NCAA – Top Matchups Week 6

Jason sat out last week, Steve went 4-1 (just missing on the UCF upset).  Brings Steve to 23-5 on the season.

This week we have 2 top 25 matchups, 2 other good matchups, and 1 top 15 matchup.

This week I will also start to use the current ratings and not the pre-season ratings).


Texas Christian (4.02)  @ Oklahoma (4.43)

TCU offense (4.15) vs OU defense (4.09): This matchup is a bit misleading.  Pre-season the general consensus was that TCU would have a good offense and OU’s defense would be suspect as normal, and the ratings here seem to agree with that.  However TCU’s offense has woefully underperformed (lower half of FBS schools) and Oklahoma’s defense has performed quite well (top 25). Oklahoma does have big weakness up front as they have not generated much pass rush and have not been able to stop the run. However TCU’s Offensive Line has not blocked well either.  The difference here is in the passing game as Oklahoma has performed well against the pass (top 10) and TCU has not been able to throw the ball with any consistency.  TCU may move the ball on the ground some but Oklahoma will shut down the TCU passing game. Advantage Oklahoma.


OU offense (4.39) vs TCU defense (3.82): This is kind of like the other matchup only reversed.  OU’s offense is typically one of the better ones in the nation and TCU’s defense is the same.  However TCU’s defense was expected to take a step back this year. Indeed TCU’s defense has not be great, but it has been good.  However the OU offense has been pedestrian so far. They have looked better the last 2 weeks with a quarterback change.  Look for TCU to put pressure on Blake Bell and stop OU’s passing attack, but expect OU to be able to run the ball.  Slight Advantage to Oklahoma.


Steve: TCU will make a game of this, however the home field advantage and the OU running game will prove too much for TCU. Oklahoma 34-21


Arizona St (3.99) @ Notre Dame (3.9)

ASU offense (3.65) vs ND defense (4.14): Arizona St has had one of the better offenses this year in the nation, going against what was supposed to be one of the top defenses. Notre Dame hasn’t been bad on defense, however they have not performed to the level of their talent or what was expected thus far.  Particularly the pass defense/pass rush has been lacking.  Which is where Arizona St excels. Notre Dame will try to get their defensive line going and put pressure on Arizona St, who will try to air it out. Despite the talent disparity I will give the advantage here to Arizona St.


ND offense (4.38) vs ASU defense (3.82): Again Notre Dame has the better talent. However ND’s offense has performed well at times this year (generally against lesser teams/defenses).  Arizona’s defense has been bad this year (bottom 25% of FBS). Notre Dame should find some open running lanes as well as plenty of time for Tommy Rees to throw the ball to open receivers.  Advantage here to Notre Dame.


Steve: Both offenses should have no problem putting up points in this game. Arizona St has been the better team up to this point in the season, however having to travel to Notre Dame I will give this one to ND 34-31


Maryland (4.16) @ Florida State (5.04)

Maryland offense (3.91) vs FSU defense (5.02): Florida State has one of the most talented defenses in the nation. However they have not performed up to that level.  They are still a top 25 defense. Maryland’s offense has some playmakers and one of the better passing attacks in the nation so far. FSU has been able to force some turnovers. Look for them to be try to put pressure on the Maryland QB and force him into throwing some interceptions. Both teams have been strong in the pass game and weaker up front.  Maryland will have some success on offense, but overall FSU will win the battle. Slight Advantage to FSU in this matchup.


FSU offense (4.91) vs Maryland defense (3.63): Maryland’s defense has actually performed better than it’s offense this year and has performed like a top 25 defense. However FSU has a top 5 offense. Florida State is very balanced on offense running the ball and throwing it with equal proficiency. Maryland has been equally balanced in their defense being able to stop the run and the pass.  Maryland has been excellent in rushing the passer this year and FSU has shown some kinks in the armor up front.  Maryland will try to put pressure on FSU’s young QB Jameis Winston. In the end FSU’s talent will be too much. FSU has a big advantage here.


Steve: Florida State has started slow in every game so far.  I’d expect more of the same here, however if they get to far behind against Maryland they may not be able to come back.  Playing at home however FSU should be able to control this game. FSU 35-21


Ohio St (4.56) @ Northwestern (4.05)

OSU offense (4.8) vs Northwestern defense (3.71): Ohio St has one of the better rush offenses in the nation. This year their passing offense has also been very good. Northwestern’s defense has been very mediocre this year.  Ohio State should have no problem moving the ball and putting up points in this matchup. Advantage to Ohio State.


Northwestern offense (3.53) vs OSU defense (4.75): Northwestern’s offense has been the strength of their team thus far, where Ohio State’s has been a weakness. Northwestern should be able to move the ball in the air against Ohio State’s pass defense. Ohio State has the talent advantage but Northwestern has been good on offense so far.  I’ll give the slight advantage to Northwestern in this matchup.


Steve: This will be another high scoring affair. The key will be if Northwestern can put the ball into the endzone consistently and slow down Ohio State’s rushing attack.  I don’t think they will even though it is at home. Ohio St 38-28


Washington (4.66) @ Stanford (4.4)

Washington offense (4.21) vs Stanford defense (3.87): Washington has the talent advantage in this matchup, however both units have been good this year equal in their rankings.  Washington has been prolific at throwing the ball and pass blocking. Stanford has been good in the secondary but just average rushing the passer (a change from last years “Party in the back field” front 7). Stanford’s weakness has been up front, however Washington is only average running the ball.  This will be a good matchup, however with Washington’s pass offense and their OL, I’m going to give the slight advantage to Washington.


Stanford offense (4.22) vs Washington defense (4.32): Talent wise these 2 units are pretty equal.  Washington has had a top 10 defense up to this point in the season, Stanford has had a top 25 offense.  Washington’s weakness is stopping the run, something that Stanford has been great at in years past, but has not done very well this year (above average). Stanford has been very good at throwing the ball, but Washington has been even better at stopping the pass.  Another great matchup. Going to give the slight advantage to Stanford.


Steve: I expect Stanford to get their rushing attack on track (like last week) this week. Washington will be able to throw the ball. I think Washington shows they deserve to be at the big boy table but in the end they come up just short. Stanford 28-27

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