College Football 2010: Week 5 Marquee Matchups and Predictions

Dani CaplanCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2010

College Football 2010: Week 5 Marquee Matchups and Predictions

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    The college football season is in full swing. We're already in week five, if you can believe that. Speaking of week five, there is a slate of college football matchups that I, along with most of the college football fan-base, am salivating over.

    There are five high profile, top 25 matchups, along with some other potentially great games.

    Here's a list of my top ten games for this sure to be uber-exciting weekend and my predictions for them.

Navy at Air Force

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    This game might not be between the highest profile teams, but it is sure to be a doozy. 

    First of all, it's a battle of the army forces. The pride on the line is immense. 

    Secondly, these are two pretty talented teams, so this will be a close one. The key will be the effectiveness of Ricky Dobbs and the option offense. If they can fool the solid Air Force defense, they will be able to match the Falcons' similar option offense.

    I'm taking Air Force because they have impressed with a convincing win over BYU and a near upset of Oklahoma. The Midshipmen simply have not been as effective with their version of the option offense. Also, this game is in Falcon territory, so they'll have a 12th defender.

    Air Force 30-Navy 21

Virginia Tech at North Carolina State

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    This is a bit of an underrated matchup. NC State is on a roll and has been mightily impressive this year. Russell Wilson has been lights out with his 11-1 TD-INT ratio. The Wolfpack defense has been solid against good competition. 

    In terms of their counterpart, Virginia Tech, the Hokies have also been very impressive. I know that they lost to FCS James Madison, which was ugly, but in their other three games they have looked like a top-25 caliber squad. They nearly beat National Title Contender Boise State, beat up on a pretty solid East Carolina team, and blanked a quality Boston College team.

    This game will have major implications in the ACC and I'm taking the NC State Wolfpack at home in a tight game.

    NC State 34-Virginia Tech 31

Notre Dame at Boston College

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    This game is for respect. Both teams have a chip on their shoulders, so they'll leave it all on the field.

    Boston College is coming off of an ugly offensive performance against Virginia Tech, in which they put no points on the board. They are out to prove to the lackluster ACC that they are not going to get pushed around again. A win over the Irish will help their cause immensely.

    Regarding Notre Dame, the Irish have been through a rough couple of weeks. They've dropped their last three games and now stand at an unimpressive 1-3. Brian Kelly doesn't want to look like a fool at 1-4, so the Irish will take down Eagles on the road.

    Notre Dame 27- Boston College 20

Texas A&M at Oklahoma State

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    This is a battle of the unknown undefeated teams. Both of these schools are 4-0 without anyone really knowing about it. The winner of this game will most likely enter the top-25 polls come Sunday night.

    No Dez Bryant? No Zac Robinson? No problem. The Cowboys have been clicking on all cylinders, whether it be in the passing game or rushing attack. They're point totals have been 65, 41, and 65. This offense is for real and will cause fits for the Aggie defense.  

    Texas A&M also has a potent offense lead by Jerrod Johnson. But in their last game, the Aggies were lucky to escape losing at home to Florida International after trailing 20-6. 

    Texas A&M is on the road for the first time, so I think they'll be in for a bit of a shock. Jerrod Johnson will keep the game close, but there will be too much Cowboy offense for the Aggies to handle.

    Oklahoma State 41- Texas A&M 34

Arizona State at Oregon State

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    This is the battle for fifth place in the Pac-10. Both of these squads have fallen victim to a brutally tough schedule.

    Oregon State lost to two top-five teams in Boise State and TCU. What scares me is their near loss to Louisville, who is a Big East bottom dweller. But while the Rodgers' borthers are in town, the Beavers will be able to beat anyone.

    Arizona State has also fallen to top teams in offensive juggernaut Oregon and Wisconsin. Their defense has been impressive, holding Wisconsin to 20 points and Oregon to 42 (only against Oregon is yielding 42 points considered impressive).

    I'm going with Oregon State because They have are more battle tested and have been closer in defeat. The Rodgers brothers will do just enough to lead the Beavers to victory.

    Oregon State 24-Arizona State 21

Penn State at Iowa

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    Unlike the Oklahoma State-Texas A&M game, this is the fight to stay in the top 25.

    Penn State's offense was stagnant against Alabama. I know 'Bama has a great defense, but they should have come up with at least a field goal. But they still have Evan Royster, who has the ability to put up big rushing numbers. 

    Iowa was surprised by Arizona when they lost 34-27. They were supposed to be a National Title Contender, but instead are trying to remain in the Big Ten Title picture. But this team does have the edge in this matchup because of veteran QB Ricky Stanzi.

    Iowa will defend their home turf and will be too much for Robert Bolden and the Nittany Lions to handle.

    Iowa 24-Penn State 17

Wisconsin at Michigan State

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    The darlings vs. the big bad Badgers. This is game with major Big Ten implications.

    Wisconsin has superstar John Clay at running back, but they don't have much else in terms of weapons. They needed some luck to escape past suspect Arizona State.

    The Spartans are still feeling good about beating Notre Dame in thrilling fashion, but they better forget quickly. Michigan State has been fluid on both sides of the ball and is hungry for a Badger upset.

    The key matchup is Spartan LB Greg Jones vs. John Clay. I think Greg Jones, along with his Spartans, will take down Wisconsin in a big upset.

    Michigan State 24- Wisconsin 21

Oklahoma at Texas

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    The Red River Rivalry took a hit last week with lousy performances by both of these schools in Week 4. 

    Garret Gilbert has looked bad as the starter along with the whole Longhorn offense. They were embarrassed at home against UCLA, who isn't the best of opponents.

    The Sooners nearly lost at Cincy, who is now 1-3, but they narrowly beat the Bearcats. Their offense did look good, but their defense did not.

    OU will win this one behind Landry Jones and their high-powered offense.

    Oklahoma 38-Texas 30

Florida at Alabama

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    This one has some extra spice because it's a rematch of the SEC title game from 2009.

    The Gators are struggling offensively to say the least. John Brantley is surely no Tim Tebow. But the defense has been incredeible.

    Alabama has looked great all year and has shown no sign of slowing down. Though they did show vulnerability, almost losing to Arkansas.

    This one will be a defensive struggle and 'Bama will win at home.

    Alabama 17-Florida 10

Stanford at Oregon

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    Both of these teams have looked spectacular thus far. 

    The Cardinal are powered by super-QB Andrew Luck. They can flat out score. The only problem?  Oregon can flat out score even more.

    This one will come down to which defense will bruise the opposing offense.  I think the Cardinal defense will play gritty defense and slow down the seemingly unstoppable Duck's offense. This shootout will go to Stanford.

    Stanford 48- Oregon 45