This Weekend in College Football: Week 5

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • South Carolina @ Central Florida (ABC): I’m sure this is just here because ABC/ESPN was happy they could get a SEC team on the broadcast network for a noon game. ‘Cause otherwise it’s hard to see much of a chance for UCF.
  • Oklahoma State @ West Virginia (ESPN): Stats You Probably Don’t Expect to Read: WVU has scored seven points against FBS competition this season. Yeah, it’s hard to see how a team that got shut out by Maryland is going to score enough to keep up with Oklahoma State.
  • Northern Illinois @ Purdue (ESPN2): Let’s just say that I like NIU’s chances to get to 4-0 and notch their second victory against a Big Ten team.
  • Southern Methodist @ Texas Christian (FS1): TCU should just be too good for their cross-town rivals.
  • Miami @ South Florida (ESPNU): USF is ranked 121st in the country in scoring offense. That is not good, but that’s what happens when you lose to the McNeese States of the world 53-21. (Much less the Florida Internationals of the world.) The ‘Canes should take this one going away, as they should anyway since unlike USF they actually are in a geographical entity one would reasonably call “South Florida”.
  • Miami @ Illinois (BTN): In years past, I would’ve had fun with this, but it appears the Illini might not be completely awful this year.
  • South Alabama @ Tennessee (SEC): Tennessee should be able to take care of business here.


  • East Carolina @ North Carolina (ACC): UNC should be good enough to contain ECU.
  • Virginia @ Pittsburgh (ACC): Pitt gave up 55 points to Duke last week, but a) they did end up winning by scoring 58 and b) Duke’s offense is probably better than UVA’s. I like the Panthers’ chances here.

2:00: Navy @ Western Kentucky (ESPNEWS): I like Navy’s chances here, especially with WKU’s defensive issues.
3:00: Colorado @ Oregon State (PAC12): Oregon State still isn’t very good or anything, but Colorado is probably still worse.

  • Oklahoma @ Notre Dame (NBC): Except against WVU, it’s all gone according to plan for the Sooners this season. Will they be able to carry that and their so far stingy defense into South Bend? Well, in the two games after the Michigan game, ND has looked like they’re out of ideas on offense, which I don’t think bodes well for their chances here.
  • Louisiana State @ Georgia (CBS): With LSU now doing the offense thing in addition to the defense thing, I’m not sure UGA will be able to keep up.
  • Iowa @ Minnesota (ABC/ESPN2): UMN is 4-0 based on the strength of a great run game and a slew of thus far awful opponents. Their first Big Ten game will provide their stiffest test so far, but it’s not because Iowa is great or anything. I would probably avoid this game unless it’s close late or something. I’ll with UMN for the heck of it.
  • Florida State @ Boston College (ABC/ESPN2): Boston College’s 35-7 loss was a comforting affirmation that at least they’re still awful. FSU should be able to produce a similar, if not better, scoreline.
  • Wake Forest @ Clemson (ESPNU): Things are going to happen here. Bad things, if you’re a Wake Forest fan. 
  • Texas-El Paso @ Colorado State (CBSS): By the thinnest of margins, UTEP appears to be the better team here.


  • Army vs. Louisiana Tech (@Dallas, TX; FS1): I wouldn’t have thought so at the outset of the season, but I actually like Army’s chances here, mostly because LaTech is very, very bad.
  • Houston @ Texas-San Antonio (FSN): Houston should win easily.

6:30: Mississippi @ Alabama (ESPN): This is a reminder that while it may appear that the Alabama Death Machine is not as intimidating as in years past, that is a purely relative term. This team is still very good, and frankly the only opponent on their schedule I expect to provide any resistance is LSU.

  • Arizona @ Washington (FOX): There’s a reason why one 3-0 team is ranked and the other isn’t, and it comes down entirely to scheduling. I expect the Huskies to be able to ake care of business here. (That said, I do find it kind of amusing that on the other side of town, their normally cross-state rival will be playing a game at CenturyLink Field a few hours later.)
  • Texas Agricultural and Mechanical @ Arkansas (ESPN2): Losing by four to Rutgers does not bode well for Arkansas’s chances against Manziel and Co.
  • Florida @ Kentucky (ESPNU): Florida.

7:30: Alabama-Birmingham @ Vanderbilt (SEC/FSN): Vandy should be able to get back on track against their neighbors down I-65.

  • Wisconsin @ Ohio State (ABC): This is the Buckeyes’ first chance to prove they belong with the national frontrunners, due to their pathetic non-conference schedule. Provided they have Braxton Miller, though, OSU should possess enough dynamism on offense to be able take a lead, and they have a good enough defense to hold it.
  • Air Force @ Nevada (CBSS): Boy howdy, it is not looking good for the Air Force academy this year. I’m going with Nevada, even.

10:00: Stanford vs. Washington State (@Seattle, WA; ESPN): Pretty sure this is still technically a home game for Wazzou. Anyway that probably won’t affect the impending beatdown they’re about to receive.
10:15: Southern Mississippi @ Boise State (ESPNU): This isn’t a great Boise team, but they don’t need to be to beat USM.

  • Southern California @ Arizona State (ESPN2): Utah State is a good team and all, but nonetheless I think it’s fair to say that USC probably should’ve won by more than a field goal. But despite that I just cannot pick them to lose to most other Pac-12 teams, at least not yet. If they do lose here, they may have a new coach next week.
  • California @ Oregon (PAC12): Cal is better this year, but not better enough to go into Eugene and get a win.