Week 4 featured another round of Top-25 teams getting upset, making this September a record-setting start to a College Football season. Week 5 has a plethora of marquee matchups, with four ranked versus ranked programs going head to head. The SEC has a tremendous amount of great tilts on paper, along with several games flying under the radar across the country.
Alabama vs. Ole Miss: This is one of the two marquee matchups in the SEC, and with an over/under set at 79, it should be a ton of fun to watch. This college football junky still can’t believe that Bama is in a game that has that high of a number set, but it’s 2021, and long gone is the game-manager under center for Nick Saban. Bama looked not-so-great after getting off to a fast start to the season and in the first quarter of the Florida game. However, Ole Miss can put up points with the best of them, and this year QB Matt Corral appears to be a legit Heisman candidate. This contest opened at +20 in favor of Alabama but has now fallen or was reset -14.5. With such a high-scoring offense on both sides, Ole Miss could still fit in under that point spread even if it comes in the form of garbage touchdowns late. Expect this game to play out similar to an extent to last year’s score-fest when Bama outlasted Ole Miss 63-48.
#2 Georgia vs. #8 Arkansas: Yet another crucial SEC battle in a game that was closer than the score would lead you to believe last year. The Bulldogs eventually used a pick-six to steamroll the Hogs, but it was a tightly-contested affair for a large chunk of those 60 minutes. Last week Arkansas had a breakout performance in beating Texas A&M, pilling up another good victory, having already beaten Texas. Georgia does have a win over Clemson that doesn’t seem as impressive as we thought a few weeks back. The Bulldog defense will have to deliver here at home as a somewhat surprisingly heavy favorite. The health and play of QB KJ Jefferson will be crucial for Arkansas. Speaking of quarterbacks, we don’t 100 % know if Georgia signal-caller JT Daniels we are not only available to play but feeling good enough to contribute in a significant way.
#7 Cincinnati vs. #8 Notre Dame: At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think we’d see the Bearcats be the favorite on the road at Notre Dame. Until last week’s late blowout, the “Fighting Irish” had to do just that, fight in their first three games of the season to sneak out wins. Cincinnati passed an early test against a not-as-good-as-most-assumed Hoosier squad, not to mention, although it was last season a razor-thin loss to Georgia in a New Year’s Day Bowl. Notre Dame’s rush attack has been abysmal, only averaging 81.5 yards per game; if that doesn’t change, they won’t win on Saturday. The Irish also have to find a way to limit Cincy QB Desmond Ridder the way Georgia did. This isn’t an easy task. For Cincinnati, they have to be themselves, which is to say, play strong defense and blend the pass in with the ground game.
#19 Oklahoma State vs. #21 Baylor: With Oklahoma not looking all that great and Iowa State play well under their perceived potential, the door is open for teams like Texas and the winner of this Big-12 scrap. These teams have found a way to win on the margins early in this season as both are barely undefeated. The Cowboys are stingy on defense when it comes to stopping the run, while the Bears only give up 141 passing yards a game. That last stat is skewed a bit from the lack of high-powered quarterbacks, and offenses Baylor has faced as of yet. OK, State has a pretty solid resume beating a ranked KSU, Tulsa, and Boise State, along with having home-field advantage, is enough for this podcaster to lean the Cowboys way.
Saturday Upset Special
Arizona State will go into the Rose Bowl and upset #20 UCLA.
#14 Michigan vs. Wisconsin: The Badgers have been struggling thus far, whereas the Wolverines look strong but are they ready to take the next step and beat Wisconsin, a team that dominated them last year.
#22 Auburn vs. LSU: Not a ranked vs. ranked matchup. It is typically, and with plenty to play for this early season, it should bring out the best in both of these teams making for the hardcore barnburner.
Against The Spread
#8 Arkansas will likely lose but are scrappy enough to stay under the 18.5-points as the underdog to #2 Georgia.
Mississippi State will find a way to lose by less than 7-points to the home team in Texas A&M.
Fresno State travels to Hawaii and will win in a shootout.
-With six more Top-25 teams getting upset last Saturday, that adds up to a total of 25 AP ranked teams losing in the first four weeks of the season, the most since the Associated Press Poll came out in 1936.
-Bowling Green’s shocking upset as a 30.5-point underdog to Minnesota is the second-largest upset between two FBS programs since 2012 when Texas State beat Houston as a -35 dog.
-Michigan State defeated Nebraska in overtime 23-20 despite getting destroyed in total yards 440 to 253.
-North Carolina State upset Clemson giving the Wolfpack their first victory versus an AP Top-10 team since 2012.
-Oregon State’s massive victory over USC 45-27 marked the first time the Beavers have won in Los Angeles since 1960.
-Don’t count out a struggling TCU team against Texas as the Horn Frogs are 5-14 in games they play before facing the Longhorns and 7-2 against Texas since joining the Big-12.
-Army QB Christian Anderson rushed for 236 yards, and two TD’s in a win over Miami (Ohio).
Written by Chris Carlson, Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio and TheGruelingTruth.Com
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