College Football Predictions Week 5: Picking Each Top 25 Game Against the Spread
With a new top team, this week's polls have a bit of a different face than last week's rankings.
The polls will continue to change as the nation's top teams match up against each other. Some top games to watch this week will include Alabama vs. Florida, Wisconsin vs. Nebraska, and Virginia Tech vs. Clemson, among others.
The nation's top teams will be further defined as LSU, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Boise State continue to try and inch ahead of each other to win that sought-after No. 1 ranking and a ticket to the BCS National Championship.
Let's take a look at the top 25 matchups for this week.
Kentucky at #1 LSU
For LSU's first matchup as the nation's top team, they will face off against a 2-2 Kentucky team coming off a blistering loss to No. 12 Florida.
LSU is firing on all cylinders but still has plenty of tough teams left on their schedule.
Fortunately for Tigers fans, Kentucky isn't one of those teams. LSU will have no problem walking away with this victory.
Prediction: 48-17 LSU
Ball State at #2 Oklahoma
Oklahoma faces Ball State in a match up that they will use to show that the Sooners are still the clear cut top team in the Nation.
Ball State's only loss so far this season came at the hands of No. 16 USF, who gave them a beating. A 37-7 loss to the Bulls should signify a far more drastic whooping from the team that, as far as I'm concerned, is the best in college football.
Prediction: 56-7 Oklahoma
#3 Alabama at #12 Florida
In the highest ranking match up of the week, Alabama travels to Gainesville to face the Florida Gators.
This game is sure to be a crowd-pleaser as both teams are playing at a very high level. The game could go either way, but I think Alabama's defense gives them the edge in this one. the Tide will roll over the Gators in Gainesville.
Prediction: 31-24 Alabama
Nevada at #4 Boise State
Boise State is still determined to get their name in there with the best in the nation. I don't think they will be considered on the same level as LSU and Oklahoma this season because of their conference.
That won't stop the Broncos, though, from beating on a very weak Nevada Wolfpack team.
Prediction: 38-10 Boise State
UCLA at #6 Stanford
UCLA takes their 2-2 record to northern California to face Andrew Luck and the 3-0 Stanford Cardinal.
UCLA has played decent so far this season, but their defense is not talented enough to supplant their conference rival—Andrew Luck is just too good.
Stanford shouldn't get too comfortable, however, because the fact that they have played such weak opponents so far could mean a wake up call from a team looking to upset. Still, I don't think the Bruins have what it takes to stop the consensus No. 1 pick for the 2012 NFL Draft.
Prediction: 28-17 Stanford
#8 Nebraska at #7 Wisconsin
This Big Ten match up will be another crowd-pleaser as the Huskers face the Badgers in what has all the makings of college football's next great rivalry.
This top 10 match up will not only shake the polls a bit, it could also decide the fate of the Big Ten title as there really aren't any other teams in contention at this point other than No. 19 Michigan - who is a long shot in my opinion.
This will be the most tightly contested match up of the week because both teams are relatively equal on both sides of the ball.
In the end, I have to give the edge to Wisconsin, who's QB Russell Wilson is playing some very good football right now.
Prediction: 27-24 Wisconsin
Auburn at #10 South Carolina
Two weeks removed from getting upset by the, now No. 13, Clemson Tigers, defending National Champion Auburn travels to South Carolina to face the Gamecocks.
A combination of QB Stephen Garcia and WR Alshon Jeffery makes for a dangerous offense that always seems to come through when they need to.
I think the Gamecocks will be surprised with the Auburn team they face this week, especially after an easy win over Vanderbilt.
The Tigers, on the other hand, will be looking to show that they can continue to bounce back from their loss to an overrated Clemson squad.
I'm calling the upset for this game.
Prediction: 24-21 Auburn
#13 Clemson at #11 Virginia Tech
I don't want to be "that guy," but Clemson, you beat Florida State's JV team - that is the only reason you are ranked as high as you are. It's unfortunate that Florida State lost QB E.J. Manuel for the game, but that doesn't mean Clemson's Tajh Boyd accomplished anything by beating a squad full of injuries led by a true freshman QB.
That being said, this ACC match up doesn't necessarily decide the fate of the conference title, but it will be exciting nonetheless. There isn't a ton of separation between many of the ACC teams, and these two aren't an exception.
This will be VT's first ranked opponent of the season; the Hokies will be anxious to show the nation that they deserve their ranking and that their wins over Appalachian State and Marshall University aren't meaningless.
Prediction: 38-24 Virginia Tech
#18 Arkansas at #14 Texas A&M
What better way to commemorate your signing with the SEC than to beat an SEC team.
Texas A&M needs to bounce back after a tough, one-point loss to Oklahoma State.
Expectations are high for the Aggies, who just made it official that they would join the SEC only a few days ago.
This game will be a close one, though, as the Razorbacks try to do the SEC proud by not only stomping the new kid on the block, but also by bouncing back from a tough loss to No. 3 Alabama.
The game could go either way, but I give the edge to a determined Texas A&M team who is not happy after such a narrow margin of defeat to OSU.
Prediction: 35-31 Texas A&M
#15 Baylor at Kansas State
I think this Big 12 match up will be rather close, despite Baylor's ranking and Kansas State's lack thereof.
Both teams are undefeated at 3-0 and both have played really one challenging game along with two pretty easy match ups.
I give the edge to K-State, though, because the Wildcats will have the momentum coming off a big win over Miami 28-24.
Prediction: 31-28 Kansas State
#16 South Florida at Pittsburgh
USF has an impressive run going. The undefeated Bulls have surprised the college football world by remaining undefeated and representing the Big East well in the top 25.
South Florida heads to Heinz Field to face fellow Big East squad Pittsburgh.
Despite the fact that nobody still seems to believe in the Bulls, I think they could certainly win out the Big East and remain undefeated in a schedule whose only ranked opponent is No. 22 West Virginia.
With all of the turnovers USF has caused this season, I am confident when I say that their defense is pretty legit—well at least for the Big East.
Prediction: 28-16 USF
#17 Texas as Iowa State
The undefeated Longhorns travel to Ames to face conference foe Iowa State.
Texas has outplayed its opponents in every game they've played this season. Despite being 3-0 themselves, I wouldn't call the Iowa State Cyclones the cream of the college football crop. Even though they stole one away from their in-state rival Iowa Hawkeyes, I'm still not sold on this Cyclones team.
Prediction: 34-26 Texas
Minnesota at #19 Michigan
If you can't beat New Mexico State, what chance do you actually have against a ranked team?
An offense led by explosive, play-making QB Denard Robinson will make short work of the Gophers' small-time defense.
Prediction: 37-7 Michigan
Southern Methodist at #20 TCU
Both TCU and SMU are coming off three-game winning streaks that could provide the momentum for either team.
I give TCU the edge in this match up, solely because of SMU's inability to put points on the board against ranked opponents. TCU is no slouch on defense and will likely put SMU down.
Prediction: 48-17 TCU
#21 Georgia Tech at North Carolina State
Georgia Tech remains one of two unbeaten teams in the ACC. Even though Clemson is ranked higher than the Yellow Jackets, statistically Georgia Tech is better.
NC State is usually one of the whipping boys for the rest of the ACC, and at a 2-2 record, they're doing just about as well as anyone could expect from them.
I give the edge to the Yellow Jackets who will want to not only keep their streak alive, but contend with Virginia Tech for the ACC title.
Prediction: 28-10 Georgia Tech
Bowling Green at #22 West Virginia
After a walloping from No. 1 ranked LSU, the Mountaineers will look to bounce back with an easy win over Bowling Green.
Feel free to argue your case Bowling Green fans...
Prediction: 28-3 West Virginia
Northwestern at #24 Illinois
The surprisingly still undefeated Illini take on in-state conference rival Northwestern in what could be a Big Ten match up to watch.
Illinois managed to put together a nice little win-streak that I think they will be able to carry into Chicago to take down the Wildcats.
Prediction: 31-17 Illinois
Oregon State at #25 Arizona State
After knocking USC out of the rankings with a 43-22 victory last week, Arizona State has established themselves as a team that could contend with many teams in the PAC-12.
As ASU has downed two ranked opponents so far, they shouldn't have any problem hammering an unranked and winless Oregon State Beavers team.
Prediction: 48-13 Arizona State.
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