We’re sort of overdue for the curveball.
If last Saturday was all about a restoration of order and norms – with Alabama, USC, Michigan and Georgia all rising up to knock down the uprising – then very soon the big upsets should come to start to change things up.
And that’s what a week like this one is for.
Just when it seems like we know what each team is and what it can do, someone doesn’t show up, there’s some big injury, and/or there’s some crazy shocker no one ever saw coming.
Welcome to conference play kicking in full force.
This is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only, however, just in case you dabble …
More than that, this is when Nebraska’s defense shows up. Tanner Lee and the Husker offense has been the problem, but the D has been okay. It’ll be okay enough in Champaign. | Nebraska vs. Illinois Preview
BYU is about to look okay now that it doesn’t have to play LSU or Wisconsin. Really? Even without QB Tanner Mangum, it’s only a one point favorite against Utah State? Oh, yes. You have to. | BYU vs. Utah State Preview
I hate this USC-Washington State game. USC is so much better than Wazzu, but USC is so banged up. At some point the injuries are going to catch up to the Trojans, but I’m starting to believe that this is one of those teams that just finds a way to get the job done. Until Washington State beats someone good, I’m still going to be skeptical. | USC vs. Washington State Preview
FIU shouldn’t be an 11-point favorite over you and a can of Pringles. But Charlotte is playing like the worst team in college football. | Charlotte vs. FIU Preview
If Pitt doesn’t beat Rice by more than 20, just pack it up this year. Oklahoma State and Penn State lived for a while off of beating a bad Panther team, but Rice is miserable. | Pitt vs. Rice Preview
USF has rushed for more than 300 yards against everyone but Stony Brook. East Carolina has to deal with the Bull attack on a short week. If you can’t handle the UConn offense, you have no prayer of stopping USF. | USF vs. ECU Preview
– 10 Best Predictions: Against The Spread
– 10 Best Predictions: Over/Under Totals
Everyone is waiting for NC State to go NC State and blow it in a game like this against Syracuse. The Orange are going to keep it closer and lower scoring than you might like. | NC State vs. Syracuse Preview
I finally go and pick you, Eastern Michigan, and you blow it at home against Ohio?! You only get one chance with me, Eastern Michigan. I don’t just give my heart away so easily. | EMU vs. UK Preview
Yeah, Ball State is okay, and Western Michigan has been sort of flaky so far. 14 seems like a lot considering the Broncos can’t quite put it together, but the Cardinal backfield is dinged. | Ball State vs. WMU Preview
Boston College is bad. Central Michigan is bad, but it’s not supposed to be. Considering how decimated the Eagles are with injuries, watch out for the Chippewas to keep this really, really close, in a low-scoring – 53 is WAY high – slugfest. | BC vs. CMU Preview
The Terry Bowden era might be on life support. Consider the plug eventually pulled if Akron doesn’t beat Bowling Green. Akron will beat Bowling Green. | Akron vs. BGSU Preview
Every week it’s the same thing with UMass. It’s good enough to hang around and be interesting, but it has a problem with that scoring-more-points-than-the-other-team thing. Ohio should be a touchdown better, but it’s UMass. It’s the master of the close loss. | Ohio vs. UMass Preview
Don’t just stay away from Cincinnati-Marshall, run away from it like it was The Emoji Movie. These teams are dead even – the 3.5 Cincy is giving means nothing. But if you must, fine, go Bearcats at home. | Cincinnati vs, Marshall Preview
Kansas State ONLY -16.5 vs. Baylor?! Don’t be fooled by the Oklahoma game. Baylor lost star WR Chris Platt for the year and K-State had two weeks off. Bad things are about to happen. | KSU vs. Baylor Preview
Minnesota could be an absolute steal at -13 vs. Maryland. UCF isn’t that good to win 38-10 in the Terps’ house. Maryland won’t move the ball a lick now that it’s down to QB No. 3 | Minnesota vs. Maryland Preview
You had me at the Army game, Ohio State. Sort of like Baylor is being overloved because of the Oklahoma performance, somehow, the too-low +28 Rutgers is getting is because it played Nebraska. The Buckeyes roll. | OSU vs. Rutgers Preview
Brutal honesty time. Iowa vs. Michigan State? I … don’t … know. There’s a chance Michigan State just isn’t that good, and there’s a chance Iowa RB Akrum Wadley goes off. I’m going with the Spartans at home -3.5, but if you like the other side, you’re probably right. | Iowa vs. MSU Preview
It’s not like this whole Wake Forest thing hasn’t been cute and all, but enough. Florida State, it’s time, son. That defense needs to play the part and shut down this plucky team that hasn’t beaten anyone. | FSU vs. Wake Forest Preview
This is going against every instinct I have, since Northwestern always gives the Badgers problems: Wisconsin will win by more than two touchdowns at home. Let me put it another way. If Wisconsin really is CFP-good, it should win this game by more than 14 points at home. | UW vs. NW Preview
Iowa, you had ONE stop to make. One. Penn State came through in the clutch, but be really, really careful with this Indiana game. The rested Hoosiers will push hard in a close battle. | IU vs. PSU Preview
Let me see if I’ve got this straight. Navy just ran for way over 500 yards against Cincinnati, and Tulsa just got ripped up by a suddenly-mediocre New Mexico ground attack. Navy -7 is a lot on the road, but this running game is humming. | Navy vs. Tulsa Preview
You were too busy watching NFL things on Sunday morning, but East Carolina threw for a bajillion yards on UConn. SMU is about to throw for a bajillion-and-three yards on UConn. Even so, that 76 point totally is too high. | SMU vs. UConn Preview
Yeeeeeeeeesh. Yeah, Wyoming is -16.5 better than Texas State at home, but until Josh Allen shows up and stops being bad at college football … Yeeeeeeeeesh. | Wyo vs. TXST Preview
Honestly, what has UCLA shown you in any way to suggest that it can keep Colorado from running amok? AND you’re giving the Buffs points? Solid. | Colorado vs. UCLA Preview
WHAT?! People are hammering Oregon and now the line is up to Ducks -15? Are you mad? Cal could absolutely win this thing outright. | Cal vs. Oregon Preview
Don’t think, just throw. Oregon State might have had two weeks off. Oregon State might be at home. Oregon State is horrendous. Just like you’re back in your old yard, just pump it right in there: Washington. Easily. | UW vs. OSU Preview
Well, if you’re just going to give South Carolina 8.5 points vs. Texas A&M … yoink. You’ve seen this Texas A&M team, right? | USC vs. A&M Preview
Yes, yes, yes. Of course it’ll go against every fiber of your being, but Troy will cover that 20.5 vs. LSU. The Trojan D isn’t that bad. | Troy vs. LSU Preview
Week 5 Fearless Predictions
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– Week 5 TV Schedule, Lines, Fearless Picks
– Analyzing The Week 5 Lines
– Week 5 Expert Picks & Predictions
It’s time to stop doubting New Mexico State. Head coach Doug Martin has a contract extension, the team is playing well with a big offense, and Arkansas is sad after dealing with Texas A&M. The Aggies will rally late. | NMSU vs. Arkansas Preview
UNLV is just so flaky. Yeah, giving 14 to San Jose State is about right, but again … SO flaky. I can see the Spartans shockingly pulling off the upset, but I can also see Rebel QB Armani Rogers and RB Lexington Thomas combining for 250 rushing yards. I can see a lot of other things that don’t help you, either. | UNLV vs. SJSU Preview
If you’ve watched UTEP for even two drives this season, you’d be racing to the window to get in at Army -23.5. | Army vs. UTEP Preview
Don’t be fooled by Vanderbilt getting destroyed by Alabama. Florida can’t score and the Commodore D really is good. If Luke Del Rio is your answer, you’ve been asked a bad question. | Florida vs. Vandy Preview
I have two competing and equally loud sides yelling at me. One is waiting for Georgia to go Georgia and have that one game when it inexplicably doesn’t play up to snuff, and the other side is saying Dawgs -20 wouldn’t be a bad play. Georgia is only favored by 7.5 over Tennessee. | UGA vs. UT Preview
The Southern Miss D has been great against bad teams. The North Texas O has been great against bad teams. The answer is somewhere in the middle. 8.5 might be a lot to give this Mean Green team in what could be a relatively low scoring game. | USM vs. UNT Preview
It’s as if the world is waiting for South Alabama to be the South Alabama of last year that could beat Mississippi State and San Diego State. This 2017 team isn’t that 2016 team. Louisiana Tech – easy. | LT vs. USA Preview
When I did the Louisville vs. Murray State preview, I thought UofL would win 48-0. Since we don’t do point spreads when FCS teams are involved, I didn’t look. I just saw, though, that the line is 48.5. Murray State probably won’t score. Do with all of that what you will.
Notre Dame is the real deal. I’m sorry. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it is. Miami University has yet to beat anyone who’s any good, and it’s about to be run on. A lot. | Notre Dame vs. MU Preview
Middle Tennessee is going to beat Florida Atlantic outright. Don’t insult me by giving me three points, either. It demeans us both. | MT vs. FAU Preview
Mississippi State, you get one more week to live off that LSU win. You’re not going to beat Auburn, but 9.5? Okay, again, you get one more week to prove yourself. | MSU vs. Auburn Preview
If Alabama was playing Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Saturday night in the national game of the week, it would win in nuclear blowout fashion. Clemson, let’s really see what you can do with the challenge.
I’ll buy that the Hokies can keep this from getting ugly, but either you believe in Clemson, or you don’t. Believe. | Clemson vs. VT Preview
Air Force -2.5 vs. New Mexico? Yes, and with the whole wheat pita on the side. | Air Force vs. New Mexico Preview
Stop. Stop with the Ole Miss has given Alabama a hard time over the last three years and could do something historic against Nick Saban thing. With that said, 28 points are way too many. Saban doesn’t really do revenge like everyone thinks he does. | Bama vs. Ole Miss Preview
Every once in a while you just have to do it. Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech. Over. 84. Yes, it’s INSANE, but it’s worth it just because it’ll be SO much fun if you’re on the right side of it. | OSU vs. Texas Tech Preview
BTW, liked Texas Tech getting -9.5. I shouldn’t love it far more now that it’s at ten, or even at 10.5, but I really, really do.
– 10 Best Predictions: Against The Spread
– 10 Best Predictions: Over/Under Totals
This week’s Pick It Took Me Longest To Have An Opinion On. Stanford vs. Arizona State. No one’s quite sure if ASU is really any good or not. It’s big problem is pass defense, and the Cardinal don’t throw well enough for that to be an issue. I’m going with Stanford minus the 17 at home, and in hindsight, that might have been the way-easy call all along. | ASU vs. Stanford Preview
I don’t care if it’s wrong. I’m not able to take Fresno State -10 over anyone without needing a shower after. I know, the Bulldogs are better, and they’re rested. I know, Nevada is awful. I’m just not in that place when it comes to Fresno. | FSU vs. Nevada Preview
Northern Illinois isn’t as good as you think it is after beating Nebraska. Unfortunately, the smarty pants types figured that out, too, and made NIU a +10 against San Diego State. I’m not all that sure the Huskies can score on the road vs. this team. | NIU vs. SDSU Preview
If you have s sure-thing thought on UCF vs. Memphis, go for it. We don’t have a big enough body of work to go by, but at home, this defense might just be the real deal. The 68 total might be way, way, way too high. | UCF vs. Memphis Preview
Colorado State is good. It’s had two weeks off, it can handle the trip – it’s far easier than going to Alabama – and it’s going to get through this by more than a touchdown. It’s going to be okay. | Colorado State vs. Hawaii Preview