By Brad Carroll
It doesn’t have the same luster as in years past, but the rivalry game between Michigan State and Michigan is still must-watch and rightfully has the primetime window on national television Saturday night. In addition to that matchup, No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Washington will be in action seeking to improve their Playoff standing, plus ranked teams Virginia Tech and San Diego State will be looking to make statements.
As always, our four college football experts have you covered with previews, breakdowns and picks against the point spread for the biggest games of the night below. Check out our Saturday afternoon game previews and picks here and our Thursday night game preview and picks here. Make sure to follow us on Twitter as well.
No. 1 Alabama at Texas A&M, 7:15, ESPN
The Spread: Alabama -26.5
Glenn’s Breakdown: Jalen Hurts is the star of the show for Nick Sabah and the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide. They put up 66 points in an absolute decleating of Ole Miss, winning by 63. That is an amazing number and not at all Bama-like. Can they win by a huge margin again this week? Yes, but I'm not banking on that. Alabama will dominate but I'm taking Texas A&M and the points.
Brad’s Final: Alabama 38, Texas A&M 17 (Texas A&M)
Craig’s Final: Alabama 38, Texas A&M 10 (Alabama)
Glenn’s Final: Alabama 35, Texas A&M 13 (Texas A&M)
Matt’s Final: Alabama 49, Texas A&M 17 (Alabama)
No. 16 Virginia Tech at Boston College, 7:15, ESPN2
The Spread: Virginia Tech -16
Glenn’s Breakdown: Virginia Tech was finally back on the main stage last week, and unfortunately for fans of the Hokies, couldn't hang with the second-ranked Clemson Tigers. Virginia Tech might be good, but it isn’t Playoff good yet. Boston College will provide a nice snap-back game, as the Hokies will cover the point spread.
Brad’s Final: Virginia Tech 35, Boston College 10 (Virginia Tech)
Craig’s Final: Virginia Tech 31, Boston College 14 (Virginia Tech)
Glenn’s Final: Virginia Tech 31, Boston College 14 (Virginia Tech)
Matt’s Final: Virginia Tech 63, BC 20 (Virginia Tech)
Michigan State at No. 7 Michigan, 7:30, ABC
The Spread: Michigan -13.5
Brad’s Breakdown: John O’Korn gets the start at quarterback for Michigan, in place of injured starter Wilton Speight, but that could be just what the Wolverines offense needs to have that breakthrough on offense. The Wolverines defense is great, as it usually is, and has and will continue to make up for any deficiencies on offense, at least until the opponents get that much better. Michigan State rebounded from a beatdown loss against Notre Dame at home to knock off Iowa, which was coming off a near-upset of Penn State. This is the game that gets Michigan some serious respect in the chase for a College Football Playoff spot.
Brad’s Final: Michigan 42, Michigan State 14 (Michigan)
Craig’s Final: Michigan 38, Michigan State 17 (Michigan)
Glenn’s Final: Michigan 31, Michigan State 10 (Michigan)
Matt’s Final: Michigan 28, Michigan State 20 (Michigan State)
California at No. 6 Washington, 10:45, ESPN
The Spread: Washington -27
Brad’s Breakdown: Washington coach Chris Petersen isn’t happy with television always having his team play night games, but just think of us on the East Coast, who will have to stay up until way after 2 a.m. to see the finish. Last year, quarterback Jake Browning threw for 378 yards and six touchdowns in a 66-27 Washington win over Cal. This year’s version should go just about the same, with Browning taking advantage of a terrible Cal pass defense, leading the Huskies to a huge win at home on the national stage, no matter the time.
Brad’s Final: Washington 63, California 20 (Washington)
Craig’s Final: Washington 45, California 14 (Washington)
Glenn’s Final: Washington 42, California 20 (California)
Matt’s Final: Washington 49, California 30 (Washington)
No. 19 San Diego State at UNLV, 10:45, ESPN2
The Spread: San Diego State -10.5
Brad’s Breakdown: This is a statement game for San Diego State, which is ranked and gets the national television stage to prove it’s good enough to be considered for a College Football Playoff berth, however unlikely. The Aztecs are 5-0, with the last four victories coming against Arizona State, then-No. 19 Stanford, Air Force and Northern Illinois. That’s impressive. UNLV is 2-2 with wins over Idaho and San Jose State and losses to Howard and Ohio State. The Running Rebels score 36.5 points per game, but allow 31.5 points and 488.5 yard per game on defense. San Diego State takes advantage and gets another important victory.
Brad’s Final: San Diego State 34, UNLV 21 (San Diego State)
Craig’s Final: San Diego State 28, UNLV 14 (San Diego State)
Glenn’s Final: San Diego State 47, UNLV 28 (San Diego State)
Matt’s Final: San Diego State 56, UNLV 35 (San Diego State)