The Reverse Barometer is back. Want to know what will happen in college football this weekend? Then read these picks and reverse the results.
No. 2 LSU at No. 4 Alabama
Leonard Fournette will get his yards; he always does. It won’t be easy against an Alabama team that ranks first in FBS in defensive efficiency. Did you know that Alabama has allowed only 11 players to rush for 100 yards under Nick Saban’s tenure since 2008? Fournette averages 150 yards-per-game, and only three players have ever done that to a Saban-coached Bama. The Tide have won the last four vs. LSU, so they have that going for them. As long as Jake Coker does not turn the ball over, Bama should be fine. Brandon Harris is going to have to be perfect with his arm for LSU to win. Bama wins a good one. Alabama 26, LSU 21
No. 16 Florida State at No. 1 Clemson
Dalvin Cook will decide this game. If the Florida State back can get rolling, the Tigers may have a quite a fight on their hands (but he’s coming off an ankle injury). He leads all power-5 conference players with 8.2 yards-per-rush and 30-yard runs with eight. Only Fournette averages more yards-per-game than Cook’s 148.1. The Seminoles are not dead yet in the playoff conversation, but they must run the table. Here’s a stat for you: The Tigers have not beaten the Seminoles since 2001, while going 25-1 vs. all other opponents. Clemson’s defense is mighty good, ranked seventh in the FPI. Seminoles keep it close, but Clemson wins it in the fourth quarter. Tigers 27, Seminoles 20.
No. 8 TCU at #14 Oklahoma State
Welcome to the only match-up this weekend between two unbeatens. The winner will remain in the hunt for the playoff while the loser takes a significant blow. TCU has won 16 games in a row, dating back to last season, while Oklahoma State has won 10 consecutive. Will one of the teams be able to play at least a little defense? Look for a high-scoring affair. TCU has lost the last three games in Stillwater. They break the streak with a 48-46 win.
No. 5 Notre Dame at Pitt
This series is famous for its down-to-the-wire finishes. The last six meetings have been decided by an average of 4.5 points, with two of the games going to overtime. Notre Dame was playing with fire last week at Temple. Will they do the same at Pitt? Yes, but they pull out another one, 24-21.
Iowa State at No. 15 Oklahoma
This game will be closer than the experts think. Iowa State has steadily improved over the season, including a 24-0 win over Texas last weekend. They’re not the traditional doormat that they used to be. OU has been on absolute fire since dropping a rivalry game to Texas a few weeks back. Do those combination of results equal a Cyclones road upset? No. Sooners 38 Cyclones 21.