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College football picks, schedule: Predictions for key top 25 games today during Rivalry Week

Rivalry Week is off and running, and though we are nearing the end of the college football regular season, Saturday…

Rivalry Week is off and running, and though we are nearing the end of the college football regular season, Saturday may be the best chance we have seen in weeks to actually get some upsets and shake up the College Football Playoff. Conference championship games are still on tap for next week, but who is playing in those games could be drastically changing by the time Saturday comes to a close.

The top four teams in the CFP are all in action against their rivals with The Game and the Iron Bowl taking center stage. Action starts at noon ET and continues late in the evening, so let’s take a look at the biggest games on the schedule Saturday along with our predictions for what will transpire in those contests. Our CBS Sports college football experts have picked every game both straight up and against the spread, giving you ample opportunity to decide how to make your picks ahead of kickoff.

All Times Eastern

No. 4 Michigan (-4.5) that No. 1

0 Ohio State – noon on FOX, streaming live on fuboTV (try for free): I do not have a lot of confidence in this pick. I think Michigan wins more often than not, but I’m not sure a team that has not won in Columbus, Ohio, in nearly 20 years should be favored in the Horseshoe. So, because of that, because I expect this game to be lower-scoring, and because I think there’s some general overreaction to Ohio State’s close call against Maryland last week, I have to take the Buckeyes and the points. Pick: Ohio State +4.5 – Tom Fornelli

Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (-24.5) – 3:30 p.m. on CBS, streaming live on and fuboTV (try for free): Sorry, Auburn, but if you have not solved your problems by now, you’re not against Alabama. Led by Quinnen Williams, the defense will shut down Auburn’s offense, make it difficult for quarterback Jarrett Stidham to set his feet and take advantage of Gus Malzahn’s lack of creativity with the offense. With that said, the Crimson Tide are giving up too many points out in Las Vegas. Auburn will hit a few big plays late to sneak back in the back by and cover the spread. Pick: Auburn (+24.5) – Barrett Sallee

South Carolina at No. 2 Clemson (-26.5) – 7 p.m. on ESPN: Clemson has reached Alabama status. There is no spread where I feel comfortable picking against the Tigers, mostly because I think there is a very low ceiling for how many points we can expect from the opposition. Clemson’s defense has been preparing to peak in December and January, and we are seeing the fruits of that preparation with suffocating performances on the field. Pick: Clemson -26.5 – Chip Patterson

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No. 7 LSU at No. 22 Texas A & M (-2.5) – 7:30 p.m. on SECN: Texas A & M has major flaws, but can LSU exploit them? I do not think so. Quarterback Joe Burrow is not much of a downfield threat and is at his best when he can work off play-action after the running backs have established the ground game. Det er hardt at etablere at ground game against the Aggies. This will be an old-school, low-scoring slug-party, and Trayveon Williams will make a big play late to give the Aggies a win and cover. Pick: Texas A & M (-2.5) – Barrett Sallee

No. 3 Notre Dame (-10.5) at USC – 8 p.m. on ABC: I just do not see how anyone could talk themselves into trusting USC in this matchup. We’re talking about a USC team that has lost games to just about everybody with a pulse this season. Ja, det er ansvaret for Washington States lone tap på året, men det var før injuries ravaged forsvaret videre. Then there is a Notre Dame team that has faced test after test after testing in 2018 and passed them all. Last week there were a lot of people who thought the Irish would finally trip against Syracuse. Instead they won 36-3. I expect a similar performance on Saturday night. Pick: Notre Dame -10.5 – Tom Fornelli

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