The Observer’s Roundtable Week 6
Between the Red River Showdown and Iowa vs. Penn State, there are insane matchups across the board this week in college football. After some massive upsets, college football feels like it can be anyone’s season this year. Another Roundtable starts now!
NCAA Games of the Week
No. 6 Oklahoma @ No. 21 Texas
No. 4 Penn State @ No. 3 Iowa
No. 13 Arkansas @ No. 17 Ole Miss
While I have not been too high on Oklahoma this season, especially since they keep winning nail biters, the Red River Showdown is set to be an action-packed game. Texas has been abysmal this season, but as we all know, rivalry games like this throw everything out of the window. Last year’s showdown saw Oklahoma win 53-45 in not one, but four overtimes. I have a strong feeling we will see a similar score again this year even with Texas’ struggles on offense. Despite Texas leading the all-time series, I have Oklahoma winning again with a big day from Spencer Rattler.
Oklahoma 45, Texas 38
College Gameday should be here but with all the matchups going on, it only makes sense that it will be in Texas. However, Penn State vs. Iowa will be the game of the week and will be the headliner coming out of the week. Iowa has been on fire and Penn State has surprisingly been dominant, especially after last year’s season. This game will be low-scoring as both defenses are giving up a combined 11.8 points. The question however is what offense can be the first to breakthrough. Sean Clifford will need to play the biggest game of his career if he is going to bring home the win for the Nittany Lions who have not beaten a top 5 team since 1994 on the road.
Penn State 17, Iowa 14
Once again, the Razorbacks find themselves on The Roundtable. Granted they play in the SEC which houses the best college football conference. Still, this game is important in terms of who will be participating in an NY6 bowl game. Arkansas was shut out 37-0 against Georgia and they will be looking for revenge. Ole Miss on the other hand was blown out by Alabama 42-21, and Matt Corral looked average. While he lost the title as Heisman frontrunner last weekend, I have a feeling this game will put Corral back as the favorite, and Arkansas’ Cinderella run will be wiped. I expect this game to be close until late.
Arkansas 28 Ole, Miss 38
I have consistently beat up on Oklahoma all year long. They have underperformed the entire season going 0-4 against the spread when playing an FBS team. When watching him play, I have never really looked at Spencer Rattler as a Heisman caliber QB. Texas has been playing okay this season; they have one win over a then-ranked opponent in the University of Louisiana. Their only loss comes at the hands of Arkansas 40-21 (considering the Razorbacks are now ranked 13th by the AP, that is not a bad loss). So call me crazy, but I am taking Texas in a wild shootout.
Oklahoma 38, Texas 42
This matchup could not be more different than Oklahoma vs. Texas. That game should be a high-scoring offensive affair, whereas PSU @ Iowa should be a low-scoring defensive struggle. Both teams barely eclipse, scoring 30 points per game, and neither team allows more than 12. Based on what I have seen out of both teams thus far, I am giving it to Iowa just by a hair. While Penn State has the better offense, I think the Hawkeyes have the better defense and will be able to limit the Nittany Lions.
Penn State 20, Iowa 21
Both of these squads are coming off of their first loss of the season and need a rebound. Arkansas was beaten 37-0 last weekend by no. 2 Georgia, and Ole Miss lost at Alabama 42-21. On top of that, this is a game that will help determine the SEC West’s pecking order. I know that six points favor Ole Miss, but I am taking Arkansas here. Arkansas is simply the stronger team defensively that should be able to limit Ole Miss similarly to Alabama. I also do not trust Ole Miss defensively to limit the Arkansas rushing attack.
Arkansas 24, Ole Miss 21
Oklahoma has been very inconsistent so far this season, and Texas is the first ranked team the Sooners will face. Spencer Rattler has not even approached the preseason expectations that were set out for him, and Oklahoma fans were chanting for freshman backup QB Caleb Williams. Texas, on the flip side, has had a few convincing wins since their loss to 13th-ranked Arkansas in Week 2. The Longhorns have scored at least 32 points in each of their games this season, and Oklahoma gave up over 400 yards and 31 points to Kansas State in their last time on the field. Oklahoma has won the last three and six of the last eight Red River showdowns, but with the game at the Cotton Bowl, I am going to take Texas with the upset.
Texas 31, Oklahoma 27
Iowa was down 7-3 to Maryland last week before closing the game 48-7 to win by a final score of 51-14. The Hawkeye offense is a lot better than I thought, but so is Penn State’s. Sean Clifford has exceeded all expectations so far this season, and James Franklin has this offense clicking in a way I did not expect. Penn State starts a brutal stretch of their schedule with Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan in the next five weeks. I’m not sure if they can navigate that stretch without dropping a game, and since the Big 10 loves shooting themselves in the foot in terms of CFP contention, I think Penn State wins this one before losing later.
Penn State 23, Iowa 20
Arkansas’ offense looked bad this weekend, and I mean very bad. There is no way you should get shut out as a top 10 team in the country. I know Georgia’s defense is good, but that is still inexcusable. Ole Miss didn’t look that much better, but at least they scored 21 points. Matt Corral stumbled for the first time this season, but I trust him so much more than Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson. This figures to be a high-scoring matchup, and I think my faith in Corral is the deciding factor.
Ole Miss 38, Arkansas 27
The Red River Rivalry is one of the greatest rivalries in sports, and Saturday’s matchup should be no different. Despite being undefeated so far this season, Spencer Rattler and the Sooners have struggled mightily and have not looked the part of a top ten team. Although Texas faltered against Arkansas earlier this year, their offense has looked lethal as of late, putting up a stunning 160 points over the last three games. I expect this one to be highly competitive throughout, but the Longhorns have the better, more consistent offense of the two teams, so I will take the Longhorns in an upset in this one.
Texas 45, Oklahoma 41
This is the biggest showdown in Kinnick Stadium since 1985 where the top-ranked Hawkeyes beat number two Michigan in a classic 12-10 epic Big Ten showdown. This matchup against Penn State has huge CFP implications for both teams, and it will be a good indicator of where each team is at. Iowa’s defense has made every team’s offense they have played look horrible so far, and I expect this Saturday to be no different. Behind a sellout, rowdy crowd in Iowa City, I expect the Hawkeyes to come out in full force and blow the Nittany Lions out of the water with their elite defense.
Iowa 34, Penn State 13
Both of these SEC West teams are coming off of disappointing losses against the top two teams in the country, and they will look to rebound and gain a quality victory. Despite a disappointing game from Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral against Alabama last week, I expect a bounce back game from him. The Rebels will take care of the Razorbacks in Oxford on a game ending touchdown drive.
Ole Miss 38, Arkansas 31