Week 6 of college football means one thing—quality matchups across the board as conference play begins to get serious.
The schedule leading up to this quality slate of games has been hit or miss thus far, but that ends from this point forward. This is especially the case for ranked teams looking to not only compete in their respective conference but also improve their BCS résumé.
Plenty of ranked teams enter Week 6 with an advantage in front of their home crowd, but only a few are guaranteed to actually win. Here are three ranked squads sure to take another step in the right direction at home.
No. 14 Miami (FL) Over Georgia Tech
Something has to give when the Miami Hurricanes take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in an ACC showdown that will cause a ripple effect in the conference.
On paper the matchup looks like a defensive struggle as both teams rank in the top 10 in terms of overall defense. The Hurricanes give up just 12.5 points per game while the Yellow Jackets surrender 12.8.
The divisive factor here is simple—Miami has played at least one quality opponent while the Hurricanes are Georgia Tech's first true test. Miami upset the Florida Gators earlier in the season and has ridden the momentum since.
Running back Duke Johnson is the star to watch, as his 388 yards and four touchdowns in limited carries indicate that he will propel the Hurricanes to another critical victory at home.
Last year the Hurricanes needed overtime to defeat the Yellow Jackets, but don't expect a similar result here.
Prediction: Hurricanes 42, Yellow Jackets 30
No. 17 Baylor Over West Virginia
The Baylor Bears have set an unbelievable pace for themselves through just three games this season. Baylor has scored a ludicrous 209 points in three games, has the No. 1-ranked passing offense, the No. 5-ranked rushing offense and the No. 1 offense overall.
Baylor also has the No. 2 overall defense after holding three teams to a combined 23 points. Now, it's imperative to point out the three victims were lowly competition in the form of Wofford, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe.
One thing—Baylor won't be slowed at home by West Virginia.
The Mountaineers have dropped two games to the only quality teams they have faced, including a 37-0 drubbing at the hands of Maryland.
West Virginia gives up about 20 points per game, but expect that total to skyrocket after a visit to Floyd Casey Stadium. The two sides met last year, and the Mountaineers won 70-63, but don't expect this one to be anywhere close with former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith in the NFL with the New York Jets and Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk looking like a Heisman candidate with six touchdowns.
Prediction: Bears 63, Mountaineers 28
No. 5 Stanford Over No. 15 Washington
Two undefeated Pac-12 foes meet in one of the best games Week 6 has to offer when No. 15 Washington travels to No. 5 Stanford to take on the Cardinal.
The Huskies have a Heisman candidate of their own at running back in Bishop Sankey, who has rushed for over 600 yards and five touchdowns as Washington has effortlessly moved through an easy schedule.
Stanford got off to a slow start but has scored 97 points in its last two contests, including a win over No. 23 Arizona State.
As if the dominant offense of the Cardinal were not enough, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News points out another factor working against the Huskies:
Stanford-Washington: In this situation (road game vs ranked team): Huskies have lost 7 in a row, all blowouts— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) September 30, 2013
Washington pulled off the 17-13 upset over Stanford last year despite finishing a paltry 7-6. The Huskies are much-improved this season behind the arm of quarterback Keith Price and his 1,000-plus yards and nine touchdowns to two interceptions.
This is a trap game in the utmost sense for Stanford, but expect the Cardinal to pull this one out at home in close fashion.
Prediction: Cardinal 28, Huskies 23
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