Week 10 is here and it is time to separate the playoff contenders from the pretenders. This week has two games that will potentially serve as elimination games, although Alabama could lose and still make the playoffs if they win out. The Big Ten and the SEC have a total of 10 of the top 13 teams in the initial NCAA Playoff Rankings, and 4 of those teams play head to head matchups this week.
Ohio State vs Nebraska
Mike Riley has done a remarkable job at Nebraska having the Cornhuskers back in contention for the first time in over a decade. What Riley appears to have done, as of now, is raised Nebraska’s ceiling from the perpetual 10-4 or 11-3 seasons enjoyed under Bo Pelini. Nebraska played Wisconsin tough and Wisconsin played Ohio State tough, but this matchup if far less favorable for the Cornhuskers. Ohio State simply has a far greater advantage in talent over Nebraska and should find a way to win, after all they know how to win close games in Columbus.
Ohio State 31-Nebraska 20
Alabama vs LSU
This game has gotten more attention than any other game during 2016, for good cause. Ed Orgeron appears to have breathed new life into an LSU program that simply burned out on Les Miles and his conservative ways. LSU entered the season as one of the most talented teams in the country and is capable of matching Alabama’s athletic ability. They are also playing in Baton Rouge which is historically a difficult place for the Crimson Tide to play. Alabama, on the other hand, has been impressive even by their lofty standards. As is typically the case Alabama boasts one of the best defenses in college football and, untypically, has an explosive offense that has proven to be difficult to contain for an entire game. Losing Eddie Jackson at free safety will hurt Alabama over time, but maybe not this week. Leonard Fournette must be chomping at the bit to avenge last season’s Heisman ruining performance against Alabama and Orgeron will want to prove that he deserves the LSU job full time. He won’t need a win this week to do that if he keeps it close. He will.
Alabama 27-LSU 20