notre Dame 17-10
Nebraska at Michigan State, 8:00 PM EST, ABC
Michigan State’s defense has been outstanding, with the exception of its loss to Oregon; so, however has been Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska’s Heisman candidate running back. The winner will probably win the conference, barring any major injuries or upsets.
Prediction: Michigan State 28-16