The College Football Playoff Committee has finally spoken. Did the sages who will determine the playoff matchups get it right? Certainly, The CFP Committee sent a message to teams about minding their out-of-conference strength of schedule. Did you hear what they had to say, Washington? Are your prepared to run the table to earn your way into the Final Four? Now is when the 2016 season starts to get really interesting.
DK’s 2016 Week 10 CFB Game Picks
All game times in Eastern Daylight Time.
Last Week: 6-4 (.600)
2016 Season: 60-30 (.667)
Texas A&M @ Mississippi State (Saturday, November 5th, 12:00 p.m., SECN)
The Trevor Knight-led Aggies were the CFP Committee’s surprise choice for its fourth-place team in the first rankings of the 2016 season. Kevin Sumlin’s team was rewarded for challenging itself out-of-conference this season, and for remaining unbeaten save for its loss to #1 Alabama. With (a lot of) help, A&M could still contend for the SEC West crown, so do not expect the Aggies to allow Mississippi State to derail that pursuit during a down year in 2016.
Pick: Texas A&M 38, Mississippi State 20
“Be Careful Here” Game of the Week
Wisconsin @ Northwestern (Saturday, November 5th, 12:00 p.m., ABC)
Pat Fitzgerald proves his worth as a head coach in games like this one. He’s already done it once this season with a surprise road win over Iowa, and he’ll seek to do it again against the Badgers, fresh off a huge home win over Nebraska. The Wildcats have improved dramatically during this season (as usual), and gave Ohio State fits last week before succumbing to the Buckeyes’ superior talent. Bucky should be able to eke out a win this week, but look for this game to be exceedingly close.
Pick: Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 20
“Upset” Special of the Week
Oklahoma State @ Kansas State (Saturday, November 5h, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2)
Yes, Kansas State is a home favorite in this game. And, yes, Bill Snyder-coached teams are notoriously difficult to beat in the Little Apple in November. This juicy Week 10 contest will be no exception to that latter reality. Oklahoma State can light it up, though, and the Cowboys will bring their potent offense to the Kansas plains ready to ball out. Mike Gundy’s squad will get the win.
Pick: Oklahoma State 38, Kansas State 31
Virginia Tech @ Duke (Saturday, November 5th, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU)
Duke football has come back to earth a bit during the 2016 season, while Justin Fuentes has the Hokies’ offense humming during his inaugural season in Blacksburg. Bud Foster still has VT’s scoring defense in the top 25 in the nation, and it’ll give Duke fits all afternoon. The resurgent Hokies will get the win.
Pick: Virginia Tech 42, Duke 24
Trap Game of the Week
Georgia Tech @ North Carolina (Saturday, November 5th, 12:30 p.m., ACCN)
The Tarheels got by adjacent-state rival Virginia on the road last week, and they visit Tobacco Road rival Duke next week. This game will feature Paul Johnson’s hard-to-prepare-for wishbone attack. While this seems like a comfortable win for the superior talent on the UNC sideline, it will be anything but. Larry Fedora will run his ACC record to 17-3 over his last 20 games after this one, but it will be a struggle to get there.
Pick: North Carolina 35, Georgia Tech 31
“Be Careful Here” Game of the Week #2
TCU @ Baylor (Saturday, November 5th, 3:30 p.m., FOX)
How will the home-standing Bears react to that shocking upset win last weekend, which knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten? This game will determine whether Baylor will be a contender for this season’s Big XII title. A Baylor win sets the table for the biggest game on the season’s Big XII calendar in Week 11, if they can keep its wits about it at home against QB Kenny Hill and that revitalized Horned Frog passing game. The Bears will get it done, and prepare to do battle with the Sooners in the de facto Big XII Championship Game in Norman on November 12th.
Pick: Baylor 48, TCU 35
“Be Careful Here” Game of the Week #3
Florida @ Arkansas (Saturday, November 5th, 3:30 p.m., CBS)
The Gators will bring the nation’s second-ranked scoring defense to Fayetteville. Florida holds the inside track to the SEC East title, but it will have to find enough offense to win this weekend’s contest. QB Luke Del Rio should be back from injury this week, and should be able to provide just enough of a spark to get Florida the win.
Pick: Florida 17, Arkansas 10
Florida State @ North Carolina State (Saturday, November 5th, 7:30 p.m., BTN)
This ACC Atlantic contest will be high scoring, and highly entertaining. These teams have held many great battles with one another through the years, and there’s little reason to believe that this year’s contest will be much different. Florida State’s defense has struggled to keep opponents out of the end zone. To be fair, it has had to deal with Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson already this season. This tipping point in this one will be that NC State’s offense has struggled even more than FSU’s defense has. The Seminoles will get the road conference win.
Pick: Florida State 35, North Carolina State 30
Iowa @ Penn State (Saturday, November 5th, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2)
James Franklin’s Nittany Lions are among the season’s biggest pleasant surprises. Penn State owns one of the best wins in the nation, after upsetting Ohio State a couple of weeks ago. Iowa remains a difficult out, but this season’s schedule has proved as difficult for the Hawkeyes as last season’s was favorable. Penn State can still win the B1G East if it wins out and if Ohio State knocks off Michigan for them. Saquon Barkley and company will grind out a win over the visiting Hawkeyes, and keep Penn State’s conference division title hopes alive.
Pick: Penn State 31, Iowa 24
CFP Implications Game of the Week
Alabama @ Louisiana State (Saturday, November 5th, 8:00 p.m., CBS)
The premiere game on this week’s slate pits top-ranked Alabama against SEC West nemesis LSU under the lights in Death Valley. LSU’s offense seems to have righted itself, with QB Danny Etling revitalizing the Tigers formerly anemic passing game. Having Leonard Fournette to tote the rock will not hurt either. It addition to the national ranking implications, this game features old friends and former coaching staff mates Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron on opposing sidelines. Lane Kiffin will be standing alongside Nick Saban, though, and his presence will make the biggest difference. The Tide will roll on.
Pick: Alabama 35, LSU 27