College Football Picks Week Five: Honeymoon Over For Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez
Week Four looked like it was going to be a smashing success for our young hero thanks to victories in the afternoon by the Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Florida Gators and a last-minute backdoor cover by the UTEP Miners.
I was sitting pretty ahead of the three marquee match-ups at 8:00 pm and was ready to crack into the ice-cold Erdinger Weissbrau’s that were available in plentiful abundance in the fridge.
I was feeling good about the general state of affairs in the world until I saw a peculiar score flash across the screen. I pressed rewind on the remote and much to my chagrin it confirmed that the Miami Hurricanes had defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
This seemed improbable to me as Georgia Tech was up by 14 points in the fourth quarter but upon further inspection the Hurricanes scored the final 23 points of the game en route to a 42-36 victory.
Things only got worse from there as the Michigan Wolverines committed six turnovers in the 13-6 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, while the Oklahoma Sooners were then upset at home by the Kansas State Wildcats.
However, such is life on Saturday’s in the fall where tiny momentum shifts can quickly snowball into an avalanche of points.
Moving forward, conference play is set to commence for most teams across the nation and here are five games that catch my fancy.
It remains to be seen whether Texas quarterback David Ash can continue his torrid start to the season but Oklahoma State is not exactly a juggernaut on defense. The Longhorns should be able to pound the ball and control the clock and have enough weapons on defense to force quarterback Wes Lunt into making some freshman mistakes.
2. Missouri Tigers (+2.5) at Central Florida Knights
There are some question marks over the health of Missouri quarterback James Franklin but he should be able to shake off the shoulder problem that has hindered him in recent weeks. The Tigers are in the SEC now and TJ Moe summed up Mizzou’s euphoria best when he said during the summer that, “they say girls are prettier here, air’s fresher and toilet paper is thicker.” Now the Tigers must take of business in Florida on Saturday as SEC teams don’t lose to Conference USA foes.
3. Oregon State (+3) at Arizona Wildcats
The honeymoon may be over for Rich Rodriguez as Arizona was manhandled by the Oregon Ducks last weekend and must recover quickly as Mike Riley’s team is set to pay a visit to Tucson on Saturday. The Beavers are fresh off their upset of the UCLA Bruins and should be able to take advantage of the Wildcats’ leaky defense. However, in the interest of full disclosure I must point out that I am a Michigan fan who may or may not harbour deep resentment towards Rich Rod. Bet this at your own discretion.
This is a tale of two teams going in very different directions. Tennessee opened the season with two straight wins before losing to Florida and struggling at home against the Akron Zips. On the other hand, Georgia dominated every facet of the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores last Saturday and look poised to do the same in Athens this weekend.
5. Ball State Cardinals (-2) at Kent State Golden Flashes
Not exactly sure why Ball State is not favoured by more than a field goal as they upset the South Florida Bulls last weekend and played admirably in a loss to the Clemson Tigers earlier in the season. Kent State is at home but has not beaten anyone of note and lost to the Kentucky Wildcats by 33 points. All signs point to a comfortable victory for the Cardinals.
The thought of taking Minny to win outright on the road is not exactly reassuring but Iowa has been awful this season. Jerry Kill‘s men are undefeated and should squeak out a win over the hapless Hawkeyes.
Follow me on Twitter @Max_Power78.