UCLA is on its second bye week in four weeks. While the bye week could’ve been a bit more strategically placed (a few weeks later would’ve been nice), it does help that the Bruins will get the rest necessary for a Thursday night tilt with the Utah Utes.
Of course, the bye week means we have no UCLA football game to watch. Instead, here are a few games you should keep your eye on.
#12 South Carolina (2-1) at Central Florida (3-0)
TIME: 9 a.m. PT
LINE: South Carolina, -7
PREVIEW: South Carolina hasn’t looked like the world-beater they were last year, especially with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney looking pretty pedestrian. (Indeed, Anthony Barr has outdone Clowney in every statistical category so far this year.) Meanwhile, Central Florida may have a damn good team, coming off a solid win against an admittedly-struggling Penn State squad. While South Carolina’s favored to win this one, it’s not by much; the majority of sports books have Central Florida as just one-touchdown ‘dogs.
PREDICTION: UCF 31, South Carolina 28
#6 LSU (3-0) at #9 Georgia (2-1)
TIME: 12:30 p.m. PT
LINE: Georgia, -3
PREVIEW: LSU finally looks like the team they were back in 2011 when they stood invulnerable for much of the season (before Alabama got its revenge and wiped the floor with them in the national title game). Although the competition’s been pretty light (with their best win coming against then-21st-ranked TCU), LSU has had little trouble disposing of its opponents. Georgia, on the other hand, lost a heartbreaker to Clemson to open their season, but knocked off then-sixth-ranked South Carolina. This is the third opponent in ranked in the top 10 that Georgia’s faced in their first four weeks.
PREDICTION: LSU 38, UGA 28
Arizona (3-0) at #16 Washington (3-0)
TIME: 4 p.m. PT
LINE: Washington, -7
PREVIEW: For all the hype surrounding the SEC games, this is perhaps the most intriguing game of the day. Both Washington and Arizona are liable to run at breakneck speeds on offense, meaning we could see a combined 180 plays today, if we’re lucky. Aside from that, this game will tell us a whole lot about Washington and Arizona, as both have started their seasons remarkably strong (although Arizona’s performances have come against lesser teams). A win for Arizona in Husky Stadium (or as opponents like to call it, “living hell”) would certainly catapult Arizona into the top-20 in the AP polls. A win for Washington would solidify our suspicions that the Huskies are, indeed, back.
PREDICTION: Washington 41, Arizona 35
#5 Stanford (3-0) at Washington State (2-1)
TIME: 7 p.m. PT
LINE: Stanford, -9
PREVIEW: We’re not sure why the Cardinal are just nine-point favorites, but we can speculate as to why this is. First, a lackluster finish to an otherwise-dominant performance against Arizona State probably hurt them. A lazy game against Army (a team they still blew out, mind you) could’ve been the reason, too. Regardless, Washington State is much-improved and could very well provide problems for the Cardinal defense. That said, WSU defense is the pits.
PREDICTION: Stanford 35, WSU 17