My gut feeling this week is that this would be the week in the season where I didn't do a FIVE. Part of the reasoning for this was that I'm one step below awful this year (7-23 ATS so far with no signs of improvement) and the 2nd reason was that I'm looking over the lines and I'm less than enthused.
That said, I made a commitment at the beginning of the season to see this through whether good or bad so....here we go....
With little fanfare (and diminishing readership) the Week 6 FIVE:
1. Maryland (-1) @ Penn State. The conventional wisdom here is that Maryland hasn't played anyone of note yet and Penn State has, so that means Penn State is not as bad as everyone thinks they might be. The problem with this line of thinking is that, Penn State has lost to every good team they've played. Maryland 24 Penn State 17. Maryland to cover -1.
2. Texas vs. Oklahoma (-10.5). With Oklahoma ranked #20 and Texas un-ranked this is the lowest national profile this game has had in years. But it's still a rivalry game and it's still one of the better spectacles in sport. And it's still must-watch TV. Oklahoma's win over TCU was big last week, and I think Strong is in the midst of losing this Longhorn team. Texas 10 OU 31. Oklahoma to cover -10.5.
3. Notre Dame @ North Carolina State (-2). The thought here is that Notre Dame cannot stop a stiff Jr. High marching band, so NC State should score more than them. The problem with that thinking is that ND has more athletes. I think Duke was a wake-up call. The Irish will still struggle against teams with athletic offenses, but not here. Notre Dame 24 NCSt 20. Notre Dame on the ML.
4. Tennessee @ Texas A&M (-7). The battle for the interim "team with the best chance to lose least badly to Alabama" in the overrated (this year) and unbalanced SEC. Tennessee has been living the charmed life so far, I think their fairly dust runs out against an aTm defense that I admittedly underrated. But that's a LOT of points. Tennessee 24 aTm 27. Tennessee to cover +7.
5. Colorado @ USC (-5). The Trojans have lost all 3 road games badly, and won both home games they've played in dominating fashion. Colorado is improved, but the talent gaps is too big here with a team that plays much, much better at home. RunRalphieRun 27 USC 34. USC to cover -5.
A quick run-down of 'other' games.....
Iowa (-15) @ Minnesota. Is Iowa in the middle of a meltdown? Or are they just in a slump? I think it could be the former given that they have little to speak of on offense. It's games like these that Minnesota's porous defense isn't that much of a liability. Iowa 24 Minnesota 26.
LSU (-3) @ Florida. Florida will still probably be without Luke Del Rio and LSU is suddenly looking much, much better. We've sung this verse before. LSU 31 Florida 10.
Toledo (-17) @ Eastern Michigan. The EMU's are 4-1 and have a chance to make a bowl. This is a feel-good story that should continue throughout the season despite hitting a small bump in the road at home this week. Toledo is a good team. Toledo 38 EMU 10.
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina (-2.5). Believe it or not, this is a battle of Top 25 teams. Va Tech 36 UNC 45.
Alabama (-14) @ Arkansas. These types of matchups show just how shallow the SEC is this year. Bama 42 Arkansas 14.
Houston (-17) @ Navy. I expect the Cougars to do OK against Navy's running attack. Where I worry for them is the game after this because of the gear shift that Tulsa provides. UH 48 Navy 14.
Texas Tech @ Kansas State (-7). Mahomes III is out of this game and the thinking is that the Wizard of the Little Apple is going to finally get his. This is a tough game to call because Tech's defense is historically awful and K-State can't score. Call it a coin flip. Tech 35 K-State 37.
Washington (-8.5) @ Oregon. By Mark Helfrich. Washington 38 Oregon 6.
Florida State @ Miami (-3). Starting to think Jimbo has one foot out the door. FSU 17 Miami 24.
1. The small school that I'm now pulling for to improve things, as long as they're not playing Michigan.
UNLV @ San Diego State (-14). UNLV true Freshman QB Dalton Moore is a beautiful disaster of a player. I'm so pulling for UNLV to turn it around. Unfortunately, this year, WR injuries could be harmful. And the Aztecs are good, and MAD after being upset last weekend. UNLV 21 SDSt 48.
2. I'm (sort of) starting to believe a little bit. (but I still think we lose to Ohio State).
Michigan (-28) @ Rutgers. To be honest, I see this as a glorified scrimmage game for Michigan. The score will be whatever Harbaugh wants it to be. Michigan 52 Rutgers 6.
Enjoy the week of college football (which starts Wednesday night FWIW)