Every week throughout the season we’ll give you a guide to watching college football by highlighting the top five games of the upcoming weekend. We’ll pick those five matches against the points difference and highlight some of the other matches that caught our eye from a betting perspective.
The beauty of college football will be shown in week six. If you look at this list of games in the summer, you will have entered two games: Alabama vs. Texas A&M and Oklahoma vs. Texas in the Red River competition.
But this is no longer the case. These games will grab attention, no doubt, but will likely have far less national implications than a TCU-Kansas ranked match. Kansas came out of nowhere to start the year 5-0 and now its coach is one of the most recognizable names in the coaching world.
Things are definitely changing quickly in this sport. What other surprises could be in store this weekend?
(Note: All times are ET, odds are from BetMGM)
No. 8 TN at No. 25 LSU
Time: Noon | TV: ESPN | Font: UT -3 | Total: 64.5
Tennessee State has already ended its losing streak for Florida this season. Could you do it again, this time with LSU? The Vols and Tigers have not met since 2017 and haven’t played at Baton Rouge since 2010. LSU has won five straight times in the series with Tennessee’s last win in 2005.
This year, the Falls are 4-0 and proud of one of the best offenses in the country under coach Josh Hubble. Meanwhile, Hendon Hooker has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the country and a potential candidate for the Heisman Trophy. After farewell, this will be the toughest test of the year so far for the Vols. A win here could lead to one of the biggest games of the year as the top seed visits Alabama Knoxville next week.
LSU wants to play the spoiler. The Tigers started 4-1 in their first season under Brian Kelly. Last week, LSU improbably overcame a 17-0 deficit to defeat Auburn 21-17 on the road. Quarterback Jayden Daniels messed up the win but is expected to play against Tennessee. The Tigers need him because he leads the team in the rush as well as having 915 yards and six TDs in the air.
Nick Bromberg: UT -3, Sam Cooper: UT -3
No. 17 TCU at No. 19 KS
Time: Noon | TV: FS1 | Font: TCU -6.5 | Total: 68.5
Can Kansas’ impressive run to start the season continue? Improbably, the Jayhawks are 5-0, ranked first since 2009 and hosted College GameDay for the first time ever. This is a program that has not won more than three games in a season since 2009 and has gone 8-106 in Big 12 games over its previous 13 seasons. Lance Leipold has overseen this transformation into head coach with quarterback Jalon Daniels playing at a high level.
TCU plays very well, too. The Horned Frogs are in their first year under Sonny Dykes and are 4-0 on the year. Their most recent result was a 55-24 win over Oklahoma. In the win, the TCU had nearly 700 yards of attack and destroyed the Sooners for four touchdowns from 60 yards. Having initially lost core business outside of camp, Max Duggan was thriving in Dykes’ evolving system. It would be a handful for the Jayhawks to deal with in a game that could have heavy implications for the 12th title race.
Nick: KS +6.5, Toxic: TCU -6.5
No. 11 Utah at No. 18 UCLA
Time: 3:30 PM | TV: Fox | Font: Utah -3.5 | Total: 64.5
Four teams are unbeaten in the Pac-12 game so far this season. And with the divisions eliminated, this conference title race could prove to be very exciting. These are two of the main teams involved. UCLA, now 5-0, played four poor opponents to open the year before upsetting a seeded team in Washington at home last Friday night. Dorian Thompson-Robinson put on an epic performance winning 315 passing yards, 53 fast yards, and four TDs. Zach Charbonnet was also excellent at winning, leading all the impulses for 124 yards.
Thompson-Robinson, Charbonnet and Wideout Jake Bobo are the three main players the Utah defense will focus on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Utes are the defending champions of the Pac 12 and won four times in a row after a disappointing road loss to Florida in Week 1. Utis has a solid defense and made four interceptions in last week’s win over Oregon State. Offensively, Utes is once again leading quarterback Cam Rising. He was thrown for 1,153 yards and 13 touchdowns while completing 68.3% of his attempts.
Nick: Utah -3.5, Toxic: UCLA +3.5
Washington State at No. 6 USC
Time: 7:30 PM | TV: Fox | Font: USC -13 | Total: 65.5
So far, very good for USC under Lincoln Riley. The Trojans fell 5-0 and reached sixth place in an Associated Press poll in their weekend home game against Washington State. After squeaking barely past Oregon the previous week, the Trojans handled Arizona 42-25 without much drama last week. Caleb Williams was excellent again, but he finally threw his first interception of the year. This was USC’s first turnover of the year, which is still No. 1 in the country in terms of turnover margin at plus-14.
Meanwhile, Washington State rebounded from a heartbreaking loss to Oregon by bypassing Cal 28-9 at home to improve to 4-1 this year. It was a solid performance from the WSU defense, who limited Cal with just 31 yards and 5 of 16 in third. Cameron Ward put on another pass performance for 300 yards in the win, although he threw two more interceptions to give him seven in the year. Ward is a dynamic talent, but he needs to limit these shifts if WSU is to cause major disruption to the Colosseum.
Nick: Washington State University +13, Toxic: Washington State University +13
Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama
Time: 8 pm | Television: CBS | Font: Alabama -24.5 | Total: 51.5
A few months ago, expect most of the huge bets for this game. Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban have had some of the most bizarre drama in recent memory with a war of words about NIL, among other things. The two claim to have crushed their meat, but this Fisher press conference will be on the minds of as many as Aggies and Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.
Texas A&M turned the tides at College Station last fall. Alabama went to the College Football Playoff while A&M finished disappointingly with four defeats. This year, after another season of major hiring successes, many expected A&M to be in the CFP competition. Instead, the Aggies started 3-2 and entered this match without ranking. Meanwhile, Alabama is leading 5-0 and reaching the top spot in the standings after a convincing win over Arkansas.
Heisman-winning Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is in doubt about playing due to a shoulder injury he picked up in the Arkansas win. However, Alabama is still a huge favourite. This says a lot about the status of these two programs currently.
Nick: Texas A&M +24.5, Toxic: Alabama -24.5
ATS face to face: Nick: 10-15, Sam: 13-12
Week 6’s best bets
Nick Bromberg (last week: 3-0, total: 10-5)
Army at No. 15 Wake Forest (-17): I don’t expect this game to be the Barnburner it was in 2021. Wake beat ARMY 70-56 in one of the fiercest matches of the season. This year, Army enters the match at 1-3 and is in the middle of the group in scoring. While I think Wake will bring up the points, I don’t know if the military will continue. Choose: less than 66.5
Miss South in Troy (-6.5): The Trojans came back from a landslide defeat in Appalachian State by defeating Marshall and Western Kentucky while Miss Southern in this match enters a farewell week and beats a very good Tulane team. Troy seems to be the better team here and I handle them by giving less TD at home. Choose: Troy -6.5
South Carolina at No. 13 Kentucky (-6): Gamecocks 3-2 but I’m not sure it’s any good. USC’s three victories have come against an FCS team and two FBS teams with just one win each. They were blown home by Georgia and lost by 14 in Arkansas. Kentucky could have won the Ole Miss in Week 5 if it hadn’t been for problems and late changes. I’ll take the Wildcats for cover even if Will Levis doesn’t play. It could be a team decision after an injury he sustained at losing Ole Miss and the streak went down as a result. Choose: KFC-6
Sam Cooper (last week: 1-2, total: 11-4)
No. 9 Ole Miss (-17.5) in Vanderbilt: After Maddie’s win over Kentucky, the Ole Miss will lean on her ground attack and defense to take matters into his own hands on the road here. I think the Rebels will jump into a comfortable lead and keep that clock moving in the second half. Choose: Under 62
North Carolina in Miami (-3.5): North Carolina’s attack is excellent and I expect Miami to be more focused after a farewell week. Last time around, hurricanes were embarrassed by Central Tennessee. The offense should be sharper against UNC’s lackluster defense. Picking: more than 66
Washington State at No. 6 USC (-13): With a huge game against Utah on the horizon, this is a great classic USC venue. The Trojans seemed to be in cruise control against Arizona last week. If they play that way against Washington State, this could go down the wire. Choose: Washington State +13
For the sixth week of Sam Cooper’s picks, click here.
For Week Six, picks from Dan Wetzel, Pat Fordy and Ross Dillinger, Subscribe to the College Football Enquirer.