This WOULD have been a pretty exciting weekend of college football if you asked me six days ago. But Covid-19 has shaken up this weekend’s TV schedule with a slew of Power 5 games being postponed or cancelled all together due to outbreaks of the virus popping up across the country.
A couple of nationally relevant games won’t be played this weekend including: No. 3 Ohio State/Maryland, No. 1. Alabama/LSU, and No. 5 Texas A&M/Tennessee. Not all his lost however as six of the top ten are still scheduled to take the field this weekend as of early Friday afternoon.
Fresh off a win over No. 1 Clemson, Notre Dame looks to get past a scrappy Boston College squad led by former Irish QB Phil Jurkovec. Jim Harbaugh‘s seat in Michigan probably gets a little warmer in Ann Arbor this weekend after the Wolverines battle Wisconsin.
Florida, too, faces one of its former QBs as Feleipe Franks looks to upset his former team in the Swamp. Miami remains in contention for a trip to Charlotte but the margin of error is narrow and they’ll have to take care of business this weekend in Blacksburg. Finally, one of my favorite parts of a college football weekend returns with Pac-12 after dark. Football all day long and into the early hours of Sunday? I can get down with that.
No. 2 Notre Dame @ Boston College
Notre Dame made a statement last weekend in the double overtime thriller against Clemson. But how will they handle the success and added pressure one week later? Boston College is an improving program under Jeff Hafley and quarterback Phil Jurkovec and company are far from a pushover. Notre Dame will once again have to tighten up that chin strap in another physical matchup for the second straight week.
They proved last week the moment wasn’t too big and they answered the call despite blowing a 10-point halftime lead late in the fourth quarter. This is a good Notre Dame team but I think it still remains to be seen if they are worthy of being in the playoff race at season’s end. For now though, they are fairly ranked. But trust that Jurkovec would love nothing more than to spring this upset against his former squad after coming up short a few weeks ago in Death Valley.
If Boston College can take care of the football (something the Tigers struggled to do) and not let Ian Book get too comfortable in the pocket (again, an issue for Clemson a week ago), I think they have a shot at this being a game in the second half. They have some pieces on offense to challenge Notre Dame. I was very off the mark last week but truly believe this one will be a low scoring affair and 24-30 points should be plenty in this one to win it. I hate to sound cliché but this one that will absolutely be won or loss in the trenches. Which defensive line will shine? Watch out for the Eagles, but give me Norte Dame straight up.
No. 6 Florida vs Arkansas
I’ll be honest. If it wasn’t for the cancellations, this one probably wouldn’t have made the list for this weekend. But I’m always down to see a quarterback line up against his former team in a meaningful game. I don’t think either probably misses each other that much and the separation has been mutually beneficial.
Sam Pittman’s hire appears to have been a good one based on what we’ve seen so far. Although it would not have taken much to build upon Chad Morris’ winless ‘run’ in SEC play while the current Auburn OC was the head coach in Fayetteville.
But seriously, kudos to Pittman and the Razorbacks. Florida’s defense has been…not very great this year and you’re crazy if you think they won’t be able to move the ball against the Gators.
Florida may be without Kyle Pitts this weekend which could cause the Gators offense to struggle, especially through the air. Pitts has been THAT GUY this season and the offense will require others to pick up some of that offensive firepower. I think Florida is still much more talented from top to bottom but they’ll have to go out and execute for four full quarters.
No. 9 Miami @ Virginia Tech
It feels a little strange but Miami is still very much in this ACC race, most certainly after Clemson was knocked off last week in South Bend. The Hurricanes are 6-1 with the only loss coming to the Tigers in Death Valley back when they were at full strength.
They are just quietly keeping pace in this race to Charlotte with another key hurdle to clear this Saturday in a visit to Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. The Hokies could very much use a morale boost after falling to Liberty last weekend to drop to 4-3 overall. Tech as been up and down all year and perhaps it’s time for another “up” for Justin Fuente.
Not so fast, my friend!
The Canes have too much on the line and I think they grind out a hard earned victory over the Hokies who are giving up over 30 points per game and allowing just a hair over 200 yards rushing per contest. D’Eriq King finds ways to expose the VT defense and Miami pulls away a bit in the fourth quarter.
The Hall Pass Pick ‘Em Selections:
No. 10 Indiana over Michigan State
North Carolina State over Florida State
No. 13 Wisconsin over Michigan
North Carolina over Wake Forest
Virginia over Louisville
Ole Miss over South Carolina
Nebraska over Penn State
Houston over South Florida
Kentucky over Vanderbilt
No. 25 Lousiana over South Alabama