College Football Predictions: Week 5

It's tempting to get cavalier whenever one has a bunch of house money in hand, but instead I am scaling back the amount of picks in Week 5 from the usual six to four. This won't become standard. The marquee matchups on this particular card are just very weak, and I don't want anyone to lose their shirt on sub-standard plays.

YTD Record

1* = 2-3-1
2* = 5-1
3* = 5-1

As a reminder, the ranking system is as follows:

1* = Gun to my head, I'd play the team listed (risky)
2* = A good chance of covering; a worthy play (fairly confident)
3* = I will be playing this team for a large chunk of money (very confident)

Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech -9, 3:30 PM, ABC

The winner of this game will take control of the ACC coastal division for the time being, and while this may sound rather irrelevant, I doubt the stakes could be much higher for a meeting between this pair.

Virginia Tech enters 4-0, but has yet to play a legitimate opponent. Georgia Tech is 3-1 with the lone loss coming at home to Notre Dame. Both teams have active, aggressive defenses and promising yet inconsistent offenses.

I think Virginia Tech is horribly, horribly overrated, and they will be missing two key players due to suspension. Calvin Johnson will be the best player on the field, but that will mean little if Reggie Ball can't get him the ball. Georgia Tech plus the nine looks like a gift to me, and I am sure it will look real good to a lot of other geniuses, as well.

The play: Virginia Tech 1*

Alabama +14 @ Florida, 3:30 PM, CBS

Alabama caused a ton of pain last week both for their own fans, and for the people that bet on Arkansas at –2.5. Alabama's kicker probably doesn't have many fans in the Deep South right now. The missed EP in overtime would have been too much for me to take. I am so glad I passed that game altogether. My deep-felt apologies go out to Alabama fans and Arkansas ticket holders alike.

While Alabama has to overcome a heart breaking loss, Florida must try to overcome the walking turnover that is Chris Leak. If Virginia Tech is the most overrated team in the country right now, then Florida is the second most. Urban Meyer has things headed in the right direction, but I think they'll be better off once Chris Leak moves on. He just makes terrible decisions under pressure.

This a tough call, I still think Florida wins this one, but Alabama has a strong enough running game and defense to keep this one tight into the fourth quarter. I just hope the cover doesn't boil down to a FG attempt.

The play: Alabama 2*

Michigan @ Minnesota +8, 8:00 PM, ESPN

There are a lot of dynamics to consider in this game. Minnesota beat Michigan for the first time in many a year last season on the road, so you could call it a revenge game for Michigan. At the same time Michigan hosts rival Michigan State next week, so they could be looking ahead, thus making this a trap game for the Wolverines, as well. I am not sure how much, if at all any of these factors matter, but they are worth considering.

Everything on paper points to a double-digit victory for Michigan, but the game is being played at the Triple H dome, which will really help Minnesota's cause. Lloyd Carr has a tendency to make things harder than they need to be when it comes to finishing games. I wouldn't be shocked if Minnesota won outright, so naturally I expect them to keep things tight.

The play: Minnesota 2*

Ohio State @ Iowa +7, 8:00 PM, ABC

This is the big one. No. 1 Ohio St travels to Iowa City to take on the unbeaten Hawkeyes. This game will go a long way towards determining the Big 10 champion, and in Ohio State's case, whether or not a trip to Glendale for the national title game is in the cards. Motivation should not be an issue on either side here.

I expected the odds-makers to list Ohio State as a four-point favorite in this game, so I was a little surprised to see the number this high. My guess is the books knew they were going to get unbalanced Ohio State action no matter what, and in turn wanted to draw in some sharp Iowa action to balance things out. Thus, the number hovers around a seven.

This is a huge spot for Iowa, and I'll be shocked if they get blown-out at home given the environment and the quality of their coaching. Ohio State has loads of talent, but I think they go down here outright, although I'll be taking the seven points just to be safe.

The play: Iowa 3*

Please keep in mind that I am evaluating the most popular games for the purposes of this article. These games are not necessarily the best options available. You can more picks, results, and opinions on sports wagering at Ryan Hojnacki's website. This article is for entertainment purposes only. Sports wagering is not legal is most jurisdictions in the U.S. Sports Central does not encourage any individual to partake in illegal activities and holds no responsibility for actions taken as a result of this article. Check with your local laws before engaging in any wagering activities.

Comments and Conversation

September 27, 2006


why are you taking Virginia Tech if Ga. Tech plus 9 looks like a gift?

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