Scott Moore Picks Week 5 Winners
With five games matching top 20 teams Saturday, some dreams will be dashed, some put on hold, and some will march onward in victory with the one word college football's gauntlet teaches: Endurance.
During a college football game there are the highest highs and the lowest lows, but ultimately to endure. Those that can this weekend will have the chance later to stake a claim of BCS National Champion.
It's a special weekend and now on to the picks.
Thursday ESPN Game
Texas A&M at Oklahoma State
Both teams come in without a blemish on their records, but also without much acclaim leading into the nationally televised showcase. It's the first time the Aggies have been on TV this season. The Cowboys will be trying to win three straight games for the first time in a series they trail 17-8. Texas A&M had won 10 of the previous 12 games, including one-point decisions in 2006 and 2007, before OSU's recent success. Both of these teams are high octane offense and this one will be a blast of an appetizer for this week's other more intriguing match-ups. Both can score a lot of points, but look for the Aggies defense and Texas A&M's fantastic QB Jerrod Johnson (the preseason Big 12 player of the year) to make the difference. Texas A&M 35 Oklahoma State 28.
No. 10 Auburn vs Louisiana-Monroe
Auburn will host Louisiana-Monroe, which the Tigers have beaten in all seven previous meetings. Junior college transfer QB Cam Newton has been a revelation on The Plains. Two weeks ago, he helped the Tigers erase a 14-point halftime deficit to beat Clemson and his five TDs powered a comeback win against South Carolina a week ago. He's leading the SEC in both rushing and passing efficiency. This is the ol' stats game and Newton certainly has glowing ones to this point. A yawner Saturday at Jordan-Hare. Auburn 49 La Monroe 17
No. 16 Miami (FL) at Clemson
Clemson could learn from Miami's example in responding coming off a bye week. The Canes followed a disappointing loss at Ohio State with a 31-3 win at Pitt on Thursday. The Tigers spent last week licking their wounds following an OT loss at Auburn. All three meetings between these teams since Miami joined the ACC have gone to OT. Clemson holds the edge, 2-1, with the road team winning each game. The Tigers have had two weeks to lick their wounds after losing a battle with another feline that left them battered and bruised. The loss to Auburn showed us many things about this club and playing at home against a Hurricane that can't seem to make up its mind whether to make land fall or head in another direction will ultimately be the edge Clemson needs to get it done. Clemson 28 Miami 24.
No. 2 Ohio State at Illinois
It was the Terrelle Pryor show last week in a 73-20 win over Eastern Michigan, as the junior quarterback scored six touchdowns. The Buckeyes' Big Ten-opening trip to Champaign, Ill., will be their first venture outside the cozy confines of the Horseshoe, where they'll face a 2-1 Illinois team coming off a bye week. It's not an inhospitable setting for Ohio State, which hasn't lost at Illinois since 1991. The fighting Zooks shocked the world in 2007 by beating the No. 1 Buckeyes in the Horseshoe and sending the Illini to the Rose Bowl. Since that magical season the Illinois program has been on steady decline and the Buckeyes just keep rolling along under Senator Tressel. The same scenario should continue this weekend. Ohio State 34 Illinois 10.
No. 19 Michigan at Indiana
Denard Robinson is expected to play against Indiana after injuring his knee during last week's win over Bowling Green. The Wolverines are off to their second consecutive 4-0 start and hope 2010 bodes better than 2009, when a late-season collapse saw them lose seven of their remaining eight games. The Hoosiers are led by QB Ben Chappell, who leads the Big Ten in passing with almost 297 yards. This is a dangerous game for Michigan and with the schedule getting tougher a must win for Wolverines if they are going to continue their resurgence. A healthy Denard Robinson, and then this is almost certain to be a scoring war in which the Wolverines have done an excellent job with so far this season. Michigan 38 Indiana 28
No. 12 LSU vs Tennessee
The last time these teams met was in the 2007 SEC championship game, a 21-14 Tigers win that propelled them to a BCS title. Tennessee has since fallen on hard times while LSU has yet to reclaim that lofty perch. Les Miles has reaffirmed his faith in his struggling starting QB Jordan Jefferson, who hasn't thrown a TD pass or eclipsed 100 yards in his past three games. He could be on a short leash. The Vols are going to have a very difficult time heading into the Tiger Den with the rifles and covered wagons very low on ammunition. The Tigers are still struggling to become the offensive team most experts and fans expected, but this week should solve some of those issues at least in the interim. LSU 24 Tennessee 10.
No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 24 Michigan State
The Big Ten's marquee match up just might be in East Lansing, Mich., this week. Mark Dantonio plans to coach Michigan State after missing last week's win over Northern Colorado while recovering from a mild heart attack. The Spartans have eclipsed 200 yards rushing in each of their four games and face a similarly potent run attack: Wisconsin ranks 10th nationally in rushing yards per game. The Badgers are an outstanding classic power football team against a MSU team that is running it very well themselves. Mark Dantonio will be back coaching the Spartans albeit from the press box and I like Sparty to turn it up a few notches and steal an upset at Camp Randall. Michigan State 24 Wisconsin 23.
No. 23 North Carolina State vs Virginia Tech
It's upstart ACC team versus traditional power fallen on hard times. NC State is buzzing about its first 4-0 start since 2002, while Virginia Tech quietly won its second in a row since falling off the national radar with losses to Boise State and FCS opponent James Madison to begin the season. It's been the Russell Wilson show for the Wolfpack. The junior QB leads the ACC with 299 yards a game. NC State has come out of nowhere and coming off the pounding of Georgia Tech rolls into this one with lots of Mo on its side. Va Tech has been a mild disappointment to say the least and this game could certainly add to the misery of the Hokies in 2010. NC State 27 Va Tech 21.
No. 8 Oklahoma vs No. 21 Texas
Texas enters the Red River Rivalry reeling after its 34-12 loss at home to UCLA. Oklahoma is unbeaten, but not by much, as the Sooners have had to overcome some nervous moments in narrow victories. Of course, a win is the perfect panacea for whatever ails these two. OU would welcome a more convincing defensive performance while UT is looking for something to spark its offense. Both of these teams are giants in college football and usually by the time the Texas State Fair rolls around, we know what to expect out of these two storied programs. The reality of the situation is this: for the first time in about 10 years neither team might not be the best team in the conference (see Nebraska), but will have a lot to say about who is. Shaky nod to the Sooners in this one, but only because they have been the most consistent team in game matching the two most inconsistent teams in the top 20. Did that come out right? I think you get the message. Oklahoma 24 Texas 20.
No. 1 Alabama vs No. 7 Florida
The winner of the past two match ups has gone on to win the national title, though both of those instances came in the SEC championship game. Between them, they've won 52 straight regular-season games (Alabama 28, Florida 24). The Gators exorcised some offensive demons last week in a 48-14 win over Kentucky while Mark Ingram led the Crimson Tide to a comeback win on the road at Arkansas. This will be the most talented team the Crimson Tide will play in 2010 and vise versa for the Gators. Alabama suddenly has a lot of doubters despite the Tide's win over a Top 10 team on the road. Florida finally began to come around in the beat down of Kentucky and is still the class of the SEC East. I have gone back and forth on this one all week and that's when you rely on conventional wisdom. Alabama figured out how to stuff Tebow and the Gator high octane offense a year ago and Florida is a different team with John Brantley at QB but still just a dangerous. The Alabama offense has rushed the ball at will on the Florida defense the past 2 seasons and a lot of those Gators defenders are now playing on Sunday while the bulk of the Crimson Tide players that have done all the damage are still wearing Crimson. Bottom line is simple. I don't think Florida can stop Alabama from running on them as much as Alabama can stop the Gators from running the football against the Crimson Tide. Alabama 27 Florida 20.
No. 4 Oregon vs No. 9 Stanford
Pole position in the Pac-10 title race will be on the line. The Cardinal won at Notre Dame last week, improving to 4-0 for the first time since 1986 and receiving their highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since ending the 1992 season at No. 9. They'll face the No. 1 scoring offense in the country, though it was the Ducks' defense that carried the day last week in a 42-31 win at Arizona State, forcing seven turnovers. Oregon has had a tough time with opponents that smack them around ( See The Vols ) but have been able to outscore people because other teams are having a hard time finishing drives. This Stanford team is very high scoring but also very methodical and play the game a lot like Alabama does. Running the ball and taking time off the clock and striking suddenly through the air. The best player in the Pac 10 is Andrew Luck and he has the ability to manage the game that can beat Oregon. Stanford 38 Oregon 35.
No. 17 Iowa vs No. 22 Penn State
The past two meetings between these teams have seen Iowa shock a Penn State team ranked in the top five. The Hawkeyes enter their Big Ten opener on the heels a 45-0 win over Ball State. The Nittany Lions had a tricky time overcoming Temple 22-13, but saw Evan Royster set a career high with 187 yards rushing -- more than his combined output through the previous three games. Both of these teams have been slightly disappointed in their collective 2010 efforts and the fact that Iowa beat Penn State the past two years when Penn State had the better team is not good news for Jo Pa. Iowa 24 Penn State 14.
BamaMag Top Stories
Alabama Softball Fans Get A Sneak PeekAlabama softball booster club hosts fall exhibition of Crimson Tide
BamaMagYesterday at 6:13 PM
Freshman LB Apologizes To Alabama SeniorMack Wilson scored first college touchdown in front of Alabama’s O.J. Howard
BamaMagYesterday at 12:53 PM
Alabama’s Ross Pierschbacher ComfortableRoss Pierschbacher likes what he sees from freshman tackle Jonah Williams
BamaMagYesterday at 9:42 AM
Alabama Vs. Orgeron’s LSU And Other QuestionsWhat might have been if LSU’s comeback had been successful
BamaMagYesterday at 8:46 AM