College Football Week 6 Picks: Predictions for Every Saturday Game
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Week 6 of the college football season marks the true commencement of conference play.
Unfortunately, the first month of the season featured plenty of ugly, lopsided blowouts, as many of the top teams in the nation feasted on weaker cupcake opponents. However, with league play now kicking into full gear, we should finally begin to really learn which teams are legit, and which teams are just pretenders.
Though this weekend may not feature many marquee matchups, pitting top-25 teams against each other, it does feature a few intriguing games such as Washington-Stanford, Arizona State-Notre Dame and Ohio State-Northwestern, which should be able to fill the cravings of die-hard fans.
Here are the predictions and picks for every Saturday game of Week 6.
*Note: All Lines Courtesy of Covers.com
Saturday’s Super-Six Picks
Washington Huskies (+7.5)
I’ve watched Washington play three times so far this season in wins over Boise State, Illinois and Arizona. Each time I’ve seen Steve Sarkisian’s squad in action, I’ve come away both impressed and surprised at just how much better the team has gotten since last year.
Coming into the season, we knew all about the Huskies’ impressive group of offensive skill-position players: QB Keith Price, RB Bishop Sankey, WR Kasen Williams and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. However, there were some major questions about just how strong and just how tough they were in the trenches.
So far, both the offensive and defensive lines have answered those questions and proven their worth. After allowing nearly three sacks per game last year, the Huskies O-line has allowed just three sacks in the first four games. The defensive line, on the other hand, has been very stout and active, allowing just 3.4 yards per carry and totaling 13 sacks.
Few teams in the country are strong enough in the trenches to go toe-to-toe with Stanford’s stacked offensive and defensive fronts. But it looks like this Washington team has the pieces in place to do just that.
Admittedly, asking Washington to go down to the Farm and once again upset a Stanford team that's led by budding star QB Kevin Hogan, who is undefeated as a starter, is obviously asking a lot. But the Huskies have gained my trust with the way they’ve played so far this season. I expect this year’s matchup to once again be another close, one-score affair just like Washington’s 17-13 win in last year’s meeting.
Michigan Wolverines (-19)
Michigan was not able to properly capitalize on the momentum it generated after a big win over Notre Dame back in Week 2. Since then, the Wolverines have turned in two lackluster performances, barely beating inferior opponents, Akron and Connecticut, by just a combined seven points.
After taking a bye week to regroup, however, this team should come out and look much hungrier and much more focused this week, as it kicks off its Big Ten schedule against Minnesota.
Following a strong 4-0 start to the season, the Golden Gophers were exposed last week in a 23-7 loss to Iowa at home.
If dynamic dual-threat QB Devin Gardner finally plays up to his potential and starts performing like the star Heisman contender he was built up to be in the preseason, Michigan finally should have the type of dominant showing we’ve been waiting to see.
Memphis Tigers (+9.5)
Memphis’ first test against an American Athletic Conference opponent is anything but an easy one. The Tigers welcome a 3-1 UCF squad that has already made some noise on the national scene by beating Penn State and nearly upsetting South Carolina last week.
On paper, the Knights have a clear talent advantage. However, after coming up short in a big, spotlight game against the Gamecocks, you have to wonder what kind of mentality they’ll have this week, as they now have to head out onto the road to face a Memphis team that they could very easily be overlooking.
The Tigers are by no means a great team, but they have made some noticeable strides under second-year head coach Justin Fuente.
After hammering Arkansas State 31-7 back in Week 4, the Tigers went into their bye week with plenty of confidence. They should be able to carry over that momentum and have a solid showing at home against a UCF team that could be in store for a major letdown.
Toledo Rockets (-21.5)
Laying a 20-plus point spread is always a risky proposition, but considering how explosive Toledo’s offense can be, especially at home, it’s something I feel relatively safe doing in this situation.
The Rockets didn’t do themselves any favors with their scheduling this year. They played four of their first five games on the road, including two games against BCS foes Florida and Missouri.
Now that they’re back home, though, QB Terrance Owens, RB David Fluellen, WR Bernard Reedy and the rest of the Toledo offense should be able to do plenty of damage to a Western Michigan defense that has been pretty putrid so far this season, allowing an average of 36 points per game.
LSU Tigers (-9.5)
You do have to wonder if LSU could be dealing with a hangover effect after last week’s hard-fought, physically draining loss to Georgia. However, I get the feeling that the Tigers will use that defeat as motivation. They’ll now be playing with a chip on their shoulders, as they look to prove that they are indeed a true contender in the SEC.
Les Miles’ squad will get the chance to start their climb up the SEC West ladder when it faces off with Mississippi State in Starkville.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Tigers get off to a slow start in this game. Ultimately, though, LSU just has too many dangerous offensive playmakers such as QB Zach Mettenberger, RB Jeremy Hill and receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry for the Bulldogs defense to deal with.
TCU Horned Frogs (+9)
Oklahoma picked up a huge revenge win at Notre Dame last week. That means the Sooners could be in store for a potential emotional letdown this week when they host TCU, a team that they beat by just a touchdown last year.
After a rather ho-hum start to the season, the Horned Frogs offense seemed to have finally found its footing last week in a 48-17 win over SMU.
Though TCU’s defense will likely be without its MVP, DE Devonte Fields, the Horned Frogs still have one of the best defensive backfields in the country, led by All-American candidates Jason Verrett and Sam Carter. Verrett, Carter and the rest of the secondary will make it tough for QB Blake Bell, who has yet to really prove his passing prowess, to consistently find open spaces to create big throws down the field.
Air Force Falcons at Navy Midshipmen
Spread: Navy (-11.5)
Picks: Navy (-11.5), Under
Prediction: Navy 31, Air Force 17
Maryland Terrapins at Florida State Seminoles
Spread: Florida State (-15.5)
Picks: Florida State (-15.5), Under
Prediction: Florida State 35, Maryland 16
Penn State Nittany Lions at Indiana Hoosiers
Spread: Penn State (-3)
Picks: Indiana (+3), Over
Prediction: Indiana 38, Penn State 34
Louisville Cardinals at Temple Owls
Spread: Louisville (-32)
Picks: Temple (+32), Under
Prediction: Louisville 42, Temple 14
Ball State Cardinals at Virginia Cavaliers
Spread: Virginia (-4.5)
Prediction: Virginia (-4.5), Over
Picks: Virginia 31, Ball State 24
Eastern Michigan Eagles at Buffalo Bulls
Spread: Buffalo (-13.5)
Picks: Eastern Michigan (+12.5), Under
Prediction: Buffalo 21, Eastern Michigan 17
Texas Tech Red Raiders at Kansas Jayhawks
Spread: Texas Tech (-17)
Picks: Kansas (+17), Under
Prediction: Texas Tech 30, Kansas 17
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SMU Mustangs
Spread: Rutgers (-4.5)
Picks: Rutgers (-4.5), Under
Prediction: Rutgers 31, SMU 21
Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Spread: Nebraska (-8.5)
Picks: Nebraska (-8.5), Over
Prediction: Nebraska 45, Illinois 28
Michigan State Spartans at Iowa Hawkeyes
Spread: Iowa (-1)
Picks: Iowa (-1), Over
Prediction: Iowa 24, Michigan State 17
Georgia State Panthers at Alabama Crimson Tide
Spread: Alabama (-54.5)
Picks: Alabama (-54.5), Over
Prediction: Alabama 66, Georgia State 7
North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Tech Hokies
Spread: Virginia Tech (-7)
Picks: North Carolina (+7), Under
Prediction: Virginia Tech 24, North Carolina 20
Central Michigan Chippewas at Miami (Ohio) RedHawks
Spread: Central Michigan (-3)
Picks: Central Michigan (-3), Over
Prediction: Central Michigan 35, Miami (Ohio) 21
Army Black Knights at Boston College Eagles
Spread: Boston College (-11.5)
Picks: Boston College (-11.5), Under
Prediction: Boston College 31, Army 14
South Alabama Jaguars at Troy Trojans
Spread: Troy (-3.5)
Picks: Troy (-3.5), Over
Prediction: Troy 45, South Alabama 31
UTSA Roadrunners at Marshall Thundering Herd
Spread: Marshall (-14)
Picks: UTSA (+14), Over
Prediction: Marshall 45, UTSA 35
Ohio Bobcats at Akron Zips
Spread: Ohio (-5)
Picks: Akron (+5), Under
Prediction: Akron 27, Ohio 23
Florida Atlantic Owls at UAB Blazers
Spread: UAB (-4.5)
Picks: UAB (-4.5), Under
Prediction: UAB 28, Florida Atlantic 20
Western Michigan Broncos at Toledo Rockets
Spread: Toledo (-21.5)
Picks: Toledo (-21.5), Over
Prediction: Toledo 52, Western Michigan 24
Georgia Bulldogs at Tennessee Volunteers
Spread: Georgia (-10)
Picks: Georgia (-10), Under
Prediction: Georgia 35, Tennessee 21
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Michigan Wolverines
Spread: Michigan (-19)
Picks: Michigan (-19), Over
Prediction: Michigan 45, Minnesota 17
Rice Owls at Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Spread: Tulsa (-3)
Picks: Tulsa (-3), Over
Prediction: Tulsa 38, Rice 31
North Texas Mean Green at Tulane Green Wave
Spread: North Texas (-2.5)
Picks: North Texas (-2.5), Over
Prediction: North Texas 35, Tulane 27
NC State Wolfpack at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Spread: NC State (-7.5)
Picks: Wake Forest (+7.5), Under
Prediction: Wake Forest 24, NC State 17
Clemson Tigers at Syracuse Orange
Spread: Clemson (-14)
Picks: Syracuse (+14), Over
Prediction: Clemson 42, Syracuse 34
UMass Minutemen at Bowling Green Falcons
Spread: Bowling Green (-26.5)
Picks: Bowling Green (-26.5), Under
Prediction: Bowling Green 38, UMass 0
Northern Illinois Huskies at Kent State Golden Flashes
Spread: Northern Illinois (-9)
Picks: Kent State (+9), Over
Prediction: Northern Illinois 42, Kent State 38
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Miami Hurricanes
Spread: Miami (-6)
Picks: Georgia Tech (+6), Under
Prediction: Georgia Tech 28, Miami 24
East Carolina Pirates at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Spread: East Carolina (-7.5)
Picks: Middle Tennessee (+7.5), Under
Prediction: East Carolina 31, Middle Tennessee 27
Kansas State Wildcats at Oklahoma State Cowboys
Spread: Oklahoma State (-14)
Picks: Oklahoma State (-14), Over
Prediction: Oklahoma State 45, Kansas State 24
FIU Golden Panthers at Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Spread: Southern Miss (-17)
Picks: Southern Miss (-17), Under
Prediction: Southern Miss 31, FIU 10
Washington State Cougars at California Golden Bears
Spread: Washington State (-1.5)
Picks: Washington State (-1.5), Over
Prediction: Washington State 38, California 34
UCF Knights at Memphis Tigers
Spread: UCF (-9.5)
Picks: Memphis (+9.5), Under
Prediction: UCF 23, Memphis 17
Fresno State Bulldogs at Idaho Vandals
Spread: Fresno State (-27)
Picks: Fresno State (-27), Over
Prediction: Fresno State 52, Idaho 21
Oregon Ducks at Colorado Buffaloes
Spread: Oregon (-38.5)
Picks: Colorado (+38.5), Under
Prediction: Oregon 45, Colorado 17
Ole Miss Rebels at Auburn Tigers
Spread: Ole Miss (-3)
Picks: Auburn (+3), Under
Prediction: Auburn 26, Ole Miss 24
Arkansas Razorbacks at Florida Gators
Spread: Florida (-11.5)
Picks: Florida (-11.5), Over
Prediction: Florida 30, Arkansas 16
Cincinnati Bearcats at South Florida Bulls
Spread: Cincinnati (-11.5)
Picks: South Florida (+11.5), Over
Prediction: Cincinnati 34, South Florida 24
TCU Horned Frogs at Oklahoma Sooners
Spread: Oklahoma (-9)
Picks: TCU (+9), Under
Prediction: Oklahoma 24, TCU 20
Texas State Bobcats at UL-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
Spread: UL-Lafayette (-11)
Picks: UL-Lafayette (-11), Over
Prediction: UL-Lafayette 41, Texas State 24
LSU Tigers at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Spread: LSU (-9.5)
Picks: LSU (-9.5), Over
Prediction: LSU 38, Mississippi State 24
New Mexico State Aggies at New Mexico Lobos
Spread: New Mexico (-10)
Picks: New Mexico (-10), Over
Prediction: New Mexico 42, New Mexico State 24
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Spread: Arizona State (-5.5)
Picks: Notre Dame (+6), Under
Prediction: Notre Dame 30, Arizona State 24
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at UTEP Miners
Spread: Louisiana Tech (-2)
Picks: UTEP (+2), Over
Prediction: UTEP 34, Louisiana Tech 30
Missouri Tigers at Vanderbilt Commodores
Spread: Vanderbilt (-1)
Picks: Missouri (+1), Over
Prediction: Missouri 34, Vanderbilt 27
Kentucky Wildcats at South Carolina Gamecocks
Spread: South Carolina (-21)
Picks: South Carolina (-21), Under
Prediction: South Carolina 37, Kentucky 10
West Virginia Mountaineers at Baylor Bears
Spread: Baylor (-28.5)
Picks: Baylor (-28.5), Over
Prediction: Baylor 56, West Virginia 21
Ohio State Buckeyes at Northwestern Wildcats
Spread: Ohio State (-7)
Picks: Ohio State (-7), Over
Prediction: Ohio State 44, Northwestern 31
Washington Huskies at Stanford Cardinal
Spread: Stanford (-7.5)
Picks: Washington (+7.5), Under
Prediction: Washington 27, Stanford 23
San Jose State Spartans at Hawaii Warriors
Spread: San Jose State (-5)
Picks: Hawaii (+5), Over
Prediction: Hawaii 38, San Jose State 34
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