SATURDAY KEY COLLEGE FOOTBALL SHOWDOWNS

The weekend gets in high gear with a couple of TV tilts here on this Friday night ... it's Wake Forest (- 19.5) at Rice on CBS Sports Network plus a good one between Marshall at #24 Boise State (- 12) on espn2 at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Everyone's hailing the B-State Broncos as the "Group of Five" team to watch following last weekend's come-from-way-behind 36-31 upset win against 6.5-point fav Florida State but could this be a trouble spot for the home folks?

On Saturday, it's...
#12 TEXAS A&M (1-0) at #1 CLEMSON (1-0) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The defending national champion Clemson Tigers have elevated themselves into near dynasty talk - two titles in the past three years - but not everything's perfect with the Death Valley kids as last weekend soph QB Trevor Lawrence tossed two INTs and wasn't particularly sharp despite the fact the ACC gang produced 632 offensive yards in that rollicking 52-14 win / cover versus 36.5-point dog Georgia Tech. If the A&M defense - which returns just four starters from last year's 9-4 SU (straight-up) squad - can force a couple of Lawrence miscues here and /or hold down RB Travis Etienne (205 yards rushing with 3 TDs against the Techsters), then Jimbo Fisher's 17.5-point pups might just hang around till late.
Spread Note - Clemson is an electric 19-8-1 ATS (against the spread) as betting favorites while dating back to late in the 2017 season.

#6 LSU (1-0) at #9 TEXAS (1-0) - 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Whatta treat! A pair of top 10 teams squaring off in early September and here's mighty Texas in the home underdog role and may we remind y'all that the Longhorns are a tasty 5-1-1 spreadwise as home pups dating back to the start of the 2015 season. Now, no doubt head coach Tom Herman's team has its work cut out for 'em here while facing a bullish LSU team that - surprise, surprise - is nowadays chucking the pigskin 'round the lot. Last week QB Joe Burrow aired five scoring strikes in a walk-in-the-park 55-3 win / cover against four-TD pup Georgia Southern.
Spread Note - The LSU Tigers have covered seven of their last eight non-home games the past two-plus seasons.

CINCINNATI (1-0) at #5 OHIO STATE (1-0) - 12 p.m. ET, ABC
So far, so good on the QB transfer front in Columbus as former Georgia signee Justin Fields - who threw for 234 yards with four TDs in last week's 45-21 non-cover win versus Florida Atlantic - looked sharp for a Buckeyes' squad that hasn't played this in-state rival since 2014 (see 17-point fav Ohio State 50, Cincinnati 28).The Bearcats - just 14-19-2 against the vig the past three-plus seasons - don't have a bigger game on their sked than this one and now former 'Eyes one-and-done head coach Luke Fickell (see 2011 season) looks for star RB Chris Warren II to keep things close here. P.S., Cincy's been taking some cash as OSU's now just a 15.5-point favorite.
Spread Note - Believe it or not, Ohio State's failed to cover six of its last seven games when placed in the role of the double-digit betting favorite.