Virginia Cavaliers @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-5.5)
After ten games, Georgia Tech is 6-4, having dropped early decisions to USF and Pitt and fresh off victories over Virginia Tech and Miami. Exactly what we all were expecting at the beginning of the season. But while the latter two have been a bit disappointing, UVA..... is in serious contention for the ACC Coastal. They were even ranked two weeks ago! Before Pitt happened. So what does this portend for Saturday? I don’t know! College football is weird and you should stop trying to predict it.
[pauses, stares directly into camera]
Anyway, as always, I’ll stop being nervous once the clock reads all zeroes.
Illuminati pick: UVA
#12 Syracuse Orange vs. #3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-10.5)
Let’s not kid ourselves — the Shamrock Series is just another excuse for Notre Dame to book their own neutral site game and shout LOOK HOW GREAT WE ARE as they barely scrape by (or, occasionally, beat up on) an average to above average opponent. To really hammer that point home this year, they’re dressing up as the greatest sports team in the country, Atlanta United. Wait, sorry, no, the game is in hallowed college football Yankee Stadium, so the Irish are cosplaying as the Yankees. The fact Syracuse ended up being ranked for this edition is surely not intended, as only one other Shamrock opponent has been. Could they finally stop the Shamrock Streak? Only all of America is hoping so.
Illuminati pick: Syracuse
Stanford Cardinal (-2) @ California Golden Bears
At long last, it’s time for THE BIG GAME. No, not that one for professionals that we can’t call by it’s actual name because the Shield is a huge jerk about it. It’s Cal-Stanford, meeting the week before rivalry week, because..... Notre Dame.... is playing..... at USC next week? Okay, fine, whatever. It’s not even that big this year, with both teams coming in at 6-4. But it’s SEC-SoCon challenge week, and it’s got the Stanford Band, and it’s an excuse to link the Play again.
Illuminati pick: Stanford
#24 Cincinnati Bearcats @ #11 UCF Knights (-7)
For the second year in a row, UCF is just barreling its way through the AAC, and there’s not much left between them and a second consecutive New Year’s Six bowl. It’s really just Cincinnati, and that’s enough of a reason to bring ESPN and College GameDay to Orlando. (A Disney owned company going to Orlando? It’s a conspiracy.) The Knights are just outside of the top ten, but they’ll need help to crack it, as a win Saturday won’t be enough. Some of those dominoes are guaranteed to fall in the next couple of weeks..... but even then, it won’t be enough to put them into the top 4.
[waves hands] conspiracyyyyyyyy
Illuminati pick: UCF
#16 Iowa State Cyclones @ #15 Texas Longhorns (-2.5)
The best Big 12 game this weekend — and possibly the best game overall — is one there’s a decent chance you can’t legally watch, because it’s on the Longhorn Network. (If you’re a cord-cutter like me, just go ahead and fire up that stream on [illegal streaming site redacted]. And I get that the Longhorns are legally obligated to air a specified number of their football games per season on LHN, but why this one instead of, I dunno, next week’s game against Kansas? Is it because Texas has lost to the Jayhawks more recently? Or is it because they’re scared to lose to Iowa State on national television?
(I know it’s actually because that Kansas game is at Kansas, please do not @ me.)
Illuminati pick: Iowa State
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