1. Top games
With conference play beginning this week for many teams, there are a handful of matchups between top 25 entrants. They include: No. 12 Georgia at No. 23 Mississippi; No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 8 Michigan State; No. 19 Florida at No. 14 Tennessee; and No. 17 Arkansas at No. 10 Texas A&M. And don’t forget about No. 7 Stanford’s trip to unranked UCLA for a matchup of two teams picked by media to win their respective divisions this season.
2. You should watch Louisville, too
The No. 3-ranked Cardinals visit Marshall this week for what should be a blowout, but you should take advantage of every opportunity to watch Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. He’s rushed for 464 yards and 10 touchdowns in three games, passed for another 913 yards and eight touchdowns and has leapt to the front of the Heisman conversation. Last week, after he shredded Florida State for 146 yards rushing and four touchdowns, Michael Vick tweeted that Jackson is “five times” better than Vick was at Virginia Tech. In other words, you really have to see this dude play.
3. Watch out for San Diego State
The Aztecs debuted in the polls this week at No. 22, and a glance at their remaining schedule inspires belief they could run the table in the Mountain West; they don’t face another ranked team, nobody else in the league has looked particularly impressive, and they don’t have to play against Boise State. Plus, they have the nation’s leading rusher, Donnel Pumphrey, who has rushed for 599 yards and seven touchdowns on just 73 carries.
4. Pick of the week
If you were to do such a nefarious thing as gamble on college football, you could do worse than betting on Oregon to cover a 9 1/2-point spread this week at home against Colorado. Sure, the Buffaloes looked fine for two quarters at Michigan last week and have so far played pretty well. But Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau is banged up, and while Oregon lost a pair of key players for the season — receiver Devon Allen and left tackle Tyrell Crosby — the Ducks still have far more firepower than Colorado.
5. Actually, one more
See that over/under of 84 points for the California vs. Arizona State game? Bet the over. Cal has scored 40 or more points in each of its games so far and has twice allowed 43 or more points. ASU scored 68 points against Texas Tech and gave up 55. Both teams work quickly. The scoreboard operator will be asking for relief by halftime of this one.