Week 7 Preview UPDATE: Division Leaders Battle in Three Conferences

October 15, 2020 by Dave Congrove

The postponement of the LSU-Florida game to December 12 (tentative) has reduced this week's slate to 30 contests involving 59 FBS teams. Baylor's home game against Big 12 co-leader Oklahoma State had already been canceled and is also now tentatively rescheduled for December 12, as was Vanderbilt at Missouri. All of the schedule alterations were due to Covid-19 situations at Baylor, Florida and Vanderbilt.

For the Big 12, that means all three conference leaders - Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Kansas State - will have this week off.

Alabama is also dealing with its own unique situation after announcing head coach Nick Saban tested positive for the virus Wednesday night. That means Saban will not be able to be on the sidelines for the crucial home game this week versus Georgia as the SEC divisional leaders battle it out..

Saban's absence certainly adds a new variable to the "Game of the Week" in an AP-ranked #1 vs. #3 matchup. My Congrove Computer Rankings also have the Tide at No. 1. The computer has the Bulldogs at No. 9, but they are ranked 4th among teams that have played at least one game. Saban's troops got all they could handle from Ole Miss with a 63-48 shootout in their last outing. Alabama ranks 3rd in the nation in total offense, but 66th in total defense among the 77 teams which have, so far, seen action.

Georgia trailed Tennessee 21-14 at halftime, but shutout the Vols in the second half for a 44-21 victory. Oddsmakers installed as a 4.5-point favorite while the computer widens the margin to 10.16 points.

Alabama has won 5 straight in the series, dating back to 2008, including two triumphs in the conference championship game and one national championship clash.

The leaders of each division in Conference USA will collide on Saturday when Marshall (3-0, 1-0 CUSA East) heads to Ruston to face Louisiana Tech (3-1, 2-0 CUSA West). The Herd are laying 13 points and the computer is in the same vicinity at 12.67.

The action this week began on Wednesday with another skirmish among two teams at the top of their respective divisions. Sun Belt west division leader Louisiana hosted east division leader Coastal Carolina (3-0, 1-0 SB) and lost 30-27 at home. The Chanticleers clinched the victory with a 40-yard field goal by Massimo Biscardi with 4 seconds remaining to raise their record to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Sun Belt while the Ragin' Cahuns fell to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference. This game was originally scheduled to be played this past week, but was pushed back by Hurricane Delta which became the second storm in six weeks to make landfall within 100 miles of the city. Louisiana was a hefty 7-point favorite on the Doc's Sports website, and an even wider 15.13-point computer pick.

BYU will look to run its record to 5-0 on Friday when the Cougars of Provo host the Cougars of Houston as a 3.5-point pick from the various sportsbooks on the Odds Page at CollegeFootballPoll.com, and a 4.87-point computer pick.

On Saturday, UMass makes its 2020 debut with a visit to Georgia Southern as a 28-point Vegas underdog. There's no telling what the Minutemen bring to the table, but the computer has the Eagles under the spread at 23.98. So far, this is the ONLY game on the UMass schedule and getting other FBS schools will be virtually impossible unless they are likewise an independent (BYU perhaps) or from the American, CUSA or the Sun Belt due to scheduling guidelines within the other conferences. The Big Ten, MAC, Mountain West, PAC-12 and SEC are not scheduling any non-conference games while all 15 ACC teams have already scheduled the maximum number of games allowed. Baylor is one Big 12 school that could be interested, while East Carolina, FIU FAU, Houston and Marshall are among the schools with open at least one available date.

It is worth noting that oddsmakers list Liberty as a 3-point favorite at Syracuse while the computer gives the 'Cuse a 15.71-point advantage. That game is among 5 computer opposite picks this week, all of which will be detailed in Feature Picks.

Some of the other top games this week include UCF at Memphis, Pittsburgh at Miami, and Cincinnati at Tulsa. In its last outing, Tulsa upset UCF 34-26. Meanwhile, Memphis has lost 13 straight to UCF with its only win the series coming in the first meeting between the two schools in 1990. Pitt has lost 4 of the last 5 to Miami.

Get the computer's pick of every single game.


31 FBS teams are playing a total of 35 games against FCS schools this season. Army has 3 such games on its schedule.

Just one such game takes place this week as Troy hosts Eastern Kentucky

FBS teams are 24-0 in such matchups this season. Since we began tracking this in 2003, the FBS teams are 1,459-127 (.920).

Last year, FBS teams were 111-3 (.974) in such games.

These were the FCS wins vs. the FBS in the previous 2 seasons:

August 29: Central Arkansas 35, Western Kentucky 28
September 7: Southern Illinois 45, Massachusetts 20
September 14: The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (OT)

August 29: UC Davis 44, San Jose State 31
September 1: Villanova 19, Temple 17
September 1: Northern Arizona 30, UTEP 10
September 1: Nicholls State 26, Kansas 23 (OT)
September 2: North Carolina A&T 28, East Carolina 23
September 8: Maine 31, Western Kentucky 28
September 22: Illinois State 35, Colorado State 19


CLEMSON - Won 33 straight regular season games (FBS longest) games. Won 25 straight conference games (FBS longest). Won 26 straight home games (FBS longest). Won 13 straight true road games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 42-17 at home vs. Miami on Saturday, October 10.
Next: Visits Georgia Tech on Saturday, October 17.

AIR FORCE - 9-game over-all winning streak leads nation.
Last: Won 40-7 at home versus Navy.
Next: visits San Jose State on Saturday, October 24.

NOTRE DAME - Won 9 straight over-all (tied for FBS-longest)
Last: Won 42-26 at home versus Florida State on Saturday, October 10.
Next: Hosts Louisville on Saturday, October 17.

RUTGERS - Lost 21 straight conference games (FBS longest). Lost 13 straight road games (FBS longest)
Last: Lost 27-6 at Penn State on November 30, 2019.
Next: Season opener at Michigan State on Saturday, October 24.

AKRON - Lost 17 straight overall (FBS longest). Lost 8 straight home games (FBS longest).
Last: Lost 52-3 at home to Ohio on November 26, 2019.
Next: Season opener at home versus Western Michigan on Wednesday, November 4.