The top of the Big 12 will become a lot clearer on Saturday in Dallas. Plus, a number of quality SEC contests are in store on Saturday’s national slate
Last week ATS: 13-3 (6-2 National, 7-1 B1G)
Season ATS: 46-31-2 (21-12 National, 25-19-2 B1G)
Not only did MC&J have another outstanding week, we ended up at the top of the leaderboard on Tallysight’s Week 5 picks. For the season our picks sit second overall. Hopefully we continue to sit at the top of the leaderboard and keep stacking wins.
No. 6 Oklahoma (-3.5) v. No. 21 Texas – 12:00 PM EST – ABC
We are going to learn on Saturday a lot about who is in charge of the Big 12 this year. The Red River
Shootout Showdown has been dominated by Oklahoma lately, with the Sooners winning five of the last six meetings between the rivals. Even though Oklahoma has won most of the recent matchups, the games have been close, as only one of the last six games has been decided by more than 10 points.
A big performance on Saturday could catapult Bijan Robinson to the top of the list of Heisman Trophy candidates. Robinson is coming off a 216-yard performance against TCU, and has rushed for at least 100 yards in four of five games this year. Oklahoma is allowing just over 80 yards per game on the ground this year, but they definitely haven’t seen anyone like Robinson.
I’m still not convinced that Oklahoma is a College Football Playoff contender. The Sooners have only won one game by more than a touchdown this year. Spencer Rattler hasn’t been able to establish a deep threat in the passing game, while the rushing attack from the Sooners has been pretty average. Steve Sarkisian wins in his Red River Rivalry debut, as Robinson and Casey Thompson cause Alex Grinch and the Oklahoma defense headaches.
Texas 38, Oklahoma 31
No. 13 Arkansas v. No. 17 Ole Miss (-6) – 12:00 PM EST – ESPN
Both Arkansas and Ole Miss have some frustrations to take out this week. The Razorbacks and Rebels lost to Georgia and Alabama last week by a combined score of 79-21. Lane Kiffin and Matt Corral definitely have a score to settle after Arkansas not only beat Ole Miss 33-21 last year, the Razorbacks intercepted Corral six times.
I was a little worried about a dinged up KJ Jefferson going up against the elite Georgia defense last week. I don’t quite have the same fears this week, especially since it sounds like Jefferson is close to 100%. While Ole Miss does have a strong defense, they certainly aren’t on Georgia’s level.
We found out last week that Ole Miss can be slowed on offense. Arkansas has a strong, opportunistic defense that already has experience forcing Corral into making some mistakes. It is going to be interesting to see who will want this game more, since both teams will be fighting to position themselves behind Alabama in the SEC West. Meetings between these two schools are often decided by less than a touchdown, so I’ll gladly take the points, especially since I think Arkansas can win outright.
Arkansas 41, Ole Miss 37
No. 2 Georgia (-15.5) v. No. 18 Auburn – 3:30 PM EST – CBS
It’s pretty wild that through five games this year Georgia has surrendered just 23 points. The Bulldogs do have some questions at quarterback right now since J.T. Daniels has been dealing with an injury, although I probably could start at QB for Georgia and still lead the Bulldogs to the CFP since their defense is that nasty.
Bo Nix was able to make some noise last week against LSU with an incredible effort in which he fought off the whole state of Louisiana before throwing a touchdown. Nix isn’t going to have nearly as much success this week. The Tigers needed a comeback in the fourth quarter a couple weeks ago at Jordan-Hare to beat Georgia State. Auburn won’t be able to summon any late magic this week since Georgia shouldn’t have much trouble winning their fifth-straight against the Tigers.
Georgia 34, Auburn 13
It’s really weird to see Boise State with a losing record at this point of the season. The Broncos lost last week to Nevada to fall to 2-3 on the year. A big issue for Boise State is they have no running game, as they are averaging less than 80 yards per game on the ground. The lack of a rushing attack could allow BYU to tee off on quarterback Hank Bachmeier.
It’s not quite known yet who is going to be starting at quarterback for the Cougars, since Jaren Hall has missed the last two games with an injury and Baylor Romney left last week’s win over Utah State with a concussion. It sounds as if Hall is likely to play, while Romney won’t be available. No matter who starts for BYU, their best play will be to hand the ball off to Tyler Allegier, who rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns last week.
This isn’t the Boise State team that we have become used to. The Broncos are rebuilding now that Andy Avalos is the head coach. The Cougars won last year’s meeting 51-17 in Boise. It won’t be quite so lopsided this year, but I don’t think BYU is really threatened by Boise State on Saturday. This feels like at least a 10-point win for the Cougars.
BYU 34, Boise State 21
LSU v. No. 16 Kentucky (-3) – 7:30 PM EST – SEC Network
While Georgia is undoubtedly the class of the SEC East, Kentucky is looking like they are the second-best team in the division. Last week the Wildcats were able to get one of their biggest wins under Mark Stoops, beating Florida 20-13 in Lexington. Kentucky does have a little bit of a Big Ten feel to them with Penn State transfer Will Levis at quarterback and Nebraska transfer Wan’Dale Robinson at wide receiver.
Things just keep getting worse for LSU and Ed Orgeron. Not only did the Tigers lose to Auburn last week, they also will be without cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., after the NFL prospect announced he’ll be undergoing foot surgery. The loss of Stingley will at least help to make things a little easier for the Kentucky offense.
I don’t care much for Orgeron. At least my dislike of “Coach O” has paid off so far, as I picked against the Tigers when they played UCLA and Auburn. I’m banking on another flat performance from LSU, while Kentucky will be looking to stay undefeated and build on last week’s win over Florida. Orgeron would be wise not to comment on any “sissy blue shirts” before Saturday night’s game.
Kentucky 27, LSU 17
Night game at Lane Stadium against a Notre Dame team that was just beaten up by Cincinnati? While there is no such thing as a sure thing, I got a real good feeling about Virginia Tech here. Even though Hokies haven’t been super impressive to start the season, they did have a bye last week to put together a game plan for this game. A rested Hokie team is going to be a little too much for a Notre Dame team that is dealing with injuries.
Virginia Tech 24, Notre Dame 20
No. 1 Alabama (-18) v. Texas A&M – 8:00 PM EST – CBS
What has Texas A&M done that makes you think they are going to be anywhere close to competitive in this game? Not only are the Aggies coming off back-to-back losses, they haven’t really looked all that good in their wins. About the only thing noteworthy about Texas A&M is Isaiah Spiller, but the impact of Spiller on the game is greatly reduced when the Aggies fall behind and are forced to throw the football.
Alabama isn’t a perfect football team. Right now the biggest concern for the Crimson Tide is a mounting number of injuries on defense. Even with some of the injury issues, Alabama was able to slow down a high-powered Ole Miss offense last week. I think they don’t have any problems with Zach Calzada and the rest of the Texas A&M offense. It’s possible that the Aggies give a spirited effort under the lights at Kyle Field, I just think even that won’t be enough against the Crimson Tide.
Alabama 42, Texas A&M 17