By Matt Straub and Brad Carroll
The Saturday slate of Week 10 college football games is so big we had to break it into three parts, with 16 total matchups to preview and pick against the point spread. Below we have seven of the biggest games in the 3:30 window, including No. 1 Georgia, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 15 Iowa State all in action, plus three more matchups featuring ranked teams playing each other, No. 4 Clemson at No. 20 NC State, No. 21 Stanford at No. 25 Washington State and No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State.
It’s going to be a wild Saturday, so make sure to stock up on food and drinks and sit back and enjoy it all. Our late afternoon start time previews and picks are below. Make sure to check out our noon game previews and picks here and our Saturday night previews and picks here.
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South Carolina at No. 1 Georgia, 3:30, CBS
Spread: Georgia -24
Matt’s Breakdown: It’s a new season for Georgia starting today. The Bulldogs have gone from a good story and a potential contender to the team tabbed by the committee as the top team in the country. Now Georgia becomes the hunted, which requires a whole new mentality. The Bulldogs aren’t trying to ruin someone else’s year anymore, they are trying to keep theirs going. Now Georgia gets the chance to make a statement by beating a South Carolina team which has won three in a row and has scored more than 32 points a game during its streak. Georgia does it with its ground game, featuring two great backs. The difference here is Georgia can do it on both sides of the ball, and its defense will be more than enough to send South Carolina tumbling again.
Brad’s Final: Georgia 38, South Carolina 17 (South Carolina)
Craig’s Final: Georgia 42, South Carolina 17 (Georgia)
Glenn’s Final: Georgia 45, South Carolina 20 (Georgia)
Matt’s Final: Georgia 35, South Carolina 10 (Georgia)
No. 6 Ohio State at Iowa, 3:30, ESPN
Spread: Ohio State -17
Matt’s Breakdown: Like Georgia, Ohio State has to make a statement here. The Buckeyes picked up a huge victory over Penn State last week and put themselves in prime position to earn a playoff spot. The last time they were in a good position, however, they choked it away almost immediately. Can the Buckeyes put together another impressive performance against an Iowa team good enough to make them work for a win? The answer comes down to which J.T. Barrett shows up. The guy who put away Penn State would hammer Iowa. I have trouble believing he’s around two weeks in a row, however. The Buckeyes win, but it’s not as easy as people think.
Brad’s Final: Ohio State 45, Iowa 20 (Ohio State)
Craig’s Final: Ohio State 37, Iowa 13 (Ohio State)
Glenn’s Final: Ohio State 56, Iowa 24 (Ohio State)
Matt’s Final: Ohio State 37, Iowa 24 (Iowa)
Wake Forest at No. 3 Notre Dame, 3:30, NBC
Spread: Notre Dame -14
Matt’s Breakdown: We’re getting toward the time of year where ESPN makes up names for the week’s slate of games. This one should be about statements. Notre Dame’s inclusion in the first set of four potential playoff teams by the selection committee was the most controversial, and the Irish have a chance to make the doubters look bad by going out and annihilating an inferior team, which is what championship-level teams do. Wake Forest has had some good moments this year, but the win over Louisville doesn’t mean much this year, and losing to Florida State in 2017 isn’t something you can take positives from. The early excitement is over for the Demon Deacons, who get rolled by Notre Dame’s clicking offense.
Brad’s Final: Notre Dame 42, Wake Forest 21 (Notre Dame)
Craig’s Final: Notre Dame 44, Wake Forest 24 (Notre Dame)
Glenn’s Final: Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 20 (Notre Dame)
Matt’s Final: Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 20 (Notre Dame)
No. 4 Clemson at No. 20 NC State, 3:30, ESPN
Spread: Clemson -7.5
Matt’s Breakdown: This might be the toughest game of the early slate to pick. The Tigers look back on track after a week off and a big win to help heal the sting of the upset loss to Syracuse. The selection committee, however, told us by ranking Clemson fourth this week that the Tigers have the most to lose with a loss, and their shot at another national championship ends if they slip again. Quarterback Kelly Bryant is healthy again, which is great news for the Tigers. The Wolfpack, meanwhile, can still get to the ACC title game and have the most to prove of anyone in the country this week. Was last week’s clunker against Notre Dame a bad game, or were some of their early wins a mirage? N.C. State probably isn’t as bad as it looked last week, but they aren’t on Clemson’s level, either.
Brad’s Final: Clemson 35, NC State 24 (Clemson)
Craig’s Final: Clemson 45, NC State 27 (Clemson)
Glenn’s Final: Clemson 42, NC State 28 (Clemson)
Matt’s Final: Clemson 31, NC State 21 (Clemson)
No. 15 Iowa State at West Virginia, 3:30, ESPN2
Spread: West Virginia -2.5
Matt’s Breakdown: If all the committee looked at was quality wins, Iowa State might be in the playoff discussion. The Cyclones have beaten two teams which were in the Top 5 at the time in the last four weeks. No one else has done that in the last six years. Not even Alabama. An early loss to a tough team in Iowa and a narrow setback against Texas are the only things keeping Iowa State from being the biggest surprise in the country. This isn’t the same team which struggled early in the year. Iowa State is officially dangerous. As for West Virginia, the Mountaineers have burned me too many times, and have found ways to blow too many big games. Yes they’re tough, but call me when they get it done when it matters.
Brad’s Final: Iowa State 35, West Virginia 31 (Iowa State)
Craig’s Final: Iowa State 34, West Virginia 30 (Iowa State)
Glenn’s Final: Iowa State 27, West Virginia 13 (Iowa State)
Matt’s Final: Iowa State 35, West Virginia 30 (Iowa State)
No. 21 Stanford at No. 25 Washington State, 3:30, FOX
Spread: Washington State -2
Matt’s Breakdown: This one is a contrast in styles. Stanford has a spectacular running back in Bryce Love, even though Stanford is probably too far down the list of contenders to help Love win the Heisman. Love missed last week’s game, and if he doesn’t play here the Cougars roll. Washington State is more pass-happy, but quarterback Luke Falk struggled mightily last week, getting pulled from the game. Another question mark is the weather, which might be lousy. If so, and if Love plays, that’s enough for the Cardinal. But that’s too many ifs for me. Give me the better team.
Brad’s Final: Washington State 27, Stanford 23 (Washington State)
Craig’s Final: Stanford 24, Washington State 21 (Stanford)
Glenn’s Final: Washington State 35, Stanford 30 (Washington State)
Matt’s Final: Washington State 28, Stanford 24 (Washington State)
No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State, 4, FS1
Spread: Oklahoma State -3
Matt’s Breakdown: The Big 12 is the most competitive conference in the country, if not the best. This whole conference could be considered Bedlam, which is the name of this rivalry. It’s a battle between two interesting quarterbacks who don’t get the attention the ones on the west coast do, but are capable of leading their teams to big wins. It’s also essentially an elimination game in the Big 12, which is experiencing a huge logjam at the top. The loser is likely out of the running, while the winner is in a position to move into the national title picture if there’s any more chaos. The Cowboys have a slightly better quarterback, so that’s the way to lean.
Brad’s Final: Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 35 (Oklahoma)
Craig’s Final: Oklahoma State 45, Oklahoma 38 (Oklahoma State)
Glenn’s Final: Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 40 (Oklahoma)
Matt’s Final: Oklahoma State 42, Oklahoma 35 (Oklahoma State)