#15 Brigham Young at #45 Michigan – BYU fell just short of upsetting UCLA in Pasadena last week, eventually falling to the Bruins 24-23. Now, for the 4th straight week, the Cougars face off with another Top 50 foe, #45 Michigan. BYU has recorded the Nation’s most difficult schedule thus far on the season by playing #48 Nebraska, #20 Boise State and #5 UCLA. Resurgent Michigan has played well under first year head coach Jim Harbaugh, recording a 2-1 record with the lone loss on the road to unbeaten Pac 12 contender Utah. This game will go a long, long way in determining the eventual success of the 2015 season for both teams. A win in Ann Arbor Saturday and BYU could possibly be favored in every remaining game on their schedule. An 11-1 season record for this team would be a tremendous achievement and make the Cougars a very attractive Bowl team. Michigan on the other hand desperately needs to win this game to keep momentum going into a very difficult Big 10 schedule which includes Northwestern, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Ohio State. The Cougars are a solid team and have played extremely well in some very hostile environments. They seem to thrive on the energy of big games and I don’t feel this team will be intimidated in the Big House. The Wolverines are better coached and more disciplined this season, but will that be enough to beat the Miracle Man Tanner Mangum? Maybe so, but I believe BYU is on a mission. Brigham Young 29 Michigan 24.
#7 TCU at #34 Texas Tech – This game has upset written all over it. The Frogs are finding it difficult to live up to media hype and must go on the road to face a hot Texas Tech team fresh off a big win over the Razorbacks in Fayetville. TCU will face better teams this season for certain, but this may be their most difficult task in terms of preparation and keeping focus. One thing for sure, we’ll find out about the real character of this TCU team. Are they really National Championship Contenders? I’m sticking with the Purple Froggies, but by the skin of their little Horned Frog chins. TCU 35 Texas Tech 34.
Pac 12 Shakedown – Conference play starts in high gear this week with multiple high profile games that will shape division titles. Four unbeaten streaks are on the line. #5 UCLA travels to #30 Arizona, the winner taking an early season lead in the Southern Division. Tuscon has traditionally been a tough spot for the Bruins, losing 4 of their last 5 trips there. #16 Oregon hosts #18 Utah, #22 Arizona State hosts #25 USC, and #33 California travels to #44 Washington. Here goes nothing:
UCLA 45 Arizona 38
Oregon 31 Utah 24
Arizona State 35 USC 34
Washington 38 California 35
#11 Texas A&M vs #53 Arkansas in Arlington – The Aggies are a surprise 3-0 after handling the Sun Devils in Houston for the season opener. Arkansas is a shocking 1-2 after losing to Toledo and Texas Tech. I’m not sure what has happened to the Hogs, who were projected to be a surprise team in the SEC West by many prognosticators. Well, they are certainly surprising everyone. Looking at the remainder of their schedule, I question whether Arkansas will even be bowl eligible. I expect the Razorbacks to play hard, with a lot of character against their old SWC foe, but I believe the Aggies are a better team. Texas A&M 31 Arkansas 28.
#29 Tennessee at #27 Florida – The Vols are still smarting from the overtime home loss to Oklahoma, but a win over hated rival Florida in Gainesville would go a long, long way toward healing that memory. This game could easily ultimately decide the SEC East, depending on how both of these teams fare against Georgia in upcoming games. It’s unbelievable to see this stat, but Tennessee has lost 10 straight to the Gators, not having won since back to back wins in 2003-2004. I think Tennessee wants this one bad, and although they are playing in the Swamp, I believe the Vols will win a close one. Tennessee 35 Florida 27.
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