College Football Picks Week 6: Top 25 Rankings, Schedule, Odds and Predictions

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2021

College Football Picks Week 6: Top 25 Rankings, Schedule, Odds and Predictions

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    Barry Reeger/Associated Press

    Statement games abound in Week 6 of the 2021 college football season, with No. 4 Penn State traveling to No. 3 Iowa being the most significant of them all. 

    That showdown, which will likely have implications on the postseason, headlines a slate of games that also features the Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas, Michigan's first taste of play inside the top 10, Cincinnati's latest opportunity to send a message to the rest of the AP Top 25 and Georgia vs. Auburn in a game that will tell us a lot about the SEC and the Bulldogs' ability to challenge Alabama for a national title.

    Where did the teams in question land in this week's poll, what are the odds ahead of the high-stakes matchups and who will emerge victorious from two of the week's most intriguing games?

    The answers lie in this preview of the weekend action. 

Top 25 Rankings

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    Ron Johnson/Associated Press

    The Associated Press Top 25 rankings entering Week 6 are:

    1. Alabama (5-0)
    2. Georgia (5-0)
    3. Iowa (5-0)
    4. Penn State (5-0)
    5. Cincinnati (4-0)
    6. Oklahoma (5-0)
    7. Ohio State (4-1)
    8. Oregon (4-1)
    9. Michigan (5-0)
    10. BYU (5-0)
    11. Michigan State (5-0)
    12. Oklahoma State (5-0)
    13. Arkansas (4-1)
    14. Notre Dame (4-1)
    15. Coastal Carolina (5-0)
    16. Kentucky (5-0)
    17. Ole Miss (3-1)
    18. Auburn (4-1)
    19. Wake Forest (5-0)
    20. Florida (3-2)
    21. Texas (4-1)
    22. Arizona State (4-1)
    23. North Carolina State (4-1)
    24. SMU (5-0)
    25. San Diego State (4-0)

        

    On the surface, Iowa jumping Penn State for the No. 3 spot, despite the Nittany Lions shutout of Indiana Saturday night in Happy Valley, may seem peculiar. The Hawkeyes obliterated Maryland, though, picking the Terps quarterback off six times en route to a 51-14 drubbing.

    While Penn State was also dominant in its blanking of Indiana, 24-0, the smothering defense of Iowa and the manner in which they emphatically dismantled Maryland likely weighed heavily on voters' minds.

    It won't matter, though, because the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions play Saturday night in Iowa with that third spot at stake. That matchup is just one of a slew of contests featuring Top 25 teams that will command attention this weekend.

Week 6 Schedule and Odds

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Thursday, October 7

    15 Coastal Carolina (-17.5) vs. Arkansas State

           

    Friday, October 8

    Temple vs. 5 Cincinnati (-28.5)

    Stanford vs. 22 Arizona State (-10)

          

    Saturday, October 9

    Maryland vs. 7 Ohio State (-20.5)

    6 Oklahoma (-3.5) vs. 21 Texas

    Vanderbilt vs. 20 Florida (-39)

    13 Arkansas vs. 17 Ole Miss (-6)

    11 Michigan State (-5) vs. Rutgers

    Boise State vs. 10 BYU (-3.5)

    19 Wake Forest (-6.5) vs. Syracuse

    24 SMU (-14) vs. Navy

    2 Georgia (-14.5) vs. 18 Auburn

    4 Penn State vs. 3 Iowa (-3)

    9 Michigan (-3) vs. Nebraska 

    LSU vs. 16 Kentucky (-3.5)

    14 Notre Dame (-1) vs. Virginia Tech

    1 Alabama (-17.5) vs. Texas A&M

    New Mexico vs. 25 San Diego St. (-19)

          

    Lines from DraftKings as of 10 a.m. Monday. Check DraftKings for the latest odds. Information on public betting trends courtesy of the Action Network.

Big-Game Predictions

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    Michael Clubb/Associated Press

    No. 16 Kentucky vs. LSU

    The Kentucky Wildcats defeated Florida by three points on Saturday in what was a monumental victory for a program finding its feet and experiencing its best season in some time.

    However, their next test comes in the form of a perennial powerhouse which has suffered through a so-so season thus far. LSU's loss to Auburn this past week dropped the Tigers to 3-2 on the season, and the team will be looking for a statement win as it attempts to claw its way back into bowl contention.

    It will hope to do so by way of an effective passing game. That passing game and the overall offensive performance of the team against Auburn last week was mediocre, to say the least. LSU will have to be firing on all cylinders if it hopes to take down a Kentucky team that has momentum on its side.

    A red-hot crowd at Kroger Field will create a raucous environment for LSU to play in. The question is whether that will be the difference in what looks to be a fairly even match on paper. The game is at night, in front of a home crowd, and Kentucky is coming off the biggest win it has enjoyed in years.

    While all signs might point to the Wildcats earning the win and climbing the polls next week, this feels like a letdown game. The emotion surrounding the win over Florida may well prevent Kentucky from playing to its full potential. 

    Prediction: LSU by 6

           

    No. 2 Georgia at No. 18 Auburn

    This may well be the best Georgia team we have seen in years, as evidenced by its total dominance over Arkansas in the 37-0 shutout on Saturday.

    Its stifling defense allowed just 156 total yards in a performance that announced to the world that the Bulldogs have their eyes on a national championship.

    Before they get there, they have a showdown Saturday night with Auburn, a team coming off a victory over LSU that saw them erase a nine-point deficit en route to the win. Bo Nix earned a potentially defining victory, scoring a rushing and passing TD as he led his team from behind.

    The Georgia defense has been impenetrable this season, though. Allowing just 110 yards through the air and 4.6 points per game, it has smothered the competition, and Nix's inconsistent play isn't likely to be the antidote.

    The Bulldogs are, arguably, the best team in the country and the only real threat to Alabama waltzing to another title. They will win here, but it won't be the high-scoring, offensive showcase one might expect, especially if Stetson Bennett gets the call at quarterback for Georgia.

    Prediction: Georgia by 4

             

     

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