No. 2 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas
Fayetteville was a doinked field goal away from hosting College Gameday for the first time since 2006. Instead, the Razorbacks lost a heart-breaker to the Aggies, and it’s just another week in the SEC for the Crimson Tide. However, the last time we saw Bryce Young and this Bama offense against this level of talent, they needed a fourth-quarter drive to beat Texas.
If Young’s receivers have trouble getting open and making plays this week, Tuscaloosa will be panicking like a spoiled dog being weaned off human food. Sorry, designer dog biscuits and wet food will have to suffice. Before Quinn Ewers went down for the Longhorns, they were moving the ball. Pig Sooie QB K.J. Jefferson will have to be sharp, as well as careful with the rock, to give Nick Saban a last aneurysm. Arkansas running back Rocket Sanders and a nice play-action game could help ease the pressure on Jefferson, and maybe last week’s loss will, too.
With a 17-point spread for the visitor, it seems like Vegas is trying to tell us it won’t be as close of a game as I think it could be. I also thought the 21-point spread in the Bama-Texas game was too low, so maybe the oddsmakers are still giving the Tide the benefit of the doubt.
No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 16 Baylor
The experts will say that the rematch of last season’s Big 12 championship game is going to have serious ramifications on who wins the conference this year, as well. While that may be true, the title race is as open as any power five conference. What the means for the playoff will probably be irrelevant though. Baylor, Kansas State, and Oklahoma already have Ls, and it seems like Okie State can get caught on any given week.
They’re extra motivated for this game, and they should be. Had they been able to pull out a winnable game, the Cowboys likely snag Cincinnati’s place in the playoff, and become the Big 12’s first non-Sooner participant. Mike Gundy has another high-powered offense, and Dave Aranda’s defense is rounding into form. I’m not entirely sold on Bear QB Blake Shapen or his counterpart Spencer Sanders, and that’s the reason I’m very meh on the impact that this game could have on the CFP.
It’ll be physical and a lot of fun. If one of these signal-callers pops, then we’ll have a conversation.