By Chris Carlson
Week 5 delivered a few interesting outcomes, competitive games inside the Top-25, and boy Clemson got lucky. Week 6 gives us fans 3 separate ranked versus ranked matchups with two of them happening in the Big Ten. As we inch closer to the first official rankings the drama will only increase from week to week.
#7 Auburn vs. #10 Florida: The Tigers offense will get a stern test facing a high-caliber Gator defense. What’s crazy is this will be the third ranked opponent for Auburn in just 6 outings. This will be Florida’s first real test of the season led by an inexperienced quarterback. Both programs are built on defense and running the ball, this year UF can pass it fairly well and Auburn is clearly the better rush offense. Can Bo Nix make something happen late in this SEC cross-divisional tilt? I’ll take my chances with Nix over Kyle Trask in a game we’re the score will be lower than the 47 number set on the betting lines.
The Pick: Auburn 23 Florida 19
#4 Ohio State vs. #25 Michigan State: The last few years Ohio State needed almost half of a season to play up to their potential. In the 2019 regular season the Buckeyes look dominate on both sides of the ball. The former high-profile QB recruit and Georgia transfer Justin Fields has hit the ground running in this slightly different offensive system constructed by new head coach Ryan Day. On the other hand the Spartans offense has struggled thus far and will need to show up big if they want to beat OSU on Saturday. Sure, Sparty put up 71 points the last two games but that came against lesser teams. The main reason for their woes is Michigan State’s offensive line has suffered injuries and won’t stand much of a chance trying to slow down Chase Young and Co. from getting in the backfield at will.
The Pick: Ohio State 30 Michigan State 16
Under The Radar
#14 Iowa vs. #19 Michigan: The first team to 20 points will probably win this Big Ten throwback. Both of these schools prefer to setup the play-action pass by giving out heavy doses of ground and pound. Michigan has the better skilled players and an advantage talent wise overall but that was also the case versus Wisconsin and we saw how that played out. Will this be the breakout moment for Wolverine QB Shea Patterson or should we assume a veteran-signal caller in Nate Stanley will make the necessary plays to win? Turnovers tend to tell the story in a closely-matched defensive minded game. This hack-of-a-scribe is feeling eerily similar about my pick this week as I was with UM versus the Badgers. Everything is telling me to pick against Michigan, maybe it’s my German stubbornness coming out.
The Pick: Michigan 19 Iowa 16
#13 Oregon vs. California: We know the Ducks have been impressive this year, is Oregon all the back as an upper-echelon program in College Football? The reason this college ball junkie asks the question is the Ducks are favored by 18-points. California is still trying to figure out the offensive side of ball but they do have a legitimate defense. The argument against that would be Cal lost their starting QB a week ago. Oregon is coming off a bye week which equates to a few added wrinkles. The Golden Bears may’ve lost last week to an ever-improving ASU squad but don’t count them out on Saturday night. Let us not forget about the recent string off after hours late night PAC-12 random occurrences.
The Pick: Oregon 30 California 17
Saturday Upset Special
As a 5-point road dog Boston College will upset the home team in Louisville.
TCU vs. Iowa State: The Cyclones lost to Baylor and seem to be reeling at 2-2 while TCU bounced back nicely after getting stunned by an upstart SMU. Las Vegas has this Big-12 matchup as a 50-50 so keep an eye on this one in the 2nd half.
Pittsburgh vs. Duke: Duke is back to familiar territory of success in recent years but Pittsburgh almost beat a very good Penn State squad so this game fits perfect as a hardcore barnburners.
Against The Spread
California will find a way to lose by less than 18-points to Oregon and/or Minnesota may in fact defeat Illinois but it won’t be by 14-points.
(Honorable Mention: #4 LSU will defiantly defeat Utah State but it will be less than 28 points)
Take it to the window Central Florida will cover as a 3.5-point favorite on the road against a scrappy Cincinnati club.
Quick Hits Recap
-Alabama WR Devanta Smith exploded with 11 receptions for 274 yards and a whopping 5 touchdowns in a 59-31 beat down of Ole Miss.
-Smith’s ultra-talented QB Tua Tagovailoa threw 6 touchdowns along and 418 yards as the Crimson Tide cruises.
-Ohio State defensive lineman Chase Young leads the nation is sack with 8, more than 34 teams across the country.
-Penn State devoured Maryland 59-0 making it the biggest shutout road win for the Nittany Lions dating all the way back to 1946.
-The Duke Blue Devils registered their largest margin road conference victory since 1989 defeating Virginia Tech 45-10.
-Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan set a Big Ten record for completion percentage going 21-22 for 396 yards and throwing 4 TD’s in a 38-31 win over Purdue.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio