By Brad Carroll and Matt Straub
The early slate of the Week 6 schedule for college football is highlighted by a team nobody thought would be a contender this year, but has made their way into the early College Football Playoff conversation. TCU, currently ranked No. 6 in the nation, is undefeated at 5-0 and has beaten then-No. 6 Oklahoma State and then-No. 23 West Virginia in its last two games. The Horned Frogs play at Kansas State this week in a game that could continue their springboard up the rankings, or cause a huge crash.
Overall, our four college football experts preview and pick against the point spread the biggest games of the afternoon slate right here. Check out our Friday night previews and picks here and our Saturday evening previews and picks here.
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No. 6 TCU at Kansas State, 12, FS1
Spread: TCU -4.5
Matt’s Breakdown: Few, if any, teams in the country have had a better two-game stretch than TCU, which has beaten Oklahoma State and West Virginia during that span. The Horned Frogs have erased the bad taste of last season and earned their way back into the College Football Playoff picture with the wins. Now all they’ll have to do is avoid a letdown against a Kansas State team which has competitive losses against the only solid teams they’ve played. The Wildcats haven’t done enough to make me think they’ll be as competitive in this one, however. It’s close, but not that close.
Brad’s Final: TCU 35, Kansas State 28 (TCU)
Craig’s Final: TCU 31, Kansas State 21 (TCU)
Glenn’s Final: TCU 24, Kansas State 17 (TCU)
Matt’s Final: TCU 35, Kansas State 21 (TCU)
No. 17 Michigan at Indiana, 12, ABC
Spread: Michigan -6.5
Matt’s Breakdown: Once again, the Wolverines’ offense couldn’t get out of its own way long enough to keep Michigan in the national title picture. Sure, Jim Harbaugh’s squad could get back in with some wins and help, but they won’t get those wins unless they find an offense they can trust. Fortunately, Michigan has the best defense in the country, which should be more than enough to extend their winning streak over the Hoosiers to 22. Indiana’s offense isn’t good, and you can’t struggle offensively and beat the Wolverines.
Brad’s Final: Michigan 24, Indiana 17 (Michigan)
Craig’s Final: Michigan 27, Indiana 13 (Michigan)
Glenn’s Final: Michigan 20, Indiana 10 (Michigan)
Matt’s Final: Michigan 28, Indiana 17 (Michigan)
Georgia Tech at No. 11 Miami, 3:30, ABC
Spread: Miami -6.5
Matt’s Breakdown: Miami has some wins which look good on paper, and the pollsters love to give the Hurricanes the benefit of the doubt whenever they can. Miami, however, was incredibly fortunate to win last week against a struggling Florida State team which lacked much offensive punch. Can Miami put it together and bury an inferior team? The Hurricanes haven’t done that consistently in more than 10 years. Throw in the triple option, and I don’t see Miami prepared for this one. They win, but it’s close all day.
Brad’s Final: Miami 38, Georgia Tech 30 (Miami)
Craig’s Final: Miami 27, Georgia Tech 21 (Georgia Tech)
Glenn’s Final: Miami 27, Georgia Tech 20 (Miami)
Matt’s Final: Miami 30, Georgia Tech 21 (Miami)
No. 10 Auburn at LSU, 3:30, CBS
Spread: Auburn -6.5
Matt’s Breakdown: One of the good parts about losing early is the time available to come back. In the meantime. However, you can get lost in the shuffle, which is what’s happened with Auburn. The Tigers hardly give up any points, and LSU hasn’t showed much ability to score any. LSU did get its act together long enough to win a big game against Florida, but that was a low-scoring affair. To pull off another win, the Tigers will have to win a shootout, which they won’t.
Brad’s Final: Auburn 28, LSU 17 (Auburn)
Craig’s Final: Auburn 34, LSU 20 (Auburn)
Glenn’s Final: Auburn 17, LSU 13 (LSU)
Matt’s Final: Auburn 31, LSU 14 (Auburn)
No. 12 Oklahoma vs Texas at Dallas, 3:30, ESPN
Spread: Oklahoma -7.5
Matt’s Breakdown: Rivalry games are always difficult to predict, and games involving these two teams can be chaotic. The Sooners suffered a home loss as a double-digit favorite for the seventh consecutive year last week. Is Oklahoma the team which handled Ohio State or the group which lost to Iowa State? Meanwhile, the same Texas team which gave up 51 to Maryland to open the season has put together some solid defensive efforts since and has shown resilience with two double-overtime games already under its belt. Texas’ run defense makes this interesting, but the Sooners are too motivated to let another get away.
Brad’s Final: Oklahoma 45, Texas 38 (Texas)
Craig’s Final: Oklahoma 41, Texas 28 (Oklahoma)
Glenn’s Final: Oklahoma 42, Texas 28 (Oklahoma)
Matt’s Final: Oklahoma 38, Texas 27 (Oklahoma)
Baylor at No. 14 Oklahoma State, 3:30, FS1
Spread: Oklahoma State -26
Matt’s Breakdown: The Cowboys are trying to stay in the Big 12 picture and on the fringe of the playoff discussion, but will have to avoid a letdown Saturday to do so. The Bears are no longer the team which lost to Liberty, having put together two strong showings in conference play. Yes they were both losses, but Baylor is pesky enough to make you think about whether they can stay within four scores. Quarterback Zach Smith has given the Bears a new look, and Baylor might just have enough to stay within shouting distance here. Mason Rudolph will have another big day for Oklahoma State, but it might not be enough to matter to some.
Brad’s Final: Oklahoma State 56, Baylor 20 (Oklahoma State)
Craig’s Final: Oklahoma State 56, Baylor 24 (Oklahoma State)
Glenn’s Final: Oklahoma State 64, Baylor 20 (Oklahoma State)
Matt’s Final: Oklahoma State 49, Baylor 31 (Baylor)