After a sleepy Week 5, the college football schedule roars back to life with several huge matchups of rivals that will help to shape the playoff picture heading towards Halloween. The first official playoff poll is quickly approaching and there are at least seven teams that right now have a legitimate claim to one of the four coveted spots.
The SEC has two games between ranked teams, while the Big 12 and Big 10 have one apiece. If you are a college football fan, these are the weekends that you live for.
CFB Week 7 odds
Top 25 Week 7 analysis
Friday, Oct. 11
No. 19 Virginia at Miami (-1)
Two years ago, Miami got 14 points in 7 seconds to knock out Virginia. Last week, Miami came back down 28-0 to Va Tech at home but lost by 7 on a last-second Hokie touchdown. Virginia’s only loss this season was at Notre Dame but that was in its last game before the bye week.
Colorado at No. 13 Oregon (-20.5)
Oregon was tested last week by a California defense that held them to just 17 points but they were able to get the victory. The Ducks still have an outside shot at the playoffs if they can run the table but they are going to need help. Colorado hasn’t faced Oregon on the road since 2016 but CU won that game 41-38. The Buffs have lost 2 of their last 3 games.
Saturday, Oct. 12
No. 1 Alabama (-17.5) at No. 21 Texas A&M
Both teams are coming off an open week but this is the first ranked opponent for Alabama this season. The Aggies lost earlier to Clemson on the road, so is the second game this season that Texas A&M will face the top-ranked team in the country. Alabama has won the last six meetings.
Florida State at No. 2 Clemson (-26)
This is another game where both teams didn’t play last week. Clemson needed the time off to recover from their trip to North Carolina where they were lucky to escape with a 1-point victory. Florida State has lost to both teams they faced that are currently ranked in the Top 25 but they have won 2 straight.
South Carolina at No. 3 Georgia (-24.5)
The Bulldogs are fresh off another blowout victory over an SEC opponent where UGA scored over 40 points. So far this season, the Dawgs have failed to score over 30 points only once, in the win over Notre Dame. That’s really bad news for a South Carolina defense that gave up 47 to Alabama and 34 to Missouri already this season. The Gamecocks did surprise some people by beating Kentucky 24-7 last week at home, however.
No. 5 Oklahoma (-10) vs. No. 11 Texas
The annual Red River Showdown between these schools is always a must-see affair. Last year was the first time since 2012 that both teams were ranked and Texas won the regular season meeting by three. Both teams are ranked again this year. OU and UT combined to score 93 points last season, the most ever in this historic rivalry. Given the way both teams are playing on offense right now, that record could be broken again.
No. 7 Florida at No. 6 LSU (-13)
For a second straight week, Florida plays in the biggest contest of the weekend and it’s against a fellow top 10 ranked SEC team. LSU had its way with Utah State last week but now welcomes the Gators to Death Valley. Florida is coming off a huge win at home against Auburn. LSU was also undefeated last year when it faced UF and lost that game 27-16. The Tigers will be looking for revenge this year as both teams have yet to lose.
No. 9 Penn State (-3) at No. 18 Iowa
Iowa gets to play in the biggest Big 10 game of the week again. The Hawkeyes were facing Michigan last week but only managed to score 3 points in a 7-point loss. Penn State destroyed Purdue by 28 but now go on the road where in 2017, the Nittany Lions scored on the last play of the game to secure the victory.
USC at No. 10 Notre Dame (-11.5)
The Trojans have to travel to South Bend after an open week to face a Top 10 ranked Notre Dame team that covered a 45-point line against Bowling Green. The Irish won last year at USC in the final regular-season game of the year, 24-17. This is the last non-Pac-12 opponent for the Trojans in the regular season.
Hawaii at No. 14 Boise State (-23.5)
With UCF losing again and falling out of the poll, the Broncos have a real shot at being the Group of 5 representative in a major bowl game this winter. BSU is coming off a dominant win at UNLV and should be favored every game the rest of the season. Hawaii got two wins over Pac-12 schools to start the year and are coming off a 54-3 drubbing of Nevada. This is a huge game in the Mountain West Conference.
No. 15 Utah (-14) at Oregon State
Utah was off last week but looked extremely impressive in its last game against Washington State. The Utes defense held the high-flying Cougars to just 13 points. Oregon State has lost its last three meetings with Utah but all three have been by less than 10 points.
No. 16 Michigan at Illinois (NL)
It sure wasn’t pretty, but the Wolverines were able to hold Iowa scoreless for the last three quarters last week to win 10-3 on Homecoming. Michigan has quieted down the critics, at least for a week, but will be a big favorite on the road this week. Illinois has lost three straight and both Big 10 games so far.
Louisville at No. 17 Wake Forest (-6.5)
Of all of the teams in this week’s polls, the Demon Deacons being a top 20 team might be the most surprising. At 5-0, Wake Forest is right in the thick of things in the Atlantic Division. They do have a big game coming up against Clemson but Louisville has the potential to trip Wake up if they aren’t on their game this week.
No. 20 Memphis (-3.5) at Temple
Memphis already has wins over Ole Miss and Navy this season and now travels to Philly to take on a physical Temple squad that is 4-1 on the year. Since scoring just 15 points in the season opener, the Tigers have scored at least 35 points in every game since. Temple has only allowed more than 35 points in a game once this season, in its only loss to Buffalo.
Texas Tech at No. 23 Baylor
The undefeated Bears went to the Little Apple last week and blew out Kansas State to improve to 5-0 on the season. Texas Tech is coming off a big victory over then-No. 21 Oklahoma State and will have another chance to get a big conference win this week.
Washington State at No. 24 Arizona State (-3)
The Sun Devils are 4-1 but they lost their last home game to Colorado. After beating Cal on the road and having an open week, Arizona State returns home to face Washington State and one of the top offenses in the country. The Cougars lost badly in their last game at Utah and now are facing an 0-3 start in conference play if they can’t beat ASU on the road.
Nebraska at No. 25 Minnesota (NL)
The Gophers are undefeated but their schedule has been very kind. Minnesota is 2-0 in the Big 10 but has only faced Illinois and Purdue. This is going to be the first real test of the season with Nebraska coming to town off a hard-fought home win over Northwestern. If the Huskers want to win the Big 10 West, this is a game Nebraska has to have.