Notre Dame at Michigan State: Nine of the last 12 meetings have been within one score. Michigan State won the last one in East Lansing with the “Little Giants” fake field goal. With their new ACC demands, the Irish will squeeze in the Big Ten rivalries when/if they can. Enjoy the ACC basement/service academy smorgasbord, NBC. Michigan State players have begun referring to Spartan Stadium as “the woodshed.” They would appreciate it if you not mention the #BEATEMDOWN frequency outside “the woodshed” the past two seasons. Both teams have strong running games going against sound defensive fronts. We think this is close and comes down to the two inexperienced quarterbacks.
Stanford at USC: Stanford has won four out of five and the last three started by Matt Barkley. This is Stanford’s first, however, without Harbaugh and/or Andrew Luck. The Trojans have the Heisman favorite at quarterback and the nation’s best wide receiver pairing. That athleticism gives USC a clear advantage, though neither the defense nor the offensive line has looked imposing. Stanford could wear down USC with their physicality and give their thin squad some problems. Not sure they can execute on a fine enough level to win, though.
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