No. 3 Alabama at No. 12 Florida (Gainesville, FL, Saturday, 8pm, CBS)
The Florida Gators enter week five of the college football season with one hell of an offense. The Gators are averaging just over 40 points per contest, and 462 yards of total offense. Unlike past Florida offenses, the run game is what’s most dominant with the Gators racking up a top-10 worthy 259 ypg. Chris Rainey is doing his best (pre-NFL) Reggie Bush impression and Jeff Demps could be the starting RB at most schools. Too bad they’re facing the dominant, suffocating defense of the Alabama Crimson Tide. It seems Alabama has three or four games every season where they face a high powered offense and they shut them down every time, b. It never fails. Facing a Florida offense that hasn’t passed the ball too great this season puts the game in Alabama’s favor. This would be a great win for the Gators seeing as they play top ranked LSU next week. They need at least one win in these two weeks. As much as I’d like to Chris Rainey cook up and down the field against the Tide, my realism tells me it will not happen. Alabama’s a 4 1/2 point favorite as they should be. This game will go to the Crimson Tide.
No. 7 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Nebraska (Madison, WI, Saturday, 8pm, ABC)
The Wisconsin Badgers welcome the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the Big Ten in what may be the most intriguing game of the week. Both of these teams are in the run for the BCS title, this game could be a preview of the Big Ten championship game, and both squads are headed by Heisman hopeful quarterbacks. Both teams have put up crazy numbers (Wisconsin has outscored four opponents 194-34), but neither team has faced anyone worth mentioning. That makes it hard to implement stats into a decision on who will win this game, but a few stats do stand out. Nebraska is giving up an average of 22 points against unworthy opponents while Wisconsin is putting up 48 and only giving up 8. Therefore, I think this game will come down to which quarterback has the bigger game; Nebraska’s dual threat Taylor Martinez or Wisconsin’s undersized yet successful Russell Wilson. Martinez will get his fair share of shine, but Wisconsin’s defense should control him for the most part. I expect Wilson to pick apart Nebraska’s defense en route to a win to keep the Badgers undefeated season alive.
No. 11 Virginia Tech vs. No. 13 Clemson (Blacksburg, VA, Saturday, 6pm, ESPN)
Believe it or not, but the Clemson Tigers are the hottest team in NCAA football right now. They have went from being an un-ranked, non-contender, to knocking on the door of the top 10 in a matter of weeks. They have been very impressive in the past two weeks knocking off then No. 21 Auburn and No. 11 Florida State. While the Tigers have been proving themselves against stiff competition, the Hokies of Virginia Tech have been on a joy ride. The Hokies haven’t played any noteworthy teams yet, and what stands out is the fact they haven’t been very impressive against these teams. They have been playing very comfortable and up to competition. If Virginia Tech wants to make head coach Frank Beamer’s 300th game a good one, then they need to step it up. Clemson is playing with a deserved high confidence level and are on fire. The Tigers have been putting up 35+ points all season, but I don’t expect that against a tough Hokie defense. Although the Hokies are a 7 point favorite, I think Clemson will take this one and achieve their third straight “upset.”
No. 14 Texas A&M “at” No. 18 Arkansas (Arlington, TX, 12pm, ESPN)
Notice the quotations I put around the word ‘at’ in the game title? That’s because this isn’t really a road game for the Aggies of Texas A&M. This neutral site game will be under the big lights at Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Honestly, besides the fact both of these teams lost last week and need a win to keep their BCS hopes alive, this game really has no significance. What it does have is a preview of the new SEC. Texas A&M officially joined the SEC this past Sunday and will most likely be in the SEC West right along with Arkansas. Two very good offenses versus two sub par defenses may be subject for a high scoring affair. Either way, this should be a good game to watch. Look for A&M to cover their 3 1/2 point spread plus some.