Week 6 picks: Michigan fires warning shot at entire Big Ten

How real are Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines? We’re about to find out.

Each Thursday, our panel of Stewart Mandel, Bruce Feldman, Joel Klatt and Jim Ross will make the calls on who’ll win the weekend’s most intriguing matchups.

This week, that means Michigan’s golden opportunity to establish itself as a Big Ten contender vs. Northwestern, Utah’s Pac-12 battle with underdog Cal, the Notre Dame-Navy rivalry, and more.

In addition to our straight-up picks, Mandel and Feldman will dive a little deeper into the games with their picks against the spread.

Looking for more games? You can find predictions for every Division I FBS game for the coming week here, courtesy of WhatIfSports.

Without further ado, here are this week’s games: 

PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

OKLAHOMA (-17) VS. TEXAS

Mandel: Bob Stoops has unleashed some merciless Red River blowouts before (63-14, 65-13, 63-21). This time he goes just a little bit easier on the 1-4 ‘Horns. Oklahoma 49, Texas 20

Feldman: Expect the ‘Horns to battle, but they don’t have enough horses on D to slow down the potent Sooner offense. Oklahoma 34, Texas 14

FOX FOUR AFTER WEEK 13

INDIANA (+8) at PENN STATE

Mandel: Indiana’s Kevin Wilson is just 2-14 in Big Ten road games, but given his team’s improvement and Penn State’s limited offense, this time he gets it done. Indiana 26, Penn State 20

Feldman: The Nittany Lions tough front seven should give an IU offense that figures to be spent after the emotional loss at home against Ohio State last week. Penn State 24, Indiana 13

GEORGIA (-3) at TENNESSEE

Mandel: Georgia got humbled last week against Alabama, but Tennessee is a mess. Nick Chubb and the Dawgs’ rushing attack wears down the Vols in the fourth quarter. Georgia 27, Tennessee 20

Feldman: Butch Jones’ team is reeling, but so are the Dawgs after getting routed at home by ‘Bama. The hunch is that Nick Chubb and Co. will be able to hit a big play in the fourth quarter to get the Dawgs the victory. Georgia 21, Tennessee 20

NAVY (+14) at NOTRE DAME

Mandel: The Irish defense has been up and down, but its athleticism up front should be enough to keep Keenan Reynolds and the Midshipmen from running over them. Notre Dame 27, Navy 14

TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL UNIFORMS

Feldman: As well as Navy is playing — and I do think Keenan Reynolds will give the Irish some problems in the first half — ND has too much firepower to lose two in a row here. Notre Dame 30, Navy 13

NORTHWESTERN (+7.5) at MICHIGAN

Mandel: In a likely defensive slobberknocker that could come down to even one turnover, I trust Wolverines QB Jake Rudock more than Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson. Michigan 13, Northwestern 9

Feldman: Two really good defenses. I’ll go with the home team, who I expect will prove to be the more physical team. Michigan 13, Northwestern 3

OKLAHOMA STATE (+7) at WEST VIRGINIA

Mandel: Star S Karl Joseph’s season-ending injury is a crushing blow for West Virginia’s D, but if the Mountaineers’ offense avoids turnovers they should be fine at home. West Virginia 33, Oklahoma State 28

Feldman: I was tempted to pick the Cowboys after hearing WVU star safety Karl Joseph is out for the rest of the season. But I’ll stick with the home team, who should be able to grind out a win behind their good RB duo. OSU is too one-dimensional with a banged-up backfield. West Virginia 23, Oklahoma State 20

BOWL WINNERS & LOSERS

TCU (-8.5) at KANSAS STATE (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, on FOX)

Mandel: Even with a standout QB like Trevone Boykin, TCU’s offense may struggle at times against K-State, but the Wildcats don’t have the firepower to keep up. TCU 33, Kansas State 24

Feldman: Both teams are banged up — the Wildcats were playing their fifth-string QB last week — but K-State was gashed by the Oklahoma State passing game last week, and Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson are even more dangerous. TCU 45, Kansas State 27

FLORIDA (-4.5) at MISSOURI

Mandel: Both teams boast exceptional defensive fronts that will put pressure on a pair of freshman quarterbacks. The two-time SEC East champs cool down the Gators. Missouri 16, Florida 13

Feldman: The Tigers, again, have a great D-line, and I think they can get more heat on Will Grier than anyone else has so far. Missouri 20, Florida 17

MIAMI (+9) at FLORIDA STATE

Mandel: Between Dalvin Cook’s uncertain status and FSU’s inexperience, Miami certainly could pull the upset, but Al Golden’s teams rarely fare well against ranked foes. Florida State 24, Miami 20

Feldman: The ‘Canes have pretty good skill talent, and FSU’s offense has been a little out of sync so far. Expect this one to be tight for four quarters, but I’ll go with the ‘Noles because they have more athletes on defense. Florida State 19, Miami 16

CAL (+7) at UTAH

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Mandel: Cal QB Jared Goff will prevent Utah from putting on another clinic, but the Utes’ ability to control the clock and swing field position allows them to eventually pull away. Utah 35, Cal 21

Feldman: Jared Goff’s terrific, but so is the Utah defense. Cal barely survived last week at home against WSU, and I think they’re due for a stumble after close calls against the Cougars and Texas. Utah 34, Cal 30

UPSET SPECIALS:

CONNECTICUT (+2.5) at UCF

Mandel: How are the 0-5 Knights favored? The Huskies have at least shown a pulse against the likes of Missouri and BYU. And this is their made-up rivalry game. Connecticut 13, UCF 10

CENTRAL MICHIGAN (+7.5) AT WESTERN MICHIGAN

Feldman: P.J. Fleck has some terrific skill guys but I think CMU can slow them down and pull the upset. Central Michigan 27, Western Michigan 23

SEASON RESULTS

Mandel: 35-20 (including upset picks)

Feldman: 36-19 (including upset picks)

Klatt: 31-15 (minus games he called on FOX or FS1)

Ross: 28-22

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