Cancel all plans. Abandon all family obligations. Stock the cupboards and fridge with just the right options for the perfect weekend.
Friends, this is that weekend.
Week 5 of the college football season is, without question, the most robust lineup of games thus far.
Alabama vs. Ole Miss, Georgia vs. Arkansas and Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame serve as the headliners. And those are just the tip of the iceberg. The lineup is deep and ripe with opportunity.
To celebrate the occasion, we asked B/R readers for their boldest predictions heading into the weekend. While this CFB season has already stockpiled plenty of weirdness, the sport will essentially break if even a fraction of these suggestions come to life.
Without further delay, here they are.
Prediction: Maryland upsets Iowa on Friday night
Let's start with the appetizer.
If the oddsmakers are correct, and they often are, this prediction won't actually be all that radical. As someone with Iowa ties, I can openly declare this game a terrifying spot for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa is a short favorite despite wearing the label as the No. 5 team in the country, according to the AP Poll. Maryland, while unbeaten, is still unranked.
A win here, of course, will change that in a hurry.
It seems impossible that the younger brother of Tua Tagovailoa would somehow be underrated, but here we are. Taulia Tagovailoa has 10 touchdowns and only one interception this season, and he will be a threat to an Iowa defense that currently ranks No. 3 in the nation.
Things could get (predictably) weird on Friday.
More B1G Carnage
Prediction: Rutgers upsets Ohio State
On the topic of weirdness, let's get weirder.
But like most predictions in this piece, this isn't impossible. Just ask Michigan.
We saw Rutgers put a scare into Jim Harbaugh's team last weekend after falling behind 20-3. The Scarlet Knights simply could not finish. But as we've seen since Greg Schiano arrived, this program has vastly improved.
The health of Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud is worth monitoring considering he missed the team's game against Akron. But regardless, Ohio State's defense has been vulnerable and its offense has been largely inconsistent.
Plus, this is the Buckeyes' second road game of the year. The first was a meat-grinder of a win against Minnesota—a team that just lost as a 31-point favorite last weekend.
A lot will have to go right for Rutgers to win. The talent gap between these two teams is wide. But with Ohio State seemingly a shell of the team we thought we were getting this year and Rutgers building confidence, a scare would not surprise in the least.
Prediction: Ole Miss and Alabama combine for over 110 points
I want this prediction to be correct. I want this game to take five hours and disrupt my entire weekend. I would be pleased—no, thrilled—if Alabama and Ole Miss traded touchdowns deep into Saturday night.
Also, @TheGatorMan didn't stumble upon this number by chance. Last year's matchup between these two teams delivered 113 total points—a 63-48 Alabama win that was thrilling for much of the game.
I want an encore. No, I need an encore.
With Bryce Young and Matt Corral at QB, an encore seems possible. Still, both defenses have improved since then. And although the total for this game is hovering around 80, I think we fall short of 100 let alone 110.
To be clear, I hope I am wrong. The fact that I even have to say this game won't feature 100 points speaks to the talent involved.
I hope I am wrong. And if I am, please be sure to tell me how wrong I was.
Down Go the Sooners
Prediction: K-State makes it 3 in a row vs. OU
This feels North Carolina State-Clemson-y. That is to say—for those who didn't watch the Tigers lose last weekend—that Kansas State has a real shot.
Before we talk about the game, a quick history lesson. Kansas State has won the past two games against Oklahoma as @JqBook points out, doing so in thrilling fashion each time. In 2019, K-State won 48-41. In 2020, 38-35.
That is not a minor accomplishment against a program like this.
The Wildcats return home to Manhattan for this matchup, a site that has delivered its fair share of upsets. Although the Wildcats lost last week at Oklahoma State, a rejuvenated effort could be in the cards.
The point spread certainly reflects that as the number is hovering around double digits. Given Spencer Rattler's struggles and the Sooners' inability to generate points in bunches the way they normally do, K-State should have plenty of confidence heading into this matchup despite last weekend's loss.
I like this quite a bit.
Also, Down Goes Clemson (Again)
Boston College blows out Clemson. Like 20+ point victory
Well, this would be bad. Not if you're Boston College or if you own a Clemson message board, but if you are a member of the Clemson football program.
The commentary from @h2h003 is a tad aggressive. In fairness, though, that's what I asked for.
It feels like he or she is really leaning into the blowout aspect of this. But given what we've seen from Clemson—or better yet, what we haven't seen—nothing should be completely dismissed.
Even with its loss to North Carolina State, Clemson is still more than a two-touchdown favorite against Boston College. The Eagles are 4-0 following a solid win against Missouri.
If you told me before the season began that Clemson would have two losses while Boston College and Wake Forest would be undefeated entering Week 5, I would have laughed you off.
But here we are.
Can BC win this game? Of course. Clemson is struggling, and a slew of meaningful injuries won't help. But I also envision a bit of a bounce back this week, which the oddsmakers seem to envision as well.
It won't be the Clemson we expected to see, but it'll be a much better version than the one we've seen of late.
And if they lose by 20-plus, drinks are on me.
The Nittany Lions are the New Kings of CFB
Prediction: Penn State is No. 1 in the AP Poll next week
If you are into maximum chaos, you will cherish this prediction. And since I am into maximum chaos, allow me to explore this in depth.
For starters, Penn State needs to beat Indiana. If you remember last year's thriller at the beginning of the Big Ten's season, that is not a given. (I want to also shout out everyone in the comments who predicted that Penn State will lose this game before we go any further. Your thoughts should be noted.)
But for this prediction to be realized, let's keep it moving.
After Penn State's win, the following things must transpire.
Alabama must lose to Ole Miss, Georgia must lose to Arkansas and Oregon must lose to Stanford. All three of these games have a spread greater than a touchdown, and both SEC games have a spread greater than two touchdowns.
That is a polite way of pointing out that this concept, while bold, also seems somewhat reckless.
To be clear, I love recklessness. I appreciate recklessness. And if the top three programs in college football all lose this Saturday, I will celebrate the sport's descent into chaos in style.
That said, Penn State will need an abundance of help to make this possible. It would need, quite simply, one of the greatest Saturdays the sport has ever seen.
But just imagine waking up from your slumber on Sunday morning and seeing this new top five in the AP poll.
1. Penn State
2. Ole Miss
What a day it would be.
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