Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

College football week 10: Picks and preview

While it's a relatively light week in terms of Top 25 contests, there are still some intriguing matchups this weekend, including two pitting ranked teams against each other. There are also plenty of other interesting matchups outside the top 25 that are worthy of following.

Weekly point spreads are from BetOnline.ag, and are current as of 10 p.m. ET Tuesday.  For up-to-date spreads, check out the BetOnline.ag site. All times Eastern.

 
1 of 25

Georgia Southern (4-3) at No. 20 Appalachian State (7-0), 8 p.m., Thursday, ESPNU

Georgia Southern (4-3) at No. 20 Appalachian State (7-0), 8 p.m., Thursday, ESPNU
Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports

The last time Appalachian State lost a game, it was against Georgia Southern on Oct. 25, 2018. Since that defeat, the Mountaineers have won 13 in a row and should be amped for a little payback this week during prime time and in front of a national audience. They've also outscored Georgia Southern, 172-66, during a five-game home series winning streak.

Prediction: Appalachian State (-15)

 
2 of 25

West Virginia (3-4) at No. 12 Baylor (7-0), 8 p.m., Thursday, ESPN

West Virginia (3-4) at No. 12 Baylor (7-0), 8 p.m., Thursday, ESPN
Rob Ferguson/USA TODAY Sports

Say hello to the current leader of the Big 12. That would be Baylor, which sits 4-0 in the league and one-half game ahead of Oklahoma, which saw its undefeated quest end with a loss at Kansas State last weekend. Baylor last started 8-0 in 2015. That was also the same season the Bears last beat West Virginia, which has lost three in a row.

Prediction: Baylor (-18)

 
3 of 25

No. 14 Michigan (6-2) at Maryland (3-5), Noon, Saturday, ABC

No. 14 Michigan (6-2) at Maryland (3-5), Noon, Saturday, ABC
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off what's arguably the most prominently emphatic victory of the Jim Harbaugh era, the Wolverines can't afford to take a step back. There is plenty to play for in terms of national perception for Michigan, which rushed for 303 yards vs. Notre Dame and should stay on the ground against a reeling Maryland squad that just allowed Minnesota to run for 321.

Prediction: Maryland (+21)

 
4 of 25

North Carolina State (4-3) at No. 23 Wake Forest (6-1), Noon, Saturday, ESPN

North Carolina State (4-3) at No. 23 Wake Forest (6-1), Noon, Saturday, ESPN
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake is back in the Top 25 and on the field after its off week. It appears banged-up quarterback Jamie Newman (shoulder) could be back under center this weekend for the Demon Deacons — after missing the Oct. 19 win over Florida State — in this Tobacco Road matchup. Wake Forest has won the last two meetings with N.C. State by a combined 10 points.

Prediction: Wake Forest (-7 1/2)

 
5 of 25

Virginia Tech (5-2) at No. 16 Notre Dame (5-2), 2:30 p.m., Saturday, NBC

Virginia Tech (5-2) at No. 16 Notre Dame (5-2), 2:30 p.m., Saturday, NBC
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This might be the most intriguing matchup of the weekend, simply regarding how Notre Dame responds following its 45-14 thrashing at the hands of Michigan. The Irish have won 15 straight at home, but a revived Virginia Tech program comes to South Bend looking to win its fourth in a row. The Hokies overcame a 24-7 deficit to win 34-31 at Notre Dame in 2016.

Prediction: Virginia Tech (+17.5)

 
6 of 25

No. 8 Georgia (6-1) vs. No. 6 Florida (7-1) (at Jacksonville, Fla.), 3:30 p.m, Saturday, CBS

No. 8 Georgia (6-1) vs. No. 6 Florida (7-1) (at Jacksonville, Fla.), 3:30 p.m, Saturday, CBS
Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

"The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" is always fun, and this annual matchup between border rivals will take center stage among Top 25 games this weekend.The winner essentially has the inside track on the SEC East title and keeps its College Football Playoff hopes alive for the time being. Georgia has won the last two meetings relatively handily and enters this contest the favorite.

Prediction: Georgia (-6.5)

 
7 of 25

No. 22 Kansas State (5-2) at Kansas (3-5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday, FS1

No. 22 Kansas State (5-2) at Kansas (3-5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday, FS1
Scott Sewell/USA TODAY Sports

The last thing Kansas State needs is to follow an impressive victory over then-No. 5 Oklahoma by laying an egg against its biggest rival. Kansas is not completely turned around under coach Les Miles, but the Jayhawks should certainly be taken serious by a Wildcats team that's part of the Top 25 and looking for an 11th straight victory in this series.

Prediction: Kansas State (-5.5)

 
8 of 25

Wofford (5-2) at No. 4 Clemson (8-0), 4 p.m., Saturday, ACC Network

Wofford (5-2) at No. 4 Clemson (8-0), 4 p.m., Saturday, ACC Network
Joshua S. Kelly/USA TODAY Sports

Clemson has totaled 149 points over its last three wins against Florida State. Louisville and Boston College. Just how many will the Tigers pile on against FCS Wofford? That's probably not a concern for Clemson, which only wants to get better from week to week, and in the eyes of coach Dabo Swinney, come close to playing a perfect game in all phases.

Prediction: Clemson (-47)

 
9 of 25

No. 9 Utah (7-1) at Washington (5-3), 4 p.m., Saturday, Fox

No. 9 Utah (7-1) at Washington (5-3), 4 p.m., Saturday, Fox
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

It's a rematch of the 2018 Pac-12 championship game, which the Huskies won 10-3. In fact Washington, has often been on the winning side of this matchup, going 6-1 since Utah joined the league. The Utes, however, appear to be the better team at the moment, outscoring their opponents 146-23. Washington's defeats, all within the Pac-12, have come by a total of 15 points.

Prediction: Washington (+3.5)

 
10 of 25

Mississippi (3-5) at No. 11 Auburn (6-2), 7 p.m. Saturday, ESPN

Mississippi (3-5) at No. 11 Auburn (6-2), 7 p.m. Saturday, ESPN
Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports

After going 1-2 (with losses to Florida and LSU) on a three-game SEC road stretch, Auburn plays its final four regular-season games at home. That should not bode well for Ole Miss, which has lost two in a row, is 0-3 on the road and last beat a ranked SEC opponent away from home in November 2017.

Prediction: Mississippi (+18.5)

 
11 of 25

No. 17 Cincinnati (6-1) at East Carolina (3-5), 7 p.m., Saturday, CBS Sports Network

No. 17 Cincinnati (6-1) at East Carolina (3-5), 7 p.m., Saturday, CBS Sports Network
Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

One of three teams from the AAC that's ranked, the Bearcats aim for their second six-game winning streak in as many seasons. Cincinnati has been particularly tough on defense, where it's allowing 344.7 total yards per contest. ECU has averaged 378.0 during its current three-game losing streak. The Bearcats have won seven of the last eight against the Pirates.

Prediction: East Carolina (+23)

 
12 of 25

No. 15 SMU (8-0) at No. 24 Memphis (7-1), 7:30 p.m., Saturday, ABC

No. 15 SMU (8-0) at No. 24 Memphis (7-1), 7:30 p.m., Saturday, ABC
Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports

It's the game of the week in the American Athletic Conference. Memphis is 3-1 in the AAC West Division and one-game behind 4-0 SMU. There's plenty of hype surrounding the matchup with ESPN's "College GameDay" in the house. With SMU ranked sixth in the nation averaging 43.0 points and Memphis 10th at 39.5, all signs point to a high-scoring, potential barn-burner. The Tigers have outscored the Mustangs 256-80 while winning five straight in this series.

Prediction: Memphis (-5.5)

 
13 of 25

No. 7 Oregon (7-1) at USC (5-3), 8 p.m., Saturday, Fox

No. 7 Oregon (7-1) at USC (5-3), 8 p.m., Saturday, Fox
Troy Wayrynen/USA TODAY Sports

Riding a seven-game winning streak, Oregon has averaged 39.0 points while winning three in a row. However, the Ducks allowed 66 in nipping Washington and Washington State in the last two. USC, meanwhile, eyes a season-high third straight win and looks to improve to 3-0 against ranked teams at home in 2019. These programs last met in 2016, with the Trojans winning 45-20 at home.

Prediction: Oregon (-4.5)

 
14 of 25

No. 21 Boise State (6-1) at San Jose State (4-4), 10:30 p.m., Saturday, CBS Sports Network

No. 21 Boise State (6-1) at San Jose State (4-4), 10:30 p.m., Saturday, CBS Sports Network
Gabe Mayberry/USA TODAY Sports

Boise returns to action for the first time since its undefeated season ended with a 28-25 loss at BYU on Oct. 19. The status of freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier still appears to be uncertain, and the Broncos might have reason to be more concerned about the Spartans than in recent seasons. SJSU has already surpassed its win total from the previous two years and has wins at Arkansas and Army in 2019.

Prediction: Boise State (-17)

 
15 of 25

Navy (6-1) at Connecticut (2-6), 8 p.m., Friday, ESPN2

Navy (6-1) at Connecticut (2-6), 8 p.m., Friday, ESPN2
Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports

It's safe to say that Navy has more than bounced back from last season's disappointing 3-10 performance. The Midshipmen, 4-1 in the American Athletic Conference, enter this very favorable matchup looking to win five in a row this late in the season for the first time since 2015. Option quarterback Malcolm Perry is closing in on the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season and has averaged 164.8 in the last four games.

Prediction: Connecticut (+27.5)

 
16 of 25

Liberty (5-3) at Massachusetts (1-7), Noon, Saturday, FloFootball/NESN

Liberty (5-3) at Massachusetts (1-7), Noon, Saturday, FloFootball/NESN
John Reed/USA TODAY Sports

This is less about the matchup but more about acknowledging the fact Liberty is closing in on becoming bowl eligible. That's a big deal, considering the Flames are now a full-blown FBS member and reeled off five straight wins under former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze before losing to Rutgers last weekend. Quarterback Stephen Calvert has thrown for 2,164 yards with 16 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Prediction: Massachusetts (+23)

 
17 of 25

Nebraska (4-4) at Purdue (2-6), Noon, Saturday, Fox,

Nebraska (4-4) at Purdue (2-6), Noon, Saturday, Fox,
Bruce Thorson/USA TODAY Sports

It's now time for the weekly look at the underachievement that is Nebraska football . The Cornhuskers could not hold a halftime lead to Indiana at home and now try to avoid losing three in a row. Ending the slide against a banged-up Purdue squad that could be minus injured star Rondale Moore (leg) for a fifth straight game seems possible, but with this Nebraska team, who knows.

Prediction: Nebraska (-3)

 
18 of 25

Miami (Fla.) (4-4) at Florida State (4-4), 3:30 p.m., Saturday, ABC

Miami (Fla.) (4-4) at Florida State (4-4), 3:30 p.m., Saturday, ABC
Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Remember when this rivalry meant something? A matchup of the college football elites. That seems like ages ago. Now it's about which program gets closer to becoming bowl eligible. Both teams, though, should have some momentum. The Hurricanes just won at Pitt, while the Seminoles dumped Syracuse. Miami has won the last two in the series but by a combined five points.

Prediction: Florida State (-3)

 
19 of 25

Army (3-5) at Air Force (6-2), 3:30 p.m., Saturday, CBS Sports Network

Army (3-5) at Air Force (6-2), 3:30 p.m., Saturday, CBS Sports Network
Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Air Force has lost the last two meetings among these service academies, and certainly has not forgotten Army coach Jeff Monken's subtle bulletin-board blurb about the Falcons' competitiveness, at the White House in May. At the moment, these teams are headed in opposite directions. Army has dropped four in a row, while Air Force eyes a fourth straight victory after routing Utah State 31-7.

Prediction: Air Force (-14)

 
20 of 25

Mississippi State (3-5) at Arkansas (2-6), 4 p.m., Saturday, SEC Network

Mississippi State (3-5) at Arkansas (2-6), 4 p.m., Saturday, SEC Network
John Glaser/USA TODAY Sports

The Bulldogs have been outscored 161-76 during a four-game SEC losing streak, and there are questions about coach Joe Moorhead's future with the program. Things have gotten so bad for Mississippi State that even Arkansas coach Chad Morris, whose team is mired in a five-game skid, is feeling confident heading into this matchup.

Prediction: Arkansas (+7.5)

 
21 of 25

Northwestern (1-6) at Indiana (6-2), 7 p.m., Saturday, FS1

Northwestern (1-6) at Indiana (6-2), 7 p.m., Saturday, FS1
Bruce Thorson/USA TODAY Sports

Maybe it's not totally surprising that Indiana, not Northwestern, is bowl eligible on the first weekend of November. Still, the Hoosiers, who overcame a halftime deficit to win at Nebraska last weekend, are trying to post seven victories for the first time since 2007 and extend their Big Ten winning streak to four in a row.

Prediction: Indiana (-11.5)

 
22 of 25

UAB (6-1) at Tennessee (3-5), 7 p.m., Saturday, ESPNU

UAB (6-1) at Tennessee (3-5), 7 p.m., Saturday, ESPNU
Randy Sartin/USA TODAY Sports

The Vols just pounded South Carolina 41-21 at home, but this might be a tougher task while trying to win two in a row for the first time in 2019. In the mix for a Conference USA title, UAB has averaged 35.3 points during a three-game winning streak. However, the Blazers last beat an SEC team in October 2004, at Mississippi State.  

Prediction: UAB (+11.5)

 
23 of 25

Virginia (5-3) at North Carolina (4-4), 7:30 p.m., Saturday, ACC Network

Virginia (5-3) at North Carolina (4-4), 7:30 p.m., Saturday, ACC Network
Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

Sole possession of first place in the ACC Coastal Division is on the line when the Cavaliers and Tar Heels meet in Chapel Hill. Virginia must bounce back from a loss at Louisville and won't have star linebacker Jordan Mack for the first half. After taking down rival Duke, UNC looks to avoid a third straight defeat to Virginia.

Prediction: North Carolina (-2.5)

 
24 of 25

Vanderbilt (2-5) at South Carolina (3-5), 7:30 p.m., Saturday, SEC Network

Vanderbilt (2-5) at South Carolina (3-5), 7:30 p.m., Saturday, SEC Network
Randy Sartin/USA TODAY Sports

Since beating Georgia earlier this month for the biggest win of his South Carolina tenure, Will Muschamp's Gamecocks have allowed 79 points in two straight losses, most recently, by 20 at Tennessee. He's feeling the heat, and probably should have some time ago, but has a chance to momentarily cool things off with an 11th consecutive victory over Vandy.

Prediction: South Carolina (-16)  

 
25 of 25

BYU (3-4) at Utah State (4-3), 10 p.m., Saturday, ESPN2

BYU (3-4) at Utah State (4-3), 10 p.m., Saturday, ESPN2
Melissa Majchrzak/USA TODAY Sports

The Cougars are back in action after pulling off another upset — this time at home over then-No. 14 Boise State. BYU, however, has dropped its last two road games and has an uncertain quarterback situation . Utah State's Jordan Love (eight TD passes, nine INTs) is not having the season many expected after a breakout 2018.

Prediction: Utah State (-3.5)

Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago. You can follow Jeff at @jeffm401.


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