Week 5 Preview

Well, well, well. We have an absolutely loaded Week 5 slate in college football this year. Both in real-life, and our simulation! While some of the big-time matchups in real-life don’t have quite the same weight in our sim, we have other big-time clashes that have taken their spot! Let’s get into some heavyweight showdowns.

Games of Note:

#25 Michigan @ #17 Wisconsin

-Scott: In a ranked Big Ten matchup, the Badgers return home to Camp Randall to try to get a bad taste out of their mouths, following the whooping they received from the Irish. Enter Michigan, who is 4-0, and Wolverine fans would like to continue to fly under the radar for as long as possible. UW has defended home turf against the Wolverines the last five times, so Michigan is due. These teams both play great defense, and although Wisconsin is only averaging just over 25 PPG offensively, I see a breakout game for tailback Chez Mellusi. Wisconsin will remain the West favorite. Wisconsin 24, Michigan 16

-Gavin: Wisconsin 28, Michigan 17

#4 Florida @ Kentucky

-Scott: Yes, the streak is over. But Florida wants to continue this new one they have going against UK. After winning 31 straight, Kentucky finally knocked off the Gators, but Florida has answered with two straight. Not only would the ‘Cats love to steal another, but upsetting a Top 5 team would be magical. Kentucky’s start has been great at 4-0, but the competition has been anything but great. Still, UK is averaging just 8 PPG defensively, good for #3 in the nation. If Kentucky is going to earn respect nationally, this is an unbelievable opportunity to do so. Florida sports a top 20 defense nationally as well, but I expect both offenses to show up in this one. Florida withstands a serious test in Lexington to move to 3-0 in SEC play. Florida 38, Kentucky 30

-Gavin: Florida 42, Kentucky 21

#14 Texas @ #24 TCU

-Scott: It’s been spoken into existence as of late: At least since the Frogs joined the Big XII, Texas has a TCU problem. TCU is 7-2 against Texas in that span, and is looking to continue their surprising dominance. Both teams have yet to lose, and Texas is hoping they have found their QB in Hudson Card. Sark is off to a 4-0 start in Austin, and Texas fans are drooling over the potential of this team. The Frogs enter the Top 25 this week after blowing out rival SMU last Saturday. TCU has controlled every game they’ve played very easily, but now conference play starts for Gary Patterson and co. TCU has Top 10 defenses and offenses, but the competition is much different this week. I like the Horns in a nail-biter. Texas 31, TCU 28

-Gavin: TCU 35, Texas 31

#10 Cincinnati @ #8 Notre Dame

-Scott: College Gameday heads to South Bend for one of the biggest games in program history for the Bearcats. Cincy is coming off a bye week, and after passing their first real test in defeating Indiana in Bloomington, they head back to the Hoosier State to take on a much tougher test. The Fighting Irish are 4-0, and fresh off a stomping of Wisconsin in Chicago. Notre Dame is definitely on people’s radar as a serious playoff contender now. Cincinnati is trying to accomplish just that. UC will rely on Desmond Ridder to make plays, and for their lockdown defense to keep Kyren Williams in check. But after Williams carved up the vaunted Badger front 7, it will be a tough test. While people may see this as a letdown spot for Notre Dame, I like former UC, now ND, DC Marcus Freeman to have a beat on how Ridder will attack the Irish defense. Notre Dame 35, Cincinnati 17

-Gavin: Notre Dame 28, Cincinnati 10

#19 Arizona State @ #23 UCLA

-Scott: The Pac-12 South may be the most intriguing division race in the country. This matchup will be one of the select few that could very well decide it. UCLA needs a bounce-back performance after dropping a heartbreaker to previously winless Stanford in overtime. That puts a damper on what was a fantastic non-conference showing for Chip Kelly. I still am struggling to figure out what ASU really is this year. They’ve looked pretty good, but their competition has been pretty dreadful. This game will prove to be a great test to see if they have any staying power as a legit conference contender. This should be a high-scoring affair, with two underrated quarterbacks in Jayden Daniels and Dorian Thompson-Robinson. I like Daniels to make one or two more big plays on the road. Arizona State 39, UCLA 34

-Gavin: Arizona State 35, UCLA 31

#22 Ole Miss @ #6 Alabama

-Scott: Matt Corral and the Rebs put quite a scare into Alabama last year. Lane Kiffin is trying to finally end Nick Saban’s unbeaten streak against former assistants. Ole Miss always seems to give the Tide fits offensively. Can they actually stop (or slow down) Alabama’s offense though? The Rebel defense does not look to have improved very much from 2020, but a strong showing today can change all of that. Alabama hasn’t started 0-2 in SEC play since 1990! This year could be the year that changes. I think home field will play a huge role in this one, and Bryce Young will light up the Landsharks. Lane Kiffin won’t go down without a fight, but I can’t see Alabama losing two games this early. Alabama 52, Ole Miss 38

-Gavin: Alabama 45, Ole Miss 14

#3 Oklahoma @ Kansas State

-Scott: If there’s one Big XII team Lincoln Riley doesn’t like seeing on the schedule, it’s K-State. The Wildcats have beaten OU in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1996-1997. Chris Klieman is looking to make it three straight. Unfortunately, KSU was embarrassed in Stillwater last week by the Pokes, as the Cats earned their first loss. All will be forgiven by the KSU faithful should they pull another upset of the Sooners. Oklahoma (unlike in real-life) has looked otherworldly offensively, throttling everyone in their path. The defense has been very stout as well. Despite the potential lookahead spot to the Red River Rivalry next weekend, I think Kansas State has the Sooners’ attention, and OU’s playoff push won’t be derailed in Manhattan this year. Oklahoma 49, Kansas State 23

-Gavin: Oklahoma 28, Kansas State 24

Auburn @ #16 LSU

-Scott: In the 56th edition of the Tiger Bowl, we have two 3-1 teams trying to keep slim playoff chances alive for another week. This could be a great test to see who can keep pace with Alabama and Texas A&M in the West. Shockingly, Auburn has lost ten straight visits to Death Valley. I still don’t know how good Auburn truly is, as they didn’t play a great game in Happy Valley a couple weeks back, and have beaten up on bad teams otherwise. LSU has bounced back nicely since their season-opening defeat in the Rose Bowl, featuring a controlling victory in Starkville last week. I think this could go either way, but Baton Rouge at night makes me lean towards LSU. LSU 30, Auburn 24

-Gavin: LSU 27, Auburn 26

Upset Picks:

-Scott: Northwestern @ Nebraska

While I picked the Huskers last week and they fell just short, I decided to give them another chance. This series has been as close as any in the country over the last decade, with 7 of the 9 meetings being single-score games since Nebraska joined the B1G. Although the ‘Cats are undefeated, I don’t think Northwestern’s schedule has been too challenging thus far. I really like Nebraska to rebound following a disappointing loss, coming home to a primetime game in Lincoln. Scott Frost and The Huskers win the battle for “NU”. Nebraska 31, Northwestern 24

-Gavin: Rice vs Southern Miss

Rice 31, Southern Miss 24

That’s all folks! Enjoy the absolutely loaded slate of games and be sure to check back after the weekend for all our sim’s results!

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