If you’re looking for a midseason reprieve from the college football grind, Week 7 might be your best opportunity between now and January.
The upcoming slate leaves a little to be desired, with Saturday’s action undoing a number of potentially compelling matchups.
Remember that Alabama-Tennessee matchup in Knoxville that was seemingly set up as a clash of SEC titans? Whoops. While the Crimson Tide were rampaging over rival Arkansas, the Volunteers were shooting themselves in the foot—this time irreversibly.
Tennessee turned the ball over seven times and committed 12 penalties in its 45-38 loss to Texas A&M. The Volunteers, recipients of so many lucky breaks early on, got another when a desperation strip on a near-Aggies touchdown resulted in a touchback and gave them a chance to tie the game. Josh Dobbs did just that to send the contest to overtime, but he threw his second interception in double overtime to close things out on a low note.
“This team has been really flat-lined, very levelheaded, never too high, never too low, just like our talk in the locker room; they are very disappointed, but we’ll get back to work,” coach Butch Jones said, per Mike Griffith of SEC Country. “You can’t get down, because now you’ve got Alabama coming in, and that’s life in the Southeastern Conference; it’s not for everybody.”
Alabama will be playing its second straight road game against a ranked opponent. The Tide opened a 35-10 lead in the first half against Arkansas before taking their foot off the gas a little after halftime. They still finished the game with more than 500 yards of total offense despite having possession for just under 23 minutes.
Second-ranked Ohio State will likewise face a ranked road test against Wisconsin. The Buckeyes looked a little shakier than expected in their 38-17 win over Indiana but nonetheless won their fifth straight game by three or more touchdowns.
J.T. Barrett threw for just 93 yards and struggled as a passer for most of the contest. Luckily, he added 137 of the Buckeyes’ 290 yards on the ground as they scampered for four scores.
“We gotta make sure we win by three scores against a team we have a lot of respect for,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer told reporters. “So I feel lousy. We have to pick it up go again and get guys healthy, and we’re getting ready for a stretch run. Go on the road.”
Wisconsin is two weeks removed from a hard-fought 14-7 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Badgers have perhaps the worst offense of any Top 25 team in the country, but they’ve allowed opponents to score just 12.2 points per game.
Still, the oddsmakers seem to think Alabama and Ohio State should roll. The Buckeyes are 9.5-point favorites over Wisconsin, while the Tide are listed as minus-nine against Tennessee, per Odds Shark. Bettors came in hard enough on those lines that we’re already seeing them move.
The only other Top 25 matchup on the slate feature non-elites going head-to-head.
No. 22 Arkansas is coming off its Alabama beating and hosts No. 12 Ole Miss. The Rebels’ best claim to fame this season is being the top-ranked two-loss team in the nation. This game is little more than a battle to see who will get to go to the better mid-tier bowl.
Elsewhere, we should see a whole lot of good teams padding resumes against not-so-good competition. Fifteen of the nation’s ranked teams will go against unranked opponents, seven of which are .500 or worse.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
Source: Bleacher Report-CFB News