College Football Picks Week 5: Ranked Teams That Will Upset Top Squads
Week 5 of the college football season will feature four games that pit ranked opponents against each other. All but one of those games have a chance to be an upset.
The only contest with almost no chance of any surprises is No. 1 Alabama against No. 21 Ole Miss. Alabama is simply too well-rounded of a team to go down at this point in the schedule. Plus, the rivalry between the two schools will undoubtedly bring out the best in Nick Saban's squad.
The three other games figure to be some of the best of next weekend. With so many explosive blowouts of FCS teams in Week 4, it'll be nice to see the highly competitive matchups back at the forefront. College football is known for its upsets, and this will be a week to see a few.
Expect a shake-up in the rankings after Week 5. With higher-ranked teams falling to teams in the lower half of the Top 25, it'll be interesting to see how the polls look. If one thing's for sure, it's that this upcoming week in college football will be much more exciting than the last one.
Oklahoma Sooners (14) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Oklahoma and Notre Dame will be the big game of the weekend.
Sooners head coach Bob Stoops has named quarterback Blake Bell the starter for Saturday's game. While Bell's performance against Tulsa was quite impressive, Notre Dame should capitalize against the inexperienced starter.
Notre Dame is coming off a 17-13 win over Michigan State in Week 4. That low-scoring output was enough to defeat a team like Michigan State, but Notre Dame will have to do better against an opponent like Oklahoma.
Tommy Rees has been great this season under center. He's led the Irish to a 3-1 record by throwing for eight touchdowns through four games. His game-managing abilities have been key to the team's success. With only two interceptions on the season, Rees has shown his maturity and ability to perform under pressure.
The skill players for Notre Dame will be what makes the biggest difference against the Sooners. If Cam McDaniel and Amir Carlisle can find running lanes against the stout Oklahoma defense, Notre Dame will thrive. If they can't, Rees will have to hook up with DaVaris Daniels and TJ Jones downfield.
This game will be exciting to watch, but it'll be the Notre Dame skill players who steal the show. Notre Dame will win, 24-20, and Rees will have a career day in his efficiency.
LSU Tigers (6) at Georgia Bulldogs (9), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
This game will come down to two key matchups. It will be a battle of the quarterbacks and running backs, as LSU's Zach Mettenberger and Jeremy Hill will look to outproduce Georgia's tandem of Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley.
Mettenberger, a former player at Georgia, will look to keep LSU's title hopes alive. Mettenberger's success early on has led LSU to its 4-0 start.
Hill has been equally as impressive, especially in his three-touchdown performance against Auburn. He has 350 rushing yards and six touchdowns so far this season. Another performance like his Auburn showing would really give LSU the edge.
That being said, Georgia has great weapons under center as well. Murray has already amassed 1,000 yards passing with seven touchdowns. He has led the Bulldogs to three straight wins after an opening-week loss to Clemson. Another win against LSU would cement Georgia as a top-flight squad in 2013.
Gurley, a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, has four touchdowns on 377 yards rushing. He has been a consistent force in the backfield for the Bulldogs and has moved the chains effectively. If he can break off a few big runs, Georgia can win.
This game will come down to which backfield tandem performs better against the opposing defense. Georgia certainly has the talent to pull this one out, and they should by a score of 31-27.
Wisconsin Badgers (24) at Ohio State Buckeyes (4), Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has found yet another quarterback in Kenny Guiton.
The senior lit up the scoreboard in his first start of the season after replacing the injured Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes dismantled Florida A&M, 76-0, on Saturday with Guiton, but that most certainly won't happen against Wisconsin.
No matter who plays quarterback for Ohio State, the Buckeyes may not be able to outlast the potent running game of Wisconsin. The Badgers rush for nearly 350 yards per game to rank third in the nation. Three backs have at least 300 rushing yards for Wisconsin in Melvin Gordon, James White and Corey Clement. it'll be the Badgers' ability to constantly put fresh legs on the field that leads them to the upset win.
Ohio State's offense is among the best in football and there's really no argument there. But Wisconsin can certainly hang with the Buckeyes in a shootout. Quarterback Joel Stave has been decent this season, but he'll be the difference-maker in this game.
Stave has thrown for six touchdowns and three interceptions while racking up 761 yards through the air. He doesn't have to match the production of Guiton or Miller, but he needs to be sure he protects the football and capitalizes on coverage mistakes. All he needs to do is keep the chains moving with consistency.
If Stave can do that, then the Badgers' running backs can shoulder most of the load.
A win over Ohio State would be huge for Wisconsin. It doesn't seem likely, given the 76-point beatdown the Buckeyes just put on Savannah State, but the Badgers represent much more of a challenge—both offensively and defensively.
Ohio State will win, 38-31. Expect Stave to prove something in this one.
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