Fortunately for college football fans around the Southeastern Conference and the country there are a lot more interesting matchups in week five of the season than there were last weekend.
With Auburn having an off-week it will give Coach Gus Malzahn and his staff, the players and Auburn fans plenty of opportunities to check out other teams around the league and nation while getting ready for what I believe will be a very important game for them vs. Ole Miss next week.
There are a lot of teams off to surprising starts all around the country. Some of them are good starts and others like Texas have been surprising in a negative way. I know a lot of people are shocked that the Longhorns aren’t a very good football team with all of the talent they have been able to recruit to Austin.
There are also teams out there like Baylor, who have been very impressive against suspect competition. I am curious to see how the Bears do, but will have to wait a while because they are off this week just like the Auburn Tigers.
Here is a look at some potentially good games outside the SEC this week:
Oklahoma at Notre Dame--The Irish won last year in Norman. This year I expect the Sooners to return the favor. Oklahoma will arrive in South Bend as an unbeaten team and leave town the same way.
Miami at South Florida--The Hurricanes’ defense should be able to dominate USF’s offense, which has really struggled this season.
Oklahoma State at West Virginia--The Mountaineers were blanked 37-0 by Maryland last week and the Cowboys’ offense will offer an even bigger challenge to West Virginia’s defense. Look for OSU to stay undefeated in this Big 12 Conference game.
Wisconsin at Ohio State--I would like to pick the Badgers to beat Ohio State, but I don’t see that happening in Columbus.
Arizona at Washington--Both teams are 3-0. The Wildcats won in a blowout last season, but Washington is one of those teams off to a good start and should be able to hold off visiting Arizona on Saturday night.
Stanford vs. Washington State (at Seattle)--This should be a really good football game. The Cougars played Stanford tough last year and will probably do the same thing again, but Stanford is one of the top teams in the country and will extend its winning streak to 12 games.
Southern Cal at Arizona State--Look for the Sun Devils to bounce back from last week’s loss and knock off a Southern Cal team that should be vulnerable on the road.
Taking a look at this week’s SEC games.
South Carolina at Central Florida--I have got to pick South Carolina, but this one has upset potential. This is a monumental opportunity for a UCF team that is 3-0, including a win on the road vs. Penn State. George O’Leary is a very good coach and he will have his team ready for the visitors from the SEC, but look for the Gamecocks to win in Orlando.
South Alabama at Tennessee--The Vols shouldn’t lose to a Sun Belt team and I don’t think they will, even though they have not performed well the past two weeks.
LSU at Georgia--I like the Bulldogs to win this one at home with their ability to score points, but Georgia will have to play better than it did last Saturday when the score was tied at 21-21 in the third quarter vs. North Texas State.
Ole Miss at Alabama--Ole Miss looks like it will be a threat to challenge anybody it plays this year because of its offense. I think this would be a close game if it was in Oxford, but the Tide will likely win this one with room to spare because the game is in Tuscaloosa and the home team has the stronger defense.
Arkansas State at Missouri--Mizzou is undefeated and will stay that way.
UAB at Vanderbilt--Vandy was sluggish last week in an unimpressive road win vs. UMass. This is another game the Commodores should win by a comfortable margin, even if they aren’t playing up to their potential.
Texas A&M at Arkansas--The Razorbacks will probably have success running the ball vs. the Aggies, but Texas A&M should have more than enough offensive firepower to win in Fayetteville.
Florida at Kentucky--The Wildcats could keep this game close for a while, but the Gators are playing too well on defense to allow the upset to happen. Even though Florida lost its No. 1 quarterback it shouldn’t matter because the backup who played last week vs. Tennessee looked better to me than starter Jeff Driskell. Watching Florida play I think Coach Muschamp may have the best defensive team in the conference this year.
(Last week’s record: 10-2)
(Overall Record: 37-8)
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