Oh Alabama and Clemson, we’ve missed you so. Both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams had last Saturday off, but return to the gridiron this Saturday.
As usual the Crimson Tide and the Tigers are both double-digit favorites. Clemson is a 27-point pick over Florida State at home. Alabama is on the road at Texas A&M, but is still laying 16.5 points.
Other feature games this Saturday are LSU hosting Florida, and Penn State at Iowa. A couple of rivalry games are on tap as well. Notre Dame hosts USC, and Oklahoma travels to Texas for the Red River Showdown.
Alabama, Clemson Continue Big Spread Trend
Alabama and Clemson have cruised to 5-0 records so far this season, and this weekend doesn’t appear to signal any upset alerts. The Crimson Tide has the bigger test. They are traveling to play the No. 24 Aggies, and the 16,5 points is 1.5 points lower than the opening line of 18.
Nick Saban was complimentary toward Texas A&M in his weekly press conference.
“I think A&M has played really, really well this year. They have like 12 starters back. Jimbo (Fisher) does a really good job. They play really good on defense. They’re fifth or something in the SEC, give up less than 300 yards a game.”
This is the sixth consecutive time, however, Alabama is a double-digit favorite, though this game represents the fewest points they have had to give away.
Conversely, Clemson is giving away 20 or more points for the fifth time this season. Coach Dabo Swinney said Florida State is a better team than the 27-points would indicate.
“Easily the most talented team that we have played to this point on paper and roster,” Swinney said. “And they’re getting better. Should probably be 5-0.”
Florida Faces Second Straight Top-10 Foe
There will be no rest for the Florida Gators. After defeating then-No. 7 Auburn last Saturday at home, they had a week to prepare for No. 5 LSU on the road.
The good news for the Gators is they should have quarterback Kyle Trask available. He suffered a sprained knee against Auburn, but is listed as probable for Saturday.
The bad news is they are a 13.5-point underdog, and are facing one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country in Joe Burrow. Florida coach Dan Mullen said Burrow is “deceptively athletic,” and will be the best QB they have faced all year.
The Tigers have the No. 8th ranked offense in the country, scoring an average of 54.6 points per game. The Florida defense, however, may be able to counter that with its 36th ranked defense that has allowed 57 points all season.
Notre Dame-USC, Oklahoma-Texas Rivalry Games
Notre Dame is an 11-point favorite over USC, and the conditions for Saturday’s kickoff call for temperatures in the 40s with strong winds. Trojans wide receiver Michael Pittman doesn’t seem to mind, telling the LA Times that he is looking forward to the weather.
“It’s going to be cold,” Pittman said. But, it’ll be fun when we’re running up the score.”
The other rivalry game with possible playoff implications is No. 6 Oklahoma at No. 11 Texas. Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts threw some shade at the Longhorn players when he told reporters that he’s played in big games before, and isn’t worried about Texas.