How good was final week? Again to five-wide this week because the picks roll on into October.
All strains courtesy of SI Sportsbook. Final week: Forde 4–3, Johnson 3–4. Season: Forde 12-10-1, Johnson 10-12-1.
USC (-21.5) at Colorado
Johnson: Colorado. Oregon uncovered CU final weekend and left little doubt. I don’t suppose the Trojans have the power to flatten the Buffs with their protection like Oregon was in a position to. USC struggles to deal with, CU offensive coordinator Sean Lewis has already discovered methods to get his gamers in area and exploit defensive deficiencies, particularly with operating again Dylan Edwards. There’s additionally a extreme backdoor cowl ingredient right here for the second week in a row I wish to respect.
Forde: Colorado. This week’s Residence ’Canine Competition begins in Boulder. The Oregon sport was an ideal storm of unhealthy for the Buffaloes. From the damage to two-way star Travis Hunter to occurring the highway in opposition to an excellent opponent after enjoying a double-OT rivalry sport that ended after midnight the week earlier than, Colorado was weak, and the Geese had been supremely pumped to place the Buffs of their place. This week, the scales tip a bit of nearer to even. Again at house, at altitude and enjoying in opposition to a protection that offers up yards and factors, Colorado ought to at the very least be on this sport. I do not suppose the Buffs win, however I do suppose they cowl in a high-scoring affair. (Additionally, for many who dismissed the Buffs’ 3–0 begin because the product of unhealthy competitors, all three defeated opponents are undefeated since then—TCU is 3–0, Nebraska is 2–0, Colorado State is 1–0.)
Michigan (-17) at Nebraska
Johnson: Michigan. It’s nearly like Michigan has a template for these video games. They rise up, they keep up and so they choke the life out of the sport. They’ve principally performed the identical sport 4 weeks in a row to this point this season. Make that 5.
Forde: Nebraska. The Wolverines haven’t been on the highway but, and so they’re taking over the No. 1 speeding protection within the Large Ten. For a staff constructed on establishing the run, it gained’t be straightforward. Nebraska’s quarterback change from error-prone Jeff Sims to Heinrich Haarberg ought to at the very least give them one of the simplest ways to remain within the sport—limiting turnovers. Two years in the past in Lincoln, Michigan barely escaped with a victory that springboarded it towards the playoff. Michigan will win once more this time, however it is perhaps one other full-game battle.
Georgia (-14) at Auburn
Johnson: Georgia. I anticipate Auburn to have a bit of razzle-dazzle to open this sport, as a result of it’ll want it to maneuver the ball on Georgia. However ultimately, the cream rises to the highest. There’s simply no method Auburn’s quarterback state of affairs can sustain over the course of the sport, even when issues begin properly.
Forde: Georgia. The Bulldogs have been sluggish starters, showing a bit uninterested in the extent of competitors they’ve confronted to this point and figuring out there’s greater sport to hunt later within the yr. This opponent ought to get their consideration—not as a result of the Tigers are good, however as a result of they’re a rival and this can be a highway sport in some of the deafening stadiums within the land. So I don’t anticipate Complacent Georgia when this one kicks off. I’ll be a bit shocked if Auburn scores greater than 10 factors on this sport.
LSU (-2.5) at Ole Miss
Johnson: LSU. The Tigers are higher than the unit you noticed in Week 1 in opposition to Florida State; in reality they’re significantly better. Ole Miss has no issues with unhealthy groups, however when the expertise cranks up, they don’t observe go well with … and so they gained’t right here.
Forde: LSU. Lane Kiffin is an unserious coach, and I’m not selecting him in opposition to a critical counterpart. Jaxson Dart might be able to discover some holes within the Tigers’ secondary, however not as many as Jayden Daniels will discover within the Rebels’. And do not look now, however Harold Perkins is cranking up his Minister of Mayhem Act once more (three tackles for loss, two sacks and two pressured fumbles the previous two video games).
Alabama (-14.5) at Mississippi State
Johnson: Alabama. Alabama’s wounded and dynasty dying blah blah blah. Put it aside for per week. This Bulldogs staff is present process a extreme makeover. Alabama’s expertise is just too nice, particularly on protection, for me to be involved a couple of severely retooling unit and not using a clear identification to press the Tide’s protection.
Forde: Alabama. The Crimson Tide has lined 5 straight in opposition to the Bulldogs. Let’s make it six. Mississippi State’s protection, ranked thirteenth out of 14 within the SEC, might assist Alabama proceed to get properly offensively. Nonetheless a protracted strategy to go to win the West, however sweeping (and protecting) in opposition to the Mississippi faculties is a strong begin.