This weekend we only have 3 games that feature Top-25 matchups so let’s look at them.
#14 Iowa at #19 Michigan
Iowa, having not played any truly tough competition, is statistically a defensive powerhouse. They are only allowing 8.5 points per game and have an opponent scoring 3 points and a shutout to their name. That shutout game opponent? Rutgers. Who did Michigan play last week and shutout? Rutgers. Who am I going to stop talking about because they are an embarrassment to the BIG 10? Rutgers.
As we look at the numbers, these teams essentially equal on paper. Iowa averages 1 more point per game and two teams top performers at the offensive skill positions are nearly identical. The biggest difference is that the defensive prowess of Iowa is slightly better than Michigan. Then again, the have not played against a good team. But this week, they face their first real test. Michigan bounced back in amazing fashion last week after getting dominated by Wisconsin. Obviously Mekhi Sargent is not Jonathan Taylor, but the Iowa tailback is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. I can envision Iowa getting an early lead on the road in Ann Arbor and running the ball down Michigan’s throats similar to Wisconsin.
What’s odd to me is that Michigan is the favorite to win this game. A -175 Moneyline favorite and -3.5 points favorite on the spread, Michigan is being overrated in my opinion. Homefield advantage cannot be overlooked, especially in college football; but, I have faith in an Iowa team that has yet to crack on the defensive side of the ball.
Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: Mekhi Sargent
Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Dylan McCaffrey (rushing)
#7 Auburn at #10 Florida
I said it before and I’ll say it again, Florida is overrated. The Gators leading passer has not played since halfway through Week 3 and their defense underperforms against competent teams. Auburn, on the other hand, is the real deal. They’ve already defeated 2 ranked teams and routed the other 3 teams they’ve played. Seth Williams is the real deal and JaTarvious Whitlow is finding the endzone at an unbelievable rate. Florida will have a tough time stopping those two even though their defense has been pretty decent. Bo Nix was awful on the road against Texas A&M so that is something to look for this week as he enters a similar environment.
Auburn is a small favorite with -140 on the Moneyline and only -3.0 (+100) on the spread. The talent that Auburn has on both sides of the ball will simply be too much for Florida. I can see this game being a shocking blowout with Alabama-lite running up the score to prove that they are here to stay.
Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: JaTarvious Whitlow
Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Will Hastings
#25 Michigan State at #4 Ohio State
Neither one of these teams has played a good opponent yet this season. Ohio State has destroyed all of their opponents while Michigan State has lost one of their games and let a bad Indiana squad hang with them. Throw out all of the stats and you just see this game on paper, you’d think this would be a classic BIG 10 nitty-gritty battle that ends up 28-26 or something. That will not be the case for this game. Ohio State, led by Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins, is simply unstoppable. I think each of the teams within the Top-8 has a legitimate shot of winning the championship this season. The only threat to Ohio State this season will be Wisconsin and the winner of that game has the best chance to make the playoffs out of the BIG 10. Michigan State won’t simply roll over for Ohio State in this game though. Brian Lewerke will give them a fighting chance but Ohio State will pull away come the middle of the 3rd quarter.
Ohio State is -20.5 (-105) on the spread and a whopping -1700 on the Moneyline. That total is only at 49.5 (-110 O/U) which looks like a pretty safe bet considering the potency of Ohio States offense and the possibility that Michigan State can score 14 to 28 points in this game themselves. Personally, I like the over for this game and a teaser that brings the spread to -14 for Ohio State.
Michigan State: 17
Ohio State: 38
Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: J.K. Dobbins
Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Matt Dotson
Let’s have a fun weekend of college football!