Week 5 was a good week for picking upsets. Virginia Tech won outright at Duke, Northwestern was oh so close against Michigan, and Syracuse was minutes away from knocking off Clemson. I know close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but one outright winner and 2 against the spread is a good week when it comes to upsets. So who’s on the chopping block this week?
19 Texas at. 7 Oklahoma (-7)
I don’t THINK Texas is better than Oklahoma. But I also didn’t think Texas would be sitting at #19 in the country after their brutal Week 1 loss to Maryland. Since then, the Longhorns have ripped off four straight wins, including USC, TCU and on the road against Kansas State. Sam Ehlinger has made big steps in his Sophmore year and has thrown for 1,185 yards with 9 touchdowns and just 2 picks. On the other side of the ball, Texas has been surprisingly solid. Kyler Murray and Oklahoma give a whole new challenge, but it’s the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Anything can happen. Oklahoma once again appears on our upset alert.
Boston College at. 23 NC State (-5.5)
Behind Clemson, things get pretty dicey in the ACC. Miami, Duke, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Boston College, and NC State all can be argued as second best. Two of those teams will kickoff Saturday, each with something to prove. Two weeks in a row, an ACC team has seen its first appearance in the Top 25. First, it was Boston College who lost big against Purdue. Last week it was Duke getting blown out by Virginia Tech. Both teams were featured on my upset alerts. I’m going to continue the theme. Ryan Finely is as legit as it gets for the Wolfpack, but I think BC has something to prove. Too much A.J Dillon in this one. NC State is the next ACC team on upset alert.
5 LSU (-2.5) at. 22 Florida
I’m still not quite sold on LSU this year. Besides the big road comeback win against Auburn, the Tigers haven’t proven enough to me yet. The Swamp will be yet another challenge for LSU, and the Gators are coming off a big upset of their own against Mississippi State. These teams line up very similarly on offense. Balanced attacks, nothing flashy. Defense is going to win this game. That loud environment plus a better Florida defense will set the Gators up for success. I love me some Coach O, but the undefeated season ends on Saturday.
Florida State at. 17 Miami (-13.5)
This Sunshine State battle is going to be closer than the line indicates. Florida State began as the laughingstock of college football, but Willie Taggert has settled in and settled down his Noles. That’s started with Deondre Francois. Francois has played his best football the last two weeks, and look for that to continue against Miami. However, if the Noles expect to win this one, they need something from Cam Akers and the rushing attack. No thanks to a bad offensive line, FSU has only put together 97 yards rushing a game this season. Not to mention Miami has had one of the best defenses in college football. So why pick Florida State? N’Kosi Perry has been great so far, but a veteran Florida State defense presents some issues. Florida State has something to prove, and they can do just that this weekend against their rival. Miami is our fourth team on upset alert.
Arizona State at. 21 Colorado (-2.5)
How about Steven Montez and the Colorado Buffaloes?? Montez has completed 75.8% of his passes en route to a surprising 4-0 start for Colorado. And somehow they might be the conference’s last shot at the playoffs. On the other side, Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils have slowed down a bit since a 2-0 start and a big win against Michigan State but were able to right the ship last weekend against Oregon State. RB Eno Benjamin set a school record 312 yards rushing in the blowout win. I like the Sun Devils to keep rolling. Colorado is 4-0, but against teams that are a combined 1-16. So maybe not all that impressive after all. Arizona State is the better team to me until proven otherwise. Colorado sits on upset alert.
New Mexico at. UNLV (-9.5)
For the last two games this week, I wanted to dig into some teams not normally talked about. Both New Mexico and UNLV sit at 2-2 and coming off tough losses, with something to prove in their first conference game. If you like hard-nosed, pound the rock football, this is your game. UNLV runs for 336 yards a game, and New Mexico goes for 201. UNLV opens as big favorite in large part due to New Mexico’s awful defense. BUT, UNLV is missing their leading passer and rusher in QB Armani Rogers. New Mexico is not a good football team, but Rogers is a huge loss for the Rebels. I’m rolling with the Lobos in a Mountain West upset special.
UAB at. Louisiana Tech (-9.5)
Louisiana Tech comes off their biggest win of the season, knocking off previously unbeaten North Texas. They even received 2 votes in the coaches poll this week. The Bulldogs should be feeling good about themselves. However, on paper, these teams are pretty evenly matched. UAB may even have an advantage on defense. The Blazers don’t have the passing game to pace with Louisiana Tech. If they can pound the ball with Spencer Brown and mix in QB runs from A.J. Erdely, there’s a real good chance this game stays closer than 10. Louisiana Tech is our last team on upset alert this week.