By Brad Carroll
The College Football Playoff rankings finally debuted Tuesday and there was no shortage of controversy. Ole Miss was too high. Notre Dame was too low. The SEC has too many teams in the top four. Where is Marshall? While all of those complaints, and lots more, may be true, the rankings will sort themselves out over the next several weeks, at least we all hope it will.
One of the teams in playoff position, No. 2 Florida State, will look to keep its spot in the national championship hunt with a game Thursday night in primetime against No. 25 Louisville. Every game means just a little bit more now with the rankings released, and the first features the Seminoles, just one of two remaining undefeated teams, facing a huge road test.
We preview and our college football experts pick the game against the spread. Check back here for all of our Saturday previews and picks and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on all of our college football news, analysis and spread selections.
No. 2 Florida State at No. 25 Louisville, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
The Spread: Florida State -5; Louisville +5
Brad's Breakdown: Florida State just can't escape trouble off the field, as running back Karlos Williams is being investigated by police for an alleged domestic battery. While Tallahassee police are investigated it, the lawyer for the woman in question says she never filed a report and wants the whole thing to "blow over." Williams is still expected to play in this game, but it's yet another problem the Seminoles have to talk about instead of just focusing on what could be their biggest challenge remaining to play for a second straight national championship. Louisville has the nation's top overall defense (245.8 yards per game) and fourth in points allowed (14.6). They also have 15 interceptions in eight games. Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino has his new (and old) team at 6-2, with losses coming at Virginia and at Clemson. Petrino, in his two stops at Louisville, is 26-1 at home as head coach. It all will be tough going for Florida State's offense, which has struggled for most of the season to put up points as it did in winning the national championship last year. Jameis Winston, last year's Heisman trophy winner, has just 13 touchdowns passes and six interceptions. The big key for Florida State could be how Williams responds to his off-field troubles. Louisville has its own star running back in Michael Dyer, the former Auburn runner, who rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown in his first start two weeks ago against North Carolina State. Louisville is tough to beat at home, but Florida State is tough to beat anywhere. The Seminoles keep their undefeated season alive.
Brad's Score: Florida State 27, Louisville 20
Craig's Score: Florida State 28, Louisville 17
Glenn's Score: Florida State 48, Louisville 27
Matt's Score: Florida State 28, Louisville 27
Brad Last Week: 5-7-1 (spread), 11-2 (straight-up), 0-0 (upset picks)
Brad Season: 52-54-1 (spread), 80-27 (straight-up), 5-5 (upsets)
Craig Last Week: 4-8-1 (spread), 10-3 (straight-up), 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig Season: 47-59-1 (spread), 76-31 (straight-up), 5-8 (upsets)
Glenn Last Week: 5-7-1 (spread), 10-3 (straight-up), 0-1 (upset picks)
Glenn Season: 57-49-1 (spread), 80-27 (straight-up), 6-6 (upsets)
Matt Last Week: 5-7-1 (spread), 10-3 (straight-up), 0-0 (upset picks)
Matt Season: 53-53-1 (spread), 79-28 (straight-up), 3-4 (upsets)