NCAA Football: Week Six Predictions and Scores
Welcome back College Football fans! The arrival of week six is here and there are several great games this weekend that should keep us all glued to our couches or bar stools.
If you are new to my predictions, I choose the winner of each top AP top 25 game this week, as well as a handful of other intriguing games outside of the top 25. Last week, I had my worst week yet, but still did rather well. I nailed the Michigan State game but missed the LSU game. This week, I am confident in my picks, but feel free to chime in with your own predictions; it is always great to hear other opinions. Enjoy!
My record last week: 20-8
My record on the season: 106-34
Thursday Night: No. 21 Nebraska at No. 24 Missouri
This should be a great Thursday night matchup and both teams have a lot at stake in the very competitive Big- 12 North.
Nebraska has the better defense, while Missouri's offense may be a bit more explosive (Although Nebraska has a higher ppg average). The Tigers are undefeated, while the Cornhuskers lost a heart breaker at Virginia Tech.
Both clubs have solid quarterbacks, but I like the Cornhusker's rushing attack more. I am worried that Missou will have to rely on their passing game too often and Nebraska's quick defense will force some mistakes. I feel the team with the better defense will win and I think Nebraska is better.
Winner: Nebraska 31-21
Boston College at No. 5 Virginia Tech
An early Saturday noon game should be an excellent game featuring two top-tier ACC teams. The Hokies are off to a great start and have some very solid wins thus far. However, last week they did not play very well and let a weak Duke team hang around.
Boston College is coming off a huge and emotional win over Florida State. Their seemingly stagnant offense gained a ton of confidence last week as they racked up a lot of yards against the 'Noles.
Both teams are coached very well and play sound defense. Neither team typically makes mistakes, but VT has more playmakers than BC. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor should lead his Hokies to another win, but don't be surprised to see BC put up a fight... they always do.
Winner: Virginia Tech 27-17
Eastern Illinois at No. 14 Penn State
Penn State's running game was great last weekend and they finally were able to take the pressure of quarterback Darryl Clark. The offense looked much better and the defense again looked pretty sharp. If the Nittany Lions want to get back into the title hunt, they need to be able to run the ball effectively.
Eastern Illinois is better than most think, but their opponents haven't been great either. Their offense is very talented and can put up points. An upset this week won't happen here though, too much PSU.
Winner: Penn State 35-7
No. 17 Auburn at Arkansas
The 2009 Auburn Tigers are 5-0 and have shocked many experts and fans with their hot start. Their offense has been better than expected and their defense has gotten the job done when necessary.
The Arkansas Razorbacks, even though they are 2-2, are a very talented team with a ton of offensive weapons. Quarterback Ryan Mallett has a cannon for an arm and has had a great 2009 season so far. Their running game is also solid and speedster Michael Smith is always a threat in the open field.
Auburn has very nice running game and their passing game is much better than in recent years. Quarterback Chris Todd is having a superb year and the offense has won most of their games this year.
I believe Arkansas is the best team Auburn has played so far and I think their offense will put up over 35 on the Tigers this weekend. I think Auburn will score too, but not enough. I like how the Razorbacks matchup.
Winner: UPSET ALERT! Arkansas 38-27
No. 15 Oklahoma State at Texas A&M
Texas A&M 's offense was rolling before last week against Arkansas, but like I said last week, their opponents were much weaker. The Razorbacks proved they can be slowed down and also exploited their defense.
Oklahoma State has been a little inconsistent so far this year, but I still think they are a good team with more than enough to beat the Aggies. Home-field will be a big advantage for A&M, because they have one of the best crowds in the nation; but overall I think the Cowboys should win rather easy. Dez Bryant and Zac Robinson will go big.
Winner: Oklahoma State 35-23
Iowa State at No. 16 Kansas
The Kansas Jayhawks are 4-0 and are on a roll. They don't appear to be slowing down even though they won a close game in their last game against Southern Miss.
Iowa State, on the other hand, is 3-2 and have no key wins. The defense has already allowed over 100 points and is definitely the weak link. While their defense has been awful, their running back Alexander Robinson has been tremendous with 500 yards on just 83 carries.
The Jayhawks are led by quarterback Todd Reesing, who is very accurate and surprisingly mobile around the pocket. The defense has been sold enough to win, and if they can control ISU's rushing attack, they should win rather easy. I see a double digit win for KU at home.
Winner: Kansas 40-20
Kentucky at No. 25 South Carolina
Kentucky played very well against Alabama in the second half and I think they are better than given credit for. However, their defense isn't that good and South Carolina is coming off a bye week.
South Carolina stepped up two weeks ago to knock off a talented Ole Miss team. Quarterback Stephen Garcia had a great night and looks much improved from last season. The S.C. defense is the real difference maker. They have a lot of speed and really made Ole Miss look average at best.
I like South Carolina's defense more than I like Kentucky's offense. It may be a very close game though.
Winner: South Carolina 24-19
No. 3 Alabama at No. 20 Ole Miss
The Alabama Crimson Tide may be best team in the country, right now. Their offense has been consistent; the defense has been consistent; the special teams and coaching have also been consistent.
Ole Miss, on the other hand, has not lived up to the early season rankings and hype, but they definitely have a chance to prove themselves this weekend.
The Rebel's quarterback Jevan Snead needs to have a big game. Not a pretty big game, a huge game. Most of all, the offense has to not turn the ball over. If the Rebels want to win this game, they need to have a positive turnover margin of at least two in this one. Also, Houston Nutt must use Dexter McCluster more often and give him the opportunity to work in open space.
The Tide need to do what they have been doing all season. Mark Ingram needs to get the ball and pound it inside. If they are successful, it will take pressure off quarterback Greg McElroy who has looked extremely solid thus far. If the defense pressures Snead and forces him into poor decisions there is no reason they shouldn't win this game. They need to score first and score early to take the crowd out of it.
Winner: Alabama 28-17
Wisconsin at No. 9 Ohio State
Other than Ohio State's close loss at home to USC, the Buckeyes have looked very good. The offense isn't great, but does enough to put up points and yards to win games convincingly. The defense has been tremendous and I expect them to put eight in the box and make Wisconsin throw the ball.
The Badgers have shocked everyone with their 5-0 start and their new running back John Clay looks a lot like P.J. Hill used to look running down the field. He has good speed and tremendous power. If Wisconsin wants to win this game, they MUST stop the Buckeyes' rushing attack.
I think Pryor and the Buckeyes will have a big game on a somewhat weak Badger's defense and I think Wisconsin will struggle to open up the running game.
Winner: Ohio State 35-19
No. 13 Oregon at UCLA
The Oregon Ducks looked dead after the first week of the season, and now, they look like a legitimate top 15 team. Meanwhile, UCLA lost their first game of the season last week to a very underrated Stanford team.
UCLA's offense is not very good and their quarterback play is once again a huge issue. Kevin Craft does not take care of the ball and UCLA's defense spends way too much time on the field. Speaking of UCLA's defense, they are very fast and are very under-appreciated. They are playmakers and will give the Ducks a challenge.
Oregon's play depends a lot on how their quarterback Jeremiah Masoli plays. When he is on, so are the Ducks and when he struggles, so do the Ducks. If he can take care of the ball and let his speedster play-makers get down field, the Ducks should win rather easily. Don't underestimate the Bruins though, especially at home.
Winner: Oregon 30-15
Baylor at No. 19 Oklahoma
Can Baylor win this game? Yes, but is it likely? Not very.
Oklahoma lost a tough game last weekend at Miami without their leader Sam Bradford; this weekend expect Bradford to be back and expect the Sooners to play angry. Demarco Murray will also be a factor to help Bradford get eased back in. Murray hasn't been used as often as he should and it shows.
Baylor is an interesting team. They have talent including a very good quarterback, Robert Griffin. Griffin has struggled a little this year, but he has a lot of physical ability. I don't expect Baylor to do much offensively, but if they can keep it close early, it may stay close for a while. All in all, expect a big win for OU after a tough loss.
Winner: Oklahoma 41-17
Florida A&M at No. 11 Miami (FL)
Quarterback Jacory Harris and his Miami Hurricanes have begun the season with some big victories and one bad loss. The Canes have a lot of confidence and their success goes as far as Harris'.
FAMU is 4-0 and look like a legitimate contender this season in the MEAC. However, compare their opponents with Miami's and there is a big difference. The Rattlers have a wonderful defense and their special teams is very dangerous.
Miami should win very easy, but don't be shocked to see a slow start from Miami because FAMU will come out hungry and ready to play.
Winner: Miami 42-16
Colorado at No. 2 Texas
At the start of the year many people thought this would be an intriguing game; nevertheless, Colorado has been simply terrible this year and now it appears this game will be an easy Longhorns win.
The Buffalo's defense is worse than terrible. Their offense could be decent, but the offensive line has not done a good job thus far. They have two tremendously talented running backs, but neither are having good years.
The Longhorns have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Colt McCoy, but it's their defense that has been truly impressive the past few weeks. They should dominate Colorado up front and Texas should route the Buffs.
Winner: Texas 52-20
No. 10 TCU at Air Force
This TCU team has a great defense as always, but their offense is much better than it has been in recent years. Air Force has an above average team ,but their offense after week one has not been the same. Last week, they only managed 13 points against Navy in their overtime loss.
TCU, on the other hand, has come alive and even beat a talented Clemson team on the road. The defense dominates at times and other times the offense will find its groove. I still think TCU will lose a game, but not this week.
Winner: TCU 28-10
No. 22 Georgia Tech at Florida State
Drama, drama, and more drama is all Florida State has had to deal with this week. Unfortunately for them, it doesn't get any easy, because No. 22 Georgia Tech rolls into town with their triple-option offense.
Georgia Tech is coming off a nice win at Mississippi State this past weekend where their offense put up huge numbers. The defense is still somewhat skeptical and I think FSU will be able to score on the Yellow Jackets. GT needs to open holes for Jonathan Dwyer or else their offense will struggle.
The Seminoles need to get back to the basics... hold onto the football. Execute on third downs and score touchdowns when you hav,e the ball inside GT's 10-yard line. It may sound easy but FSU hasn't been doing that. Something tells me that with all this controversy, drama, and emotion going around in Tallahassee, the 'Noles will come out firing on all cylinders. If GT had a great passing game I would be more worried about FSU's defense, but they don't so I think this favors a quick defense.
Call me crazy, I think FSU wins a huge game on national television. I like their matchups and I think they are out to prove the "haters."
Winner: UPSET ALERT! Florida State 33-24
Michigan at No. 12 Iowa
The Michigan Wolverines suffered their first loss last week to "little brother" Michigan State. Both offenses struggled for a bit but at the end the defenses were. The Iowa Hawkeyes played Arkansas State way too close last weekend, but thst is typical Iowa this year... big games they come out and prove how good they are and little games they struggle but still win.
Quarterback Ricky Stanzi is leading Iowa right now and he may not be flashy, but he is a smart player that gives his team a chance to win. The defense has been awesome all year, especially at Penn State, and now they have the challenge of stopping a Michigan offense that has been pretty good all year.
My biggest problem with joining the Michigan bandwagon is I knew they had played no real good teams yet. The Notre Dame win was big, but the jury is still out on the Irish. Either way, the Wolverines do have the capability to knock off Iowa but they need to take care of the ball. Turnovers will win or lose this one.
Winner: Iowa 31-17
No. 18 BYU at UNLV
BYU quarterback Max Hall is having a wonderful season and besides their blowout loss to Florida St., BYU has been rather impressive. UNLV is digressing and last week's loss to Nevada was a bad one. Their offense was decent but the defense... pathetic! 63 points, no matter who the opponent is, it's unacceptable.
BYU has a better offense than Nevada and a much better defense. Max Hall and the Cougars should have an easy win this weekend. Unless of course, UNLV does what UTEP did last week and win a huge game out of the blue.
Winner: BYU 47-24
No. 1 Florida at No. 4 LSU
Maybe the biggest game of the year for LSU, definitely the biggest game of the year for Florida. Tim Tebow has not yet been cleared to play in the game, but he is practicing today with pads and to me at least, that suggests he will play at LSU.
To me, LSU hasn't looked nearly as great as their record indicates. The Georgia win was a solid one, the Washington one is looking better and better as the Huskies seem to play everyone tough. Their offense has been good, not great and the defense at times looks weak, especially in the secondary. Nonetheless, they always show up well in big games and I expect them to come out hungry to knock of UF.
If Tim Tebow doesn't play, LSU wins, period. If he does, UF should win. I do think UF is vulnerable and I don't think they are as good as last year's team even with most of their players returning. Percy Harvin was a huge loss and their lack of true "go to" wide receivers is also key. A new offensive coordinator has also changed the look a bit but overall with Tebow playing I think they are the better team. As important as Tebow and the offense are to UFs success, their defense will be the winner or loser of this game. My prediction reflects Tim Tebow being cleared to play and start.
Winner: Florida 35-20
Other Intriguing Games and College Girl(s) of the Day
Hot college girls of the day this week are the USC Song Girls!
Other intriguing games:
Michigan State over Illinois 31-24
Georgia over Tennessee 30-20
Pittsburgh over Connecticut 27-14
Stanford over Oregon State 28-24
Washington over Arizona 31-28
Wake Forest over Maryland 24-10
Mississippi State over Houston 35-31