1) No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M. What this game lost in luster — ESPN’s “College GameDay” diverted travel plans — it gained in intrigue. How do the Aggies bounce back from the Appalachian State loss? Can the Hurricanes secure an early breakthrough victory under Mario Cristobal? ?
Line: Texas A&M by 5 1/2. Pick: Texas A&M 24-17.
2) No. 22 Penn State at Auburn
This rare SEC-Big Ten regular-season game is the return match of last season’s meeting in Happy Valley. There has been so much made about Bryan Harsin’s tenuous job status at Auburn. This game will either ignite the hot seat or provide a respite for the second-year coach.
Line: Penn State by 3 1/2. Pick: Auburn 23-20.
3) No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon
Second straight game against a ranked opponent for the Cougars. Win this one and there is a path for BYU to make some noise nationally in October with back-to-back games against Notre Dame and No. 10 Arkansas. As for the Ducks, let’s see if the Georgia game was an anomaly.
The Wolfpack faced a scare at East Carolina in Week 1 and now get a Power Five test. The Red Raiders are coming off an overtime victory against Houston and are definitely capable of dousing N.C. State’s high expectations.
Line: N.C. State by 9 1/2. Pick: Texas Tech 27-24, UPSET SPECIAL.
5) Fresno State at No. 7 Southern California
The Trojans are what was expected so far. QB Caleb Williams and WR Jordan Addison can score in bunches. The defense has lots of holes. Fresno State beat UCLA last year and nearly beat Oregon State last week. Can Bulldogs quarterback Jake Haener keep up with USC’s stars?