The official midway point of the 2022 college football season has arrived in Week 7 with Separation Saturday. With six games between top-25 opponents on the slate, there’s no doubt that College Football Playoff dreams will be crushed two weeks early. The first CFP rankings have been released.
Big Ten East, No. 10 Penn State no. 5 visiting Michigan and hoping the Nittany Lions continue their strong season, the Wolverines will start lining up early as they prove 2021 is no fluke. The featured game of the day, however, was No. 3 Alabama entering the Rockies Top and no. 6 Tennessee played with confidence as if welcoming the Crimson Tide into town against the Volunteers. Will the Vols get past Schneid and become legitimate CFP contenders this year, or will quarterback Bryce Young return to set up the Crimson Tide entering the second half of the season?
No. 8 Oklahoma State in another meeting of the Big 12’s undefeated teams to play in the league at No. 13 visits TCU, while No. 7 USC travels to No. 20 Utah in a key Pac-12 game. Will the Utes regain their dominance in the conference and make a case to win back-to-back league titles, or will the Trojans continue to flourish under first-year coach Lincoln Riley with Caleb Williams?
By the time Saturday’s action wraps up, several conference title pictures will be clear and there may even be significant changes to Jerry Baum’s bowl plans (check out Sunday’s). Be sure to stay tuned to CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games in Week 7.
Odds by Caesars Sportsbook | East at all times
No. 5 Michigan at No. 10 Penn State
Special game | Michigan Wolverines vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Noon | fox, fuboTV (try it for free) — While I still can’t say for sure what I know about these two teams, my hunch is that the defense will be stronger than the offense. Michigan’s offense has relied on Blake Quorum for big plays in recent weeks, and Penn State’s improved offensive line hasn’t been tested in the same way it will be this week. We’re seeing more of a low-scoring game than a high-scoring affair (none of the last four meetings have gone over 50 points). Prediction: Under 51.5 – Tom Fornelli
No. 3 Alabama, no. 6 Tennessee
Special game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
3:30 pm | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App — Take Tennessee and points, but you might want to consider a moneyline spray on this one. Even if Bryce Young plays for Alabama, he’s unlikely to be 100%. If Bama’s offense slows down or has a few empty possessions, the Volunteers have a chance to win this one outright. I think that’s what happens. Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker will make a big Heisman Trophy statement, the biggest win for the Vols in a generation. Prediction: Tennessee +7.5 — Barrett Sally
No. 8 Oklahoma State no. 13 at TCU
Special game | TCU Horned Frogs vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
3:30 pm | ABC, fuboTV (try it for free) — TCU is one of the better stories this season, but Oklahoma State presents a different challenge. The Cowboys are deep, physical and equally well-coached. Oklahoma State’s defensive line is good enough to cause problems for a shaky TCU offensive line, especially against the tackles. It will be a close game, but Oklahoma State will pull off the upset. Prediction: Oklahoma State +3.5 — Shehan Jayaraja
LSU vs. Florida
Special game | Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers
7 pm | ESPN, fuboTV (try it for free) — While not technically a Top-25 game, this SEC rivalry matchup is always one of the most anticipated of the year. Both Florida and LSU are a combined 4-2 in their first seasons under new coaches. Both rely on mobile quarterbacks who have been inconsistent throwing the football, and both endured some serious ups and downs in the first half of the season. LSU’s defense looks good on paper, ranking 29th nationally in total defense as opposed to Florida’s 99th, but that’s misleading as the Tigers surrendered 438 yards against lowly Auburn two weeks ago before giving up 502 yards at home against Tennessee last week. With such a narrow spread in this game and nothing that seems to differentiate the teams, Florida gets the nod due to home field advantage. The Swamp should be rocking in a night game against an SEC rival. Prediction: Florida -2.5 — David Cobb
No. 20 Utah at No. 7 U.S.C
Special game | Utah Utes vs. USC Trojans
8 pm | fox, fuboTV (try it for free) — There should be some real concern about Utah’s inability to get pressure on Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the loss to UCLA. Lincoln Riley and his staff are going to have a lot of work to do in order to exploit Utah’s defense in a similar manner, and the recent success of the Trojans’ defense is a welcome sign. A weakness that comes with the season. Utah will play better than it did against UCLA, but things aren’t exactly the championship level we’ve come to expect this season. I give USC a good chance to win, so I think it’s the right play to take the points. Prediction: USC +3.5 — Chip Patterson
Which college football picks can you confidently make in Week 7 and which top-15 favorites will be tough? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — from a proven computer model that has made nearly $3,000 in profits over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.
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