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College Football Week 7 Picks

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - OCTOBER 05: Phil Jurkovec #15 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs with the football in the second half against the Bowling Green Falcons at Notre Dame Stadium on October 05, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Finally, some zesty games with big names and intrigue. About damn time.

Season Records: Koster 35-23; Giuffra 30-28; Phillips 29-29; McKeone 30-28

Alabama (-17.5) at Texas A&M

Koster: Jimbo Fisher wanted to compete for a national championship. This will be the third legitimate national title the Aggies have played this year. All will show just how much far off TAMU is from realizing that dream. Two big problems here: Alabama's offense can't be stopped and its defense is going to feast on the home team. Alabama 48, Texas A&M 10

McKeone: I'd really like to imagine A&M covering the spread, but I just can't. Alabama 45, Texas A&M 21

Giuffra: Texas A&M has two games against ranked opponents this year and has averaged 15 PPG in those loses. Alabama can easily score 33 points on their defense. Alabama 42, Texas A&M 14

Phillips: Alabama is rolling and Texas A&M hasn't developed the way some expected under Jimbo Fisher. Yeah, the Aggies are at home, but I'm rolling with the Tide. Alabama 45, Texas A&M 17

Penn State (-4) at Iowa

Koster: Kirk Ferentz is super-scary at Kinnick, especially at night. That's why I won't hold last week's offensive abomination in Ann Arbor against his side. This should be a low-scoring affair in accordance with Big Ten law. James Franklin's side hit an absolute wall against Purdue and that doesn't portend good things against a stouter, healthier defense. Iowa 20, Penn State 14

McKeone: The Iowa-Michigan game from last weekend made my eyes bleed. Iowa had one (1) rushing yard. Penn State, on the other hand, has generally looked pretty good. Penn State 28, Iowa 24

Giuffra: Iowa just got shutdown by Michigan on the road, but at home it's averaging over 38.6 PPG. While it won't put up that many against Penn State, it should keep it close. Penn State 21, Iowa 20

Phillips: If this was at Happy Valley, I'd be taking Penn State, but Kirk Ferentz wins night games at home. The Hawkeyes are coming off a stinging loss to Michigan. I think they get right this week. Iowa 24, Penn State 17

Michigan State (+10) at Wisconsin

Koster: It's not hyperbole to say that this game will decide if Mark Dantonio still has any juice or has lost grip of the wheel. The Spartans' run defense will pose a great challenge for Jonathan Taylor and Jack Coan will have to step up to make big plays downfield. If you like grind-em-out affairs, you'll be salivating all over Big Ten Network and be rewarded with an upset. Michigan State 20, Wisconsin 17

McKeone: Sparty's defense seems well-equipped to give Jonathan Taylor some real troubles, but they won't be able to get anything going against the offense. That will sink them after a demoralizing loss to the Buckeyes. Wisconsin 28, Michigan State 13

Giuffra: The interesting thing about this game is both teams love to run the ball. The difference seems to be Wisconsin is better at breaking big plays. Regardless, the clock will be running, which will lead to a close game. Wisconsin 27, Michigan State 20

Phillips: Jonathan Taylor is dominating college football right now and the Badgers will be at home. I expect them win, but that's a big spread against a good defense. Still, I'll take Wisconsin. Wisconsin 28, Michigan State 17

Florida State (+26) at Clemson

Koster: In the immortal words of Mike Ryan: you know what, maybe. Maybe Willie Taggart finds a pulse on is team and the Seminoles play a competitive half. Stranger things have happened. Clemson 44, Florida State 20

McKeone: I could say an embarrassing loss would be the final nail in Willie Taggart's coffin, but I just don't know if he's fire-able with that contract. On the football front of things, they'll be calling for a mercy rule after three quarters. Clemson 62, Florida State 7

Giuffra: Is Willie Taggart still coaching Florida State? Ok cool. Clemson 52, Florida State 14

Phillips: Clemson is gonna roll, and this could be the game that finally seals Willie Taggart's fate. Clemson 56, Florida State 10

USC at Notre Dame (-11)

Koster: Clay Helton is coaching for his job but that motivation cannot fix the talent disparity. Let the Urban Meyer rumors escalate. Notre Dame 41, USC 28

McKeone: Ian Book is on a roll, and USC is falling apart. A tale of two programs will take place on Saturday, and the home team will run away with it. Notre Dame 31, USC 14

Giuffra: I think I got a USC pick right by going with Washington last week. The Trojans' stumble continues in South Bend. Notre Dame 38, USC 21

Phillips: USC's season essentially ended with a terrible performance at Washington. Clay Helton's teams are typically terrible in big games on the road. I can't see this turning out any better. Notre Dame 38, USC 24

Oklahoma (-11) vs. Texas

Koster: Jalen Hurts is the third coming and all that, but it's a rivalry game and weird stuff happens at state fairs. It is a major mistake for Lincoln Riley to not give his team a green-light to do Horns Down. At least as it pertains to covering. Oklahoma 31, Texas 22

McKeone: 11 points is an awfully high spread, and Lincoln Riley teams can be tripped up by lesser opponents in big games. Jalen Hurts will have a huge day and the Sooners will leave with a win, but it will be much closer than Vegas thinks. Oklahoma 45, Texas 40

Giuffra: Since 2013, this game has been decided by 11 or more points one time, and that was last year's Big 12 Championship after Texas beat Oklahoma in the regular season. Forget 11 points. There could be another upset here as Lincoln Riley's squad faces its first challenge of the season against a squad that went toe-to-toe with LSU and scored 38 on that defense. Texas 38, Oklahoma 35

Phillips: This might be the best game of the weekend. I love how Oklahoma has looked this season, but I don't think they top that spread. I've got the Sooners winning but in a close one. Oklahoma 41, Texas 38

Washington State (+3) at Arizona State

Koster: Arizona State's defense is legit. The Sun Devils are fresh off a big road win over Cal while the Cougars blew a game against UCLA then didn't even show up against Utah. The slide continues. Arizona State 35, Washington State 29

McKeone: I have an irrational belief in Mike Leach that I cannot explain but continue to indulge in. Washington State 38, Arizona State 30

Giuffra: Washington State seemed disinterested in football the last time we saw it play against Utah. Perhaps it's found its mojo again, perhaps not. But in a game of offense vs defense where the offense has two weeks to prepare, I'll bank on the latter being true. Washington State 34, Arizona State 31

Phillips: Arizona State is secretly an average football team that has a better record than its actual ability. Mike Leach will figure something out and pull out a win. Washington State 35, Arizona State 24

Florida (+13.5) at LSU

Koster: The Gators are getting no respect. And the weirdest thing is that I sort of get it. Joe Burrow has turned the Tigers' offense into a killing machine. Florida will struggle to keep up and the atmosphere in Death Valley will be appropriately lit. Bad recipe. LSU 39, Florida 10

McKeone: Florida did beat Auburn, but Joe Burrow is the real deal for LSU and it won't be the same mistake-filled frenzy that was last week in Gainseville. LSU 42, Florida 24

Giuffra: How does a team that just upset the No. 7 ranked team in the nation get 13.5 points? With their defense and LSU's penchant for blowing big games, I gotta wave those points in. LSU 31, Florida 30

Phillips: Florida looked terrible against Auburn, but the Tigers looked worse. LSU is going to win this one at home, but that's an enormous spread. I'm picking Bayou Bengals but it'll be closer than that number. LSU 34, Florida 24

Memphis (-4) at Temple

Koster: Lukewarm take. Memphis has no business in the national title conversation. Let's get real, folks. Temple 31, Memphis 29

McKeone: Going entirely off the recommendation of our coworker Geoff, I'm riding Memphis, baby. Memphis 59, Temple 30

Giuffra: Hot take: Memphis should be in the national championship conversation. They're undefeated, after all, and if UFC can make the claim, so can Memphis. Just kidding. Temple 22, Memphis 21

Phillips: Memphis keeps it going this week. The Tigers are 4-1 against the spread, so I'm relying on them to make me look smart. Memphis 38, Temple 24

South Carolina (+25) at Georgia

Koster: The Bulldogs needed a late flurry to meet the number against Tennessee and South Carolina is in much better shape than the Volunteers. Won't be close, of course, but the backdoor will fly open. Georgia 45, South Carolina 21

McKeone: This is almost a hilariously large spread, but the 'Dawgs are at home and are feeling themselves after a 5-0 start. Georgia 49, South Carolina 10

Giuffra: Georgia and South Carolina have historically played close games, or at least based on this spread. Since 2010, only two games have been decided by 20 or more points. I'll say that trend holds, barley. Georgia 38, South Carolina 14

Phillips: Georgia is 5-0 against the spread and South Carolina is 2-3. That tells me Georgia over-performs expected values. I'm taking the Bulldogs to obliterate the Gamecocks at home. Georgia 45, South Carolina 14