College Football Week 5 Picks
Last week – 0-4
Overall – 4-10
The good thing about my picks so far this season is that if you pull a George Costanza and go opposite of each one, you’d be doing fantastic. Another strange anecedote is that I’m actually 12-8 ATS so far in the Vandermeer and Lopez picks that combine CFB and NFL.
Nebraska +10 at Wisconsin – This could be the game of the year in the Big Ten, and a possible preview of the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game. I really like this Badger team; very good QB, a terrific ground attack, and a solid defense. However, they’ve yet to be really challenged this season, with wins against UNLV, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, and South Dakota.
Whenever a team like UW takes on its first challenge, it’s always interesting to see how they react. With 10 points and Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead, I go with the Huskers.
Baylor -3.5 at Kansas State – The Wildcats did a great job beating Miami last week, but I’m in a wait-and-see mode on just how good they are. I know about the quality of Robert Griffin III; he has more touchdown passes than incompletions this season (!). The half point is always a concern, but you have to love the Bears’ skill positions with Griffin, Terrence Ganaway, Kendall Wright, and Lanear Sampson.
Washington +9.5 at Utah – I’m just frankly surprised the line is this high. The Huskies had a solid win over Cal last Saturday, one week after playing competitively against Nebraska in Lincoln. I know the Utes demolished BYU, but I’m still not sure why they’re held in this high regard.
Offensively, UW has a nice trio right now with Keith Price, Chris Polk, and Jermaine Kearse, and I believe this game will be pretty close.
Northwestern +9.5 at Illinois – Similar to the last game, I’m stunned at how high the point spread is here. The Illini barely beat Western Michigan last week, requiring a couple of 4th quarter stops on defense to get it done.
Dan Persa should be returning for the Wildcats, which makes their offense much more dangerous through the air. This is somewhat of a rivalry game, and you can’t trust a Ron Zook team to cover 9.5 against a squad that actually has a pulse and is well-coached under Pat Fitzgerald. A blowout Illinois win would really surprise me.
Alabama -4 at Florida – Call this an anti-John Brantley play. I like what Will Muschamp has done so far in Gainesville, establishing a terrific defense through the first four weeks. On the other hand, Brantley has been decent this season, which I don’t expect to be good enough against a fierce Crimson Tide D.
Look at what Bama did against a good QB in Tyler Wilson last week – 1 INT, 185 yards passing, and a rating 27 points below any other game this season. Wilson has demonstrated that he can throw the ball consistently, and Brantley hasn’t been able to do that. This game will be close for a while, but Alabama pulls away late.