Thursday Thoughts; What to Watch in Week 5 of College Football

Nothing gets me more excited than a weekend full of football, and boy oh boy does this weekend deliver! ESPN was so enthusiastic for the upcoming games that they began promoting the matchups for this weekend while the afternoon slot of contests last weekend  were still being played. There’s plenty of reason to it though, as there are three matchups within the top ten AP ranked teams in a single weekend.

 

This will mark a new segment here on the site entitled “Thursday Thoughts”, in which each Thursday, I will pick 3 of the best matchups I can find in college football, present you with my thoughts, and because I am a sucker for humiliation, a prediction for the final score. Feel free to taunt me as you please once the games are over and I am, inevitably, horribly mistaken.

 

The weekend jumps to an early start when the 10th ranked Washington Huskies take on the 7th ranked Stanford Cardinal on Friday, with kickoff scheduled for 9PM EST. At the time of writing this, the spread favors the Huskies by 3.5 points, just .5 above the 3 points given for home field advantage. The largest question looming over Washington this weekend is whether their defense can handle Christian McCaffrey. As I haven’t watched much of the Huskies this year, it may not be my place to take a vote, but I tend to lean towards a Cardinal victory in this one, with Washington limping out of Tucson last weekend with an overtime victory.

My Score Prediction: STANFORD 31-24

 

The action continues the following afternoon when the 4-0 and 8th ranked Wisconsin Badgers cross Lake Michigan and head into Ann Arbor to take on the 4th ranked Michigan Wolverines in a 3:30 PM EST matchup on Saturday. On paper, this matchup seems slanted by around 10 points in Michigan’s favor, but games aren’t played on paper, and my gut tells me that this will be much more interesting than Vegas expects. The Badgers have so far been not only able to shut down the 5th ranked (at the time) LSU Tigers on a “neutral” field (the game was played in Green Bay, Wisconsin. A measly 2 hours and 15 minutes away from Madison), but travel to East Lansing as well to batter 8th ranked Michigan State. Will this game yield the same results as their previous two efforts against top 10 teams? I don’t think so. Michigan’s defense has proven itself as tough as they come for a second straight year, and the offense is no joke either, averaging 52 points per contest. I think Michigan manages to easily end the impressive run Wisconsin has put together, and sends the Badgers scurrying out of Ann Arbor.

My Score Prediction: MICHIGAN 42-17

 

The trio of top 10 matchups concludes with the epic showdown of Lamar Jackson and the hottest team in college football, the 3rd ranked Louisville Cardinals, making their way to Memorial Stadium to take on Deshaun Watson and the 5th ranked Clemson Tigers. This game should be an interesting one, pitting two of the leading Heisman candidates against each other in a battle of offenses, with Vegas setting the over/under at 68 points. I’ve got a bold prediction for this one, so buckle up and get ready! I think individually, Lamar Jackson will far outperform Deshaun Watson, but in a losing effort as the Tigers top the Cardinals. I think Clemson stingy defense will hold strong early, forcing Louisville to rely on their star more and more as the game goes on. In the end though, I think Watson and the Tigers will get the most important stat: A win.

My Score Prediction: CLEMSON 38-34

 

So how close do you think I will be? Only time will tell, but I’ll tell you right now, the road to the College Football Playoffs may look a lot different in 3 days time.

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