The biggest game in college football this weekend might be the one at a non-traditional site, when the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the No. 12 Syracuse Orange at Yankee Stadium.
Looking to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff, the Fighting Irish are 10-point favorites. According to Jeff Sagarin’s power ratings, there may be a little too much love for Notre Dame.
The master statistician has provided his unique ratings to USA TODAY Sports dating back to 1985. Here are a few of the most revealing numbers from the biggest games this week in college football:
No. 3 Notre Dame (10-0) vs. No. 12 Syracuse (8-2) at New York
TV: 2:30 ET, NBC
Pregame.com line: Notre Dame by 10
Sagarin says: Notre Dame by 8.81.
The Irish have to make the longer trip to the Bronx. While they figure to have starting quarterback Ian Book back under center, the Orange will be a tougher test than expected.
No. 22 Boston College (7-3) at Florida State (4-6)
TV: 3:30 ET, ESPN
Pregame.com line: Boston College by 1.5
Sagarin says: Boston College by 5.61
Florida State looks to rebound from a drubbing at the hands of Notre Dame last week. Playing at home should help, but it won’t be enough. Boston College will handle the hostile environment at Doak Campbell Stadium just fine.
Northwestern (6-4) at Minnesota (5-5)
TV: Noon, Big Ten Network
Pregame.com line: Minnesota by 1
Sagarin says: Northwestern by 3.46
Northwestern has already clinched a spot in the Big Ten championship game, but will it result in a letdown against one of the West division cellar-dwellers? Oddsmakers say yes, but the Wildcats are the stronger team.
TCU (4-6) at Baylor (5-5)
TV: Noon ET, FS1
Pregame.com line: Baylor by 2
Sagarin says: TCU by 2.78
Here’s another game where Vegas is putting a little too much stock in the home-field advantage. Don’t be surprised if the visiting Horned Frogs pull off the upset.
Michigan State (6-4) at Nebraska (3-7)
TV: Noon ET, Fox
Pregame.com line: MSU by 1
Sagarin says: MSU by 7.12
Michigan State’s offense made some critical errors last week in a loss to Ohio State. Look for the Spartans to correct things in Lincoln and turn what’s expected to be a nail-biter into a comfortable win.
Stanford (6-4) at California (6-4)
TV: 7:30 ET, Pac-12 Network
Pregame.com line: Stanford by 2
Sagarin says: Stanford by 6.25
Stanford snapped a two-game skid last week to become bowl-eligible, while the Golden Bears finally broke a 14-game losing streak vs. USC. Look for the Cardinal to stand tall.
Jeff Sagarin’s power ratings show the relative strength of teams. Where applicable, 2.41 points are added to the home team’s rating to calculate the difference.