Pretty “meh” performance delivered in this space last week. Fair number of “meh” games will be played around the country in the CFB weekend to come. Not all of them, though; some games will be tough, hard-fought, important to conference title races barnburners.
DK’s 2016 Week 7 CFB Game Picks
All game times in Eastern Daylight Time.
Last Week: 5-5 (.500)
2016 Season: 38-22 (.633)
Kansas State @ Oklahoma (Saturday, October 15th, 12:00 p.m., ESPN)
Oklahoma finds itself in a fascinating situation. The Sooners have challenged themselves early, losing the two toughest out of conference games played by the Big XII. Do not be surprised, however, if Bob Stoops’ squad wins out and takes the conference title outright. KState brings the nation’s 116th-ranked passing offense to Norman, which will not be enough to get it done on the road. Boomer Sooner will roll late.
Pick: Oklahoma 44, Kansas State 30
“Upset” Special of the Week
West Virginia @ Texas Tech (Saturday, October 15th, 12:00 p.m., FS1)
The Red Raiders almost knocked off Kansas State last week, and they get the ‘Eers at home. Additionally, Texas Tech can score like few teams in the nation. The fewest points that they have scored in a game is 38, from the aforementioned loss to the legendary Bill Snyder and KState last week. West Virginia brings a decent defense to Lubbock, but its offense won’t be able to keep pace with the home team’s. Klingsbury’s team will get the win.
Pick: Texas Tech 49, West Virginia 41
Tennessee @ Alabama (Saturday, October 15th, 3:30 p.m., CBS)
Tennessee fell just short in its upset bid last week in College Station, and this week’s SEC game of the week offers Butch Jones a chance to earn his biggest win as the head man on Rocky Top. Expect the Volunteers to move the ball and score on the Crimson Tide, but expect them not to do quite enough of either to win. Bama will remain undefeated.
Pick: Alabama 38, Tennessee 31
M*A*S*H Unit Game of the Week
USC @ Arizona (Saturday, October 15th, 3:30 p.m., FOX)
Young Sam Darnold has turned around Southern California’s season in a remarkable manner since becoming the starter three weeks ago. Arizona listed QB Brandon Dawkins as questionable and QB Anu Solomon as doubtful for this game. So, who will play QB for the Wildcats? It probably won’t matter much anyway. The Trojans will get the win in the desert.
Pick: USC 42, Arizona 20
Northwestern @ Michigan State (Saturday, October 15th, 3:30 p.m., BTN)
Sparty has lost three games in a row this season. Their offense is ranked 82nd in the nation, and Mark Dantonio’s usually-stout defense is ranked 81st. That’s not good, if you’re keeping track at home. Northwestern is a legitimate threat to pull off the road upset, but will come up just short. Michigan State will win at home.
Pick: Michigan State 28, Northwestern 26
Be Careful Here Game of the Week
Utah @ Oregon State (Saturday, October 15th, 4:00 p.m., P12N)
Utah travels to Corvallis feeling good about itself, deservedly. The 5-1 Utes are well-positioned in the Pac-12 South race, and face a “down” Oregon State squad. Coach Corso might just say “Not so fast!”, though. The Beavers knocked off California for their first conference win last week, and those same Golden Bears beat Utah earlier this season. Utah brings too much defensive firepower to let this one slip away. They’ll get a tougher-than-anticipate road win.
Pick: Utah 28, Oregon State 24
Ohio State @ Wisconsin (Saturday, October 15th, 8:00 p.m., ABC)
Heisman candidate J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes have yet to be tested this season, but must travel to fellow Top-10 team Wisconsin for a huge Week 7 night game. Wisconsin is one of the pleasant surprises in all of CFB in 2016, but will run out of answers this week. The Buckeyes will get the win.
Pick: Ohio State 40, Wisconsin 28
Programs That Fell Off The National Stage Game of the Week
Stanford @ Notre Dame (Saturday, October 15th, 7:30 p.m., NBC)
Stanford comes to South Bend with these teams facing each other as unranked foes for the first time in nearly a decade. Stanford’s season started well, but the past two games have been disastrous. Equally worrisome is the fact that all-world RB Christian McCaffrey is a game-time decision for this contest. Stanford’s biggest strength is that only the Fighting Irish have struggled more mightily amongst pre-season Top 10 teams than they have. This game will be ugly, with both offenses sputtering early and often. Stanford will do just enough to win on the road, and throw another log on the fire beneath Brian Kelly’s seat.
Pick: Stanford 21, Notre Dame 17
Arizona State @ Colorado (Saturday, October 15th, 8:00 p.m.)
Colorado hosts its most significant home game in years Saturday night at Folsom Field. The Buffaloes are finally relevant again, and face a “how did that happen?” Arizona State team that shares its lead in the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils have played with incredible inconsistency, and Mike MacIntyre’s team is at home. Colorado will get the win.
Pick: Colorado 35, Arizona State 24
Iowa State @ Texas (Saturday, October 15th, 7:00 p.m., LHN)
What does Charlie Strong need to do to get Texas back on track after a promising 2-0 start in 2016? Hosting 1-5 Iowa State is not a terrible way to go. Shane Buechele has cooled down since his hot start this season, but the Longhorns’ run game has remained surprisingly solid, despite the three consecutive losses. This is bad news for the Cyclones, whose rush defense is tied for 23rd worst 97th in the nation. Texas will roll.
Pick: Texas 52, Iowa State 21