Previewing the Top Games of 2012: Week Five

13 more weeks until the college football season starts.

With the fifth week of games we're looking at the last weekend of September this fall. How many undefeated teams will head into October riding high?

Check out the One Foot Down archives for previous installments. Let's get to the games for Week 5.

Thursday

Stanford at Washington

This is the second game of a tough mid-September to mid-October stretch for the Cardinal, which is far different than in the past when Stanford blows through half their schedule before playing a team with a pulse.

Stanford hosts USC prior to this game and will be travelling to the wet confines of Seattle on a short week. This just looks and feels like a game the Cardinal aren't going to win.

Life isn't any easier for the Huskies who play Portland State before this game, but otherwise have a brutal early season schedule. LSU, Stanford, Oregon, and USC over the course of 5 weeks could leave Washington bruised and battered. I'm sure taking a win over Stanford at home has to be a high priority for them.

Saturday

Wisconsin at Nebraska

Per Wisconsin custom, the Badgers are outlawed from having any serious challenges in the first four weeks of the season so this will be their first real test of the 2012 season.

There are certain matchups in college football where you'd think the teams have played more than they really have, and this is one of those matchups. Now that they are in the same conference we'll see more games but this is only the 7th meeting all time between Nebraska and Wisconsin. Last year's huge 48-17 Badger victory was the first game between the schools since 1974.

Florida State at South Florida

Florida State has never beaten South Florida. Hey, Notre Dame knows what that feels like!

Of course both the Irish and Seminoles have only played the Bulls once, so that's kind of a misleading stat.

Florida State has Clemson the week before so this could be that age-old trap game. It will also be one of the top 4 or 5 tests on the Seminole schedule as many people are calling them a darkhorse national title contender.

Arkansas at Texas A&M

New conference rivals do battle in week five, but these teams have been rivals outside of league play for a while in modern times.

Arkansas has won the last three meetings and owns a healthy advantage in the overall series. This comes during a tough stretch for the Hogs, but I expect Arkansas to pick up a road win here.

Baylor at West Virginia

Spread offense heaven! Thanks conference realignment!

Amazing offenses aside---and we'll have to see just how potent Baylor is without RG3---this is definitely one of those weird looking conference matchups. We're bound to see more of these as teams keep moving around.

First-ever game between these schools which always adds a neat touch to the affair.

Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech (Landover, MD)

Cincinnati will be coming off a bye week, and only two games prior to this---while this will be the fifth game of the season for Virginia Tech.

Rematch of the 2008 Orange Bowl, Brian Kelly's first BCS appearance with the Bearcats. The Hokies won that one and have taken the past two meetings overall.

Will this be one of those 2 losses Virginia Tech always seems to lose?

Louisville at Southern Miss

Louisville is starting to get a lot of preseason love, not just from a Big East point of view, but also on the national level. There are a lot of people who think their explosive offense is going to win them 10+ games with their relatively weak schedule.

This will be one of the Cardinal's challenges along the way of course. They've taken the last five meetings against Southern Miss, but the Golden Eagles still hold a 6-game advantage in the overall series.

Charlie Strong doesn't want to lose this road game---believe that.

Missouri at UCF

Central Florida kind of sucked last year, but they did win 19 games in the previous two seasons to go along with their victory over Georgia in their 2010 bowl game.

I keep looking at Missouri's schedule and thinking that they will end up getting beat up in their first year of the SEC. Arizona State, Syracuse, and Central Florida out of conference isn't incredibly tough, but I can see the Tigers dropping one of those games.

This one down in Florida just might be one of those trip-ups.

Ohio State at Michigan State

Remember how ugly this game was last year? It ended up a 10-7 victory for the Spartans---their first in the series since 1999 after 7 straight losses to the Buckeyes.

Ohio State doesn't have anyone awfully difficult to play before this, while Michigan State will already have faced Boise State and our Fighting Irish. I see Urban Meyer getting the win here on the road, even if it is an ugly game again.

Tennessee at Georgia

If Georgia can take care of a road game against Missouri in week two I think they will come into this undefeated and ranked fairly high. Tennessee has a couple hard tests before this, but nothing too crazy. If the Volunteers could upset Florida this might be looking like a really interesting SEC game.

Does anyone want to take the Volunteers right now? I probably don't, I like Georgia this year a whole lot.

Texas at Oklahoma State

Texas doesn't often lose to the Cowboys, but they have in the past two meetings. That makes the Longhorns 22-4 against Oklahoma State and looking for some revenge from the Weeden-Blackmon era losses.

This is probably a must-win for Texas, right? They can't possibly lose to such an inexperienced offense even if the game is on the road. I like Bevo to get it done and Texas to get back to more of its winning ways in 2012.

Which games are you looking forward to?

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