It’s always dangerous to make proclamations this early in a college football season, but if No. 4 Ohio State goes to Happy Valley and beats No. 9 Penn State on Saturday night then you can almost pencil in the Buckeyes for the College Football Playoff.
They are 4-point favorites Saturday on the college football odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com and should be favored in every game the rest of the regular season, including the Big Ten Championship Game (if they get there) against the winner of the weak West Division.
Saturday could also have Heisman ramifications because both quarterbacks, the Buckeyes’ Dwayne Haskins and the Lions’ Trace McSorley, are candidates – although Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is the clear favorite on the Heisman Trophy odds right now. Ohio State has won five of its past six against Penn State but only covered one of the previous four.
Something will happen Saturday that hasn’t since 2007: Kentucky will take the field as a ranked team. The Wildcats entered the Top 25 over the weekend for the first time since 2007 and already have wins over ranked teams Florida and Mississippi State, making Kentucky 2-0 in the SEC for the first time since 1977. The Cats are just 2-point home favorites, though, against South Carolina. UK has covered five straight in the series.
Another game with potential College Football Playoff ramifications is a non-conference matchup between No. 7 Stanford and No. 8 Notre Dame from South Bend. The Irish are -5.5. They made a quarterback change in this past Saturday’s blowout of Wake Forest, inserting Ian Book into the starting lineup for Brandon Wimbush. Book surely will keep the job for a while after throwing for three scores and running for two others.
Stanford has won seven of the past nine in this series according to the OddsShark College Football Database.
A second interesting Top 25 non-conference matchup involving a Pac-12 North Division power has No. 11 Washington hosting No. 20 Brigham Young in the first meeting between the schools since the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl. The Huskies are 17-point favorites even though BYU already owns a road win over a former Top 10 team in Wisconsin. The Cougars have covered five straight on the road overall.
Lastly, No. 3 Clemson was ranked No. 2 last year when it went to Syracuse and was upset 27-24. The Tigers are home this Saturday looking for payback and are 23.5-point favorites. They bring a 21-game September home winning streak into it but are 1-3 ATS in the past four overall against the Orange.
Source: Heavy Sports