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The Big E College Football Picks: Week Five

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After a horrendous week three, I came out of the gates swinging last week nailing a bunch of early and afternoon games. Then, everything fell apart and what looked like a sure-fire solid weekend turned into another sub .500 performance.

The good thing is that I am improving though and I smell a really big weekend this time around.

A lot of attention was paid to week two as it was perhaps the year’s best weekend for games, but this Saturday offers up a great slate of games too. In fact, I’d say this weekend might be the best because there will be some truly lasting outcomes that will shake up the polls more so than in week two.

Let’s jump right in.

Week Four: 7-9

Overall: 13-21 (but improving of course!)

Miami (-3) at Clemson

Pick: Miami

If this was a night game I might be having second thoughts with this pick, but Miami’s defense has really stepped up and continues to impress me. As long as Jacory Harris doesn’t completely crap his pants (a legit possibility) I think the Hurricanes will cruise late in the game.

The loss to Ohio State was deflating, but Miami is still my favorite in the ACC this year. I don’t think they lose this game or fail to cover.

Virginia Tech (-3.5) at NC State

Pick: NC State

What are we to make of Virginia Tech this year? They’re coming off of a shutout of Boston College (it would be nice if Notre Dame could shut them out too) and they might be shaking off their early season misery.

Still, I’m kind of on the NC State bandwagon right now and I think they’ll be able to move the ball on a Hokie defense that doesn’t look as fierce as it has been in the past. This game could go either way, but a late field goal will seal the deal for one of the teams.

Wisconsin (-2) at Michigan State

Pick: Wisconsin

I am so tempted to take Michigan State here, but I just can’t do it. Maybe this is the year that the Spartans finally step up and win a big game like this, but I’m not so sure they are ready for Wisconsin’s balanced attack.

The Badgers can really run the ball well and as great as Michigan State has pounded it on the ground, I think a lot of that has been due to poor competition. Once again, aside from their tilt against the Irish, Michigan State comes in having played a bunch of exhibition games.

The same could be said about Wisconsin of course, but they have more experienced in these type of games. A couple 4th quarter field goals seals the victory for Wisky.

Michigan (-10) at Indiana

Pick: Michigan

This line reeks of someone reminding themselves of the Wolverines from the past two years and not this year’s version. Indiana is probably as pissed as can be heading into this game after last year’s officiating debacle, but they just cannot stop this Michigan offense.

Maybe if Denard Robinson only plays the first half this game could be close, but I know Rich Rod wants to bury every team he plays this year. And as much as Irish fans may not want to admit it, they are going to destroy all of the middling and basement Big Ten teams this year.

It’ll be another 40+ point game for Michigan as they roll by 20.

Texas (+3) at Oklahoma

Pick: Oklahoma

Every time I think about the Notre Dame offense struggling I think about what’s going on at Texas. It always makes me feel better. Will the Longhorns have figured out enough of their problems of offense in order to make this a game?

I doubt it, and I don’t think Texas will be scoring more than 15 points. I’m pretty sure the Sooners will score more than that and it will take an epic performance for this game to remain close in the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma takes this by 12 points.

Tennessee (+16.5) at LSU

Pick: Tennessee

This is way too big of a spread for a Tiger team that has proven it will struggle to score more than 25 points. I know Tennessee is in the dumps right now but this is an SEC game and these conference games always have a way of staying close for three-plus quarters.

In the end, LSU will run away with it but I don’t think they have the offensive firepower to cruise with a three score victory.

Georgia (-4.5) at Colorado

Pick: Georgia

Would anyone in Athens believe this would be the spread of this game before the season started? Wow, things have not gone very well for Georgia this year.

With that said, this is still SEC talent versus one of the worst BCS teams in the country. It’s been a long year for Mark Richt but I think his Bulldogs will explode with a big victory in the Rocky Mountains this weekend.

Notre Dame (-2.5) at Boston College

Pick: Notre Dame

Before the season started I said Notre Dame would not lose to any teams that have either a very balanced and effective offense or a great quarterback. Boston College has neither.

Being a rivalry game I can see the Eagles coming out and having their best game of the season so far, but there’s just no way a freshman quarterback is going to be able to move the ball on the Irish defense.

If Notre Dame settles for field goals, which has been happening a lot this year, then this game will remain close. If the Irish punch it into the end zone a few times they will win by at least ten points.

Washington (+10) at USC

Pick: Washington

After a very weak opening season schedule, the Trojans finally hit October with some quality opponents, beginning with those loveable Washington Huskies.

Has Washington fully recovered from the beat down served up by Nebraska a couple weeks ago? Will this be the game where Jake Locker puts his name back in the top NFL draft pick discussion?

I just don’t think Washington is very good still, and it’s going to take a big day from Locker to keep this one a game. USC has been sputtering past opponents all year but they are bound to pick it up eventually.

I’m not sold that USC is particularly explosive on offense though and their defense has been gashed by some inferior talent this year, so I say the Trojans still win but they will not cover.

Stanford (+7) at Oregon

Pick: Stanford

This has to be the most exciting game of the season right now. Two different styles and two completely different teams vying for Pac-10 supremacy at Autzen Stadium…how can you not be jacked up?

I’m a little concerned that Oregon really hasn’t played any great teams yet and their defense looked downright horrible against a mediocre Arizona State team last week. Everyone’s talking about the Ducks speed, but I don’t think they will run wild against Stanford.
That’s because the Cardinal are going to control the ball on offense and slowly demoralize Oregon just like they did to Notre Dame. I don’t think Stanford will win outright, but this game will be extremely close, maybe even an overtime or two.

Florida (+8) at Alabama

Pick: Alabama

That’s a fairly big spread don’t you think?

Does one week of offensive success (against Kentucky no less) mean the Gators will be able to move the ball against the Tide? I highly doubt it.

Florida is just too discombobulated on offense to pull this one out. The spread is pretty large, but Alabama is going to move the ball on offense and Saban has to be licking his chops with the ineffectiveness the Gators have shown this year under John Brantley.

We’ll see a ten point Alabama lead at halftime and they will increase that to 17 by the end of the game. I can’t wait to see Urban Meyer’s reaction.

Penn State (+7) at Iowa

Pick: Iowa

I don’t think Penn State is as bad as a lot of people are saying and I don’t think Iowa is as good as a lot of people thought a few weeks ago. That leads me to believe that this game will be close.

Penn State hasn’t won at Iowa since 1999 and hasn’t beaten a good Iowa team on the road since 1995. I believe that trend will continue this weekend.

The Hawkeyes will be up by a touchdown before a fumble deep in Penn State’s own territory sets up a game-clinching field goal by Iowa.