College Football Picks: Washington, Miami try to snap skids
No. 9 Tennessee broke its long losing skid to Florida earlier this season and now No. 5 Washington and No. 10 Miami get their chances to turn around a couple of recently one-sided rivalries.
The Hurricanes have lost six straight to the Seminoles and nine of 11 in a series that had a run in the late 1980s and early '90s of often producing the most important college football game of the season.
For the Huskies, their run of futility against Oregon has been longer and uglier. Washington has lost 12 straight to the Ducks by an average margin of 23 points.
Things are looking up for both the Hurricanes and Huskies, though far more so for Washington. The Huskies are coming off smashing Stanford and have a top-five ranking for the first time since the end of the 2000 season. They even get a little extra rest, having played last Friday night. Meanwhile, the Ducks are on their first three-game losing streak since 2007. This looks like a mismatch in the Huskies favor, despite recent history.
The Hurricanes should be more guarded in their optimism. Sure they are favored, and they are the higher ranked team heading into the game for the first time since 2010. But the 'Noles won that 2010 game 45-17.
And as for those Volunteers, who snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Gators and then beat Georgia with a Hail Mary, it gets even tougher this week with a trip to No. 8 Texas A&M.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
No. 3 Clemson (minus 17) at Boston College
A BYOE game for the Tigers. Bring your own energy into a stadium that might not have much juice for a home team on a 10-game ACC losing streak. Plus, the Red Sox are playing Friday, too ... CLEMSON 35-10.
No. 19 Boise State (minus 17) at New Mexico
The Lobos upset the Broncos last season, breaking off a bunch of big passes out of their triple-option; the season before, they ran for 505 yards in a close loss ... BOISE STATE 38-24.
No. 9 Tennessee (plus 7) at No. 8 Texas A&M
Seems like too much to ask Josh Dobbs and the Vols to win another big road game after two draining weeks ... TEXAS A&M 28-19.
No. 1 Alabama (plus 14) at No. 16 Arkansas
The Razorbacks have lost nine straight to the Crimson Tide ... ALABAMA 31-16.
Indiana (plus 29) at No. 2 Ohio State
The last time the Hoosiers avoided losing to the Buckeyes was 1990, when they tied. Last Indiana victory was 1988 ... OHIO STATE 49-17.
No. 5 Washington (minus 8) at Oregon
One game can't make up for 12 years of frustration, but the Huskies can certainly try ... WASHINGTON 45-21, BEST BET.
No. 23 Florida State (plus 3) at No. 10 Miami
A real Hurricane is threatening the region and could disrupt this game ... FLORIDA STATE 28-23, UPSET SPECIAL.
Washington State (plus 7½) at No. 15 Stanford
The Cougars have lost eight-straight to the Cardinal ... STANFORD 33-24.
No. 4 Michigan (minus 27½) at Rutgers
Wolverines star Jabrill Peppers returns to his home state. And just a few days after his birthday, too ... MICHIGAN 45-13.
No. 6 Houston (minus 17) at Navy
The Midshipmen need to play keep-away against Greg Ward Jr. and the Cougars ... HOUSTON 40-20.
No. 25 Virginia Tech (plus 2½) at No. 17 North Carolina
Tar Heels QB Mitch Trubisky starting to get some Heisman buzz ... NORTH CAROLINA 35-28.
LSU (minus 3) at No. 18 Florida
RB Leonard Fournette iffy at best for Tigers; QB Luke Del Rio the same for the Gators ... LSU 24-17.
No. 20 Oklahoma (minus 10) vs. Texas at Dallas
Red River has rarely looked so murky. Hard to figure either team right now ... OKLAHOMA 42-35.
No. 21 Colorado (plus 4½) at Southern California
Sam Darnold has brought hope for a recovery at USC ... USC 35-24.
Arizona (plus 9) at No. 24 Utah
Both teams are banged up, but the Wildcats might be starting freshman QB Kahlil Tate against one of the Pac-12's better defenses ... UTAH 28-17.
BYU (plus 6) at Michigan State — @aolsen
Under-the-radar star: Cougars RB Jamaal Williams is third in the nation in rushing at 140.6 yards per game while playing four Power Five schools and maybe the best team in the MAC ... MICHIGAN STATE 28-21.
Auburn (minus 3) at Mississippi State — @conorgattis
The Bulldogs have won three of four in the series and Tigers coach Gus Malzahn is next in line to start feeling the heat in the SEC now that Les Miles is gone ... AUBURN 23-21.
Notre Dame (plus 1½) at North Carolina State — @MPVahalik
Wolfpack begins a three-game stretch that also includes road games at Clemson and Louisville. This is the most winnable ... NORTH CAROLINA STATE 38-31.
Maryland (minus 1½) at Penn State — @iamDougWarren
The Terps' 4-0 start is built on sketchy opposition, but there are promising numbers underneath: plus-141 yards per game and only two turnovers ... PENN STATE 28-23.
RECORD: Last week 19-6 straight; 11-14 vs. points.
Season: 75-25; 47-50-1.
Upset specials: 1-4.
Best bets: 0-5.
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