College Football Predictions Week 5: Ranked Teams Guaranteed to Lose
As the in-conference schedule ramps up throughout college football, the time for ranked teams to play cupcakes has reached its endpoint.
Gone are the FCS schools and small-conference opponents, and in their place are equally talented teams eager to see their names in headlines.
For some squads, this will make little difference as they easily continue their top-notch play. For others, however, the increase in competition will lead to a steep downfall.
With that in mind, here's a look at a few ranked teams guaranteed to lose in Week 5 action.
No. 22 Nebraska Cornhuskers
This season is John Papuchis' first year as the Huskers defensive coordinator, and thus far he hasn't done much better than his predecessor at finding a successful run-stopping scheme.
Nebraska has given up an astounding 708 yards (second worst in the Big Ten) on the ground thus far, a number that looks even worse considering the team played Idaho State last week.
With Montee Ball expected to play despite suffering a concussion last week, it doesn't seem like the Huskers will be getting a second consecutive reprieve from run defense on Saturday.
While it would be easy to argue the merits of Nebraska's own rushing attack led by Rex Burkhead, it comes across a Wisconsin team that has suffocated opposing runners all season. That means the onus will likely be on Taylor Martinez to carry the Huskers through the air.
He's capable of doing so, but look for the Badgers rushing attack to swallow up enough of the clock for Wisconsin to come away with a close victory.
No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes
While quarterback Braxton Miller has been nothing short of sensational thus far, his top-notch play has masked a ton of defensive deficiencies.
The Buckeyes nearly lost to an unranked Cal squad due to their inability to stop the run two weeks ago, and things won't get any easier against Michigan State star Le'Veon Bell on Saturday.
A big, bruising back, the Spartans star has excelled this season when given extended work, and he will likely see a ton of carries against Ohio State.
Though it would be easy to say Miller will once again shine in the big moment, Michigan State's defense is by far the toughest unit the dual-threat QB has faced this season. Allowing a minuscule 237.8 yards per game and with just 47 points given up this season, the Spartans defense leads the Big Ten in almost every category.
Expect another great defensive performance en route to a home win for Michigan State.
No. 18 Oregon State Beavers
With two stalwart defensive performances, the Beavers got a pair of early-season wins against ranked opponents (UCLA and Wisconsin).
Unfortunately, expect their Cinderella run to end on this week against a high-powered Arizona passing attack.
In his first season under Rich Rodriguez, senior signal-caller Matt Scott has blossomed, throwing for 1,205 yards and seven touchdowns against just four interceptions.
While it's justifiable to say that the Wildcats got exposed in their 49-0 loss against Oregon last week, there is a vast difference between playing the second-ranked team in the country and an overachieving Oregon State team.
Simply put, the Beavers won't be able to keep up with Arizona offensively, and this may even turn into a blowout in the Wildcats' favor.
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