This probably isn’t the first time you’ve seen someone make this joke this week, and definitely not the first time you’ve heard this in your life, but I guarantee the Oklahoma Sooners will not lose today. On the other hand, achieving a win today is literally impossible.
Welcome to the BYE WEEK.
To quickly recap the past seven days, OU left the Cotton Bowl golden hatless, Mike Stoops was dismissed, Ruffin McNeill was promoted to interim defensive coordinator, and Bob Diaco now coaches the outside linebackers. With so many changes in a short amount of time, this bye week really couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
Head on down to the comments section for the day’s thread, where we’ll be asking questions, making predictions and discussing the college football action with y’all.
That brings us to today. While the Sooners won’t be on the field, there are plenty of intriguing matchups on the national scene that will greatly impact the College Football Playoff race. Also, there are at least a couple of juicy Big 12 contests that will be key towards determining the two representatives for the conference title.
Now let’s see what’s on today’s slate!
GAMES TO WATCH
Nebraska (0-5) at Northwestern (2-3) - 11:00 a.m. CT, ABC
Scott Frost and the Cornhuskers have a real chance to pick up their first win of the season on the road against the Wildcats. Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern squad is well-coached, but all three losses have come at home. It’ll be close in the fourth, but I see the Huskers squeaking out the win, finally.
Pittsburgh (3-3) at 5 Notre Dame (6-0) - 1:30 p.m. CT, NBC
The Fighting Irish are heavy favorites at home in this one, but the .500 Panthers have been giant killers in recent seasons. In 2016, they took down No. 2 Clemson, and last season it was No. 2 Miami who was slain. Will it happen in South Bend today? That’s doubtful. Can it happen? Abso-freaking-lutely. In the end, I see ND winning this one going away, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it remain relatively close beyond the first half. Still, Sooner fans ought to be rooting mighty hard for Pitt in this one (as if they needed an excuse to root against Notre Dame).
2 Georgia (6-0) at 13 LSU (5-1) - 2:30 p.m. CT, CBS
This game between UGA and the Tigers is hugely important for one reason and one reason — if LSU wins, it greatly diminishes the SEC’s chances of sending two teams to the CFP for the second season in a row. Because of that, Oklahoma fans need to hope Ed Orgeron’s Bayou Bengals come up big and defeat Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs. Georgia has the better team, but I actually see LSU rising up defensively, largely shutting down Georgia’s offense, and QB Joe Burrow will make just enough plays to nab the victory.
7 Washington (5-1) at 17 Oregon (4-1) - 2:30 p.m. CT, ABC or ESPN2
The Huskies have demolished the Ducks the last two seasons by a combined score of 108-24, and that comes after 12 straight Oregon wins in the series. Not only will the loser of this game likely be eliminated from CFP contention, NFL scouts will have their eyes all over this one when Oregon’s offense is on the field. QB Justin Herbert is being projected as one of the top signal callers for next year’s draft (who should he forgo his senior season), and UW’s defense is one of the very best in the nation and has plenty of NFL talent. It would benefit Oklahoma in the rankings if Washington were to catch that L in Eugene, but I have Washington walking out of Autzen with the win.
Baylor (4-2) at 9 Texas (5-1) - 2:30 p.m. CT, ESPN
I’m personally going to root against Texas in every game the rest of the way. I don’t care for a rematch. If it happens, it happens, but I can’t make myself root for them just for that reason. Baylor’s best shot in this one is for Tom Herman’s squad to come out completely flat because they’re experiencing a hangover. In all seriousness, if it turns into a shootout, the Bears could make this one a lot more interesting, but if not, Texas will suffocate BU slowly and painfully.
6 West Virginia (5-0) at Iowa State (2-3) - 6:00 p.m. CT, FS1
It’s the Riot Bowl! Two fan bases whose past times both include heavy drinking and lighting things on fire. Those two elements are essential for a proper riot, so what could be a better name for this budding rivalry? The Mountaineers are 5-1 against the Cyclones since joining the Big 12 in 2012, with that lone loss being a high-scoring, overtime thriller in Morgantown to cap the 2013 season. Under Matt Campbell, Iowa State has become a legitimate force to be reckoned with, taking down both Oklahoma and TCU last season, and Oklahoma State in Stillwater last week. This is my official upset pick of the week! The ‘Clones will be rioting all night long. Mark it down.
15 Wisconsin (4-1) at 12 Michigan (5-1) - 6:30 p.m. CT, ABC
The primetime matchup of the night will be at Big Blue under the lights. Like the UW-UO game, this one will be a virtual playoff eliminator for the loser. If Wisconsin wins, there’s a chance the Badgers could jump Oklahoma in the rankings, depending on what happens with Nos. 13 and 14. Since their Week 1 loss on the road to Notre Dame, the Wolverines have typically looked like the team experts projected them to be, with strong defense and a balanced offense. I think the home crowd will give Jim Harbaugh’s bunch enough energy to thwart Wiscy’s rushing attack and seal the victory.
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