Unpredictable events are often the norm during the college football season, especially as the playoff chase heats up in the final weeks and the stakes get higher.
The USA TODAY Sports college football staff — Jace Evans, Paul Myerberg, George Schroeder, Erick Smith and Eddie Timanus — weighs in with some bold predictions for the games during Week 10.
Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa will play in the fourth quarter of the Crimson Tide’s game at LSU. While this doesn’t sound that bold, it literally hasn’t happened yet in eight games this season, which is astounding on a number of levels. But the Alabama offense faces its hardest competition by far at Tiger Stadium when it goes against an LSU defense that’s already faced five ranked teams and is giving up just 15.1 points per game, seventh-best in the FBS. This game is historically pretty low scoring – the total has only gone over 50 twice since Nick Saban’s arrival in 2007, including a 10-0 final the last time it was in Baton Rogue – so Tagovailoa will likely be required to go the distance. The last time we saw him play a fourth quarter he was leading Alabama’s comeback in the national title game. A fourth quarter similar to that against LSU will likely clinch him the Heisman Trophy.
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I like Northwestern to cause havoc in the playoff chase by beating No. 4 Notre Dame and handing the Irish would very well could be a crippling blow to their title hopes. The Wildcats are admittedly a tough team to peg, seemingly as prone to sloppy wins (18-15 against Rutgers) as impressive knockoffs of would-be contenders (31-17 against Wisconsin). But Northwestern has risen to the level of its competition all season, as seen in wins against the Badgers, Purdue and Michigan State and its three-point loss to Michigan.
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