2017 Week 6 NCAAF Weekend Preview

October 7, 2017

I didn’t get to watch any games last week, because I was in Prague.

So, moving on – I lost again in the head-to-head prediction game. So the records following Nate’s victory now look like this:

K. Becks – 13-12

Guests – 16-9

This week, Week 4 guest Jack managed to convince his brother-in-law Tommy to join the blog for a second straight season. We’ve got an extra special game in this week’s 5 to Watch as a result. I bet most readers can’t figure out which one…

Let’s take a look at the top games to watch this weekend.

5 Games to Pay Attention to This Weekend

#5 Georgia at Vanderbilt (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

I have already taken a chance on a Tennessee team beating the Bulldogs (last week, actually) and it did not work out for me. Further, I have foolishly continued to think that Georgia’s offense will at some point stall – it hasn’t happened yet. So, while I’m a fan of the pretty even matchup here with regards to the defensive battle, I think that the No. 5 team in the country will continue to have enough offensive firepower to remain unbeaten.

You’re welcome, Georgia fans, for the kiss of death.

My Pick: 31-17 Georgia

Tommy’s Take: At 5-0, Georgia has jumped out of the gates to be one of the top college football juggernauts. Look for that trend to continue against Vanderbilt as the Bulldogs should roll, 27-3.

Western Carolina at Wofford (Saturday, 1:30 PM ET)

I know nothing of either of these teams, as my focus on college football’s FCS division has recently taken a backseat to searching for obscure futbol jerseys on questionable websites.

However, I do know that Tommy is a former BMOC at Wofford and seeing as how his analysis has already been more profound than mine through two predictions, I will defer to the current expert on Terriers football.

My Pick: 44-41 Wofford

Tommy’s Take: In what might be one of the top FCS games to watch this weekend, the Catamounts of Western Carolina head down the mountain to take on Wofford in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Wofford hopes to grind out the clock with the triple option and keep Western Carolina’s high octane offense off the field. With two single point victories already under its belt, Wofford has the slight edge at home, 28-27.

#23 West Virginia at #8 TCU (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

The Horned Frogs have started this season out as well as anyone in the Dallas-Forth Worth area could have hoped – unbeaten record, strengths on both sides of the football and an apparent renewed energy in head coach Gary Patterson. In this game, the statistics coming in may prove to tell the tale before kickoff. TCU and West Virginia are the top two offenses in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game, but only the Horned Frogs have been able to stop the opponent on the ground this season.

Assuming that Will Grier doesn’t have a career game for the Mountaineers, TCU should be able to control the clock, keep West Virginia’s offense off the field for long portions and suffocate any chance of a comeback with the strong run game as the fourth quarter winds down.

My Pick: 35-27 TCU

Tommy’s Take: A huge showdown in the Big 12 pits West Virginia against TCU in Fort Worth. Both coming off of bye weeks, TCU has been the more impressive team, and looks to make another statement win at home to impress the playoff committee. TCU rolls, 45-21.

#1 Alabama at Texas A&M (Saturday, 7:15 PM ET)

Is something wrong about this picture? Texas A&M, a 4-1 football team whose only loss is in a 45-44 stunner against UCLA in which the Aggies were the victims of the biggest comeback in FBS history, are somewhere around 17 point underdogs heading into this game.

No. Nothing is wrong with this picture. Kevin Sumlin’s team has hung on in two other games to best mediocre SEC competition and the meltdown in the season opener is a sign of a lingering lack of focus that seems to have plagued this program since Sumlin took over. The Crimson Tide have no time for cute stuff, and will cover the spread.

My Pick: 41-20 Alabama

Tommy’s Take: Even though Texas A&M is only a point away from being undefeated, Alabama has rolled every one of its opponents with ease. Expect the same as the Crimson Tide storm into College Station Saturday night, 49-10.

#11 Washington State at Oregon (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

Willie Taggart’s ability to turn programs around quickly is quickly developing into college football folklore, as the first year man previously responsible for reviving Western Kentucky and South Florida is doing the same out west in Eugene. The Ducks are back to their potent offensive ways, bringing an extremely balanced offense (276 yards passing, 260 yards rushing per game) to the table. Defensively, Taggart has rid the program of a broken system and breathed life into a defense that looked lost under Mark Helfrich. The Ducks are now a respectable fourth in the Pac-12 in total defense.

However, with as much praise as I just gave Oregon, dead men tell no tales after dealing with The Pirate. Mike Leach has once again brought positive media to the Pullman, Washington area, and it looks like this year the Apple Cup may be the most significant rivalry battle at the end of the season. Despite having to deal with the Autzen Zoo on Saturday evening, I think the Cougars finally have what it takes to consistently go on the road and come out as victors.

Also, it’s the game on this list with the best opportunity to be a back-and-forth show. Might as well coin flip it.

My Pick: 44-41 Washington State

Tommy’s Take: Washington State has been impressive this season, and it deserve its top 15 ranking. What’s odd is this week is its first road game, and heading to Eugene is no small task, whether you’re battling for PAC-12 football supremacy or trying to make the US Track and Field Olympic Team. My nod goes to the home team in a close contest: Oregon 38-35.

5 Games to Flip To

#4 Penn State at Northwestern (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

Northwestern may have gotten robbed of a huge victory over Wisconsin last weekend, and Penn State is no stranger to close Big Ten contests on the road this season. This one could be really entertaining.

#13 Miami (FL) at Florida State (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

The records don’t reflect what we thought would happen before the season began, but this is still an interesting matchup. Florida State could really call into question Miami’s defensive juggernaut status with a good showing.

Michigan State at #7 Michigan (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

This is the first time in the history of the rivalry that Michigan State and Michigan will play each other under the lights. Expect lots of action without the scoring – this one should be a classic Big Ten battle on the ground.

#9 Wisconsin at Nebraska (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

If Wisconsin can win in Lincoln on Saturday night, the schedule becomes very favorable through the rest of the regular season. It’s time to stop sleeping on the Badgers as true Playoff contenders.

#25 Central Florida at Cincinnati (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

The Knights are now in the Top 25, meaning that the climb to a ranking which would allow the AAC member to play in a major bowl game is quietly being monitored by college football pundits. Nippert Stadium at night is a quite impressive spectacle, however, so the road remains tough for UCF.

If you would like to become a guest prognosticator like Tommy did this week, please let me know in one of the following ways: email me at kbecks@aroundthecorn.com, send me a message on Around The Corn’s Facebook page, post a comment under this article or send me a tweet @KBecks_ATC. Opportunities to become a guest prognosticator will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Thanks everyone.

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