No. 1 Alabama is off, and so is No. 2 Clemson. Even so, there’s a terrific game to watch when Auburn plays at Florida.
That’s a perfect matchup for 2:30 p.m. on CBS. My condolences to Auburn fans who hate CBS color analyst Gary Danielson. Maybe he’ll say some nice things about your team Saturday.
When it’s over, there’s time to get to JSU Stadium for Jacksonville State’s home game against Tennessee State.
Let’s get to the picks:
No. 7 Auburn (5-0) at No. 10 Florida (5-0): Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks is out for the year, but backup Kyle Trask actually has better passing numbers. He’s completed 77.3 percent of his passes and thrown five touchdowns to two interceptions.
He’s compiled his numbers against Towson, Kentucky, Tennessee and Tennessee-Martin — hardly a murderers’ row. Also, I believe in Bo Nix and a rejuvenated Gus Malzahn, who’s play-calling stretches defenses from sideline to sideline and vertically downfield. … Auburn 27, Florida 24.
Tennessee State (1-4) at Jacksonville State (3-2): This is an important game for Jacksonville State. Head coach John Grass laid down the expectations for his team after last week’s 52-33 loss at Austin Peay.
He is demanding JSU play like a more physical team that shows more life and energy. If the Gamecocks come out uneven and lackluster as they’ve done in all five previous games, that’s not good news. At all. … Jacksonville State 34, Tennessee State 12.
No. 6 Oklahoma (4-0) at Kansas (2-3): Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts has played better than any quarterback in the country, completing 49 of 61 passes for 880 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions. He has rushed 36 times for 390 yards and four touchdowns.
Still not sold that Hurts is really that good. Has he improved that much from 2017 when he had an inconsistent final season as Alabama’s starter? Is he just a system guy playing for a powerhouse in a weak conference? Still, previous transfer starters Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray are starting in the NFL, and I’m starting to wonder if Hurts will make it three-for-three next season. … Oklahoma 52, Kansas 20.
No. 3 Georgia (4-0) at Tennessee (1-3): Georgia’s bye week came at a good time, as the Bulldogs got last Saturday off after a draining 23-17 win over Notre Dame. These days, a trip to Knoxville is kind of like a bye week. The Bulldogs are favored by 24.5. … Georgia 42, Tennessee 14.
No. 14 Iowa (4-0) at No. 19 Michigan (3-1): Still waiting for Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh to take over the country and challenge Nick Saban as college football’s best coach. Harbaugh can’t even take over Iowa, which has won five of its last six over the Wolverines. … Iowa 24, Michigan 20.
No. 25 Michigan State (4-1) at No. 4 Ohio State (5-0): Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields has thrived at Ohio State. In 95 passing attempts, he hasn’t been picked off. He also has 13 touchdown passes while scoring six of his own. … Ohio State 35, Michigan State 14.
Troy (2-2) at Missouri (3-1): Troy has had an amazing run of success against Power Five schools. The Trojans beat a bad Nebraska team last year and a decent LSU team in 2017. They lost by only six to the 2016 Clemson team that won a national title.
They also have beaten Oklahoma State (2007), Mississippi State (2001) and this week’s opponent, Missouri (2004). Picking Missouri but doing so cautiously. ... Missouri 38, Troy 21.
Utah State (3-1) at No. 5 LSU (4-0): We keep waiting for LSU quarterback Joe Burrow’s numbers to drop. He has thrown 17 touchdown passes and completed 80.6 percent of his passes. He ranks second nationally in passing efficiency, just behind Hurts and just ahead of Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. ... LSU 52, Utah State 21.
No. 11 Texas (3-1) at West Virginia (3-1): This is one of those games where teams sort out who’s going to challenge Oklahoma for the Big 12 championship. Texas’ only loss is to LSU by a touchdown. West Virginia, which starts former Oklahoma quarterback Austin Kendall, got waxed at Missouri. ... Texas 31, West Virginia 22.
No. 15 Washington (4-1) at Stanford (2-3): It’s too bad Pac-12 games are always on TV so late because it’s conference championship race is always interesting. Washington is 1-1 in the league, which is tied for second in the North Division with California. Oregon is 1-0. Cal already has scored a one-point win at Washington, which has former Georgia star Jacob Eason starting at quarterback. ... Washington 31, Stanford 21.
Last week: 9-1. Missed on Austin Peay’s win over Jacksonville State.