Here are the interesting games for this weekend (we’re not going to bother with games like “Boston College by 47 over Holy Cross”) and our forecasts for those games.
Clemson at Texas A&M – Vegas has this as a 12 point Clemson win; we only see a 7 point gap here.
Samford at Florida State – An FCS team at FSU? Well, we think this will be within 15 points: Samford’s a top-notch team, and Florida State didn’t look good Monday (which means a short week for them, too).
Duke at Northwestern – We see NW by five; the Vegas line is just three, and Sagarin says it’s 2.6 points.
Georgia Tech at USF – Being at South Florida makes them the favorite for us; we predict USF by one. Vegas prefers Georgia Tech by three.
North Carolina @ East Carolina – The Tar Heels just don’t look good. The ELO-FF agrees with Vegas – 16 points for UNC – but I’m thinking even ECU has a shot at home.
Penn State at Pitt – Intrastate rivals. 9 points in Penn State’s favor, but only because Pitt’s not as good as App State!
Virginia at Indiana – Bottom feeders in Power Five conferences. Vegas says Indiana by seven; we think it’s by three.
Michigan State @ Arizona State – I’d have said this would be a rout before the season, but ASU looked really good last week. We see MSU by five (Vegas makes it 6.5).
Western Illinois at Illinois – Sagarin, understandably, has the big school by eight. We actually believe the FCS Western Illinois club is a one point favorite.
Iowa State at Iowa – Given Iowa’s at home, we like the Hawkeyes by three.
Fresno State at Minnesota – we like the Mountain West Bulldogs over the Gophers by four. Vegas prefers Minnesota by two.
Colorado at Nebraska – We see the Huskers as just two point favorites; the Vegas line is 5.5
Kansas at Western Michigan – Poor Jayhawk fans. CMU by four.
Kansas State at Mississippi State – MSU by four. Vegas says twice that.
California at BYU (Brigham Young) – Big variety in predictions here. Vegas prefers BYU by three. The ELO-FF sees how good Cal was last week and prefers the Bears by five. (Sagarin says Cal by six.)
USC at Stanford – Here’s a huge game in the Pac-12! We all say Stanford; ELO-FF prefers the Cardinal by six; Vegas says it’s by four. Sagarin likes five.
Kentucky at Florida – Gators by 12.
Georgia at South Carolina – Bulldawgs by 8. (Closer than Vegas says for both SEC East games.
Cincinnati at Miami-Ohio – The numbers still like Miami by four, despite the Bearcats’ win over UCLA last week.
Memphis at Navy – Memphis is the big fish in the AAC West this season. Tigers by 11.
Tulane at Nicholls – Can Nicholls win a second FBS game in a row? Tulane is only a six point favorite…
Liberty at Army-West Point – Liberty upset their first FBS opponent last week; let’s see if they can defeat the USMA, a thirteen point favorite.
Howard at Kent State – Kent State isn’t likely to be favored very often this season, but they’re four point favorites against the FCS Howard squad.
Eastern Washington at Northern Arizona – a big game in the Big Sky; EWU is a two-point favorite.
San Diego at UC Davis – This is an interesting game. San Diego, big fish in the little Pioneer League pond, goes to UC Davis of the Big Sky, conquerors of FBS San Jose State. We see San Diego as three point favorites, proving their merit.
Southern Utah at Oregon State – How bad is OSU? Are they still so weak that FCS champion SUU can take them? We think not – OSU showed us something last week in Columbus, and we have them as three-point favorites.
Here are some other FCS games of interest, rattled off without commentary…
Albany at Rhode Island (-4)… Furman at Elon (-2)… Colgate at New Hampshire (-10)... Sacramento State at San Diego State (-17)… Montana State at South Dakota State (-16)… Chattanooga at The Citadel (-3)… Hampton at Monmouth (-8)… Campbell at Georgetown (-2)… Gardner-Webb at North Carolina A&T (-29…but wouldn’t it be funny if after slaying two giants, A&T were to lose a game they were favored like this in?)… Villanova (-7) at Lehigh…. North Alabama at Alabama A&M (-4 … a good test for the new FCS school in North Alabama!)…and finally, Alabama State at Auburn, who’s favored by an incredible 68 points in our system! (The Sagarin numbers place the spread at 66.7, so we’re pretty close.)
Note that we’re not forecasting NFL games this year. We’ve given up on them. The denial of concussion symptoms, the money-grubbing (and yes, college is just as bad there), the hypocrisy around the anthem, and the ludicrous free agency symptoms – have you seen the Le’veon Bell fiasco? No, we’re done with the NFL. We predict a bird-team wins tonight, that 13 more teams win Sunday, and a couple more win on Monday night. Safe?