Every week during the season, Will Harris will check with the computers (using Insider's PickCenter) and wiseguys to evaluate the upset possibilities in college football's most compelling games and give his picks for who will come out on top.
Week 6 saw Florida State exposed, South Carolina impress, TCU implode and Florida supplant LSU as the nation's most overrated team. A Gators squad that's markedly improved but nowhere near ready to contend for a title, shot all the way to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll after a grinding victory against what may be Les Miles' worst Tigers edition ever. Upset Watch cautions Florida not to celebrate the win too much on the way to Nashville this week and cautions investors not to overreact to it on the way to the window the rest of the season.
Last week we saw Iowa State and Ole Miss, underdogs we liked, show nicely, while the Purdue and UTEP teams we endorsed were downright embarrassed. After a 5-4 week, Upset Watch stands at 33-26 on the year. This week we find some value in live dogs in Conference USA, sing the same tune in the SEC and give a second chance to a team that we weren't even close with last week.
Notre Dame is favored by 7.5 points
TeamRankings win odds for Stanford: 28 percent
Two programs moving in opposite directions. Stanford will increasingly recede from the national consciousness as the program moves further from the Harbaugh-Luck era, while Notre Dame is on the rise behind an elite coaching staff and a renewed commitment from university administration.
We love Irish defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, and he's certainly fielding the school's best stop unit in years. Stanford has won three straight in the series, but while Stepfan Taylor and exceptional tight ends remain, this year's Cardinal lack the passing and receiving threats needed to complement the power game. Manti Te'o and the Irish defense know that of all the losses on the schedule the past few years, Stanford is the one team that physically whipped Notre Dame. The Irish will play with a mind toward changing that, and it will be tough sledding for Stanford's limited offense.