Week 5 Final Thoughts, Predictions & Investment Advice

And now the stakes get even higher for conference play. Check out the final thoughts, a few predictions, and some investment advice for a smarter planet.

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Week 5 Fearless Predictions & Game Previews 
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AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | MW | Sun Belt

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Just when everything becomes clear. Just when it seems like it’s easy to get a handle on everything.

Just when it seems like all should be right with the world, and each team has shown what it is and what it’s going to be after four weeks of football, in comes the true start of conference play.

And then you push the reset button.

This is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only, however, just in case you dabble …

There’s a basic assumption happening here that 1) BYU is going to be good now because it’s at home, 2) it should win because it’s playing a MAC team, and 3) that has to be a win among the nightmare of a schedule the Cougars play to start the season. Toledo isn’t the best team BYU will play to start out the season, but it’s not as far off as you might think.

If I haven’t picked Stanford to lose each week so far – I think I took the Cardinal over USC – then at least I’ve wanted to. So of course Washington is going to win. Christian McCaffrey doesn’t score on the road, and the NFL talent on the Husky defense will put on a show.

Boston College shouldn’t be favored by 19 against a box of mashed up Twinkies, much less another college football team.

Can Marshall really and truly be this awful? Can the Pitt pass defense really and truly be this awful? The two teams can’t play a lick of D – that 66 o/u might be light by about 20 points. It’ll be ugly football, but like you care.

Don’t go making any assumptions that Ole Miss will get into the whole revenge thing with Memphis. Be careful – this Tiger team might really be good enough to make this way too interesting.

UMass just can’t be that competitive. I can’t believe it. I won’t believe it. But I’m probably wrong – it’s a feisty team. However, Tulane is probably a bit better than we all think it is.

Really? You want to take Penn State as a favorite over an unbeaten Big Ten team right now? You want mess with the X factor that is Minnesota? That’s on you.

I know Northwestern didn’t cover at home against Nebraska last week, but Iowa just isn’t all that great. The Wildcats might just need a change of scenery. They might just need a different stadium to be boring in.

Of course Rutgers isn’t going to beat Ohio State. However, the Buckeyes are overdue for one of those games where they’re way too close until a fourth quarter burst makes everyone feel okay again. The Scarlet Knight D might not be that awful.

West Virginia’s Skyler Howard is terrific. He’s one big Big 12 performance away from getting on the national map, and the Mountaineers appear to be sneaky-good as a conference title contender – and they’re going to lose to Kansas State. This Wildcat defense is going to be kryptonite to high-powered Big 12 offenses this year.

Woe to Notre Dame if Virginia is able to pull off the upset over Duke. Buy into the Cavalier performance against Central Michigan at your own risk.

One of two things will happen to Notre Dame this week. Either 1) it’ll beat Syracuse, and Brian Kelly will be credited for his wacky motivational ploy, or 2) Notre Dame will lose, and all the histrionics after the Duke loss will make it look like he totally lost his team.

It’s prove-it time for South Florida. Cincinnati QB Hayden Moore is hurting, and even if he was 100%, USF might just be a lot better. If the Bulls are really any sort of a contender for Houston, they should beat the Bearcats by five.

Temple’s defense is a shadow of its 2015 self. SMU might stink, but giving that team 12.5 points considering how it hung with TCU and Baylor for a little while makes this game a coin flip.

Don’t buy into the North Texas pass defense stats. Brent Stockstill and Middle Tennessee will bomb away on the road without a problem. Sleep well.

Want to be pretentious at parties – but also be right? While Deshaun Watson vs. Lamar Jackson is the marquee quarterback matchup of the weekend, NFL scouts looking for ten-year backup types are going to be watching Western Michigan (Zach Terrell) and Central Michigan (Cooper Rush) hard.

WMU vs. CMU will be the best game of the weekend. Be extremely disappointed if it’s not.

Western Michigan is better. Even on the road.

Until proven otherwise, for the love of Muncie, don’t take Northern Illinois. Ball State is physical right now, it can run, and it can stop the run. NIU can’t.

(Flashback to last week) “Words one should never utter. Eastern Michigan as a three-point home underdog against Wyoming might be a gift. This Eagle defense can play.”

Now fast-forward back to this week. Words one should never utter. Eastern Michigan as a 2.5-point road underdog against Bowling Green might be a gift. This Eagle defense can play – and Bowling Green is starting a redshirt freshman quarterback to try to stop giving the ball away like it was soup.

The MAC East is really, really, really, really, really bad. If Ohio doesn’t beat Miami University by more than three, set the early line on the MAC title game at West -27, no matter who it is.

UCF is better. It’s improving. It’s playing some D, and the O is okay under new head coach Scott Frost. It’s not there yet. East Carolina is.

Forget the Alabama game, Kent State really doesn’t have an offense. It doesn’t matter who it plays. Akron might go on a microburst and cover the seven with ease. Being on the road in the MAC isn’t like being on the road in other conferences.

For Darrell Hazell’s sake, Purdue had better not be 10.5 points worse than Maryland. However, the Terps have yet to turn the ball over.

Miami is starting three freshman linebackers and five underclassmen in the front seven, yet it has 40 tackles for loss in the first three games. Good luck with that, Georgia Tech offense that spent last Thursday night with Clemson Tigers sitting on its head.

Illinois is bizarrely bad, and it shouldn’t be. Something’s just not right, and it’s not really in a Lovie-has-to-rebuild-this sort of way. There’s enough experience and talent for the Illini to be a lot better, but Nebraska will once again win quietly and roll on.

Wisconsin PK Rafael Gaglianone is out for the year with a back problem. It was announced that star LB Vince Biegel is out for a month having foot surgery. The line isn’t changing – I have yet to talk to anyone who’s not really, really confused about what to do with this 10.5-pound line.

I’m not going to lie to you. I’m picking Clemson over Louisville because the Tigers are at home, but I have no freaking clue on this one. However, if Louisville goes all Florida State game, that’s the No. 1 team in the country next week no matter what.

Unless Wisconsin just stomps Michigan.

North Carolina vs. Florida State is going to be a high-octane track meet. Dalvin Cook will run for over 200 yards, Mitch Trubisky will throw for over 300, and the two teams will easily blow past the 69.5 o/u.

Rough guess – you won’t see any Kaepernicking before the Navy-Air Force game.

Rice is awful. AWFUL. Really, really bad – but it’ll score 14 points. It’s up to you to think about how many Southern Miss can put on the board, but it’ll be more than 38.

At some point, the Wyoming running game will kick in full force. At some point, Colorado State will be better at playing college football. I’m not sure which one will happen this week.

Alabama’s defense will make Kentucky’s performance against Florida look like a Wazzu-Cal shootout.

After what happened last week, woe to the team that has to face the Florida defense. Good luck with that, you madcap zany Vanderbilt offense, you.

With time off to chill, Cal will open up the passing game against a Utah secondary that was fortunate last week playing a USC offense that has a bizarre habit of just stopping.

Watch out, Texas. If the Longhorns lose this week to Oklahoma State, that Charlie Strong hot seat gets turned right back up to fa-LAME-ing for Oklahoma next week.

For absolutely no sane or rational reason, I sort of think NC State might be okay, or at least about to get better. This whole Wake Forest thing is way past overdue to stop.

If South Carolina hasn’t been able to score at all so far, why is it going to rolling this week against a Texas A&M defense that playing with speed, toughness, and confidence?

Really, really, really curious to see what UCLA is made of. Losing like it did against Stanford might send this team into a shame-spiral – and Arizona might just be able to take advantage of it.

Don’t … touch … USC -10 vs. Arizona State … or even think about it. You name the scenario, and you’re probably right.

My unnatural love for UNLV wilted and faded with the loss to Idaho at home last week. And now the Rebels don’t have Johnny Vegas – QB Johnny Stanton is out with a knee injury against Fresno State, who for Tim DeRuyter’s had better not be -9 against a backup QB bad.

Even with a strong win over Oklahoma State, I still can’t get it out of my head that Baylor probably just isn’t that good. After a good performance, give Iowa State one more week before you deal with any Cyclone game.

Oh COME ON. Michigan State -6.5 against Indiana. Really? Is this what we’ve come to as a nation?

On the one hand, there’s no way Oklahoma is going to start the season 1-3. On the other hand, TCU is better than the Sooners, and it’s at home.

Gut feeling – LSU is about to play its ass off for Ed Orgeron against Mizzou.

Pretty much anyone who’s any good on South Alabama is hurt this week. It doesn’t matter that San Diego State is on the road.

Really, really curious to see what Troy does. That’s a long trip to Idaho against a bad team, but it’s a bad Vandal team that just beat UNLV. If Troy wins by a few touchdowns, it might just be the best team in the Sun Belt.

I’m Boise State boy, but Utah State and QB Kent Myers are really, really scary in a nothing-to-lose road game. If the Broncos win this easily, they’re winning every game on the rest of the regular season schedule by double digits.

Don’t dismiss the idea that Oregon might just be a team full of college football players who do stuff, and might not be all that great considering it’s all kinds of banged up. Wazzu has had two weeks to prepare – Luke Falk will get off the bus with 400 yards.


Auburn will cover the 32.5 against ULM – on 11 Daniel Carlson field goals.