College Football Picks Week 5: Breaking Down Saturday's Most Intriguing Tilts

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College Football Picks Week 5: Breaking Down Saturday's Most Intriguing Tilts
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For college football fans across the country, this weekend promises to be a doozy

With a full slate of star-studded clashes, there will undoubtedly be some disappointed fans come Saturday night as at least a handful of squads will see their BCS bowl hopes take serious hits this weekend. 

Heading into a critical Week 5 of the 2013 college football season, here's a look at how the weekend's most important tilts will end up. 

 

No. 6 LSU at No. 9 Georgia 

In what should be arguably the weekend's most pivotal showdown, Les Miles' undefeated Tigers will head to Georgia in a highly anticipated meeting of two SEC powers. 

For Georgia, this game represents an opportunity to make up for the Bulldogs' Week 1 loss to Clemson, as a win would surely vault them back into national title contention. 

But in order to do so, they'll have to beat the 4-0 Tigers, who haven't really been tested all that much so far this season, though TCU has been the only Top 25 opponent Zach Mettenberger and Co. have had to overcome. 

As is usually the case during contests featuring two perennial heavyweights who know one another well, this will probably be a hard-fought battle that will ultimately be determined by whichever team makes more mistakes than the other. 

Yes, LSU is the favorite, but after seeing how Aaron Murray bounced back to lead Georgia to an all-important win over No. 6 South Carolina in Week 2, I've got to go with the Bulldogs getting another win over a Top 10 team at home. 

Prediction: Georgia 34, LSU 28

 

No. 14 Oklahoma at No. 22 Notre Dame

It's not exactly routine to see an undefeated team switch starting quarterbacks midseason, but that's exactly what Bob Stoops has done with the No. 14 Sooners as Blake Bell has been named the team's new No. 1 guy heading into Saturday's big-time tilt against Notre Dame, according to the Associated Press via ESPN

"Blake's the guy right now," Stoops said. "We will see from there how things go in practice and games and see how Kendal (Thompson) and Trevor continue to work, too. We'll take that as it comes."

Bell completed 27 of 37 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns in a 51-20 victory over the Golden Hurricane, a performance Stoops said was the best debut in the program's history for a quarterback in his first start.

So, with Bell now under center, Oklahoma will see what the junior is really made of when the Sooners face Tommy Rees and the 3-1 Fighting Irish in Week 5. 

There's no denying that Bell's debut was about as good as anyone could have possibly expected, but defeating Tulsa and taking down Notre Dame are very different things to ask of an inexperienced quarterback. Despite being behind Oklahoma in the polls, Brian Kelly's boys shouldn't really be viewed as underdogs heading into this one. 

That being said, I think Bell's got the potential to be the difference-maker here, and unless Rees does more offensively than he did during Notre Dame's last two games, the Sooners will move to 4-0. 

Prediction: Oklahoma 27, Notre Dame 21

 

No. 23 Wisconsin at No. 4 Ohio State

After one of the most lopsided college football games in recent memory, in which Ohio State waltzed to a 76-0 victory, No. 23 Wisconsin has to be concerned about finding ways to stop the Buckeyes, even without star quarterback Braxton Miller

In Miller's absence, Kenny Guiton has been more than capable of keeping the offense afloat, throwing for an unthinkable 10 touchdowns during his last two outings, but at least as of now, Miller appears to be ready to return against the Badgers. 

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Assuming Miller's back, Wisconsin will be faced with easily its most difficult task of the season, but one can't sleep on the fact that Melvin Gordon and the rest of the Badgers' attack have had no trouble putting points on the board themselves, averaging 41 points per game thus far. 

Though Ohio State has yet to take on a foe as talented as Wisconsin, I have a hard time seeing how the Badgers will be able to stop Urban Meyer's boys, regardless of who is playing under center. 

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 24

 

No. 21 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama

In what will be one of the Crimson Tide's most difficult tests of the season, the reigning national champions will host the surging Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday. 

So far, Bo Wallace and the Rebels have been surprisingly good, rushing out to a 3-0 start to the season, but needless to say, this team hasn't faced an opponent anywhere close to as talented and well-coached as Nick Saban's squad. 

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

And, after having blown out Colorado State and Virginia Tech, as well as squeaking out a close one over Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, A.J. McCarron and Co. look as strong as ever, so it'd be an absolute stunner if Hugh Freeze's boys can land a win over Alabama on the road. 

While everyone loves to see a good upset over a perennial heavyweight, it won't happen here.

Alabama's too skilled and has such a clear advantage in every way imaginable, especially at home, so McCarron will get the Crimson Tide to 4-0. 

Prediction: Alabama 27, Ole Miss 17

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