Week 10
Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder is in a good position to lead the Bearcats to another win this weekend (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Finally, in week 10 of the 2020 college football season, we have all major conferences in action. The MAC began their play on Wednesday and the PAC-12 kickoff on Saturday. Unfortunately, there will be no further discussion with those conferences. When picking college football games, I would always prefer to see at least a preview of what the teams have to offer. Next week, you will see at least one PAC-12 game in this weekly segment, but not this week.

Around the rest of the college football world, there are a few headlines. Oklahoma State lost last week, to my dismay. Now, there will likely be no BIG-12 team that makes the college football playoff. As a result, the door will potentially be open for a non-Power Five team or another SEC member. Meanwhile, teams like Penn State and Michigan might already be out of playoff contention. Still, they have games to play, and we have games to pick. Here are my picks for week 10 of the college football action.

Michigan (-3.0) vs. Indiana

Yes, Michigan suffered an embarrassing loss last week. Yes, I usually pick against the Wolverines. However, this line seems to be suspicious. I think many people will take Indiana at home getting a field goal but are they deserving? Sure, they beat a Penn State team missing a few of their top players. Still, I’m not willing to give Indiana the benefit of the doubt until they win another relatively big game.

Jim Harbaugh should have his Wolverines ready to redeem themselves from their last performance. Michigan has some capable weapons on offense, and quarterback Joe Milton has performed well in his first two starts. Additionally, Michigan has a strong defense, led by edge rusher Kwity Paye and linebacker Cameron McGrone. Indiana’s quarterback Michael Penix Jr has excellent legs, but I will always lean with the opposing defense until he proves it with his arm. Michigan will not be upset two weeks in a row, so give me the Wolverines by at least a touchdown in this one.

Cincinnati (-13.0) vs. Houston

Quarterbacks Zach Wilson and Mac Jones have been the big risers so far in this season, but what about Desmond Ridder? The Cincinnati quarterback exploded last week versus Memphis, completing 21 of 26 pass attempts for 271 yards and three touchdowns. Ridder has led the Bearcats to a 6-0 start and has another favorable matchup this Saturday. The Houston Cougars’ defense was exposed last week as UCF scored 44 points on the road. Expect Ridder to have another strong game in this contest.

Additionally, Cincinnati’s defense has performed well all season. Allowing just ten points to Memphis, the Bearcats have one of the top secondaries in the nation. Defensive backs James Wiggins, Ja’Von Hicks, and Ahmad Gardner have dominated against the pass all season, as the entire unit has given up just twelve points per game. And, on the defensive line, Myjai Sanders has gotten to the quarterback all season. Don’t expect anything different in this one. Houston has not been as good as expected in the AAC this season, so I’m taking Cincinnati by two touchdowns.

Upset: South Carolina (+9.5) vs. Texas A&M

All season, the South Carolina Gamecocks have been a roller coaster of a team. They went from pulling off a massive upset against Auburn to giving up 52 points to an injured LSU team. However, I’m going with the Gamecocks in this contest, as I know Texas A&M will suffer a bad loss sooner rather than later. The Gamecocks offense has not been great, but wide receiver Shi Smith has been an impressive bright spot. No one on the Aggies defense can cover him, so expect a strong performance from one of the country’s best slot receivers.

This game should be low scoring, as they are both good defensively but do not have the strongest weapons on offense. As I have mentioned before, Jaycee Horn is the best cornerback in college football (except for Patrick Surtain II). Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond will not be able to throw past Horn, and the Gamecocks defensive line should bring the pressure all game. On paper, this game might look like Texas A&M should blow South Carolina out. Even though I am still low on the Aggies, this is a hazardous pick. However, picking South Carolina as my underdog has worked for me once before, so I’m trusting them again. Give me the Gamecocks as my week 10 upset pick.

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