Now, this is a full slate! The week features blood-curdling rivalries and scores of the top 25 teams facing off. After a weekend of some significant shifts at the top of college football, the full weekend may send more teams moving around the rankings. Here is The College Five.
(1) Alabama Crimson Tide vs. (24) Texas A&M Aggies - Alabama favored by 17
This is a top-level trap game for the Tide after some tough performances for the Aggies against Auburn and Clemson have inflated this line. The dirty secret is that Alabama’s defensive front has taken a big step back, ranking 51st in rush defense and only tallying 10 sacks this season.
Texas A&M is averaging nearly five yards per attempt, and Kellen Mond is just the type of dual-threat quarterback that gives Alabama fits.
The Aggies at him will be a problem for the Tide.
Taking Texas A&M plus 17
USC Trojans vs. (9) Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Notre Dame favored by 11
In a classic rivalry that stretches back to 1926, the home-field advantage has been vital in recent, with only one road victory since 2013.
But that is the least of USC’s worries in this one; ND’s defense allows a stingy 14.8 points per game and racking up 16 forced fumbles (8 recovered). Bad news for returning quarterback Kedon Slovis, who is returning from a concussion to fight the Irish buzzsaw.
On offense, ND quarterback Ian Book is deadly at home, boasting a 10-0 TD/INT ratio and completing 69 percent of his passes.
Taking: Notre Dame minus 11
(10) Penn State Nittany Lions vs. (17) Iowa Hawkeyes - Penn State favored by three
This game will emphasis the difference between smashing pour opponents and slugging with ranked teams. Both PSU and Iowa average over 400 yards of offense and allow under 10 points per game. The most significant difference is Penn State has outscored teams 235-37, but the combined records of the teams they have played are 12-16 (8-14 without Pittsburgh).
But has Iowa proven anything? They beat a then ranked Iowa State by one point after a muffed punt and were worked by Michigan last week. The Hawkeyes will see similar pressure to the previous week’s game as well, thanks to a pass rush led by Yetur Gross-Matos good for 25 sacks and 52 tackles for loss.
A halting Iowa offense will be no match for the Nittany Lions group that averages 47 per week.
Taking: Penn State minus three
(7) Florida Gators vs. (5) LSU Tigers - LSU favored by 13.5
The Gators looked impressive at home, taking down the favored Auburn Tigers in a huge upset. But LSU is a very different animal. Quarterback Joe Burrow is no freshman, collecting up an alarming 1,864 passing yards and 22 touchdowns (both rank second in the country). LSU’s electric offense has posted 111 total points in their two power five matchups, and both games were on the road.
In death valley, the Tigers have yet to score under 50 points and are coming off a week of rest. Florida is coming off a week of reading their newspaper clippings.
Taking: LSU minus 13.5
(6) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (11) Texas Longhorns - Oklahoma favored by 10.5
Since 211, the Red River Rivalry has seen a total score under 65 just three times. Now, two of the country’s top 11 scoring offenses are facing off on a neutral field. This game will not lack energy.
In a game that will feature plenty of scoring, the backend of Texas’ defense is hard to trust.
Texas’ passing defense is 126th in the country, allowing 325 yards through the air per game (they should really toss the DBU shirts).
Quarterback Jalen Hurts will dice this team up for tons of yardage, and the game could get out of hand fast for the Longhorns.
Taking: Oklahoma minus 10.5