Will anything be able to top “Shake Up Saturday” from last week? I doubt it, especially this week since they games don’t have as many implications behind them. However, a few injuries could end costing some of the teams at the top of the polls this week.
Who is in trouble? Where should your eyes be this weekend? Let’s find out.
ACC: No. 20 Georgia Tech at Duke
Georgia Tech is reeling after that loss to Notre Dame last week. Offensively, they couldn’t get anything going until late in the game and their defense had a lot of trouble stopping the run. Patrick Skov had a big week last week and he must continue that if the Yellow Jackets want to avoid the upset.
Quarterback Thomas Sirk is quietly having a magnificent year for the Blue Devils. Aside from one mistake late in the game against Northwestern, he had the Wildcats on the ropes for much of the contest. One of these two teams are more than likely your ACC Coastal Champions and this game could decide that. I think the Yellow Jackets avoid the upset and roll to a victory late in the game.
Georgia Tech wins, 34-17
American Athletic Conference: Cincinnati at Memphis (THURSDAY)
This game could very well be an early preview of the first ever AAC Championship game. The Tigers are doing all they can to stay relevant in the conference right now and Paxton Lynch is looking like one of the best quarterbacks you haven’t heard of this year.
Put it this way, Lynch, or any of the Memphis quarterbacks for that matter, have thrown an interception all year long. The Bearcats’ defense hasn’t snagged but two interceptions in three games. That doesn’t make for a very good recipe for the Bearcats. If the Tigers set the tone early, they should be able to cruise a victory tonight.
Memphis wins, 41-21
Big 12: No. 3 TCU at Texas Tech
Can you say “trap game”? That is exactly what this is for the Horned Frogs this week. The team hasn’t been going out and putting up basketball numbers like they have been known to do in the past. The Red Raiders have been on a roll as of late and they got a huge win over Arkansas last week.
Kliff Kingsbury has the Raiders thinking upset this week, but it may just be a little too early for them to catch the Horned Frogs slipping. Trevone Boykin is a Heisman candidate for a reason and he should show that off in a shootout in Lubbock this week.
TCU wins, 48-47
Big Ten: Western Michigan at No. 1 Ohio State
I know some people who would LOVE to call this a trap game for the Buckeyes, but I just can’t see the Broncos putting up that much of a fight. This game is really only on here for people to see how the defending national champions react after just sneaking by Northern Illinois last week.
Cardale Jones got benched for J.T. Barrett last week and he has been named the starter once again. He should come out and play pissed off. I’d expect him to light up the sky a few times Saturday afternoon. Watch out, this one could get ugly.
Ohio State wins, 55-17
Conference USA: Middle Tennessee State at Illinois
The Blue Raiders have put 70+ points on the board twice this season with the only game they didn’t do that being against Alabama. Quarterback Brent Stockstill is one fire right now as he is tied with Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly for the most touchdowns this year. That is some pretty good company to be involved with.
He may have met his match this week though as the Fighting Illini have allowed only three passing touchdowns all year, which all came last week against North Carolina. This could be an interesting game that has some elements for an upset. That being said, Stockstill should be able to throw just enough touchdowns to help his team to a big win.
Middle Tennessee wins, 28-24
MAC: Ball State at No. 21 Northwestern
The Cardinals, even in defeat, have put up some pretty good numbers in all of their games this year. Their offense has looked electric for most of the season, so they should be able to come into Evanston and give the undefeated Wildcats all they can handle.
For Pat Fitzgerald’s club, defense has been the name of the game for some time now and this year has been no different. They have come out and played terrifically on that side of the ball as they just allowed their first touchdown of the season last week against Duke. They should be able to come out and play just as well against Ball State before opening up conference play next week.
Northwestern wins, 27-9
Mountain West: Hawaii at No. 19 Wisconsin
The Rainbow Warriors played very well in the first half against Ohio State when they went to Columbus a few weeks ago. They just need to learn how to finish games and they could be sitting at 3-0 right now. If Max Wittek can come out and eliminate some of his mistakes, they could give the Badgers a game this week.
The Badgers have been desperately trying to regain their credibility after their embarrassing loss in Week 1 to Alabama. This could be another pivotal week for the Badgers as they inch closer to conference play. Joel Stave comes out and has a big game against a suffering Hawaii defense.
Wisconsin wins, 42-14
PAC-12: No. 13 UCLA at N o. 17 Arizona
This is clearly the game of the week as College Gameday makes their way into Tucson. However, I look at this being the game of the week for a completely different reason. The Bruins have just lost their most talented player in Myles Jack for the entire season due to knee injury. That coupled with the possible return of Scooby Wright screams upset for me this week.
The Wildcats have been trying to show that they belong in the CFP discussion all season long and this could be the win they needed to show just that. The Wildcats pull off a major upset and climb into the Top Ten this week.
Arizona wins, 28-21
SEC: No. 23 Tennessee at Florida
If anyone is going to beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the East this year, it’s one of these two teams. The Volunteers come into the always hostile Swamp in Gainesville this week to try and pull out a big win in the SEC. Joshua Dobbs has looked absolutely phenomenal this year and he should be able to continue that against the Gators.
For the Gators, everything seems to have been smoothed over between Jim McElwain and Kelvin Taylor, so that is a big plus. Taylor showed up and showed off last week against Kentucky, despite the team only recording 14 points. That was enough for their defense to stifle the Wildcats and they should be able to do the same thing this week as the Gators move to 4-0 and climb into the Top 25.
Florida wins, 20-17
Sun Belt: Arkansas State at Toledo
The Red Wolves’ offense has always been fun to watch and this year has been no different. They have been getting better and better each week since their embarrassing 55-6 loss to USC in Week 1. They even almost went into Columbia and beat SEC East power Missouri. They hope to get a big win over Toledo this week.
The Rockets had some trouble holding off the comeback of Iowa State last week, but they pulled out the win in overtime. A team that has two big wins over Power Five conference teams surely doesn’t want to let a Sun Belt team come in and beat them right? They can’t overlook the Red Wolves and Phillip Ely must be ready for a challenge this week. This game should be a lot of fun to watch.
Toledo wins, 38-35
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports