College Football Picks and Predictions: Week 5

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College Football  Picks and Predictions: Week 5
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Each Monday morning, Whatifsports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including the home team's chances of winning (home win percentage) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2010 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy and for Locks and Upsets of the Week available on Wednesdays.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts, and statistically-based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

Game of the Week: Stanford (12) vs Oregon (7)

If you have the chance to procure a ticket to this Saturday's showdown in the Pac-10, you are one Lucky Duck.

Thanks, try the veal.

That may be a tired one-liner, but the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon Ducks are ready for the first of the month to wake up themselves and the rest of the country. With the SEC "down" this year, the Cardinal versus Ducks on national television hands the left coast a platform to prove that they do belong in the power-conference discussion, and that all of this is attainable without USC assistance.

Sometimes fresh blood can be good for the game.

As I pointed out in last week's Heisman Trophy piece with Whatifsports.com's college football insider Chris Rix, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck may be the best college football player you don't know much about. Trying to stay up for the 11:15pm EST kickoffs are part of the reason he flies below the radar.

Luck did throw his first two interceptions of the season last Saturday at Notre Dame, but these two aerial errors pale in comparison to his full body of work.

Through four games this year, he has tallied 11 touchdowns and thrown for 912 yards with a 62.7 completion percentage. Whatifsports.com staff writer Joel Beall had the privilege of watching Luck in person against the Irish, and says he's the real deal—and this analysis is coming from a Notre Dame fan.

Stanford, ranked ninth in the AP, is starting the season 4-0 for the first time since Ronald Reagan was in office, and is averaging the fourth-most points per game in the country (48.0 ppg) while holding opponents to just 13.8 points per game (12th/country).

Oregon proved it could handle the heat and stayed in Arizona State's kitchen, scoring a big road win with a 100-degree game-time temperature announced in Tempe Saturday night.

The ball-hawking Ducks defense, ranked third in the country in points allowed (11.0/gm), forced the Sun Devils to turn the ball over seven times.

ASU's Steven Threet threw four interceptions and the team lost three fumbles. Two of the turnovers were returned for six points.

The unusual part of the Ducks' offensive attack, first in points scored (57.8/gm), was they went to the air instead of the ground against Arizona State. Oregon ranks third in the country in rushing yards (321.8/gm), yet in this contest, Darron Thomas (Jeremiah who?) threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns, with the air game outgaining the ground by over 100 yards.

The main question in Saturday's game will be whether or not these two teams break the scoreboard as the first-ranked offense hosts the fourth-ranked offense. It could also become a defensive battle, with the third-ranked defense taking on the 12th, although this is less likely.

The Whatifsports.com college simulation engine "played" this game 101 times, and the computer likes the Oregon Ducks 62.4 percent of the time by an average score of 37-28.

NOTABLE GAMES

Saturday's football buffet includes two other premiere matchups that are worth highlighting: the Texas Longhorns versus the Oklahoma Sooners and the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Florida Gators.

The Red River Rivalry takes a back seat this season, as Texas and Oklahoma did not help their hype with underachieving performances against UCLA (Longhorns loss) and Cincinnati (Sooners gave up 305 passing yards) on Saturday. Still, this game always invokes a lot of interest, and Mack Brown's team will have the chance to save face only one week after being exposed.

In 101 simulations, the college football simulation engine likes Texas upsetting Oklahoma at home 69.3 percent of the time.

Alabama survived their own scare by rallying back to beat Arkansas in their toughest test this season. Mark Ingram showcased his skills as he pursues a second Heisman Trophy, while the Tide washed away Ryan Mallett's chances of winning the trophy by picking off the QB three times.

Some thought the Florida Gators were ripe for the picking at Kentucky, but Urban Meyer begged to differ. Freshman quarterback/running back Trey Burton accounted for six of Florida's seven touchdowns against the Wildcats.

In 101 simulations, the college football simulation engine likes the Crimson Tide over the Florida Gators 76.2 percent of the time.

 

College Football Week 5
Matchup Win% Avg Score  
East Carolina Pirates 6.9 11 Boxscore
@ North Carolina Tar Heels 93.1 34  
Miami (FL) Hurricanes 49.5 25 Boxscore
@ Clemson Tigers 50.5 26  
Duke Blue Devils 57.4 29 Boxscore
@ Maryland Terrapins 42.6 28  
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 64.4 27 Boxscore
@ Boston College Eagles 35.6 24  
Virginia Tech Hokies 73.3 36 Boxscore
@ North Carolina State Wolfpack 26.7 31  
Florida State Seminoles 75.2 31 Boxscore
@ Virginia Cavaliers 24.8 24  
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 84.2 36 Boxscore
@ Wake Forest Demon Deacons 15.8 20  
Vanderbilt Commodores 5.0 12 Boxscore
@ Connecticut Huskies 95.0 37  
Florida International Golden Panthers 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Panthers 95.0 50  
Tulane Green Wave 9.9 16 Boxscore
@ Rutgers Scarlet Knights 90.1 34  
Florida Atlantic Owls 13.9 24 Boxscore
@ South Florida Bulls 86.1 39  
Penn State Nittany Lions 49.5 20 Boxscore
@ Iowa Hawkeyes 50.5 22  
Wisconsin Badgers 62.4 38 Boxscore
@ Michigan State Spartans 37.6 37  
Michigan Wolverines 70.3 33 Boxscore
@ Indiana Hoosiers 29.7 27  
Northwestern Wildcats 92.1 31 Boxscore
@ Minnesota Golden Gophers 7.9 16  
Ohio State Buckeyes 95.0 39 Boxscore
@ Illinois Fighting Illini 5.0 12  
Ball State Cardinals 5.0 10 Boxscore
@ Central Michigan Chippewas 95.0 34  
Wyoming Cowboys 60.4 26 Boxscore
@ Toledo Rockets 39.6 25  
Buffalo Bulls 71.3 24 Boxscore
@ Bowling Green Falcons 28.7 19  
Kent State Golden Flashes 78.2 23 Boxscore
@ Miami (OH) RedHawks 21.8 13  
Northern Illinois Huskies 82.2 27 Boxscore
@ Akron Zips 17.8 17  
Idaho Vandals 92.1 40 Boxscore
@ Western Michigan Broncos 7.9 22  
Ohio Bobcats 95.0 35 Boxscore
@ Eastern Michigan Eagles 5.0 10  
Washington State Cougars 5.0 8 Boxscore
@ UCLA Bruins 95.0 41  
Washington Huskies 13.9 22 Boxscore
@ USC Trojans 86.1 38  
Arizona State Sun Devils 14.9 19 Boxscore
@ Oregon State Beavers 85.1 33  
Stanford Cardinal 37.6 28 Boxscore
@ Oregon Ducks 62.4 37  
Alcorn State Braves 5.0 9 Boxscore
@ Mississippi State Bulldogs 95.0 54  
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 5.0 15 Boxscore
@ Auburn Tigers 95.0 43  
Tennessee Volunteers 13.9 14 Boxscore
@ LSU Tigers 86.1 29  
Florida Gators 23.8 19 Boxscore
@ Alabama Crimson Tide 76.2 29  
Kentucky Wildcats 35.6 22 Boxscore
@ Mississippi Rebels 64.4 30  
Cal Poly Mustangs 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Fresno State Bulldogs 95.0 57  
California-Davis Aggies 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ San Jose State Spartans 95.0 33  
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 41.6 27 Boxscore
@ Hawaii Warriors 58.4 34  
Brigham Young Cougars 64.4 28 Boxscore
@ Utah State Aggies 35.6 27  
Boise State Broncos 95.0 60 Boxscore
@ New Mexico State Aggies 5.0 8  
Temple Owls 88.1 31 Boxscore
@ Army Black Knights 11.9 16  
Kansas Jayhawks 33.7 25 Boxscore
@ Baylor Bears 66.3 35  
Texas A&M Aggies 52.5 32 Boxscore
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys 47.5 31  
Texas Longhorns 69.3 28 Boxscore
@ Oklahoma Sooners 30.7 22  
Georgia Bulldogs 77.2 32 Boxscore
@ Colorado Buffaloes 22.8 24  
Texas Tech Red Raiders 85.1 34 Boxscore
@ Iowa State Cyclones 14.9 21  
Marshall Thundering Herd 25.7 26 Boxscore
@ Southern Miss Golden Eagles 74.3 35  
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 58.4 29 Boxscore
@ Memphis Tigers 41.6 27  
Southern Methodist Mustangs 95.0 37 Boxscore
@ Rice Owls 5.0 22  
Navy Midshipmen 23.8 18 Boxscore
@ Air Force Falcons 76.2 31  
UTEP Miners 58.4 26 Boxscore
@ New Mexico Lobos 41.6 24  
Nevada Wolf Pack 92.1 43 Boxscore
@ UNLV Rebels 7.9 25  
TCU Horned Frogs 95.0 47 Boxscore
@ Colorado State Rams 5.0 11  
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns 34.7 17 Boxscore
@ North Texas Mean Green 65.3 26  
Louisville Cardinals 68.3 29 Boxscore
@ Arkansas State Red Wolves 31.7 25  
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