College football schedule Week 7
The Week 7 college football schedule has some marquee games, but a whole lot of conference clashes that feature situational spots. Lookaheads, letdowns, revenge games, rivalries, and tough travel are all part of the equation at this time of the year. Teams without depth could also start leaking oil and others will be hitting their strides after having a lot of roster turnover.
As always, these games and these teams should be evaluated independently on a case-by-case basis to see if you think the spot has enough pull to put you on a game or take you off of a side. No situational spot should be an automatic bet. But, there are a lot of things to consider with each game and some of these games have more than others.
As an aside, not related to situational spots, weather is a huge factor this week in the Midwest. Keep an eye on that when handicapping the slate.
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(Games sorted by Kickoff Time; odds as of October 9, 6:00 p.m. PT)
Friday, 8 p.m. ET
This is a tricky spot for Fresno State. Not only did the Bulldogs have their unbeaten season come to an end against Wyoming, but this is a back-to-back in elevation. After playing in Laramie at the highest altitude in FBS, the Bulldogs are back on the road for a visit to Logan, Utah to take on the Aggies. While Logan is not nearly as high at about 4,500 feet, this is the first time the Bulldogs have played back-to-back elevation games without a bye week since joining the Mountain West.
Saturday, Noon ET
This is one of the games with weather concerns, as it could be windy and rainy in West Lafayette, but the bigger bit of concern for the Buckeyes, who started very slow last week, is that Penn State is on deck. The Nittany Lions are laying north of 40 against UMass, but the Buckeyes actually play a conference opponent. This is definitely a big lookahead spot, especially with Marvin Harrison Jr. not totally 100% and the same can be said for TreVeyon Henderson, who missed last week’s game.
Saturday, Noon ET
We’ve got a clear revenge spot here, as James Madison lost to Georgia Southern last season. The Dukes had just been placed in the Top 25 and went on the road to Statesboro and lost 45-38. That loss kickstarted a three-game losing streak for the Dukes and you can bet that they remember where it began to fall apart. Because the NCAA has a bunch of stupid and archaic bylaws, the Dukes are not eligible for a bowl game unless there aren’t enough teams with six wins. Winning the Sun Belt is basically their bowl, even though they aren’t even technically eligible to do that. But, if they run the table, they’ll be the de facto champs in everybody’s mind, despite what the NCAA says. You can bet the Dukes will be fired up for this one.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Opposite situational spots here, as Texas A&M just played Alabama and Tennessee will play Alabama next week. The Crimson Tide aren’t the dominant force that we’re used to seeing, but they’re still among college football’s elite teams. The Aggies put a lot into that game last week and their chances were mismanaged by Jimbo Fisher, whose seat is hot, despite the enormous check awaiting him in a buyout. The Volunteers are off of the bye and already have a loss to Florida, so that should all keep them engaged. Honestly, I’m more worried about Texas A&M heading to Rocky Top with a bit of a hangover, especially since the goals for the season have now changed.
Saturday, 5 p.m. ET
UNLV snapped a two-game losing streak against Nevada with last year’s 27-22 win at home. Nevada actually led 13-0 before UNLV scored the next 17 points in the game. The Rebels had a 55-yard scoop and score to get on the board and went on to win. It is amazing to see where these two teams are now, as UNLV is a road favorite over the Wolf Pack for the first time since 2005. This is the biggest road favorite line for the Rebels since 2001, so that makes for a very interesting spot.
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET
Louisville is in a letdown spot here. After beating Notre Dame last week at home, complete with a post-game field-storming, the Cardinals are laying over a touchdown against a Pitt team that could be in a buy-low spot. The Panthers stink this season and are riding a four-game losing streak. The Cardinals are in the top 15 for the first time since 2017. Some guy named Lamar Jackson was on that team. Louisville is easily the superior team here, but this is a tricky spot.
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
The most obvious spot of the week goes to Arizona, who was so close to beating USC last week. Noah Fifita played an incredible game and Jedd Fisch’s team nearly pulled off the stunner. Maybe they would have if Fisch decided to go for two in the first overtime period. In any event, now the Wildcats have a long trip to Pullman for back-to-back road games and that’s a little more difficult of a travel situation than flying from Tucson to Los Angeles. Washington State also got humbled by UCLA last week for their first loss of the season, so they’ll be looking to get back on track.
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
Maybe this is the most obvious spot of the week. Your view may vary, but Wyoming just had a second field-storming in Laramie after knocking off ranked Fresno State last week. Now the Cowboys are out on the road to take on the triple-option of Air Force. This is a big number with a low total in a game with a lot of running and a running clock, so I think this is a fascinating handicap all around, but the spot definitely favors Air Force, who is coming off of a bye.
That being said, the Falcons travel to Annapolis to take on Navy next week in the first game of the Commander-in-Chief series, so it’s a bit of a lookahead for them.
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather could be a big factor in South Bend on Saturday night, as Notre Dame tries to overcome some physical, mental, and emotional fatigue. After two grueling games against Ohio State and Duke, Notre Dame’s gas tank hit ‘E’ against Louisville in the lopsided loss this past week. Notre Dame has to strap up again, this time against a USC team that has flirted with disaster against lesser foes multiple times this season. I think it’s a hard spot both ways, including some actual travel for USC, who has only gone to Tempe and Boulder this season.
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