The calendar has finally turned to October. Some people call it Fall, some call it Spooky season, but us sports fans know it as the un-official start football season. The weather starts to get crisp, chili is in the crockpot, and football is on TV every night Thursday-Sunday. Who knows if the NCAA and NFL planned for this first weekend of October to have such a great slate of games but who cares, get excited.
Friday October 1st
#5 Iowa (4-0) @ Maryland (4-0) - 8:00 PM EST
Iowa -3 | O/U 47.5
Rarely do we have a chance to see an upset alert of a top 5 team on a Friday night in college football. But tonight Maryland (22nd in the country in offensive yards per play) is looking to stay undefeated against #5 Iowa's defense which gives up the 3rd fewest yards per play in the country. The Hawkeyes have already won one big road test this season, beating Iowa State 27-17. A Friday night in Maryland just has a different vibe to it. Tua's brother, Taulia Tagovailoa is the quarterback of the Terrapins and he is having a stellar season so far. They have some decent wins against West Virginia and @ Illinois. Tonight is going to going to be the true test for Maryland. Tagovailoa is completing over 75% of his passes this season along with 10 TD's and only 1 interception, but he's yet to face a defense like Iowa. The Hawkeyes will try and keep this game boring to escape with a win, Maryland will need to do everything they can to open it up and make Iowa get in a shootout with them.
#13 BYU (4-0) @ Utah State (3-1) - 9:00 PM EST
BYU -9 | O/U 65
Ranked teams going on the road to an unranked opponent on a Friday night do not have a good track record. The students always show up ready for these games and keep the building energized. For Utah State, this and Boise State are the 2 games they have circled on their calendar all year. They lost to Boise State 27-3 last weekend, so they will be looking to bounce back here and ruin BYU's season. BYU is undefeated with wins against 2 ranked teams (Utah and ASU), but none of their wins have come by more than 10 points. BYU should win this game but we have seen that this season in college football anything can happen.
Saturday October 2nd
Maybe the greatest non-conference championship weekend of college football ever?
#8 Arkansas (4-0) @ #2 Georgia (4-0) - 12:00 PM EST
ARK +17.5 | O/U 50
It's been awhile since Georgia played a good team. You could arguably say that Week 1 against Clemson didn't end up being as important as we thought, so the last time they played against a quality opponent was last season in the Peach Bowl against Cincinnati. Arkansas on the other hand has 2 huge wins this season (Texas and Texas A & M). If this game was in Arkansas I would be on the Razorbacks to win, but I think it will be tough to go to Athens and pull off the upset. The fact that it's a morning game definitely gives Arkansas an advantage, we'll just have to wait and see how much. JT Daniels is going to need to play better than he did against Clemson in Week 1 for the Bulldogs to stay undefeated.
#14 Michigan (4-0) @ Wisconsin (1-2) - 12:00 PM EST
#7 Cincinnati (3-0) @ #9 Notre Dame (4-0) - 2:30 PM EST
CIN -1.5 | O/U 50.5
I have been a huge supporter of Cincinnati this season because of their legitimate College Football Playoff chances if they are to go undefeated. At first this game at Notre Dame looked less helpful for the Bearcats after the Irish barely beat Florida State and Toledo the first few weeks. But after a huge win last week against Wisconsin, this game just got a lot bigger for both programs. The winner of this game is going to most likely get into the playoff if they win out, and the loser will have to settle for a regular old bowl game. Cincinnati is coming off of a bye week, meaning they had 2 weeks to prepare for Notre Dame, while ND had to focus on beating Wisconsin last week. There are no excuses for Desmond Ridder and co. Make a name for yourself. Go to South Bend, beat Notre Dame, and the only other competitive game on your schedule isn't until November 20 at home against SMU.
#12 Ole Miss (3-0) @ #1 Alabama (4-0) - 3:30 PM EST
ALA -14.5 | O/U 79.5
Can we just take a second to look at the total Vegas set for this game? 79.5 points? Are you kidding me? It makes sense but it is just crazy to see that number on paper. Alabama is again the best team in the country, but their 2-point win against Florida proved that they were beatable. If anyone can do it, it's Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss. We have seen that in the last few years the only way to beat Saban and Alabama is to outscore them, and that is exactly what Ole Miss is going to try to do. They are averaging over 52 points per game and Bama is averaging over 46 points per game. I have no clue if Ole Miss is actually good enough to contend here. They have a great quarterback in Matt Corral but it seems like too many people like Ole Miss here. Saban is sitting in his office hearing all the whispers that his old assistant is going to come back and beat him. The classic student vs teacher. I'm just hoping to see some fireworks and a close game.
#3 Oregon (4-0) @ Stanford (2-2) - 3:30 PM EST
#6 Oklahoma (4-0) @ Kansas State (3-1) - 3:30 PM EST
#10 Florida (3-1) @ Kentucky (4-0) - 6:00 PM EST
#21 Baylor (4-0) @ #19 Oklahoma State (4-0) - 7:00 PM EST
OK St -4 | O/U 47
Although they haven't been talked about much both of these teams can still tell themselves they have College Football Playoff chances. Win this game, beat Texas and Oklahoma, make it to the BIG 12 Championship and see what happens. Baylor has another tough game against BYU in a few weeks as well. It feels like it's time to see someone other than Oklahoma win the BIG 12. With Texas already losing to Arkansas earlier this year, the door is open for one of these 2 teams. Baylor is in a letdown spot after a big win against Iowa State last week, but those playoff chances could keep them focused enough to put up a fight here.
#22 Auburn (3-1) @ LSU (3-1) - 9:00 PM EST
Arizona State (3-1) @ #20 UCLA (3-1) - 10:30 PM EST
I'm not going to breakdown every game because there's just too many to choose from. 6 of the top 10 teams go on the road this week, 4 of which are either playing another ranked opponent or an undefeated opponent. We should all sit back, grab a cold one, not leave the couch for 12+ hours, and hopefully witness anarchy in the college football world.
Sunday October 3rd
Take the morning, sleep off your crazy Saturday night, just make sure you're ready by 1 PM all the way through Sunday Night Football.
Browns (2-1) @ Vikings (1-2) - 1:00 PM EST
CLE -2 | O/U 51.5
The Vikings could easily be 3-0 this season, but they're not, they're 1-2 which is all that matters. This is a big test for them against a Browns team that we know is going to be in contention this year. Cleveland's only loss is to the Chiefs...weirdly Kansas City's only win so far. Minnesota is hoping to have Dalvin Cook back but he's questionable as of now.
Panthers (3-0) @ Cowboys (2-1) - 1:00 PM EST
DAL -4.5 | O/U 52
I am going to copy and paste this exact blurb for the Ravens/Broncos game. We have a 2-1 team that we know what to expect from. They are usually successful in the regular season and should be in playoff contention all year. The 3-0 team is the one we have questions about. They have played a pretty easy schedule so far, so this week we will find out if they are the real deal or not. (Christian McCaffrey being out for Carolina is a game-changer)
Cardinals (3-0) @ Rams (3-0) - 4:00 PM EST
LAR -4.5 | O/U 54.5
This is the game of the week in terms of on the field product. We should be in for a show with these 2 offenses. If Aaron Donald and the Rams D-line can get pressure to Kyler Murray we will get to see his little legs scramble around and make amazing plays all game. Matthew Stafford is now tied for 2nd favorite in MVP voting, only behind Kyler. A huge game for division standings and a possible bye in the first week of the playoffs. Normally this early I wouldn't be thinking about the playoffs but these are definitely 2 of the top 5 teams in the NFC, so seeding matters.
Ravens (2-1) @ Broncos (3-0) - 4:25 PM EST
BAL -1 | O/U 45
I am going to copy and paste this exact blurb for the Ravens/Broncos game. We have a 2-1 team that we know what to expect from. They are usually successful in the regular season and should be in playoff contention all year. The 3-0 team is the one we have questions about. They have played a pretty easy schedule so far, so this week we will find out if they are the real deal or not.
Buccaneers (2-1) @ Patriots (1-2) - 8:20 PM EST
TB -7 | O/U 49
The cherry on top of this amazing weekend of football is Tom Brady's return to New England. Brady vs Belichick with a chance for Brady to break the all-time passing yards record. The Bucs are a far better team than the Patriots and normally this game would be a dud if not for the situation. The fans are going to be going crazy for Brady (and Gronk) all night and I expect a ton of former players to be in attendance. I think Tom is going to take this chance to show everyone that it was always him that was the main piece winning all their Super Bowl's, not Coach Belichick. Tampa Bay should win anyways, but I don't think Brady is going to show any mercy.