1. ILLINOIS @ PURDUE, 12:00 p.m. EST (10/22)
GRAHAM predicts ILLINOIS
It's got to be Illinois, even on the road. Are they ripe for upset after OSU gave everyone the blueprint? Yup, but OSU also has a Top 10 defense nationally. Illinois on the road, in another close game that Purdue would love to have.
JON predicts ILLINOIS
Sure, OSU outlined a model defensive blueprint in last week's constrictive win over the Illini. But the 40 mile per hour wind gusts certainly didn't hurt. Nathan Scheelhaase and A.J. Jenkins get back in rhythm in West Lafayette against the languid Boilermakers.
GRAHAM predicts MIAMI
I'm just not sold on Georgia Tech - Miami knocked 'em off last year and the Canes aren't plagued by Jacory Harris TO's this year. Canes get the win at home.
JON predicts GEORGIA TECH
In a week full of phone-in predictions, this toss up match probably carries a lot more weight than it should. Interesting statistic: Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson is 3-0 in games following his first loss of the season. Those wins are by an average of 18 points. Graham isn't sold on the Jackets. Well, I'm not sold on Jacory Harris. Say what you want about him turning over a new leaf, I think he's still mistake prone, especially with the opportunistic Rod Sweeting in the Tech secondary. A shorthanded Cane defensive line can't handle the triple-option and the Jackets escape with another conference win.
GRAHAM predicts PENN STATE
Preseason 2011 would claim the Wildcats were the favorite here. That's out the window. PSU's tough as shit defense combined with NW's inability to finish drives equals another PSU win.
JON predicts PENN STATE
Penn State's loss to Alabama keeps looking better every week. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions are quietly 6-1, with one of the fiercest defenses in the land. That defense will keep a disappointing Northwestern offense in check. Meanwhile, the Wildcats domestic unit will make Penn State's quarterback shuffle look like a well choreographed dance.
4. USC @ NOTRE DAME, 7:30 p.m. EST (10/22)
GRAHAM predicts NOTRE DAME
What a great game. ND, perpetually overrated but featuring a solid defense. USC, uber-talented but sometimes uninterested. ND wins at home. Why? Because this game will be tied going into the 4th quarter and it's a damn tossup, that's why.
JON predicts NOTRE DAME
I promised myself I wouldn't pick the Irish any more this year, but I can't turn my back on the team with the better defense at home. Factor in Lane Kiffin's bad 2-point conversion and fourth down habits, and I think the Irish return to the Top 25, where they'll sit until they meet the Stanford Cardinal.
5. No. 6 WISCONSIN @ No. 16 MICHIGAN STATE, 8:00 p.m. EST (10/22)
GRAHAM predicts WISCONSIN
Gameday comes to EL: Can Sparty punch enough Badger throats to get the monstrous prime-time upset? Probably not. Wisconsin is loaded across the board and MSU's offense will have to play a perfect game. Turnovers against Michigan don't cost you a game, but they do against Wisky. Badgers on the road.
JON predicts WISCONSIN
If you're looking for an upset at Spartan Stadium you're one year late. There's no way the Badgers slip on the road in East Lansing for the second year in a row. I like this matchup to stay close, only because Wisconsin hasn't seen a pocket quarterback quite like Kirk Cousins and hasn't played a true road game. Ultimately, however, the Badgers have too many weapons to be completely bottled up on offense. Wisky continues its march towards a championship game snub.