The national champions and number 1 team in the nation, Alabama, should continue their perfect start hosting a worse than their record team in Ole Miss, while Oregon have a tricky visit to Seattle against Washington State and LSU play another FCS team. West Virginia make their Big 12 debut hosting Baylor, while Ohio State facing Michigan State is another interesting ranked teams matchup.
Ole Miss (3-1) at #1 Alabama (4-0), 9:15 PM
You can talk about Ole Miss’ improvement with their no huddle offense all you want, already winning one more game than they won all of last season. They put up 488 yards per game. They’re averaging an SEC high 259.8 yards a game on the ground, which is 11 more than Alabama have allowed all season. But in comes Alabama defense – They allow only 5.3 points per game, second in the nation. They allow only 185 yards per game, third in the nation. Their offense might not be lightning fast, but it’s good enough to show Ole Miss that everything they did so far this season means nothing against the best team in the nation.
#2 Oregon (4-0) at Washington State (2-2), 10:30 PM
Mismatch once again, with Oregon boosted by their one-spot jump in the rankings thanks to their 49-0 demolition of Arizona, showing a bit of defense to go along with the most explosive offense in the nation – 7th in rushing yards, 5th in total yards and 4th in points scored. Against that, the pass happy but terrible rushing game of the Mike Leach and Washington State (only 59 yards on the ground) gave up their home advantage to play in Seattle, where they are 5-4. Even there, they won’t handle the Ducks’ speed.
Towson (2-1) at #3 LSU (4-0), 7:00 PM
Fifth week of the season, and LSU are still playing FCS teams, in a Tiger derby that won’t say much about Les Miles’ team other that they can crush cupcakes on their schedule. The running joke this week was “where the hell is Towson.” Answer? Maryland. Other than that, anything but a huge win for LSU, who allow only 10.3 points per game so far this season, trying to see if Mettenberger can bounce back from his bad game against Auburn. He shouldn’t have too many problems.
#4 Florida State (4-0) at South Florida (2-2), 6:00 PM
This is only the second time these schools meet, but no one on both sides forgets that South Florida beat the Seminoles 17-7 in 2009. The Bulls’ quarterback, B.J. Daniels, is still playing for South Florida, was a redshirt freshman at the time. An upset isn’t likely this time, given the fact that since their 4-0 start in 2011, USF are only 3-9 under Skip Holtz, and Florida State come in confident after their big win over Clemson. The 49-37 victory did show their character and offensive ability (second in the nation with 56.3 points per game), but some worries on the defensive side. Still, worries or not, they have enough to get by a team that doesn’t have much but their starting quarterback.
Tennessee (3-1) at #5 Georgia (4-0), 3:30
The Vols, who already lost their first SEC game to division rivals Florida, are headed over into Sanford Stadium to face a team that has scored at least 40 points in each of their first four wins, including against Missouri and Vanderbilt in the conference. While Tennessee’s Tyler Bray is putting up big numbers (1301 yards, 12 touchdowns) with his excellent receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson, Georgia just have too much offense, especially when the running game is involved, with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, to drop this one at home.
#6 South Carolina (4-0) at Kentucky (1-3), 7:00 PM
Kentucky give up more than 400 yards per game, and that’s all that Connor Shaw, fully at the helm at quarterback once again, and Marcus Lattimore, averaging 4.6 yards per carry through the first four games back from his injury, need to know. This game is mostly about South Carolina’s own streak, trying to win nine in a row for the first time since 1984 and have a 5-0 start along with a 3-0 conference start for the first time since 2001 under Lou Holtz. Kentucky haven’t beaten a ranked opponent in over two years, losing seven straight matchups.
#25 Baylor (3-0) at #9 West Virginia (3-0), 12:00 PM
Baylor are the team chosen to guide West Virginia in their Big 12 debut, and all the people who have Geno Smith leading their Heisman boards will see just how big of a number he can put up against a bit more serious of a threat. Baylor are more known from their offense, ranked 5th in the nation in points scored (51.3) and are right up there with West Virginia when it comes to passing yards, both teams ranked top 5 in the nation.
Big key for the Bears? Taking away Smith’s deep balls for over 15 yards. When he completed over 50% of those passes, the Mountaineers are 17-0. Winner? Baylor have one of the worst defenses in the nation, which is enough for WVU to keep putting up big numbers and win.
The rest of the top 25 games –
#12 Texas (3-0) at Oklahoma State (2-1), 7:50 PM
#14 Ohio State (4-0) at #20 Michigan State (3-1), 3:30 PM
#15 TCU (3-0) at SMU (1-2), 7:00 PM
#17 Clemson (3-1) at Boston College (1-2), 3:30 PM
#18 Oregon State (2-0) at Arizona (3-1), 10:00 PM
#19 Louisville (4-0) at Southern Miss (0-3), 8:00 PM
Wisconsin (3-1) at #22 Nebraska (3-1), 8:00 PM
#24 Boise State (2-1) at New Mexico (2-2), 6:00 PM