Week 5 Preview

Had a discussion with a friend earlier this week when they commented about it being another bad slate of games. Which at first glance it does appear to be the case, but when you get past the lack of “Brand Names” it’s really not a bad slate of games. Just like the last 2 weeks. My thought is that with the SEC being down from what we are used to the last decade that a lot of the marquee names (which reside in the SEC) don’t pop off at you. We also have a few ranked teams playing each other and a few ranked teams on the road against un-ranked decent teams. Unfortunately some of those ranked teams just don’t pop off at you. USC at Washington St (both top 16 teams) doesn’t grab your attention like Alabama at Ole Miss in years past (similar match-up). Anyways this slate of games is better than it appears at first glance and should be a good weekend of Football (certainly a better week than College Basketball is having…).

Last week was one of the worst weeks in the last 4 years of Simplified Football predicting games. Went 3-3 with the big games (not too bad), but went 7-9 overall. Brings yearly totals to 11-7 and 26-18. Still good yearly totals. Hopefully we’ll bounce back this week.


USC @ Washington St:

This is a really tricky match-up for USC. Friday night game on the road against a team with a (so-far) solid defense and an experience QB. Often that is a recipe for upsets. USC is clearly the more talented team, but Washington St is no slouch. Read earlier this week about Mike Leach’s best team that went 11-2 and was a strong contender down the wire to play in the NC game (until a late upset), was the only year he had a solid defense. It’s a year similar to this year. This will be their stiffest test yet, while USC has already played a couple tough, and talented teams and came out with victories. I think this will be lower scoring than many expect (Over is 64.5) I have it well under that, similar to the Texas v USC game. Washington State will hang tough and give USC everything they can handle, but in the end will fall just short.

USC 28 – Wash St 24


Memphis @ UCF:

Both of these AAC schools have had big wins over prominent Power 5 programs that last 2 weeks with Memphis beating UCLA and UCF whooping Maryland. Both teams seem to be legit teams that would at least compete for a bowl bid in any conference. UCF has a good offense with a better defense and Memphis has a very good offense with a below average defense. This looks like it should be a high scoring affair. Home Field advantage should be a deciding factor here. Memphis almost had a let-down last week against an FCS team after beating UCLA. UCF will try and avoid the let-down this week after beating Maryland last week.

UCF 41 – Memphis 35


Mississippi St @ Auburn:

Mississippi St came up very short against UGA a week after destroying LSU. I think the true value of their team will be somewhere in the middle, and that is what we will see this week against Auburn. Auburn’s offense has been severely lacking so far this year, but their defense is performing at a very high level. Should be a pretty low scoring game as they both match-up pretty evenly across from each other. I think Auburn’s defense comes up big again and they get a few big plays to put the game away at home.

Auburn 24 – Miss St 14


Northwestern @ Wisconsin:

This is probably the best match-up in the Big Ten this week. It’s not saying much. There is a pretty big discrepancy between the Top teams and everyone else in the Big Ten. Wisconsin should control this game from beginning to end. They are better in every facet of the game…and more experienced. They should be able to shut them down and have no issues running the football.

Wisconsin 41 – Northwestern 14


Oklahoma St @ Texas Tech:

A ranked team on the road against an undefeated conference rival. Both of these offenses are very high powered and can put up points in a hurry. Oklahoma States is better and their defense is better to. Should be a fun game to watch with a lot of back and forth scoring, especially to start the game. Oklahoma St will be able to force a few turnovers and/or get a couple stops when needed to put the game out of reach. Rudolph and Washington will have a BIG game.

Oklahoma St 52 – Texas Tech 35


Clemson @ Virginia Tech:

Going to Blacksburg at night is a tough environment for even the most experienced and talented teams. This is definitely a game Clemson needs to watch out for. It is definitely a prime spot for a big upset. Fuentes is an excellent coach and VT has a very good defense. They will try and force Clemson into committing some turnovers in the passing game. If VT can be +2 in turnover margin than they will have an excellent chance at upsetting Clemson. I think Virginia Tech will be able to control this game and play how they want to. But Clemson’s defense is just too good and it bails their offense out and sets up a couple of scores for Clemson. Clemson wins a big road game.

Clemson 24 – Virginia Tech 21


Other games:

Miami over Duke

UF over Vandy

GT over UNC

Tennessee with the upset over UGA

FSU over Wake

Alabama over Ole Miss

San Diego St over Northern Illinois

UCLA over Colorado


Simplified Football Playoff teams:





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