Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 9/26/13
After a bit of a down weekend in the college football schedule, things seem to get a bit more interesting this weekend. A few match-ups of ranked teams in conference play can be found in the Big Ten and SEC and a key ACC division game gets us started a little early tonight when Georgia Tech hosts Virginia Tech. We have been making weekly picks this season and entering our fifth week overall, Allen continues to have the most correct picks, but Tom has moved in to second place in the win total. Josh and Kevin C got a late start on the picking game but have been pretty solid so far. Here is how we have stacked up this season... 1. Allen (38-10) 2. Tom (37-11) 3. (t) David (36-12) 3. (t) Jonathan (36-12) 4. (t) Kevin M. (35-13) 4. (t) Aaron (35-13) 5. Andy (33-15) 6. Josh (27-9) 7. Kevin C. (28-8) (All times eastern) Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ESPN Kevin M’s Take: Virginia Tech may be the least impressive 3-1 team in the country, while Georgia Tech continues to fly under the radar. Thursday night these ACC foes square off on the national stage, but do not expect a whole lot of fireworks. The Hokies have been nothing but stuffed turkeys on offense this season while Georgia Tech’s approach is to grind out small chunks of yardage at a time and wear down their opponents on defense. Expect a low-scoring contest and for Georgia Tech’s running game to take a toll on the visiting Hokies in a key ACC Coastal Division match-up. Aaron: Georgia Tech 34, Virginia Tech 24 Allen: Virginia Tech 17, Georgia Tech 16 Andy: Georgia Tech 37, Virginia Tech 24 David: Georgia Tech 30, Virginia Tech 14 Jonathan: Georgia Tech 29, Virginia Tech 20 Josh: Georgia Tech 20, Virginia Tech 7 Kevin C: Georgia Tech 21, Virginia Tech 17 Kevin M: Georgia Tech 20, Virginia Tech 13 Tom: Georgia Tech 18, Virginia Tech 14 West Virginia vs. No. 11 Oklahoma State: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ESPN Tom’s Take: A week ago, you might have gotten some action on this game. But after WVU's uninspired performance against Maryland the Mountaineers are a huge underdog at home. Dana Holgorsen's offense isn't clicking and the Mountaineers are still struggling at quarterback even if Ford Childress appears to be the guy for the rest of the season. On the other side of the field is J.W. Walsh and the Cowboys' explosive offense. This game appears to be a serious mismatch, as Oklahoma State appears to be the class of the Big 12. Aaron: Oklahoma State 45, West Virginia 14 Allen: Oklahoma State 48, West Virginia 3 Andy: Oklahoma State 37, West Virginia 20 David: Oklahoma State 42, West Virginia 17 Jonathan: Oklahoma State 40, West Virginia 21 Josh: Oklahoma State 49, West Virginia 21 Kevin C: Oklahoma State 55, West Virginia 17 Kevin M: Oklahoma State 42, West Virginia 13 Tom: Oklahoma State 48, West Virginia 10   Central Florida vs. No. 12 South Carolina: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ABC Kevin C’s Take: This is one of those games where we could get a team overlooking a game opponent. South Carolina comes into this game at 2-1 having lost their toughest game and having given up a big lead last week before closing out Vandy by 10. UCF comes into this game having won a tough game on the road at Penn State two weeks ago and they are led by one of the top QBs in the Nation so far this season, Blake Bortles. This game is also in Orlando and we saw how South Carolina performed on the road earlier this year when they lost in Athens. I expect this to be a close game and it will come down to who wins the second half. South Carolina has more talent but they should be very wary. Expect UCF to lead early but expect the Gamecocks to weather the storm and pull off a hard fought victory on the road. Aaron: South Carolina 28, Central Florida 14 Allen: South Carolina 20, Central Florida 9 Andy: South Carolina 37, Central Florida 17 David: South Carolina 28, Central Florida 24 Jonathan: South Carolina 31, Central Florida 20 Josh: South Carolina 31, Central Florida 14 Kevin C: South Carolina 28, Central Florida 17 Kevin M: South Carolina 31, Central Florida 27 Tom: South Carolina 24, Central Florida 7   No. 9 Georgia vs. No. 6 LSU: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. CBS Aaron’s Take: Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe my eyes are deceiving me. Or maybe I’m just plain crazy. But I’ve watched a lot of college football this season, and LSU- yes, the same LSU which lost 11 underclassmen to last year’s NFL Draft- are the best team I’ve seen this season. Don’t ask me how. Don’t ask me why. They just are. But really, the more I think about it, the simpler it really is. The Tigers have the same running game as before and same ferocious pass rush too, only now they’ve added a passing game. Where Zach Mettenberger acquired that tight spiral he’s been throwing this year, I don’t know (Craigslist?), but it’s hard to think of a more improved player at any position, anywhere in the country than he is. Add in Mettenberger with the above-mentioned defense and Jeremy Hill at running back, and I think the Bayou Bengals figure out how to get a win, on the road in Athens. Aaron: LSU 24, Georgia 14 Allen: LSU 21, Georgia 20 Andy: Georgia 37, LSU 24 David: LSU 31, Georgia 30 Jonathan: LSU 24, Georgia 21 Josh: LSU 28, Georgia 24 Kevin C: Georgia 30, LSU 28 Kevin M: Georgia 27, LSU 23 Tom: LSU 24, Georgia 21   Boston College vs. No. 8 Florida State: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2 Kevin M’s Take: The Jameis Winston show is shipping up to Boston. Steve Addazio has Boston College actually thinking they can be competitive and the change in attitude is noticeable. The question is whether or not the upset-minded Eagles have enough dudes to slow down Florida State this weekend. The Seminoles have a knack for a mediocre effort any time the take to the road in ACC play, but do not expect Florida State to slip up in this one. Aaron: Florida State 38, Boston College 13 Allen: Florida State 27, Boston College 6 Andy: Florida State 41, Boston College 15 David: Florida State 48, Boston College 20 Jonathan: Florida State 45, Boston College 14 Josh: Florida State 52, Boston College 14 Kevin C: Florida State 42, Boston College 10 Kevin M: Florida State 31, Boston College 20 Tom: Florida State 45, Boston College 9   No. 22 Notre Dame vs. No. 14 Oklahoma: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. NBC Allen’s Take: The Fighting Irish waltzed into Owen Field last year and scored a victory over Oklahoma that solidified them as a national title contender. This year, however, ND will be missing two of the key contributors from that win. Shifty quarterback Everett Golson played the game of his life that night, but he's off getting his academic affairs in order. Meanwhile, linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te'o threw a serious wrench into the OU offense with his playmaking abilities in the middle of the field. He's now plying his trade in sunny Southern California. If Blake Bell doesn't live up to billing for the Sooners, ND may wake up the echoes on their asses. As it stands now, however, the Irish are short a couple important pieces. That will be the difference Saturday afternoon. Aaron: Notre Dame 17, Oklahoma 14 Allen: Oklahoma 27, Notre Dame 20 Andy: Oklahoma 31, Notre Dame 20 David: Oklahoma 35, Notre Dame 20 Jonathan: Notre Dame 31, Oklahoma 28 Josh: Oklahoma 30, Notre Dame 17 Kevin C: Oklahoma 28, Notre Dame 24 Kevin M: Oklahoma 20, Notre Dame 16 Tom: Notre Dame 17, Oklahoma 14   Minnesota vs. Iowa: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2 Andy’s Take: When is the last time this game mattered? I mean, honestly….Well, that all changes this year as a 4-0 Minnesota team hosts a 3-1 Iowa team and both appear to look like contenders in a division full of more question marks than answers heading into the meat of conference play. For Iowa the difference seems to be having a quarterback that can actually move the ball (whether it is with his legs or arm) and for Minnesota this is a team that is cut in the image and likeness of its head coach (tough, no nonsense and physical). The winner becomes a true contender if you ask me and I think home cooking keeps the Pig (Floyd of Rosedale) in Minneapolis. Aaron: Iowa 24, Minnesota 21 Allen: Minnesota 21, Iowa 16 Andy: Minnesota 27, Iowa 23 David: Minnesota 27, Iowa 21 Jonathan: Minnesota 24, Iowa 20 Josh: Iowa 28, Minnesota 21 Kevin C: Iowa 27, Minnesota 20 Kevin M: Minnesota 23, Iowa 17 Tom: Iowa 24, Minnesota 20   No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 21 Ole Miss: Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ESPN Jonathan’s Take: Alabama looked sluggish against Colorado State because they were tired after running after Johnny Manziel seven days before that. Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze use a similar up-tempo offensive attack similar to A&M, but they have Bo Wallace at quarterback and not Johnny Manziel. Alabama gets starting wide receiver Amari Cooper, offensive lineman Anthony Steen, as well as two key defensive backs Deion Belue and Jarrick Williams back from injury against Ole Miss, but the Rebels get their best defensive lineman Denzel Nkemdiche back, too. The Crimson Tide will get their energy level back to normal for this game, which other than LSU is the toughest remaining game on their schedule. Aaron: Alabama 34, Ole Miss 28 Allen: Alabama 42, Ole Miss 13 Andy: Alabama 37, Ole Miss 24 David: Alabama 41, Ole Miss 31 Jonathan: Alabama 30, Ole Miss 25 Josh: Alabama 42, Ole Miss 21 Kevin C: Alabama 35, Ole Miss 17 Kevin M: Alabama 33, Ole Miss 27 Tom: Alabama 30, Ole Miss 17   No. 16 Washington vs. Arizona: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. FOX Josh’s Take: It's time Washington's offense faced more than a stiff breeze across the ball from them. The best defense the Huskies have faced so far this year was Boise State's  97th-ranked outfit, so don't read too much into the eye-popping numbers Keith Price and company have put up so far. Even though Arizona's defense is a question mark right now, KaDeem Carey and the Wildcats' offense will challenge Washington to score early and often. I think Price answers the bell.  This will be a shootout between two high-powered offenses and suspect defenses. In other words, just another Pac-12 game. Give me the Huskies at home by a field goal. Aaron: Arizona 41, Washington 34 Allen: Washington 34, Arizona 31 Andy: Washington 33, Arizona 24 David: Washington 33, Arizona 28 Jonathan: Washington 40, Arizona 35 Josh: Washington 45, Arizona 42 Kevin C: Washington 45, Arizona 38 Kevin M: Washington 38, Arizona 32 Tom: Arizona 31, Washington 28   No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 23 Wisconsin: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ABC Andy’s Take: These two teams are so evenly matched it is ridiculous. OSU can run the football in multiple ways, so to can Wisconsin. Ohio State has limited their opponents from having success on the ground, so to has Wisconsin. I think you get the point. What may be the most interesting matchup will actually be the Buckeyes passing attack against a Badger defense that hasn't given up a SINGLE passing touchdown through four games. If the Badgers don't allow the Buckeyes into the end zone through the air this could be a Badger victory. However, I just think OSU's offense has a few more weapons at its disposal thanks to some injury concerns for UW. Aaron: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 28 Allen: Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 20 Andy: Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 23 David: Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 27 Jonathan: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 40 Josh: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 24 Kevin C: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 24 Kevin M: Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 26 Tom: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 21   Washington State vs. No. 5 Stanford: Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ESPN Dave’s Take: Stanford being undefeated at this point is not a surprise. Wazzu being 3-1, including a conference win, might be more of a surprise. Stanford physically dominated for one half against Arizona State last week but seemed to let off the gas in the second half. Washington State has some issues on offense that may reappear this week against Stanford's tough defense. The Cardinal should win easily. Aaron: Stanford 21, Washington State 10 Allen:  Stanford 40, Washington State 21 Andy: Stanford 28, Washington State 13 David: Stanford 35, Washington State 17 Jonathan: Stanford 35, Washington State 24 Josh: Stanford 42, Washington State 21 Kevin C: Stanford 38, Washington State 17 Kevin M: Stanford 33, Washington State 17 Tom: Stanford 35, Washington State 14   Arizona State vs. USC: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ESPN2 Dave’s Take: The Trojans hit the road looking for their first conference victory. Arizona State returns home after being manhandled by Stanford in the first half of last week's game. USC's offense is still sputtering a bit but is making incremental progress, and the Trojans should have enough of a running game to outlast the Sun Devils. It won't be pretty, but the Trojans will take a win. Aaron: Arizona State 20, USC 12 Allen: USC 23, Arizona State 20 Andy: Arizona State 31, USC 17 David: USC 20, Arizona State 10 Jonathan: Arizona State 21, USC 10 Josh: Arizona State 24, USC 21 Kevin C: Arizona State 28, USC 21 Kevin M: Arizona State 31, USC 24 Tom: USC 28, Arizona State 14 Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to The Crystal Ball Run Newsletter.
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