TGIF! It's Week 10. Let's predict some scores.
The playoff top 10 has been revealed, and teams at the top know exactly where they stand with three weeks remaining in the regular season. Two of our teams featured here were listed in the committee's current top 10.
On to our six featured games!
[divider]COMMITTEE RANKINGS HQ: Brian's Rapid Reaction | Analysis: Committee Emphasizes SOS
THE BEST OF WEEK 9: Vote on The Best Play from Last Week
WEEK 10 MAILBAG: Chase Talks about Salads from McDonald's
THE FCS PLAYOFF PICTURE: We Update our Playoff Bracket Every Monday[divider]
Chase: Princeton 24, Dartmouth 20
I just don't know how you pick against this Princeton offense. Dartmouth has the defense to get stops and the offense to keep the Tigers off the field, but I just can't convince myself to back Big Green. I really like this Dartmouth team — I've watched more Ivy League this season than probably anyone else on the face of the Earth — but I just can't go against Princeton in New Jersey. Princeton wins; Dartmouth covers.
Sam: Princeton 35, Dartmouth 31
This has the potential to be an incredibly entertaining game. Both offenses are legit, but I really like what Princeton is doing defensively and it might be the difference.
Brian: Princeton 24, Dartmouth 21
What a monster game this is, eh? Don't you wonder what these two teams would do in the FCS Playoffs this year (hint, hint, HINT!). At any rate … the difference here? Well, both teams play stifling defense, play great offensively and haven't felt a loss this year. But Princeton is a bit more powerful on offense than Dartmouth and they're hosting in New Jersey. To the home team goes the 'V', but not by much.
Chase: Illinois State 17, Northern Iowa 14
This feels like a game with some playoff elimination potential, and I think Illinois State is more consistent than UNI. It's also lost two straight and three of its last five, so I think the Redbirds feels some sense of desperation here. That's enough for me to pick a rare road win for a Valley team.
Sam: Illinois State 21, Northern Iowa 17
UNI is very, very good at home, but I like the Redbirds here. This is such a key game for Illinois State and a bounce-back game is needed. This one could decide who's in the playoffs.
Brian: Illinois State 17, Northern Iowa 16
It goes against my gut feeling to pick a road team to win a game like this, but I just think the Redbirds are about due. I think the program is solid and playoff bound and it needs to prove it this week.
Chase: Austin Peay 31, Eastern Kentucky 20
EKU is a hard team to pin down, but it hasn't looked like a top-half OVC team for about six weeks. I'll take Peay to win at home.
Sam: Austin Peay 28, Eastern Kentucky 27
Austin Peay has played great at home with a 3-0 record and I think that continues. EKU has been too up-and-down for me to pick them as a road winner.
Brian: Austin Peay 28, Eastern Kentucky 21
While things haven't gone exactly how Austin Peay wanted this year, let's keep something in mind — the Govs entered 2017 on a 29-game losing streak but now have won 12 of their last 18 games. If that's not the turnaround of the decade or past decades, I don't know what is. Look for the Govs to finish strongly this year and post their second consecutive winning record, but don't ignore EKU — a team that owns the only OVC win over SEMO, but also lost by nearly 50 to Jacksonville State. The Colonels can rise up and smack you if they're so inclined.
[divider]MORE OVC: How Big is this JSU-Kennesaw Game?[divider]
Rhode Island at Elon
Chase: Elon 20, Rhode Island 10
No Davis Cheek, no Malcolm Summers and probably no JaJuan Lawson. This game could have been awesome, but even in its current form, it'll still serve as a key referendum game for the playoffs. I like Elon's defense to keep Rhode Island in check once again.
Sam: Elon 24, Rhode Island 17
Elon is coming off a bye and is ready to prove its worth down the final stretch. That bye week could also serve importance for getting guys more healthy.
Brian: Elon 21, Rhode Island 17
Elon has a tough team this year and even with the injury situation, the Phoenix aren't going to lay down. Rhody's had its own injury issues. These are two tough programs and it should be a good one. They've both come a long way in the last 24 months.
[divider]MORE CAA: Could the Colonial Really Get Six Teams in the Playoff?[divider]
Chase: Wofford 27, Samford 20
Samford is talented, but it's gotten back into the mix in the SoCon by beating up on bottom-half SoCon teams. Wofford will be the best team the Bulldogs have played since they lost to Kennesaw.
Sam: Wofford 27, Samford 24
Samford is rolling and hopes to sneak into the playoffs. But Wofford wants to put that momentum to a halt while trying to keep itself in the Top 8 of the playoff committee's rankings.
Brian: Samford 28, Wofford 27
This is going to be a barn burner, and I'll predict now that this game settles the SoCon championship. If Samford can pull this one off, it can knock off anybody else in the league. But Wofford can stifle you, just like Kennesaw did to the Bulldogs earlier this year. Can Devlin Hodges bust through it all with Samford? Tune in, folks.
[divider]MORE PREDICTIONS: Duane Nash Offers HBCU Predictions for Week 10[divider]
Chase: Idaho State 38, Portland State 24
I don't think Portland State is back on this level just yet.
Sam: Idaho State 38, Portland State 27
Both of these teams are exceeding expectations in a big way this year. Idaho State needs a strong push to get into the playoffs. And with its offensive weapons, I like the Bengals here.
Brian: Idaho State 21, Portland State 13
After losing 15 games in a row spanning 2016 to 2018, Portland State is now 4-4 and riding a 3-game winning streak. Can the Vikings keep it going? It'll be tough to do, as Idaho State is as good as it has been in years.
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