College Football Fanatic's Week Five Predictions

College Football FanaticCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2008

Last week: 15-4

Overall (Weeks 3 & 4): 29-8 (.783% correct)

#25 Fresno State at UCLA, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Point Spread: Fresno State -7

Fresno State has been deserving of a Top 25 spot so far, beating Rutgers and Toledo and only losing to #9 Wisconsin by 3 at home. UCLA beat Tennessee in the opener but was blown out by #11 BYU 59-0 and then was beaten 31-10 by Arizona at home last Saturday. At best, UCLA is the 7th-best team in the Pac-10 and maybe even 8th-best. Fresno State should have no trouble here.

Prediction: Fresno State 37, UCLA 23

Houston at #23 East Carolina, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Point Spread: East Carolina -11

Houston has had a rough start to the year, going 1-3 with their only win coming against FCS team Southern 55-3. East Carolina beat two Top 25 teams to start off the year and escaped with a win over Tulane but had their BCS dreams most likely crushed last Saturday by NC State in a 30-24 loss, thanks to a mind-boggling coaching decision by ECU coach Skip Holtz to go for a TD on 4th and goal at the NC State 1 instead of kicking the field goal to give ECU a seven-point lead. ECU will rebound well from the debacle last week and will be able to handle Case Keenum and the Houston offense.

Prediction: East Carolina 35, Houston 17

Weber State at #17 Utah, Saturday, 8:00 PM ET

Point Spread: No Line

Weber State is an FCS school that is 3-1 with its only loss coming to FBS school Hawaii, and Weber State actually led early on. Utah is 4-0 with their latest win coming in a 30-23 thriller at Air Force. Utah will have no problems at all in this breeze of a game.

Prediction: Utah 54, Weber State 7

Navy at #16 Wake Forest, Saturday, 3:45 PM ET

Point Spread: Wake Forest -16

Navy has had an alright start to the year, losing to Duke and Ball State but beating Rutgers 23-21. Wake Forest is 3-0 with their biggest win coming against Florida State, 12-3. If Navy gets the running game going early (specifically getting Shun White some running room) then Wake could be in trouble. This one will be closer than everyone thinks, but Wake will still win.

Prediction: Wake Forest 38, Navy 30

Tennessee at #15 Auburn, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Point Spread: Auburn -7

Tennessee has been a disappointment so far at 1-2, losing to UCLA and Florida (handily to UF, I might add) and only beating UAB. Auburn has played decently, going 3-1 with their only loss to #5 LSU but not finding much offense. Many people are expecting UT to just lay down for Auburn after last week's blowout, but this is an angry Tennessee team looking to take out their anger on someone. This Auburn team could be the recipient. Tennessee will finally find some success this year and pull the upset on Auburn.

Prediction: Tennessee 24, Auburn 20

Minnesota at #14 Ohio State, Saturday, Noon ET

Point Spread: Ohio State -18

Minnesota has had a good start to the season, going 4-0 for the 4th time in six years and for the first time since 2005. Ohio State has been mediocre, going 3-1 but getting blown out by #1 USC 35-3 and nearly losing to Ohio and Troy. If Minnesota beats OSU, I'll believe all the hype about them. They won't, though, and with Pryor starting, OSU will handle Minnesota very easily.

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Minnesota 13

#13 South Florida at North Carolina State, Saturday, 7:30 PM ET

Point Spread: South Florida -9

South Florida has had a good start to the season, going 4-0 but nearly losing to Central Florida and Florida International. NC State has played well since losing 34-0 to South Carolina in the opener, losing to Clemson 27-9 but pulling off a major upset of East Carolina, 30-24. With last week's win, NC State may have proved that they're not exactly a pushover anymore. I'm calling for NC State to pull a second consectutive major upset and derail the South Florida train.

Prediction: NC State 21, South Florida 20

#22 Illinois at #12 Penn State, Saturday, 8:00 PM ET

Point Spread: Penn State -15

Illinois has not looked great so far, starting off 2-1 but not playing well against Eastern Illinois and nearly losing to Louisiana-Lafayette as a 26 point favorite. Penn State has just been explosive, starting off 4-0 and averaging 53 points a game. Anyone who's been doubting JoePa's men will be proven wrong here as Penn State rolls over overrated Illinois.

Prediction: Penn State 49, Illinois 24

#9 Wisconsin at Michigan, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Point Spread: Wisconsin -6.5

Wisconsin has played well so far, going 3-0 with their biggest win coming against #25 Fresno State, 13-10. Michigan has pretty much sucked, going 1-2 with their only win being a 16-6 squeaker over Miami (OH) at home. It's time for Rich Rod to show everyone that Michigan isn't a complete joke this year and he can do that by giving Wisconsin an actual contest. Michigan's defense will perform well, but the offense will still sputter, allowing Wisconsin to escape with a close victory.

Prediction: Wisconsin 21, Michigan 17

Arkansas at #7 Texas, Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Point Spread: Texas -28

Arkansas has sputtered so far this year, going 2-1 but squeaking by UL-Monroe and FCS team Western Illinois and getting smacked around at home by #8 Alabama, 49-14. Texas has looked impressive so far, going 3-0 and averaging 49 points a game. This game could get very ugly early on in favor of Texas.

Prediction: Texas 45, Arkansas 10

Mississippi State at #5 LSU, Saturday, 7:30 PM ET

Point Spread: LSU -24.5

Mississippi State has underperformed so far, losing to Louisiana Tech, #15 Auburn, and Georgia Tech for a 1-3 start. LSU has looked good so far, going 3-0 and beating #15 Auburn last Saturday. This one will be a little closer than most people think but will still be in big favor of the Tigers.

Prediction: LSU 31, Mississippi State 13

Mississippi at #4 Florida, Saturday, 12:30 PM ET

Point Spread: Florida -22.5

Mississippi has started decently this year, going 2-2 and nearly upsetting #16 Wake Forest on the road, losing 30-28 on a last second field goal. Florida has been awesome, going 3-0 with statement wins over Miami (FL) and Tennessee. If Mississippi even wants to contend in this one, they must control Tim Tebow and Jevan Snead must make better decisions at QB. Mississippi can play with the big boys, but they won't beat Florida. It will be closer than expected, though.

Prediction: Florida 30, Mississippi 21

#8 Alabama at #3 Georgia, Saturday, 7:45 PM ET

Point Spread: Georgia -7

Both Alabama and Georgia have started off 4-0 and both have impressive wins, Alabama's coming against Clemson and Georgia's coming against Arizona State and South Carolina, both on the road. Alabama is overrated, but Georgia hasn't looked great either. Georgia should handle the Tide but how they perform in this one will be an indicator (possibly) of how they perform against Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Auburn, and even Georgia Tech.

Prediction: Georgia 31, Alabama 20

#24 TCU at #2 Oklahoma, Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

Point Spread: Oklahoma -19

TCU has started off well, going 4-0 with a defense that has only given up 31 points so far. Oklahoma has looked dominating, starting off 3-0 with wins over Cincinnati and Washington. One of the best offenses in the nation and possibly the best in Sooners history faces off against one of the best defenses in the nation. TCU will contend early and will keep this one close, but Oklahoma will close this one out in the fourth quarter.

Prediction: Oklahoma 41, TCU 27

#1 USC at Oregon State, Thursday, 9:00 PM ET

Point Spread: USC -26

USC has played great so far, destroying Virginia in the opener 52-7 and steamrolling overrated Ohio State 35-3. Oregon State has looked OK, losing to Stanford and Penn State but beating up on Hawaii. This game should go like the Oklahoma-Washington game two weeks ago in which Oklahoma dominated from the kickoff. Oregon State has no chance here.

Prediction: USC 48, Oregon State 13


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