Roy's Picks: Week No. 5

A new column from publisher Roy Philpott previewing this weekend's games.

Clemson at Wake Forest (3:30 PM ESPN-U)
Wake Forest has played Clemson tough in each of the last four years under head coach Jim Grobe. Why would this game be any different? The Tigers are also coming off two emotional losses, in overtime, to two ranked teams. Going on the road in the ACC is never easy, and facing a team that uses misdirection and multiple formations to confuse defenses only complicates matters. But this year, the Deacs have the Tigers' attention. Clemson wins, but this one stays slightly uncomfortable for all four quarters. Tigers by 5.

Roy's Pick: Wake Forest (+6); Clemson Straight Up

South Carolina at Auburn (7:00 PM ESPN-2)
If you're a South Carolina fan, the good news is you beat Troy last weekend in what appeared to be an easy win (45-20). The bad news is your team is struggling mightily at the point of attack and you also lost starting quarterback Blake Mitchell to an ankle injury. Redshirt freshman Antonio Heffner gets the call as Mitchell's replacement this weekend in Auburn. As long as Auburn keeps it simple and stays on the ground with Kenny Irons, the Tigers will have no problems. Auburn by 17.

Roy's Pick: Auburn (-12.5); Auburn Straight Up

Utah at North Carolina (1:30 PM)
The Tar Heels are coming off an impressive road win against archrival N.C. State. This weekend, head coach John Bunting and company continue an impressive out of conference schedule when they welcome the Utes into Chapel Hill. Problem is, the Utes are the Utes of last year that went to the BCS. The Tar Heels ride a big wave of momentum to a double-digit home win. Tar Heels by 10.

Roy's Pick:North Carolina (-3.5); North Carolina Straight Up

No. 5 Florida at No. 15 Alabama (3:30 PM CBS)
The Gators and Crimson Tide meet for the first time in six years Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. Don't be surprised if this one ends up as a low-scoring game with both teams ranking among the top 10 teams in the country in total defense (Florida - 5th, Alabama - 7th). Alabama gets the slight edge at home. Tide by 7.

Roy's Pick: Alabama (+4); Alabama Straight Up

No. 19 Virginia (-3.5) at Maryland (12:00 PM JP)
Maryland is coming off a less than impressive road win over Wake Forest. Meanwhile Virginia is starting to warm up after a thrashing of Duke. Virginia has won 11 of the last 13 meetings with Maryland. That trend continues Saturday at Byrd Stadium; even it comes in ugly fashion. Hoos by 9.

Roy's Pick: Virginia (-3.5); Virginia Straight Up

Updated 2005 Record: Straight Up: 13-7; Spread: 14-6

Last Week: Straight Up: 3-2; Spread: 4-1 Top Stories