*** Editor's Note: The #23 Texas A&M @Arkansas prediction was inadvertently excluded from the original post. The aricle has been edited to reflect this error.***
Week 5 brings us a slew of potential mismatches, potential trap games, and all sorts of exciting football, both in the Top 25, and outside of it. How will each team fare as they continue to clamor for their place in glory? Let’s take a closer look:
#1 Clemson @ UNC
Clemson is playing lights out football right now, and honestly, this one doesn’t look to be too close, as UNC is currently sitting as a 26.5 point underdog. North Carolina could make this matchup interesting, but it's highly unlikely, as Trevor Lawrence looks to have another big game.
Clemson: 42, UNC: 24
Ole Miss @ #2 Alabama
Is Ole Miss going to win a game with meaning? Well, probably not this week as they travel to Alabama. Tua has a 17/0 touchdown to interception ratio, and he wants to keep adding to that touchdown total. The Tide rolls against Ole Miss, and its not close.
Alabama: 49, Ole Miss: 14
#5 Ohio St. @ Nebraska
Ohio State seems like they can score at will, and will look to do more of the same this weekend. Can Nebraska keep up? If the Conhuskers want to win, they are going to have to rely on the offense to carry the load. Buckeyes win, and move to 2-0 in Big Ten play.
Ohio State: 45, Nebraska: 20
Texas Tech @ #6 Oklahoma
Remember the Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes game a while back? The defensive coordinators surely don’t want to. Fortunately, Oklahoma has one of the best offenses in the nation, and they don’t look to let up with their high flying offense. The Sooners win a shootout, as Texas Tech can’t keep up with one of the best offenses in college football.
Oklahoma: 42, Texas Tech: 34
Miss. St. @ #7 Auburn
Auburn is feeling really good after their win over Texas A&M. Expect them to be in a bit of a lull as they somewhat overlook Mississippi State, who are starting to find some rhythm on offense.Garrett Shrader makes this one interesting, but the Bulldogs commit enough errors to help Auburn escape the weekend with a win.
Auburn: 31, Mississippi State: 20
Northwestern @ #8 Wisconsin
Northwestern still has a lot to play for, fresh off of their Big Ten Championship appearance last year and that all but ends as their next test comes from the Badgers of Wisconsin, the same team who beat the brakes off of a Michigan team still trying to find its identity. Northwestern is capable of putting up some points and shouldn’t be gashed in the run game like Michigan a week ago. Wisconsin has allowed 2 touchdowns to opposing teams all season, and they get to play in the friendly confines of Camp Randall. All of this spells victory for the yet undefeated Badgers.
Wisconsin: 35, Northwestern: 20
Towson @ #9 Florida
There isn’t really much to write here about this game, except that Towson thanks Florida for paying them to get kicked around the field for 60 minutes. Gators dominate an otherwise lackluster game before getting into the meat of their schedule.
Florida: 55, Towson: 10
#18 Virginia @ #10 Notre Dame
Another high profile game for Notre Dame? We will take it! After falling just short last week in Athens, the Irish look to bounce back against a tough Virginia squad. Watch for Bryce Perkins to do all he can to keep the Cavs hanging around in this game, but just not enough. Irish take this one and keep their now slim playoff hopes alive
Notre Dame: 24, Virginia, 20
#12 Penn St. @ Maryland
Penn State has looked pretty good through the first half of the season, but they don’t come without their flaws, those that James Franklin and Co have had time to shore up. Maryland had the chance to make this a really interesting conference matchup, but their stumble against Temple sent them crashing back to earth. Penn State wins this one, and Maryland goes back to the drawing board.
Penn State: 34, Maryland: 14
Mid Tennessee State @ #14 Iowa
The Hawkeyes are playing some really good football right now, and are coming off a bye to prepare for a Mid Tennessee team who hasn’t been too competitive in their losses. This could be a trap game for Iowa, as their eyes are certainly looking ahead to Michigan. The Hawkeyes get the win, but it’s a lot closer than the scoreboard might suggest.
Iowa: 35, MTSU: 14
Arizona St. @ #15 Cal
Cal isn’t exactly the team you think of when someone says “dominant”, but here they are at 4-0. This is their best rank since 2009, and they look to be the team to beat in the PAC-12. Cal will need to call upon Chase Garbers once again to lead them past this Arizona State team who played tough against Michigan State earlier this year. Cal is at home, and California Memorial Stadium will be rocking, but will it be enough? Survey says no.
Arizona State: 17, Cal: 14
#21 USC @ #17 Washington
Even though USC beat Utah last weekend, Washington provides what should be a stiffer test. Utah was a victim of their own poor play, between fumbles and penalties, USC did just enough to hang on. Washington has a really good defense, specifically in the secondary, allowing only 213 yards in the air per game. USC is down to their third string QB, and now we get to find out just how tough he really is. Washington wins this one at home.
Washington: 27, USC, 21
Washington St. @ #19 Utah
Utah comes in as the favorite, but don’t remind them that they were the favorites last week, too. Both teams try to bounce back from an extremely disappointing week 4, as Utah is shaking off some injures to Tyler Huntley, and other key cogs to the offense. Wazzu has a great chance to pull the upset here, and seeing as history likes to repeat itself, Utah loses its third straight to the Cougars.
Washington State: 30, Utah: 20
Rutgers @ #20 Michigan
Michigan has so many questions to answer, and Jim Harbaugh is the man who hasn’t been able to provide answers. Coming back to the friendly confines of the Big House, the Wolverines should put away the Scarlet Knights and make some much needed defensive adjustments. Shea Patterson needs a good game to restore some confidence, but Rutgers isn’t Wisconsin.
Rutgers: 20, Michigan: 38
UConn @ #22 UCF
UCF is devastated after losing on the road to Pitt last weekend. Coming back home, look for them to avoid the downward spiral against UConn. UCF could still make some New Year's Six noise if Memphis and SMU earn some rankings. That could really boost the resume of a one loss UCF, and the Knights know this. UCF extracts their frustration and runs over UConn.
UConn: 14, UCF:38
#23 TAMU @ Arkansas TAMU may only be 2-2, but their loses have come at the hands of Auburn and Clemson... not exactly bad competition. Arkansas has lost games they have no reason losing, leaving the Razorback faithful scratching their heads. Arkansas gets a chance to right the ship against a really good Texas A&M team, and they just don't have enough in the tank. Texas A&M take this one, burying Arkansas in the second half. TAMU: 38, Arkansas: 20
#24 Kansas St. @ Oklahoma St.
After beating Mississippi State, the Wildcats are enjoying their freshly minted ranking in the Top 25. Now, the conference slate begins, and each game is going to prove just how legit Kansas State is (or isn’t). If they can start the season with an undefeated record, they could make some serious noise in the Big XII, but Oklahoma State plays tough at home. Cowboys walk away with this one, coming down to whoever has the ball in the final seconds.
Kansas State: 24, Oklahoma State: 20
Indiana @ #25 Michigan St.
Indiana always seems to play the Spartans tough, but that hasn’t always equated to wins, the last IU victory coming in 2016. Michigan State looked solid against Northwestern, but only gaining 337 total yards, there are definite questions to be answered. Sparty wins, but watch for the Hoosiers to keep it close.
Michigan State: 34, Indiana: 21
Top 25 Teams on BYE: #3 Georgia, #4 LSU, #11 Texas, #13 Oregon, #16 Boise St.