Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press
Matt Hayes (Follow @MattHayesCFB)
No chance in hell, because Cal and Boston College can’t score enough to scare Washington State and Clemson. I’ve never understood the idea of elite teams struggling on the road. If you’re truly one of the top 10 teams in the nation, you thrive in that environment.
Oklahoma lost at home to Iowa State last week. Clemson lost at home last year to Pitt. Alabama lost at home two years ago to Ole Miss. Big upsets happen, more times than not, at home. You’re not as crisp and focused, and fundamentals slip. And you think you can just turn it on and win—only it doesn’t always work that way.
David Kenyon (Follow @Kenyon19_BR)
No, but both Clemson and Washington State being on the road suggest it will be tight early before the superior team creates some separation after halftime. And even if Kelly Bryant isn’t completely healthy (he seems to be), Clemson shouldn’t have much trouble slowing down Syracuse.
Adam Kramer (Follow @KegsnEggs)
I don’t believe either team will lose, but I could see one (or both) being supremely weird. The Carrier Dome is typically good for one weird game per season, and perhaps this is the one. But with a bye coming up for Clemson, this feels like a game in which it will happily and eventually grind Syracuse down.
I could see Cal pushing Washington State a little further, though. The last three weeks have not been great, although being back at home should help the Golden Bears immensely. While I won’t fully commit to the upset, I see a cover in Cal’s future (Wazzu is favored by 15, per Odds Shark).
Kerry Miller (Follow @kerrancejames)
As long as Kelly Bryant and Luke Falk are healthy enough to take all of the snaps at QB until these games are out of reach, not a chance. Syracuse and California are both a good deal better than virtually anyone was expecting, but they aren’t the teams that further shake up the CFP picture. Of course, no one thought Iowa State would beat Oklahoma last week, either, so stranger things have happened.
Brad Shepard (Follow @Brad_Shepard)
I have a hard time thinking either game will be close, much less that either Clemson or Washington State will lose.
Thankfully for the Tigers, Dabo thinks Kelly Bryant will be “ready to go,” per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), meaning everything will go as expected for Clemson. There are just too many weapons on both sides of the ball for Syracuse to contend with. Dino Babers has that program heading in the right direction, but this one won’t be pretty.
As far as the Wazzu game, Cal was exposed in road trips at Oregon and Washington in the past two weeks, and they’ll face a team I believe is better than either of those this week. Mike Leach’s team will win by at least three scores.
Greg Wallace (Follow @gc_wallace)
Friday night has seemingly become the new Thursday night. With the NFL staking out Thursday turf, Friday’s games have become more interesting, and adding #Pac12AfterDark on a regular basis doesn’t hurt. Clemson wasn’t slowed at Virginia Tech or Louisville and should handle an improved Syracuse team easily.
No. 8 Washington State looks like a surprisingly complete Pac-12 power, with some nasty defense to go with a potent passing attack. Cal is allowing 37.6 points per game to Pac-12 foes and 264 passing yards per game overall. I don’t think the Cougs’ train slows down in Berkeley this week.