There’s some cracking action in college football this week. I’ve picked what I consider to be four important games which also have a lot of ‘watchability’ potential, and one other game deserving of an honourable mention. Enjoy! Top Week 6 College Football Games:
(4) Penn State @ Northwestern
Midday EST / 5pm GMT
Penn State, carried on the back of Heisman touted running back Saquon Barkley, roll into Evanston Illinois undefeated (5-0) to take on a 2-2 Wildcats team on whom the jury is still well and truly out. Though considered by many a trap game for Penn State given recent history, most notably a comfortable 29-6 victory at Beaver Stadium in 2014, I’m sticking to my guns and picking Penn State to win by two clear scores. Northwestern just aren’t talented enough to move the ball consistently against a stout Penn State defense, having averaged only 3.27 yards per play against Wisconsin and Duke.
(13) Miami @ FSU
3.30pm EST / 8.30pm GMT
Miami (3-0) lead Florida State (1-2) by just one game in the history of the rivalry (31-30). This game, a chance for the Seminoles to restore parity and revive their season, is a rearranged matchup due to the effects of Hurricane Irma, and not an easy game to unravel. FSU’s roster is arguably more talented on paper but they have a true freshman at QB in the inconsistent James Blackman, and Miami have a dangerous WR/RB combo in Ahmmon Richards and Mark Walton. It’s a gutsy pick but I fancy Miami to break the seven year losing streak in a close fought, 3 point victory.
Michigan State @ Michigan (7)
7.30pm EST / 12.30am GMT
In another intra-state rivalry, the 3-1 Spartans travel just 70 or so miles to Ann Arbor to face a 4-0 Wolverines team ranked 7th in the nation. Michigan State certainly have some hope of causing an upset, with a surprisingly decent defensive line (Mike Panasiuk in particularly) and multiple talents at wide receiver including Felton Davis and Darrell Stewart. However, it seems unlikely that the Spartans can hang with Michigan, whose defense will cause all kinds of problems for an offensive line not yet at a level which inspires too much trust. The unknown in this game is Wolverines’ Quarterback John O’Korn, standing in for Wilton Speight. There is a split among analysts and fans alike as to whether O’Korn is a step up or a step down from Speight. Either way, unless O’Korn completely capitulates, Michigan should be able to see off the Spartans by at least 10 points.
(11) Washington State @ Oregon
8pm EST / 1am GMT
On Thursday Mike Leach, head coach of undefeated (5-0) Washington State , caused a bit of a stir when asked about the loudest stadiums in College Football. He ranked Autzen stadium, home of the 4-1 Oregon Ducks, outside of the top 10. Oregon, who will be without starting quarterback Justin Herbert due to a broken collarbone, hardly needed any more motivational ammunition. They’ve started well this season, the defense having improved from allowing 41 points per game last year to just 26 thus far in 2017. The Cougars may be 5-0 but strangely they’re yet to play a road game this season, so even if Mike Leach isn’t worried about the noise in Eugene, there’s a decent chance of a reality check for Washington State. This one is too close to call, but if hard pressed, I’d fall on the side of a very tight Oregon win.
An honourable mention to…
Air Force @ Navy
3.30pm EST / 8.30pm GMT
These teams truly hate each other, so this game is absolutely worth at least a cursory glance. Navy (4-0) has ranked 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the nation in rushing for the past 11 seasons but last year Air Force (1-3) stifled the run game and held them to 67 total yards on the ground, winning 28-14. Navy will most likely bounce back at the Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Maryland tomorrow, but it’ll be fun to watch regardless of how one sided it may or may not end up.
Top Week 6 College Games