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Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts after Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (11) returns to the sideline after throwing an interception against Lamar during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts after Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (11) returns to the sideline after throwing an interception against Lamar during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)|Associated Press
NCAAF

Kern's College Football Picks: Temple at Buffalo, Auburn at A&M, Mich. St. at Northwestern, Appalachian St. at UNC, UCLA at Wash. St., more

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

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OK, let’s see if we can like anything good on this week’s college card.

Toledo (+9) at Colorado State

Both teams have played decently in road losses to SEC teams (Kentucky and Arkansas, respectively). Home team has lost its quarterback to an injury. I just think the Rockets have a chance to actually take this one outright, so why not take the points and hope that it’s at least a game between two teams that on paper look to be fairly evenly matched?

Texas A&M (-3.5) vs. Auburn

My SEC pick. Again, two teams that there’s not much to choose between. But Aggies are home, and they’ve lost to Auburn last two years. Their loss was at Clemson. Auburn beat Oregon in its opener. I think it’ll be relatively close, but I’m seeing maybe something along the lines of 27-20. Jimbo Fisher needs this one, with Alabama coming up soon. And Auburn also goes to Florida and LSU in the next month. Is there any game in the SEC West that isn’t huge?

Buffalo (+14) vs. Temple

And now for the local pick. This could be more of a hunch than anything. Owls are coming off big win over Maryland, now go on road for first time. The defense was awesome, but the special teams were really lacking. And the offense did just enough. The Bulls played decently at Penn State, at least for a half. This is their only home game in a four-week stretch, and I think they’re going to be really up for this. Not saying they’re going to win, but they could make it a little bit interesting. And who knows exactly how Temple will react, with Georgia Tech and former coach Geoff Collins on deck? Still, I wouldn’t go crazy here. Always important to pace yourself, right?

Northwestern (+9) vs. Michigan State

The visitors are coming off a 10-7 home loss to Arizona State. Sparty has lost to NW each of the last two years. So I’ll take my chances with the points. Especially in what looks like it could be a rather low-scoring game.

North Carolina (-2.5) vs. Appalachian State

App St. isn’t a bad team, but it hasn’t played anybody. UNC, under Mack Brown, has been one of the surprises of the early season. And the Tar Heels almost came back from a big deficit last week at Wake Forest. So I will take a shot that they’ll be the better team this week. Probably not by a lot. But they only have to be a field goal better.

Washington State (-18.5) vs. UCLA

I’m somewhat hesitant to throw this out, so please tread lightly. But Chip Kelly’s Bruins stink. Of course bad teams have to cover sometimes, and this is a lot of points. Washington State isn’t great but it’s good. And Mike Leach has been known to lay it on when the opportunity arises. They haven’t played since 2016. I don’t necessarily see another 48-14, like it was last week in the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma. And the Cougars do have a trip to Utah next. But how can I not think that this one won’t be close. Of course 17 isn’t close, but that wouldn’t be quite enough. So let’s hope for more like 38-17.

See you on Sunday.