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Bold predictions for Week 7 in college football  5 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

Unpredictable events are often the norm during the college football season.

The USA TODAY Sports college football staff — Jace Evans, Paul Myerberg, George Schroeder, Erick Smith and Eddie Timanus — weighs in with some bold predictions for the games during Week 7.

The Pac-12 will find itself eliminated from the College Football Playoff discussion completely. This has sort of already happened, but after Saturday’s games it will be confirmed weeks before the first playoff rankings are even released. Colorado is the league’s only unbeaten team, but it faces a tough challenge in Los Angeles against a USC team that is talented, but certainly a work in progress. While a great story, you have to assume the Buffaloes will lose some games before the end of the season, and this week’s matchup seems like it could be the first L of the year. Meanwhile, Washington – the Pac-12’s only realistic hope at the playoff – has already seen its resume dented by Auburn’s subsequent two losses and generally poor showings in the weeks following the Tigers’ win in their season opener. The Huskies were already a playoff long shot thanks to things outside their control – Notre Dame’s excellent start and their Pac-12 rivals stumbling chief among them – but a second loss would end their hopes entirely. The pick this week is for Oregon to beat Washington in Eugene, meaning that for the third time in four seasons the Pac-12 will be on the outside of the playoff looking in.

Wisconsin will beat Michigan as an eight-point underdog, which is a big enough pregame spread that a win would qualify as an upset. The Badgers haven’t been great thus far, with a loss to Brigham Young on their record and some pretty big issues on defense, especially defending the pass. Nebraska put up more than 500 yards of offense last week, for example. But this is a chance for Wisconsin to save its season and reassert itself as a College Football Playoff contender. I think the Badgers do just that and get a huge win on the road.

Two years after the longest winning streak in the history of a very heated rivalry was emphatically ended – you might recall, Washington hung 70 points on Oregon at Autzen Stadium – the Ducks will snap their two-game losing streak to the Huskies.

Washington’s defense is really good. But Justin Herbert will lead Oregon to a victory that probably ends the Pac-12’s realistic (and already faint) playoff hopes, but signals the Ducks are on their way back as a conference contender.

To beat Central Florida, you're going to have to score points. That shouldn't be a problem for Memphis.

The Tigers have scored more than 50 points in three of their last four games. Brady White has thrown for 1,549 yards and 15 touchdowns with one interception. They also have running back Darrell Henderson, who is averaging a ridiculous 11.8 yards per carry.

So what stands in the way of Memphis ending the Knights' 18-game winning streak? Defense. The Tigers will need to slow down UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton first. He's one of the underappreciated stars of college football.

This should be a shootout and one of the best games of the weekend. The home crowd should be enough to Memphis across the finish line.

Will Texas experience a Red River hangover?

Sometimes, the most dangerous game after a big win is the next one. The Longhorns needed everything they had to stave off Oklahoma for the program’s biggest win to date in the Tom Herman era. But Baylor is not the pushover it appeared to be when the schedule first came out. The Bears come into Austin at 4-2, already a significant improvement on second-year coach Matt Rhule’s 1-11 debut. Baylor didn’t exactly hang with Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago, but it did put up 33 points against the Sooners, then bounced back to take down Kansas State.

In the end, Texas won’t lose. But don’t be surprised if the Longhorns are a little slow out of the gate. Expect this to be close for much longer than Texas fans would like.

 

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