The CFSL Friday doubleheader features conference matchups, one in the Big Ten, the other in the SEC. With the loss by USC last night, Notre Dame is looking to take control of the conference, while the Longhorns are seeking to get above .500. In the SEC, Florida State would like to keep pace with the likes of Auburn, but Florida is seeking their second in-conference win of the season. Here’s what our analysts think of both matchups.
Tom Pence’s Predictions:
Texas 24, Notre Dame 31
This is a major Big Ten matchup and battle for part of the conference lead. Both teams are coming off big wins and Texas always finds a way to hit their stride about this time. But the one team that has always had their number is the Fighting Irish and they will pull off another win this week.
Florida State 28, Florida 21
Florida looks really good this season and other than the loss to Auburn have been tops in the conference and league. Florida State on the other hand started off slow, but now look like they have hit their stride too. This is a major clash in the SEC and victory for either team puts them closer to a playoff seed. Defense will be the difference in this one and the ‘Noles are just a little better.
Jimbo Smithers Predictions:
Texas 45, Notre Dame 35
Notre Dame’s offense is elite. Swanna is doing Swann things and this defense has found their identity. But as of yet they haven’t faced an elite pass offense they will find in Texas. This will be a matchup for the ages with Texas pulling away late.
Florida State 31, Florida 34
Florida looked less than spectacular against SEC-favorite Auburn. They have to get St. John rolling on the ground if they want to win. Florida State’s defense will keep them alive but offensive shortcomings will be their downfall.
Houston Freeman’s Predictions:
Texas 55, Notre Dame 52
Texas is still Texas as evidenced by the trouncing they handed out to Alabama last week. Notre Dame seems to have found their stride as well, beating Oregon by a similar margin. I’ve been hoping for a good ole fashion shootout between these two teams all season, and both look primed to do just that. I give a small edge to Texas in this one simply for their receiving corp.
Florida State 24, Florida 28
In my opinion this is one of the harder games to pick this week as Florida looked strong in their first 3 games, but then Auburn dismantled them last week. Florida state on the other hand started 0-2 and has turned it around winning their last two straight. The Sunshine Showdown looks to be a fun one to watch as there’s huge playoff implications already this early in the season. I think I’m going to go with Florida in this one simply because a loss against Auburn isn’t going to leave a good taste in their mouth.
Connor Russell’s Predictions:
Texas 42, Notre dame 37
This is a classic. For those of you who need a history lesson, Texas and ND have been chirping at each other for years. Somehow, ND has had Texas’s number more often than not. This season, both schools have had their fair share of struggles, sitting in the middle of the pack. Both teams pass first by nature, with two of the top receiver groups in the nation taking the field on offense. This one will be decided by turnovers 100% of the time. Giving a slight edge to Texas here, but it’s a pick em’ in my eyes.
Florida State 35, Florida 31
This matchup right here is my game of the week and it’s not even close. Florida and FSU both need to win to keep their playoff hunt on the right track. Losing doesn’t knock you out, but it does put you at a disadvantage moving forward with so many good SEC teams out there. I will die on the “FSU is good” hill. Their team is one of the strongest in the league, a total package of talent and gameplanning. Every week that goes by, the team gets better. Florida is no slouch though. They’ve only lost to an incredible Auburn team. It’s like a heavyweight title fight out on the gridiron. So while I am giving FSU a nod here, there is no way either team has much of an advantage. Must. Watch.
Texas 31, Notre Dame 42
Is Texas back? Not this week. After winning impressively over Alabama, The Fighting Irish are here to make their presence known. Corners Terrence Top and Harvey Bickel are both very good at what they do but they will struggle against the most talented wide receiver to ever touch the field in the CFSL. Dijon Swann is winning OPOTW.
Florida State 35, Florida 21
Florida State is 1-0 already in the Florida cup. As much as I hate to say it The Seminoles will clinch the State after a big time win against Florida.
Texas 3, Notre Dame 51
Usually I remain unbiased in my analysis of Notre Dame games but it’s Texas hate week and I just can’t do it. I will say that both teams are very similar and it should be a terrific game but I would love nothing more than to embarrass the Longhorns this week. I’ll give them a field goal because Gunner has a cool name.
Florida State 27, Florida 28
A little in state rivalry to end week 5? I’m all about it as the Seminoles has won two straight and Florida came back down to earth last week after their unexpected hot start. Quarterback Mathias St. John has been terrific for the Gators and we know that this Gators pass rush is the best in the league. Both of these defenses are talented so these coaches are really going to have to gameplan well. Look for Florida State to turn to Notre Dame transfer tailback Vidar Lund to give them a leg up in this game and Look for Florida to keep this really good Seminole defense on their toes. I couldn’t decide a winner because it’s that close but I’ll give it to the home Florida Gators because I love their story in season seven.
Texas 48, Notre Dame 45
Look, I am not going to be like my counterpart here who thinks ND will win by 48 points. I think this game has a ton of storylines. Texas has never beaten ND, Conley vs Swann, Denny vs Asiata, etc. I do think that Notre Dame has not faced Texas this late in the season. Buckle up folks, this game is going to be a wide ride.
Florida state 24, Florida 28
Florida ran into the buzzsaw that is Auburn last week but we shouldn’t overlook that FSUs strength is pass defense, well Florida’s strength is the read-option and that should give Florida some momentum in this game. This is a pivotal game for both teams. Can Florida rebound? Can FSU get out of LSUs shadow? This should be another great matchup tonight.
Jeff Melinyshyn’s Predictions:
Texas 28, Notre Dame 38
This game has been talked up thanks to Michael and Tyler in the game chat during Oregon. Both teams want to KO the other. Notre Dame has never lost to Texas when they had their high profile teams. Notre Dame has scored 34 and 38 points when at home against Texas. I am taking Notre Dame and their offense and the way the defense has been balling.
Florida State 27, Florida 24
In the battle of Florida, FSU is currently winning 1-0 thanks to their victory over Miami. Now they have to take on their hardest opponent yet. Florida is coming off a stunning beatdown at the hands of LSU. If they are truly bound for the playoffs this is a game they need to win to show they can bounce back from a tough defeat.
DAVID ROY’S PREDICTIONS:
TEXAS 48, NOTRE DAME 42
There’s some bad blood here, but I’m hesitant to call it a rivalry, even though the amount of disdain for each team is resembling of a rivalry. While the Fighting Irish are coming off their dismantling of Oregon, Texas did the same to Alabama a week ago. These two teams are fairly similar, but this game is incredibly important for both teams as it can dictate seeding, and I have a feeling that Texas is ready to get the win.
FLORIDA STATE 28, Florida 30
The Seminoles started slow out of the gate, while the Gators raced out in front. That was weeks ago. Now that we’re five weeks into the season, these two teams have seemingly drawn even with each other. I like the growth the Seminoles have shown, but I’m concerned they’ll struggle with turnovers against Dakota Wolf and this Florida defense, something that the Gators offense typically can avoid.
Our analysts are as split as they can be for both games. Five of our analysts are siding with the Longhorns and the Gators, while four of our analysts are taking the Fighting Irish and Florida State. The large takeaway, these games should be exciting and extremely close, with neither team having a clear advantage over the other in their respective matchups.