The annual knee-lapper that is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Navy Midshipmen will be a prime time game for America. The triple-option is all about running on schedule, and I’m running WAY behind... so let’s do this:
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 38, Navy Midshipmen 16
The Irish have struggled with Navy and that darn triple option in recent seasons, but I think Clark Lea and all that fast, aggressive, experienced talent he has will do a great job forcing punts and not allowing Navy to completely eat up the clock. Ian Book with more possessions = Ian Book with more touchdowns, and I think Dexter Williams pops off with the O-line tweaks against a small Navy defense (relative to all other opponents). Irish move to 8-0 with a decent amount of ease.
Florida Atlantic Owls 27, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 24
I still believe in Joey Freshwater and the boys. Huge, sorely-needed win here for the Owls as they claw their way back to a .500 record.
Notre Dame 41, Navy 14
This year, Navy is not the Navy that we’re used to seeing. It’s a down year for the Midshipmen, and I think the Irish take advantage and escape with a big win and no injuries.
Miami-Ohio Redhawks 38, Buffalo Bulls 34
Miami is improved on offense and really hung with a pretty good Army team. Buffalo is pretty good too, though. This is a homer pick, but I think Miami gets the win and hopefully, before the season is over, Chuck gets another year to turn the corner.
Clemson Tigers 38, Florida State Seminoles 10
It’s hard to pick against the clear best or second-best team in college football. The Tigers are the second best defense (by S&P+ ranking) and I’ve got a feeling Clelin Farrell, Xavier Thomas and company are going to feast on this Frankenstein of a Seminoles offensive line.
Notre Dame 44, Navy 10
A rare week where Notre Dame plays the OFD Staffer’s “second team” resulting in either a complete breach of the time/space continuum, or merely one less short paragraph for you to read. So here goes: Navy is not good. I am an unrepentant Coach Ken fan-boi, but even I can find little positive to say here. Navy has basically no chance at bowl eligibility, nor do they have any chance against the Irish. 2018 will be for Navy what 2016 was for Notre Dame... a complete and abject failure of colossal proportions. I believe Notre Dame could score 50+ in this game, but Coach Kelly will call off the dogs early in the 4th.
Notre Dame 35, Navy 17
Before you know it the game is in the third quarter. The Irish pull away with some late long runs and consecutive defensive stops.
Holy Cross 27, Lehigh 24
The crusaders are limping towards the finish line. There is a lot of young talent and an enthusiastic coaching staff. A lot of talk about looking ahead to next year. However, my best friend Pete is visiting and our optimism conquered realism. Go Saders.
Notre Dame 45, Navy 20
This isn’t the normal Navy team that we have seen the past few years. Notre Dame should totally outmatch the Midshipmen for an easy victory. The real question is, more Irish touchdown passes or Ian Book incompletions? I say 6 of each.
Eastern Michigan Eagles 35, Army Black Knights 38 ( 3OT)
Two straight victories for the Eagles has those in Ypsilanti excited for what could be their second bowl appearance in three seasons. Tyler Wiegers played as good a game as you can ask from your quarterback last week, and I think it’ll continue going forward. However, Army has looked legit since losing their opener to the Duke Blue Devils, including an overtime thriller with the Oklahoma Sooners. These teams love playing in overtime, and I see another one in the future. Army wins it in triple overtime. As a proud American, I’m okay with it.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 45, Navy Midshipmen 7
Well this is awkward. It’s tough making such a patriotic pick by going with Army over Eastern Michigan, then having to pick this game. Last week’s bye couldn’t have come at a better time for the Irish. Since losing Alex Bars, it’s no secret the offensive line is going through some much needed tweaking. I believe the struggles we saw against the Pittsburgh Panthers two weeks ago got fixed, and I don’t see Navy keeping it close.
Notre Dame - 45 Navy - 24
The triple option will give the Irish fits (what else is new). But this season, there is too much talent, specifically offensively for Navy to keep up with the Irish. Navy will score a bit, but not too much on the defense that has been awesome and also is rested.
Akron Zips 34, Central Michigan Chippewas 27
Akron is at home. Even with a 3-3 record, they can beat the Chips. It’s just a severe struggle for the Chippewas as they have had a QB switch and a lack of offensive production this season.
Notre Dame 38, Navy 16
Notre Dame looks well-rested after the bye week, but Navy is still able to chew clock, keeping ND under 40 points.
Texas Longhorns 31, Oklahoma State Cowboys 24
Texas, ranked #6, now enters the David after dentist “is this real life?” phase of the season. It continues at least for another week and they beat the Cowboys.
Notre Dame 45, Navy 14
On paper, this isn’t close. But it’s Navy, so there’s a great chance that this ends up getting a little weird for the Irish. Things will probably look not-so-great at some points in the game - say, a 17-14 halftime score - but I think the Irish eventually overwhelm and overpower a mediocre Midshipmen team.
Washington Huskies 33, California Golden Bears 21
Washington isn’t quite the Playoff caliber squad I thought they were, but they’re still very good. Their opponent is an unimpressive Cal team that got blown out by UCLA 37-7 (!!!). While Cal won’t be quite that bad on Saturday, they won’t do enough to overcome the talent and experience on the Huskies’ side.
Notre Dame 34, Navy 17
Navy is going to present Notre Dame with the same kind of competition that they faced against Pitt, and I think the Irish are going to have another slow start this week, however ... I think Notre Dame will rebound quickly and beat Navy by 17 points. The wishbone offense may not be something ND sees every week, but this Notre Dame defense is at the top of their game and should have no problems adjusting to squash Navy. Enjoy the balmy 80 degree day and GO IRISH! SINK NAVY!
Arkansas Razorbacks 35, Vanderbilt Commodores 14
Vanderbilt may have given Notre Dame a run for their money, but I don’t think Arkansas is going to have much trouble with them this week. Arkansas has finally gotten their offense going, and even though they lost to Alabama a few weeks ago, they did manage to put 31 points up on their defense. Last week, Arkansas won nicely, shutting out Tulsa 23-0, and they will get their third win this week against Vandy. Woo Pig!
Notre Dame 38, Navy 16
The fewest points Navy has allowed this year is 22. So I’m not all that worried about them giving Notre Dame a lot of resistance. Notre Dame is far and away the best defense that Navy will face this year, so I don’t think we’ll see the Midshipmen put up too many points here...or at least not at the same pace that Notre Dame can and will.
Oregon State Beavers 10, Colorado Buffaloes 34
The Buffaloes have a high powered offense. The Beavers have a defense that has looked sluggish and confused all year. What’s more, most of OSU’s good offensive players are hurt. This could get even uglier than what my score prediction states, honestly.
Notre Dame 45, Navy 10
The Irish come off the bye with some fresh legs and renewed focus. Navy lets this get out of hand early as they refuse to take field goals — which causes drives to end abruptly. Ian Book throws 3 incompletions and 3 touchdowns while running for 2 more.
Florida Gators 17, Georgia Bulldogs 24
The real battle for the SEC East comes back to the World’s Largest Cocktail Party. Both teams are trying to make a statement for playoff consideration, along with winning the conference, and a win helps both causes. I think Georgia gets it done in all 3 phases of the game, but ultimately a late Florida turnover will seal the deal here.