Ari Wasserman, David Ubben and Max Olson previewed the biggest games of Week 10 of the college football season on the Until Saturday podcast. The trio discussed the biggest games of the week and made picks against the spread for Kansas State at Texas, Washington at USC, LSU at Alabama, Missouri at Georgia and more.
Below is an edited, abridged version of their discussion on several Week 10 games. The full episode includes discussion on Oklahoma (-6) at Oklahoma State, Penn State (-8.5) at Maryland, Notre Dame (-3) at Clemson, Texas A&M at Ole Miss (-3), Kansas at Iowa State (-2.5), Cal at Oregon (-24)
You can listen to the full episode here.
Kansas State at Texas (-4)
Wasserman: This is a game that’s going to go a long way in determining the Big 12 championship game. Levels of concern. We’ll start with you, Max.
Olson: I’m not trying to try to set you off here, but I’m extremely concerned about Maalik Murphy in this game.
Wasserman: You’re not setting me off. You’re not saying anything I’m not aware of.
Olson: I’m not doubting, but this is a kind of a deer in headlights kind of possibility here. They get stressed and pressured into some big mistakes. Kansas State knows how to get stops in the red zone. And if you watch some of these big games Texas played the last few years, that’s that’s been kind of the Achilles heel a little bit that for (coach Steve Sarkisian’s) offense is can you finish these drives for touchdowns.
Wasserman: The stat is that K state is a top-five red zone defense and I think that Texas is outside of the top 100. That’s concerning.
Olson: K-State 20 red zone trips this season for the defense only six touchdowns allowed. Texas defense actually in terms of allowing touchdowns, six touchdowns on 22. So Texas defense pretty good in the spot too, but I kind of like K-State +4 here guys. This would be extremely impressive if Maalik Murphy can be the guy they need him to be on passing downs and they can really lean on Jonathon Brooks and CJ Baxter in this game. But I don’t know, guys. I think this is the Big 12 title game, these two. I still feel that way.
Ubben: Really? Interesting. I’m just not sure that K-State’s not going to just throw seven guys in the box and say, “All right, you’re not going to run on us. Maalik? If you’re going to be the guy, be the guy.” I think if this was in Manhattan, I would love K-State moneyline. It’s an Austin. I merely like K-State moneyline here. K-State is so tough and so disciplined. I mean, it’s kind of amazing that it feels like K State had Bill Snyder for a long time, made an ill-advised hire, brought him back, and then when they got their next hire, it seems like they may have found the next Bill Snyder. Chris Klieman and his teams look remarkably similar and play remarkably similar in terms of they just don’t beat themselves. And I think Maalik Murphy didn’t get pushed last week. Ari, you watched that game more closely than I did. How many pressure throws did he have to make? It didn’t seem like a lot.
Wasserman: Texas was winning the game so easily, like it almost didn’t matter. And that’s what’s concerning.
If we’re going to be comparing what he did last week to what he’s going to be facing this week, I think it’s a completely different scenario.
This is the game that Texas always seems to lose, even when they’re healthy. And now they have a quarterback that we’re not 100 percent sure of. Do we like Kansas State here because this is the patented letdown spot that Texas always seems to not be able to get over or are you concerned with the quarterback play?
Ubben: For me, it’s both. K-State’s been red-hot the last few weeks.
I don’t think this is a letdown spot because I think K-State is good and they’re playing seemingly their best football right now and they have a lot to play for. And one of these teams is the defending Big 12 champion. Let’s not forget that as well.
Wasserman: I’m going to lay the four.
Olson: I think Texas winning by any margin would be impressive. For where they’re trying to go, that would be impressive.
Wasserman: And the thing is, is that your thing, Dave, was does Texas lose to a team they have no business losing to? I do not think that applies here.
Ubben: No, I don’t think so either.
Washington (-3) at USC
Wasserman: USC stinks but God, I just can’t help but shake the notion that they’re going to win.
Olson: We see you buying the dip. We see what you’re doing here.
Wasserman: First of all, the spread is nothing. Three is nothing.
USC’s defense is pitiful. The team doesn’t even look like they’re functional. But is this the spot? Am I nuts? Does anybody buy it with me here?
Why is the spread three?!
Ubben: Because we don’t know what’s going on with Washington. Okay? Is there something weird that happened in the last two games?
Does Washington have the longest hangover in college football history after the Oregon game? Were they overrated a little bit? I really don’t know the answer to this, but I know that if you look at the totality of what we’ve seen from these teams, you cannot in good faith take USC. They have still maybe the worst vibes of any team we’ve seen.
Olson: I feel like if you look at Washington and their schedule, if they don’t get got in this one, I think the road to 12-0 is really not that bad for them from here on. So it’s a little bit tempting to go with USC. I kind of want to pick USC in this game. But I think we all know Kalen DeBoer and Ryan Grubb are just going to put them through hell.
I kind of wish the number were like six and then I would be on USC +6.
Wasserman: Don’t you just kind of wish gambling was as simple as identifying which team was better and then picking them to win? It’s hard. There’s something weird about this game. I feel like my brain is like, Washington, Washington, Washington. Michael Penix is going to ice his Heisman numbers on Saturday. This is a terrible defense.
Cal scored 49 points and almost won by scoring 51. They were two yards away. Like, what are we talking about here? That said, I’m taking the points.
Olson: I’m taking the points here.
Missouri at Georgia (-15.5)
Wasserman: This is my lock of the week. It’s men versus boys. Faster vs. fast, stronger vs. strong. I’m telling you, man.
Ubben: Can we get focused Georgia two weeks in a row?
Wasserman: You don’t think they’re going to be focused?
Ubben: Well, this is not a rivalry game. And does that little number next to Mizzou’s name mean anything to Georgia? I don’t really know. But I think this game is up to Georgia.
Olson: Kirby (Smart) is going to be telling his team that their quarterback is the best in the SEC. Let’s go wreck him.
Wasserman: I’m going to say this is 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Ubben: This is a house money special here. Mizzou and Eli Drinkwitz, they can let it rip. I think ultimately it just comes down to Georgia because Mizzou is going to do what Mizzou is going to do. They have good weapons. I think they can put some points on the board. Mizzou, if you want to give it the fraudulent label based on their wins, okay, you have Kansas State. That took a small miracle, but beyond that, there’s not a ton to write home about.
Wasserman: It’s not about fraudulent.
Ubben: I know that. My point is that this game is up to Georgia.
Wasserman: All of them are.
Ubben: If the Georgia that played against Auburn and South Carolina shows up, Mizzou can and I would argue will win this game. If Georgia plays an A-minus game, they will win and they might cover. If they play an A to A-plus game, it could get ugly because they can win this game in the trenches.
Olson: I’m with you on Georgia’s going to cover this. The Tigers have a lot to prove.
Ubben: I’ll take Mizzou here, just for the sake of being different.
LSU at Alabama (-3)
Wasserman: I think Alabama is going to win this football game. I think that they are going to reassert themselves as a dominant fixture in the sport. There are two teams in college football that I think can line up and physically handle playing against Georgia and Alabama is one of them. And I think the cream is going to rise back to the top. And even though they’ve been dysfunctional on offense at times, I think that we might have gone to bed on them a little bit too early and I think this is the weekend that we start to remember what that was all about.
Ubben: I can see a situation where Jayden Daniels just throws LSU and they win this ballgame, but Alabama might have the best defense in the country. And I think Jalen Milroe against this LSU secondary, they’ll be able to run the ball. I think Alabama flexes here. I think they win by double digits.
Olson: It’s hard to bet against (Nick) Saban in the spot. There needs to be a little bit more balance to not wear Daniels out as good as he was last year against Alabama, but I think he could do something really special this game. But I just can’t really bet against Saban in this one.
Locks of the week
Wasserman: Georgia -15.5 vs. Missouri, mostly to antagonize Dave Ubben and his romantic view of the sport that we all love.
Ubben: Kentucky -3.5 at Mississippi State. Mississippi State is not very good. I checked their record and I was like is there a game I’m forgetting about? Nope, there’s not. I don’t really get this at all.
Olson: Michigan -32.5 vs. Purdue. I could write the pregame speech on this. It’s just so predictable what you would say to your team. You would say everybody is lying on us. They think we cheated our way to the top. They think we’re a joke. Ryan Day is trying to get us banned from the Big Ten title game. Let’s go out and show we’re the best team in the country and just take everything out on Purdue.