With this disaster that is going on in college basketball, I thought we'd take a look at something a lot more positive and interesting, week 5 in college football.
The Crimson Tide, coming off a dismantling of Vanderbilt and showing the indomitable force that they are becoming again, host the somewhat reeling Ole Miss Rebels Saturday at 8 PM CT on ESPN. The Auburn Tigers, after taking care of business at Missouri, look to back that up with a statement victory Saturday versus the Mississippi State Bulldogs on the Plains. The game kicks off at 5 PM CT and will also be televised by ESPN. Should be a compelling doubleheader of football in the state of Alabama with the Crimson Tide again looking like a winning machine with an endless amount of horsepower, while the Tigers are trying to assert themselves again in SEC and national contender circles. Clemson plays at VA Tech Saturday Night at 7 CT on ABC in an excellent matchup in the ACC. Some other pivotal SEC games and a classic in Pullman, Washington Friday Night at 9:30 CT with the No.5 USC Trojans playing at the No. 16 Washington State Cougars. The Cougars are hungry to detour the Trojans hopes of playing deep into the season and making it into the playoff with a shot of going all the way. The Cougars are always an interesting team with Mike Leach in control. They're good too.
Here's a look at another riveting weekend of college football.
Last week: 19-7
Overall: 72-18 (80%)
Ole Miss @ No.1 Alabama
8 PM CT
Tess, Todd, Holly, great crew
Bama by 28
The Crimson Tide just destroyed Vanderbilt last week and looked every bit the epic team that everyone expected to see this season. It's not that they looked bad before that. Florida State was very impressive, but they were injured at linebacker in the next 2 games and didn't play as well, but then got Rashaan Evans and Anfernee Jennings back for Vandy and dominated the Commodores. It was a spectacular performance. Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, and Najee Harris were sensational in relief of the starters. Of course, Damien Harris, Jalen Hurts, Bo Scarbrough and Calvin Ridley, and that once again very stout defense, looked pretty darn spectacular as well. I don't know what to think of Ole Miss. They got hammered by Cal at Cal a couple of weeks ago and pretty much imploded. Shea Patterson is a great talent at quarterback, and he has good receivers, but he really has to run around a lot as his line breaks down and the Rebels don't have much of a running game per se. Their defense is athletic, but give up a lot of yards and points. They're still pretty talented, but they're not even close to the talent level in Tuscaloosa. I'm trying to figure out who is. Clemson is the closest thing to Alabama in terms of greatness. That could be the game that determines it all on January 8, 2018 at Mercedes- Benz Stadium in Atlanta, but both teams have a lot of work left. It's hard to see anybody stopping those two forces, but there are some other good teams nationally in Oklahoma, Penn State, USC, though they've got a tough one Friday Night, Georgia, Michigan looks pretty good, and TCU has emerged as a contender that could very well be in the discussion come December. So a lot of football left to play, but I of course like the Crimson Tide to do well Saturday Night. Everybody on the team is hitting their stride. I'm not sure if there will be any letup from last week's phenomenal performance, and I see the team with a lot of momentum which will continue against the Rebels, a team that has talent, but are faced with a next to impossible task of trying to stick with the Tide in Bryant-Denny on a Saturday Night.
Bama 45, Ole Miss 14
No. 24 Mississippi State @ No. 13 Auburn
5 PM CT
Dave Flemming, Grease, McShay
AU by 9 1/2
The Tigers played well last week against Missouri, and with the disastrous stuff that is going on with the basketball program, Alabama has problems with it too, a solid victory over a pretty good State team would help alleviate some stress among the Auburn faithful. State got blasted by Georgia last week between the hedges, 31-3, but are better than that. Nick Fitzgerald is a quality dual threat qb who just couldn't seem to solve the Dawgs' defense. The Dawgs have a very good team that has a chance to be special this season. For the Tigers, I really like the fact that they have both Kerryon Johnson and Cam Pettway back in the backfield. And there are other weapons in the running game. Cam Martin has proven to be a game breaker. Eli Stove is a weapon on jet sweeps. Malik Miller shows some talent running the football and he's got good size at 6'1", 230. And the receiving corps is talented. I still like Nate Craig-Myers in the downfield passing game. Jarrett Stidham needs to get him the ball. The line needs to get its chemistry right to protect Stidham better, but they are certainly physically talented enough. The defense is playing well. Really like the front led by Marlon Davidson. The linebackers and secondary are solid as well. I see the Tigers putting on a good performance Saturday and gathering some momentum heading into the rest of the SEC slate. The Tigers get an impressive victory at home.
Auburn 31, State 21
No. 7 Georgia at Tennessee
2:30 PM CT
Brad, Gary, Allie
Dawgs by 7 1/2
The Dawgs were super impressive last Saturday Night in Athens blasting Mississippi State. Nick Chubb looks like the Chubb from his freshman year when he broke out as a superstar. That's super to see. He's been through a lot, and has hung in there and it's paying off. Sony Michel is a fantastic player and freshman D'Andre Swift looks like the next superstar running back in Athens. I also really like what freshman quarterback Jake Fromm is doing. He's not only efficient, he's a playmaker. Jacob Eason is coming back soon, but I like the Dawgs with Fromm under center. He's got leadership and talent and seems more assertive than Eason. There are excellent targets around Fromm in the awesome Terry Godwin, along with Javon Wims, Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley. Isaac Nauta looks like an All American tight end. He's a terrific player. The defense was outstanding last week as they intercepted Nick Fitzgerald twice and caused him problems all night. This is an outstanding football team that is primed to be special this season. The Vols are coming off a 17-13 victory over UMass. UMass, are you kiddin me? So I like the Dawgs to get the job done here and keep matriculating in the SEC East. I don't know what's going to happen to the Vols. This could get pretty ugly for Butch Jones and his team this season if they can't turn it around quickly. But I'm expecting Tennessee to step up here and make it interesting.
Georgia 35, Tennessee 30
Vanderbilt at No. 21 Florida
11 AM CT
Dave Pasch, Gregory McElroy, Lugues
Gators by 9
Luke Del Rio was terrific off the bench in leading his Gators to a sensational 28-27 comeback victory over Kentucky last Saturday Night in Lexington. Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier was just as terrific with his play calling. It was an awesome game with the Gators coming back from 10 down in the fourth quarter and scoring in the final minute to claim a massive victory for Coach Mac and his program. Vanderbilt got destroyed by the Crimson Tide and I don't see them recovering this week. I do think they'll be competitive, and I do see this as a close game for a while, but I like the Gators in the Swamp.
Florida 31, Vanderbilt 21
South Carolina at Texas A&M
6:30 PM CT
Tom Hart, Jordan Rogers, Cole Cubelic
A&M by 8 1/2
The Aggies found some life in defeating Arkansas last week in overtime, 50-43. They aren't playing a ton of defense, but they do have really good athletes over there, so they may very well keep developing. On offense, freshman Kellen Mond is playing like the high 4 star he was expected to be. Christian Kirk is a phenomenal take it to the house guy. He returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD last week against the Hogs in a game changing play. He's superb. South Carolina escaped a possible upset against LA Tech last week pulling it out on a last second field goal, 17-16, at home. But I see a competitive contest here. The Gamecocks will give the Aggies everything they want, but I like Kevin Sumlin and his team to prevail in an explosive contest.
A&M 34, South Carolina 31
Other SEC games
Troy at No. 25 LSU
I haven't seen much impressive out of the Bengal Tigers the past 2 weeks. They got dominated by State on the road and struggled to defeat Syracuse at home last Saturday. Troy is always a competitive team, and I see them giving LSU a battle. Like the Tigers to get over the top, but to struggle once again.
LSU 31, Troy 28
Kentucky 38, Eastern Michigan 20
The Wildcats are deflated after the Florida loss, but they bounce back.
Arkansas 34, New Mexico State 10
No. 2 Clemson at No. 12 Virginia Tech
Chris, Kirk, Maria
The Tigers struggled a little bit with Boston College before pulling away. VA Tech is a quality team that will do well this season, and they'll hang with Clemson. Like the Tigers to keep what looks like a spectacular season going Saturday Night in Blacksburg, but in a high quality game.
Clemson 34, VA Tech 31
No.5 USC @ No. 16 Washington State
Now this is a game worth staying up for. I know I will. The Trojans struggled a little bit on the road at Cal last week, but came away with a 30-20 victory and looked impressive late. I really like this Mike Leach Air Raid attack. I like Luke Falk and the Cougar offense to knock the Trojans off course this week.
Washington State 34, USC 31
No. 15 Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech
Gus, Joel, Jenny Taft
This is going to be a riveting offensive game. Oklahoma State was upset by a very good TCU team at home last week in what was a bit of a shocker. I think they'll have just enough to defeat a hungry Red Raiders team. This should be quite a show. Worth checking out while Auburn and Alabama are in commercials and definitely worth taping.
Oklahoma State 48, Texas Tech 45
Miami 35, Duke 31
Should be an excellent game here. Duke is doing some really good things under super coach David Cutcliffe, but I like superstar running back Mark Walton and the Canes to survive the Blue Devils on the road.
No. 6 Washington 48, Oregon State 20
PAC 12 Network
No. 4 Penn State 34, Indiana 28
Big Ten Network
I see the Nittany Lions having another struggle this week after scoring a touchdown on the last play of the game to defeat Iowa last week on the road. I like this team, but thy will be challenged again as they are once again on the road.
No. 10 Wisconsin 35, Northwestern 24
The Badgers have another solid team. Northwestern needs to get it back together. I see them being competitive with Whisky though, and they'll come back and get it going very soon.
Texas 42, Iowa State 38
This is going to be an electric game as the Longhorns really showed some fight a couple of weeks ago just falling on the road to USC and playing extremely well in the process. Iowa State will be a tough out on the road though. This should be pretty electric.
No. 19 San Diego State 33, Northern Illinois 30
CBS Sports Network
Northern Illinois went on the road and upset Nebraska 2 weeks ago. That was impressive. San Diego State has a very good team with 2 impressive victories over Stanford at home and Air Force on the road in the last 2 weeks. They'll survive, but they'll be in another battle. Rashaad Penny of San Diego State is a superb running back.
Florida State 21, Wake Forest 17
It's been a tough season for the Noles. Losing their starting quarterback for the year against Alabama, then having to deal with Hurricane Irma and all those complications, then losing at home to N.C. State last week, 27-21, last week. N.C. State is a good team, but FSU is pretty dismantled right now. The Noles defense will help them survive a hungry Wake team.
Stanford 42, Arizona State 38
PAC 12 Network
I see Zona State giving the Cardinal everything they want, but Stanford has found a good quarterback now in K.J. Costello and Bryce Love is a spectacular running back.
Georgia Tech 41, North Carolina 38
I really like Tech's quarterback TaQuon Marshall. He's super tough at 190 and took hit after hit against Tennessee in the opener and still ran for over 200 yards and really threw it well. Like Tech to survive the Tar Heels at home.
Oregon 45, California 42
9:30 PM CT
FOX Sports 1
Colorado 34, UCLA 31