October: The time to separate the contenders from the pretenders in college football. Which teams are undefeated solely due to a generous early season schedule? And which ones are the true College Football Playoff contenders?
Currently there are 13 legitimate undefeated teams in college football – as I see it – sorry Boise State, Wake Forest, SMU, Appalachian State, Baylor, Memphis, and Minnesota – you aren’t legitimate Final Four contenders in my book and therefore aren’t considered in this exercise.
Here are the 13 teams ranked from most likely to remain undefeated in October:
Clemson: Florida State, @Louisville, Boston College
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 98%
Quite simply – they had their scare last week and they aren’t losing in October.
Georgia: @Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 95%
Here’s the contending team with the easiest schedule in October…though as you’ll see below, I think this weekend’s game will be trickier than most assume.
Alabama: @Texas A&M, Tennessee, Arkansas
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 90%
I don’t think much of A&M from what I’ve seen thus far…so win that and a top-2 ranking is all but guaranteed headed into November.
Ohio State: Michigan State, @Northwestern, Wisconsin
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 85%
The Buckeyes are really, really good…but don’t count out an upset in one of those last two games this month. Not likely…but still possible.
Oklahoma: @Kansas, Texas (in Dallas), West Virginia, @Kansas State
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 70%
Texas and Kansas State are tricky but the Sooners are clearly better than both teams based on the eye test.
LSU: Utah State, Florida, @Mississippi State, Auburn
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 60%
The last three games are tricky though the two fellow undefeated opponents, Florida and Auburn are at home. This Tigers team SHOULD be undefeated heading into their colossal matchup against the Crimson Tide on 11/9.
Iowa: @Michigan, Penn State, Purdue, @Northwestern
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 30%
Win this weekend in The Big House and the number jumps up to at least 60-70%.
Wisconsin: Kent State, Michigan State, @Illinois, @Ohio State
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 15%
They aren’t losing before the final week of October…but the trip to OSU likely will be too much to handle.
Auburn: @Florida, @Arkansas, @LSU
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 10%
Brutal schedule – three road games in-a-row including two against top-10 teams. Very little chance they survive this run unscathed.
Florida: Auburn, @LSU, @South Carolina
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 5%
Backup QB and two road games aren’t a successful combination.
Penn State: Purdue, @Iowa, Michigan, @Michigan State
Chances of Remaining Unbeaten: 2%
Three difficult opponents including two on the road. The Maryland blowout will be a distant memory by the end of the month.
Moving on to this week’s picks…
We crushed it collectively in Week 5 combining for a 39-9 record straight up and 30-18 record against the spread. Thus far though, JB looks to be in the best shape to capture both season-long crowns. A lot of games left to go though…
Week 6 Picks
|Eric Cohen||Jon Bell||Steve Malina||Wesley Franco|
|Last Week (SU)||11-1||10-2||10-2||8-4|
|Last Week (ATS)||8-4||10-2||8-4||4-8|
|Arizona at Colorado (-3.5)||COL 31-20||COL 24-17||COL 24-20||COL 27-24|
|UCF (-4.5) at Cincinnati||CIN 31-28||UCF 31-20||UCF 34-24||UCF 35-17|
|Utah State at LSU (-27.5)||LSU 40-17||LSU 41-28||LSU 44-14||LSU 45-14|
|Iowa at Michigan (-3.5)||IOWA 24-20||MICH 31-17||IOWA 24-21||IOWA 28-24|
|Auburn (-3.5) at Florida||AUB 23-17||FLA 21-20||FLA 24-23||AUB 38-13|
|Baylor at Kansas State (-1.5)||KSU 27-14||BAY 35-31||KSU 27-24||BAY 30-27|
|Georgia (-25.5) at Tennessee||GA 24-17||GA 63-7||GA 38-10||GA 55-21|
|Michigan State at Ohio State (-19.5)||OSU 34-7||OSU 38-17||OSU 45-15||OSU 35-24|
|Cal at Oregon (-17.5)||ORE 30-10||ORE 27-20||ORE 28-20||ORE 44-14|
|Oregon State at UCLA (-5.5)||UCLA 34-27||UCLA 24-20||OSU 27-24||OSU 42-38|
|Washington (-14.5) at Stanford||WASH 31-14||WASH 20-10||WASH 44-17||WASH 28-24|
This Week’s Bold Predictions
EC: Michigan hits rock bottom after losing a stunner at home against a solid Iowa team. The rumor mill heats up next week as to who will replace Jim Harbaugh next year…but the better question is: Can Michigan actually fire the guy they considered the program’s savior only a few years ago?
JB: Georgia marches into Neyland Stadium and obliterates Tennessee, landing Jeremy Pruitt on the unemployment line Sunday morning clearing the way for Athletic Director and Volunteers legend Phillip Fulmer to return to the sidelines.
SM: With Bear Down Steve in attendance for his second favorite team, Justin Fields goes absolutely crazy once again against a very good Michigan State defense, accounting for six total TDs and 400 yards combined throwing / rushing. After this dominating win, Ohio State jumps up to #3 in the AP and coaches’ polls this coming week.
WF: Iowa just skips past Michigan. Jim Harbaugh is to blame with poor clock management, in some way shape or form.