College Football Picks for Week 5

Game of the Week: LSU at Georgia.  Georgia is a 3-point favorite at home.  These teams are pretty even, both by the “eye test” and statistically.  LSU’s Zach Mettenberger actually has a little bit better numbers passing than Georgia’s Aaron Murray, but LSU has played one more game and has played lighter competition.  Mettenberger grew up dreaming of playing at Sanford Stadium, but not for the visitors.  Georgia’s offense is 6th in total yards per game, and that is with two games already and a third this Saturday against top-10 competition.  The Bulldogs become the 4th team in the BCS era to play a top-10 team three out of their first four games, and is seeking to be the first to post a winning record in these games after losing to Clemson and beating South Carolina.  With a Georgia win, and an easy schedule for the Bulldogs the rest of the way, they would be back in the national title conversation.  Georgia 28, LSU 20

Big Game Guarantee: Wisconsin at Ohio State. Ohio State is favored by 7, playing the game in the Horseshoe in Columbus.  Ohio State won last year at Wisconsin, 21-14 in overtime.  These two teams are 12th and 15th in total yards (slight edge to Wisconsin), and 3rd and 5th in points scored (again, edge to Wisconsin).  Ohio State has a 16-game winning streak, and the last time they had a regular season winning streak that long, the Badgers ended it in 2003.  Ohio State has won their first 4 games easily, 3 of them with backup QB Kenny Guiton.  Starter Braxton Miller is back this week, which should make the Buckeyes even better.  Ohio State will get a scare, but will pull away late.  Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 24.

Upset of the Week:  Oklahoma at Notre Dame.  Oklahoma is a 3-point favorite on the road.  When these two teams met a year ago, Notre Dame won in Norman 30-13.  Stats are working for and against Notre Dame.  To their advantage, the Irish are 9-1 all-time against Oklahoma.  To the negative, the Irish have been held under 100 yards rushing in each of the last three games, for the first time since 2008.  Then again, last year the Irish held the Sooners to 15 rushing yards.  This game’s really a toss-up, but I think Notre Dame has a slight edge at home.  Notre Dame 21, Oklahoma 17.

Closer Than The Experts Think:  Ole Miss at Alabama.  Alabama is a 16-point favorite at home, but expect this game to be closer than that.  Alabama is the best team in the country (see my Power Rankings), but #21 Ole Miss is certainly an up-and-coming program with second year head coach Hugh Freeze.  The Rebels have impressive road wins against Vanderbilt and Texas, and had an extra week to prepare for the Tide.  Alabama struggled last week with Colorado State in a game much closer than the 31-6 score would indicate.  The passing stats of these two teams are practically equal, but Ole Miss has 250 rushing yards per game, and Alabama has just 132.  This Ole Miss team has some incredible fight in them, but in the end they will fall just short against the #1 Tide.  Alabama 31, Ole Miss 24.

 

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