Simply put, this is what we do best. As evidenced by our "Most Accurate BCS Predictions" title, we take pride in our season previews and weekly game picks. As we have done each week since we launched the site, the two of us will analyze, preview, and predict the results of the best SIX games each week.
New this season: if your team's game didn't make the cut here, our conference experts have you covered. Find the links (on the RIGHT) for further analysis for every conference game not shown on this page, along with Heisman discussion and our weekly Deion Sanders Award for the Best Pick Six of the Week.
Enjoy your Football Weekend!
NORTH CAROLINA AT DUKE
A rivalry game that ultimately decides a Power 5 division champion, what more could you ask for? If Duke wins, a game against the lowly Demon Deacons of Wake Forest is all that stands in the way of a second consecutive ACC Championship game appearance. If North Carolina wins, Georgia Tech will win the Coastal as the only team with just two losses. Duke has followed the same blue print as last year: play smarter than the opponent and win close games. Against Miami, the Blue Devils were simply overmatched. However, Duke is not the team it once was. It’s not one good quarterback and a couple good receivers. The entire team has elevated its talent and now Duke is even reeling in some top-notch recruits. Duke has simply been the superior team in its wins. Break them up! If Larry Fedora wants to stay off the hot seat and prevent Duke from really owning this state, a win here would be monumental. The Tar Heels have struggled defensively and lost close games. Marquise Williams has been solid this year, but sky-high expectations in the preseason hurt his image. Williams is capable of having a big day and opponents have to hope they are not the unlucky victim. Against a very good Clemson defense, Williams threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns. On the opposite side of the ball, Duke’s defense has been good, not great. North Carolina should score points, but will the defense do just enough to not lose the game? Virginia Tech blitzed a lot in its win over Duke. The Hokies have a good secondary allowing Bud Foster to do so, which cannot be said for UNC. If North Carolina can limit Duke to 35 points like it did to a good Pittsburgh offense last week, I think the Tar Heels will steal this victory. North Carolina was a late-season team in 2013 winning 5 of its last 6. That lone loss was against Duke in a game they let slip away. Not only is this game a rivalry game, but it’s also a revenge game for the fighting Fedoras. North Carolina 38 Duke 34
KANSAS STATE AT WEST VIRGINIA
Kansas State travels to Morgantown where the Mountaineers will host a Top-12 team for the 4th time this season. WVU has already knocked off Baylor, and if not for extremely conservative 4th-quarter playcalling by head coach Dana Holgorsen, they could have knocked off TCU as well. Their next visitor is Kansas State, led by legendary head coach Bill Snyder who actually appeared on the College Football Hall of Fame vote ballot this season – a rare feat for someone whose career is still active! The Wildcats had their own dream season shattered two Saturdays ago by TCU. I expect Snyder to refocus his troops and their leader under center, Jake Waters. He is both an efficient passer, and an effective runner who adds an extra dimension that WVU must account for. Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton have become a solid one-two punch at receiver, but WVU boasts a star wideout of their own in Kevin White (3rd in nation). KSU boasts the stronger defense and I feel they will be motivated after the TCU embarrassment. Look for #12 KSU to bounce back and prove Vegas wrong (3 point underdogs).
Kansas State 31 West Virginia 27
ARIZONA AT UTAH
The Pac-12 South boasts 5 teams in the Top 25 while the much-hyped SEC West has just 4. I’m not saying it is the stronger division, but just one that isn’t getting the national attention it deserves. Arizona (5-2 in P12) needs some help but still has a shot at earning a trip to the title game. But regardless, the task at hand is no slouch – a trip to Rice-Eccles Stadium to face the gritty Utes. Both Rich Rodriguez and Kyle Whittingham have done remarkable coaching jobs this season, and have brought their teams back to bowl season. The crazy part is that these teams could still finish 4th and 5th in a division, despite both being ranked in the Top 20 nationally.
For Utah, this is the final leg of a brutal 5-week gauntlet; they were able to bounce back from the 51-27 blowout loss to Oregon to beat Stanford last week. Now with homefield advantage, look for the Utes to earn another tough conference win. The Utes will feed Devontae Booker the ball at least 25 times, and will hold their breath hoping that the good Travis Wilson shows up, not the bad decision-making Travis. Utah will find another way to scrape out a victory.
Utah 20 Arizona 17
WISCONSIN AT IOWA
I had the chance to be in Camp Randall Stadium last Saturday, and what a perfect moment to experience my first ever “Jump Around” in Madison. On the final play of the 3rd quarter, Melvin Gordon broke off a 26-yard touchdown that broke the FBS record for rush yards in a game (408 yards). The combination of the record-breaking run, and that it was Wisconsin’s SEVENTH straight touchdown in the blowout division title win over #11 Nebraska made the start-of-the-4th-quarter tradition even more special. Badger fans claimed it was their best “Jump Around” ever – and for good reason! Gordon now finds himself in the Top 2 of the Heisman race, already at 1910 yards, and looks well on his way to finishing with one of the greatest rushing seasons ever. Overall, Wisconsin may just be the hottest team in the nation; their last 4 wins have all been blowouts with a combined score of 182-47. But dreaming of the conference title and the Heisman, Wisconsin must not overlook Iowa. Despite the 3-loss record, Iowa still has enough grit to pull an upset, especially against a rival at home in Kinnick Stadium. As usual the Hawkeye defense rates in the top 30 nationally, but the offense simply lacks the firepower. Look for Wisconsin to roll, and for Gordon to rush for ONLY 200 yards.
Wisconsin 48 Iowa 20
LOUISVILLE AT NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame has seemingly fallen off the face of the map and Louisville has always been a fringe top-25 team all season. However, this game has pretty big implications. Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Duke are being talked about as the likely candidates to represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl, hinging on Florida State’s selection to the College Football Playoff. But Louisville and Notre Dame—which is part of the ACC’s bowl package—both have a big-time bowl games to play for, including the Orange Bowl. The highest ranked team would represent the conference, and with Georgia Tech’s upcoming game against Georgia, Clemson’s matchup with South Carolina, and Duke’s game tonight against North Carolina, the winner of this game could be in great position to be the highest ranked team after FSU. Notre Dame also has tie-ins such that they can still be selected for the Orange Bowl if another ACC team gets the automatic berth, among other nice bowl game tie-ins. In short, this game is still big and still nationally relevant. While Will Gardner will not play for the Cardinals, DeVante Parker’s return has been a Godsend to this offense. Parker already leads the team in receiving in only three games played and will demand double teams as he may just be the best receiver in the nation. Notre Dame’s defense will need to account for Parker at all times, which should open up lanes for Michael Dyer and Brandon Radcliffe. But the true headliner in this game is Notre Dame’s explosive offense led by Everett Golson facing Louisville’s top notch defense. Todd Grantham has done a wonderful job with this defense, which allows only 285 yards per game. Tarean Folston has emerged as the lead back, averaging over 5 yards per rush. He has flashed greatness and will give Louisville something it hasn’t truly seen this year: a balanced offense. Lorenzo Mauldin is questionable; his status will be something to monitor as we near gametime. In the end, I believe both offenses do better than expected. Notre Dame, along with Florida State, is certainly the best offense this defense has faced all year. In South Bend with its back against the wall, Notre Dame runs away… Notre Dame 31 Louisville 20
USC AT UCLA
Since USC ran up the score in the infamous 50-0 beatdown (2011), UCLA has won the last two meetings and looks to defend its City Title Saturday night. The 2-loss Bruins somehow find themselves in the Top 10, while both squads are still alive in the 4-team race for the Pac12 South title. UCLA controls its own destiny, while USC would need a win here and another Arizona State loss. Before title game scenarios can heat up, these two Los Angeles powers need to square up and settle 365 days of bragging rights.
The teams are similar in many ways in addition to their close proximity. Both feature extremely efficient quarterbacks; Cody Kessler and Brett Hundley have the two highest completion percentages in the Power 5 conferences. Both have a 1000-yard rusher in the backfield (Buck Allen and Paul Perkins). And both quarterbacks have a dangerous core of playmaking receivers in their arsenal. USC has a better rush defense, but both secondaries have struggled at times this season – an expected side effect of playing against elite Pac12 passing attacks each week. One of our cornerstone picks in August was USC winning the Pac-12 South – I was the only one in the nation to say so. I just simply was never a buyer of the UCLA hype machine, and still am not; 5 of their 8 wins are within 1-score to inferior opponents. While USC has shown up flat to its fair share of games this season, I still stand by my prediction, and have more faith in the Trojans. Kessler, Allen, and Agholor will be not be stopped by a defense that gave up 34 and 37 to Cal and Colorado.
USC 37 UCLA 31
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