2012 College Football Week 5: Top 25, picks, predictions

Aaron Murray

Aaron MurrayLast week was a pretty good week for me, ending up at 16-2. As for this week’s games, some intriguing matchups will be taking place in conference play. Georgia gets Tennessee, West Virginia plays Baylor, and Michigan State takes on Ohio State.

(1) Alabama vs Ole Miss

As Texas proved last week, Ole Miss just isn’t as talented as top-tier programs. Alabama wins 45-7.

(2) Oregon at Washington State

Oregon impressed a lot of people when they beat Arizona 49-0 last Saturday night. What the scoreboard didn’t tell you is that the Wildcats got to the red zone five times and just couldn’t convert to save their lives. In this game, Oregon continues to dominate. Oregon wins 63-14.

(3) LSU vs Towson

LSU is better. LSU wins 55-3.

(4) Florida State at South Florida

Remember just last Sunday when the 49ers lost in Minnesota in what was deemed as the upset of the week? I’m not picking the Bulls here, but this game has the exact same type of feel. Florida State is coming off a big win and travels (not too far) to a team that just doesn’t get respect. Well, South Florida can earn plenty of people’s attention if they pull off the unthinkable here. Florida State wins 38-17.

(5) Georgia vs Tennessee

Tennessee probably is a top-25 team, but losing to Florida earlier in the year shot down their chance at being ranked at least for now. Georgia is a complete football team, and doesn’t have to play LSU or Alabama during the regular season. I think the Bulldogs could very easily end up running the table and having everything come down to the SEC Championship game. They’ve got a stout defense and a great quarterback that nobody talks about in Aaron Murray. It will be interesting to see if Tennessee’s better-than-advertised offense can put up some points on the Bulldogs defense. Georgia wins 45-24.

(6) South Carolina at Kentucky

Much like Ole Miss, Kentucky just doesn’t have the talent to keep up through four quarters. South Carolina wins 41-17.

(7) Kansas State – BYE

(8) Stanford at Washington

*This game was played on Friday. Washington won 17-13. No shocker here for me. Stanford was on the road, and sure, they’re a top-25 team, but they shouldn’t have been in the top-10. Washington’s quarterback Keith Price is a name college football fans will all know soon enough.

(9) West Virginia vs (25) Baylor

Surely Geno Smith and Tavon Austin are starting to get people’s attention after last week’s win over Maryland, and rightfully so. Maryland isn’t among the country’s elite, but Smith had another fantastic game through the air, and Austin had 179 yds receiving to go along with three touchdowns. Austin is in the top-five in the nation when it comes to game breaking ability. I’ll take his pure speed against anybody’s in the country.

For this game, the Heisman candidate (Smith) should tear the Bears’ defense open much like he has all season to his opponents. Look for Austin and Stedman Bailey to have a show downfield as well. The Mountaineers may not have the greatest defense in the country, but it’s hard to argue that their offense isn’t among the top-five. I picked them to win the Big 12 for a reason, and I’ll pick them here with ease. West Virginia wins 63-35.

(10) Notre Dame – BYE

(11) Florida – BYE

(12) Texas at Oklahoma State

The Longhorns are a very solid football team, and Oklahoma State, well, just isn’t any more after losing Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon to the NFL. Their defense is still a mess, and it’ll show in this game. Texas wins 55-21.

(13) USC – BYE

(14) Ohio State at (20) Michigan State

When Michigan State lost to Notre Dame a couple weeks ago, people didn’t only doubt how good the Spartans were, but the Big Ten as a whole. For me, the Big Ten is as bad as it has been in the past decade. Ohio State can’t compete for a Big Ten championship or go to a bowl game this year, so every game is huge to them; especially a top-25 matchup.

The Buckeyes are talented, but it’ll take a full season to get Urban Meyer’s kind of recruits, and adapt to his system before they really start clicking out in Columbus. For Michigan State, they can only ride Le’Veon Bell so far. Michigan State may be the best team in the Big Ten, but it isn’t by a large margin. I’d be willing to say that Nebraska is the favorite at this point, but that’s a different discussion. This game comes down to two things. Can Le’Veon Bell carry Michigan State’s offense enough? And will Braxton Miller be able to keep up on the scoreboard enough on the road in a hostile territory being only a sophomore, and with a new head coach/system? I think Bell carries Sparty to victory here, though it hurts my Buckeyes fandom. Michigan State wins 24-20.

(15) TCU at SMU

TCU’s the more talented team, and being on the road shouldn’t faze them. TCU wins 38-21.

(16) Oklahoma – BYE

(17) Clemson at Boston College

Coming off the big loss to Florida State, quarterback Tajh Boyd and company now know what it takes to compete with the nation’s elite. It’ll only be a matter of time before Clemson figured everything out and their offense becomes enough to carry them to become a true national championship contender. In this game, the Tigers will be looking for revenge, and they’ve got their eyes set out for some Eagles. Clemson wins 52-21.

(18) Oregon State at Arizona

Oregon State is 2-0 this year and has beaten Wisconsin and UCLA. Both of those teams aren’t title contenders, but they’re surely not slouches. Oregon State probably is a top-25 team this year because of their ability to throw, run, and play good defense, but I think they get upset today. Arizona is coming off a 49-0 drubbing against Oregon, but a case could be made that they could’ve only lost that game by two or three scores. Arizona’s at home, and if they figure things out in the red zone, I expect this upset pick to come through. Arizona wins 31-21. Read more…

College Football Week 4: Picks, predictions

Florida StateWeek 4 is here, and there will be good matchups all day long on Saturday. I went 16-5 last week, pushing my overall record to 38-5 on the season. This weekend will be highlighted by Oregon against Arizona, Florida State against Clemson, and Oklahoma against Kansas State, among many other good games to go around.

(1) Alabama vs Florida Atlantic: My Owls couldn’t get it done last week against Georgia, but they did put up 20 points on the Bulldogs. Needless to say, I doubt FAU keeps it within 30 against the Crimson Tide. Also, Arkansas may’ve been without Tyler Wilson, but to be shutout against Alabama last week was disappointing. Alabama’s defense and rushing attack is for real again this year, and much like the 49ers in the NFL, their success at the end of the year will depend on how their quarterback A.J. McCarron plays. Alabama wins 59-7.

(2) LSU at Auburn: LSU may be on the road, and I may not be their biggest fan, but I’m never going to rave about Auburn anytime soon. LSU wins this one on the ground with ease. LSU wins 38-14.

(3) Oregon vs (22) Arizona: This game won’t be close. Surely both teams are ranked, but Oregon’s at home and their offense will score without mercy. Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas both run for over 100 yards in this one. Oregon wins 59-17.

(4) Florida State vs (10) Clemson: Now this game between two ranked teams will be much closer. Florida State to me is the better overall team and is at home. Clemson however, has a top five offense in all of college football in my eyes. It wouldn’t be shocking at all to see Clemson hang 40 points on the board and take down the Seminoles’ and their national title hopes. Read more…