College Football Week 7 Picks: Red River Rivalry, LSU-Florida in Spotlight

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LSU vs Florida Week 7 Joe Burrow football

After a weekend in college football that went largely to script, Week 7 goes heavy on big-time matchups, from the Oklahoma-Texas rivalry showdown in Dallas to SEC unbeatens LSU and Florida meeting in Death Valley in primetime. Two more top-25 matchups will make headlines as well: Alabama-Texas A&M and Penn State-Iowa. Who will win this week's biggest clashes? Our writers and editors' picks are in.

Season-Long Standings

Max Meyer: 54–19 (74.0%)
Michael Shapiro: 52–21 (71.2%)
Molly Geary: 50–23 (68.5%)
Ross Dellenger: 47–26 (64.4%)
Laken Litman: 46–25 (63.0%)

Appalachian State at Louisiana (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

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App State

Louisiana

App State

App State

App State

Ross Dellenger picks Louisiana: The Cajuns have cruised to four straight wins after opening the season with a 10-point loss to Mississippi State. They're doing it with a stacked backfield and a body-moving offensive line. Billy Napier, a Nick Saban disciple, is one of the rising stars in the profession who has UL on the uptick in Year 2. The Cajuns are ninth in scoring, first in rushing and sixth in total offense this year. It'll be tight, but they'll hand App State its first loss.

No. 20 Virginia at Miami (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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Virginia

Molly Geary picks Miami: You might be surprised to see that Miami, 2–3 and coming off a home loss to Virginia Tech, is favored in Vegas by one-to-two points. Maybe we should heed that: in recent history, teams ranked 20th—25th that are betting underdogs to unranked teams have not fared well. The Hurricanes are actually eight spots better than UVA in S&P+, and won't be afraid to go to N'Kosi Perry at QB if needed again after he came off the bench to throw for 422 yards and nearly pulled off a huge comeback win against the Hokies. The big concerns for Miami: its struggling offensive line and limiting Virginia QB Bryce Perkins, especially with his feet.

No. 23 Memphis at Temple (12 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

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Laken Litman picks Temple: The American Athletic Conference is having the most fun right now. SMU and Memphis are undefeated, Tulane upset Houston on a trick play and fan favorite UCF already has two losses. Saturday features a national TV matchup between the Tigers, heading into their first true road test of the season, and the Owls, who are undefeated at home this year (with wins over Maryland and Georgia Tech). Despite Memphis’s perfect record so far, expect Temple’s dominant AAC defense to contain RB Kenneth Gainwell, stop the run and grind out a close win at Lincoln Financial Field.

No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Texas (12 p.m. ET, FOX)

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Michael Shapiro picks Oklahoma: Texas's defense smothered Kyler Murray in the first half of last year's Red River Showdown, but the Longhorns may have trouble slowing down the Sooners on Saturday. The Longhorns are banged-up on the back end, missing 2018 Big 12 Freshman of the Year Caden Sterns as well as corners Jalen Green and Josh Thompson. Texas should hang plenty of points on Oklahoma with the expected return of wideout Collin Johnson. It just won't be enough to outscore Jalen Hurts and Co. in the Big 12's greatest rivalry. 

No. 1 Alabama at No. 24 Texas A&M (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

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Alabama

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Lorenzo Arguello picks Alabama: Entering 2019, the Aggies’ schedule would either prove they belonged among college football’s elite or break them down, one Top 25 loss at a time. So far, it’s looking like the latter. Having already fallen to Clemson and Auburn—and with Georgia and LSU still left at the tail end of things—Texas A&M comes off a bye to get the not-so-fun task of hosting Alabama this week. For as exciting as an A&M upset would be, the Tide are likely to cover the huge spread. Tua Tagovailoa has too many weapons for the Aggies’ defense to get enough stops and keep things close. This is an easy and boring pick to make: Bama. Expect the game to basically be said and done by the third quarter.

Michigan State at No. 8 Wisconsin (3:30 p.m. ET, BTN)

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Laken Litman picks Wisconsin: Wisconsin has the most explosive running back (Jonathan Taylor is averaging 149 yards per game and has scored 12 TD), the No. 1 defense in college football (only 29 total points allowed through five games), and is 5–0. Michigan State, meanwhile, is fresh off a 38–10 loss to Ohio State in which it gave up 529 yards, amassed 67 rushing yards on 27 carries, and turned the ball over three times. With the Buckeyes and Badgers on a crash course to meet in the Big Ten championship game, the Spartans could be in for another long day.

Washington State at No. 18 Arizona State (3:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network)

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Arizona State

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Washington State

Max Meyer picks Washington State: Arizona State has been strong at stopping the run, but defending opposing aerial attacks has been a different story, especially against competent quarterbacks. The Sun Devils have surrendered a good amount of explosive plays through the air, as opponents have notched 19 plays of at least 20 yards (tied for 90th).

With Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense at Washington State, you know what you’re getting: A lot of passes and a lot of big gains. If the likes of Chase Garbers and Steven Montez were shredding this ASU secondary, good luck trying to contain Anthony Gordon, Max Borghi and Wazzu’s deep collection of receivers.

Texas Tech at Baylor (4 p.m. ET, FS1)

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Michael Shapiro picks Baylor: Texas Tech pulled off the upset over Oklahoma State on Oct. 5, though its momentum should end at Baylor on Saturday. Bears QB Charlie Brewer is far better than Oklahoma State's Spencer Sanders, and Matt Rhule has restocked Baylor's roster just two seasons after going 1–11. Expect a double-digit win for the Bears in Waco. 

USC at No. 9 Notre Dame (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

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Notre Dame

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Notre Dame

Max Meyer picks Notre Dame: USC is healthier with quarterback Kedon Slovis and a couple key defensive players back following the bye week. The Trojans also have plenty of talent, and I could be convinced that they have the edge in that department. But whatever advantage they have there is completely negated by coaching, where Brian Kelly vs. Clay Helton is a massive mismatch. It wouldn’t surprise me if USC keeps it close, but the Irish should win this one.

No. 10 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa (7:30 p.m., ABC)

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Penn State

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Penn State

Lorenzo Arguello picks Penn State: Penn State is 5–0 thanks to a fairly easy schedule, whose only challenge has been squeaking by Pitt 17–10 four weeks ago. After a close loss to Michigan last week, Iowa presents the Nittany Lions with their first serious Big Ten challenge. Iowa’s stingy pass defense (168.6 yards per game, only four touchdowns allowed) should keep the Sean Clifford-to-KJ Hamler connection in check, while lowering Penn State’s nearly 40-points per game average margin of victory. PSU is a slight road favorite at Kinnick Stadium, which seems fair. It’ll probably be a classic Big Ten, field position determines the winner-type affair, and we’ll pick Penn State to improve to 6–0.

Nebraska at Minnesota (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

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Molly Geary picks Minnesota: The Gophers are fortunate to still be undefeated, and have a favorable pre-November schedule that will probably end up inflating their record. But their offense is clicking under Tanner Morgan, and this doesn't feel like the game they trip up in (and with a trip to Rutgers next week, it's not a trap situation). At home under the lights against a Nebraska team that may not have Adrian Martinez isn't an overly-daunting test, though the Huskers are a clear step up from recent Minnesota opponents Purdue and Illinois.

No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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Ross Dellenger picks LSU: It'll be hard for any atmosphere this season to match what awaits us all in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. A top-10 matchup under the lights and in front of 102,000-plus? Why certainly! The Tigers, with their sizzling quarterback and fast-moving offense, gets their toughest test of the season against a crew of pass-rushing freaks at Florida. Can the Gators keep up on offense with LSU? We don't think so.