Welcome back to the San Diego State Sports MBA college football picks segment! We hope you all enjoyed Week 5 of the college football season.
First, let’s see the standings after our Week 5 predictions:
Adam was the only one to go 4-0 last week. Dan is still atop the leaderboard thanks to his uncanny ability to pick up the Extra Points. It was close between Dan and Adam this week. Can anyone take an Extra Point from Dan?
In this week’s edition of the picks, we appease a few classmates by picking their school’s games. Click through to see the games and predictions!
After much deliberation, the games we will look at this week are:
(#25)Maryland @ (#8)Florida State
(#4)Ohio State @ (#16)Northwestern
(#15)Washington @ (#5)Stanford
Nevada @ San Diego State
Without further ado, here are our picks!
Maryland @ Florida State
Jameis Winston (Heisman hopeful?) brings the Seminoles into this Top 25 matchup having run roughshod over his opponents thus far. The ‘Noles offense has looked unstoppable at times, but has looked lackluster in spurts, as well. Meanwhile, Maryland’s best test this year was against UConn, a school not necessarily known for their football prowess. I cannot see the Terrapins putting up much of a fight in this one. ‘Noles roll.
FSU and Freshman QB Jameis Winston have been lighting up some suspect defenses and averaging over 51 points per game. Maryland will be the best defense that the ‘Noles have seen thus far and should keep this game from being a laugher. The Terrapins’ offense is rushing for 226.8 yards per game and FSU didn’t exactly look unbeatable last week against Boston College. The Seminoles are playing at home where they are very tough to beat, and Maryland will fall a little short.
FSU’s defense is too good to lose this game. Expect Stefon Diggs to make a few big plays for Maryland but it will not be enough.
31-13 Florida State
Florida State has been considered an up and coming team for a while, with lofty preseason expectations. Despite these high expectations, the Seminoles have stumbled against opponents they should have beaten each of the last three seasons. Last year they lost on the road to an unranked NC State team, in 2011 at home to an unranked Virginia and 2011 at home against an unranked North Carolina. Look for this to be the week the Seminoles slip up.
Ohio State @ Northwestern
The Buckeyes were given a bit of a scare last week at home against a formidable Wisconsin squad. The fourth quarter comeback came up short, but the travelling circus showed a little weakness. Bad news for Uncle Urban and Co.: the Wildcats could, in fact, be better than the Badgers. Although largely untested to this point, Pat Fitzgerald’s team is one of the rising stars in the Big Ten. Home field advantage is rarely a factor at Ryan Field, but maybe…just maybe…the Wildcats will get an extra boost at home and sneak one in this week. Ohio State comes up short in a close one.
The College Gameday crew will be at Northwestern this week and will surely get the Wildcat fan base nice and rowdy. Northwestern runs their offense with 2 QBs, Kain Colter as a runner and Trevor Siemian as a passer. This unique strategy may pose some issues for the Buckeye defense after a big win last week, but Urban Meyer will have his team ready. The Buckeyes have re-inserted Braxton Miller into the offense and the additional reps in practice this week should continue to get him back to his Heisman candidate form.
Possibly the top Big Ten match up of the season, OSU brings a fairly complete team and the nation’s longest win streak to Northwestern. Northwestern has had an extra week to prepare though so the game could be interesting.
Northwestern comes in two weeks removed from a meaningful game. Prior to last week’s bye, the Wildcats barely got past Maine, only beating them 35-21. Their offense ranks in the top 25 of scoring per game but they haven’t played a defense ranked higher than 45th in points allowed per game. Ohio State continues to flourish in the Urban Meyer era. Look for the offensive fireworks from Heisman candidate Braxton Miller.
Washington @ Stanford
Stanford welcomes in a Washington squad that has already dismantled Boise State this year. Sure, it was the first game of the year, but the Huskies have not looked back, rolling through their opponents, most recently the Arizona Wildcats. The Cardinal is already a proven team, as well, having taken down Arizona State at home. Can you say litmus test? I expect Steve Sarkisian and the Huskies to make this a game, but Stanford comes away with a close W.
This looks to be a great matchup here between the Huskies and the Cardinal. Keith Price and Bishop Sankey have developed into one of the premier QB/RB tandems in the PAC-12 through the early part of the year. I still think Stanford is one of the most physical teams in the nation, and they have a much more explosive offense this season with Kevin Hogan at quarterback. The Huskies take this trip down to Palo Alto and then host #2 Oregon at home next week. I think “U-Dub” is good enough to pull off one of these upsets but I think they match up better against Oregon.
Washington has been a surprise team thus far this season as they have yet to be behind in a game. Stanford however is still the favorite in the PAC-12 and for this game. This will be a good test to see how good Washington is, but I don’t expect them to get the win.
Steve Sarkisian, possibly a candidate for the open USC head coaching job, needs to lead his team to a signature win. His Huskies have gone 7-6 each of the last 3 seasons and have not yet gotten their marquee victory. Stanford just keeps reloading the machine with there being no signals of slowing their dominance in the David Shaw era. In my surprise pick of the week, I will take Washington to ruin Stanford’s title aspirations.
Nevada @ San Diego State
In the Friday night special, I have no idea what to expect. Nevada seems to be the better team on paper. Do the Aztecs have some swagger now that they have a win? Normal common sense logic says go with the Wolf Pack. And, frankly, why should I go against that? The Aztecs have underwhelmed this year. I want more proof otherwise before I start picking them in anything other than a gimme.
38-24 Wolf Pack
Alright…the time has come. I could write a full page and a half on this matchup, as this is the number one game on my schedule this week. Friday night, on ESPN, my alma mater is coming to town to take on my current school. Overall, I was expecting the Aztecs to play a lot better against NMSU last week. The Aztecs had a breakout performance by true freshman running back Donnel Pumphrey last week, and he will be called upon in a big way this week. Nevada just got torched by Air Force’s Triple Option attack and looks very vulnerable against the run. However, the Wolf Pack offense moves the chains and puts up points. The Aztecs have been eaten alive by good quarterback play this season, and Nevada has a special athlete at the position. Junior quarterback Cody Fajardo is coming off a 5 TD performance (3 Pass/2 Rush); look for him to have a big game particularly through the air. Fajardo is a legitimate run and pass threat but he has been dealing with a knee sprain, which led to less Read Option plays out of the Pistol offense last week. When he did run it, it was for chunk yardage so the Aztecs still better game plan for the “Read”. Expect a high-scoring Mountain West matchup, and make sure to tune into ESPN or make it down to Qualcomm!
42-34 Wolf Pack
SDSU got their first win last week and look to continue the streak this week. They take on a strong Nevada team who has dealt with some injuries, specifically at QB. I expect Nevada to win a low scoring game.
Nevada comes into Jack Murphy Stadium with revenge on their mind. The Aztecs stunned Nevada at home last year in overtime victory in an inspired effort from Adam Dingwell who replaced an injured Ryan Katz. Neither of those players will be starting for the Aztecs this weekend as they have moved on to Junior College transfer Quinn Kaehlerat quarterback. The Wolf Pack have two losses that have come to ranked teams. Their quarterback, Cody Fajardo, is a dynamic athlete who is likely to run roughshod over the porous Aztec defense. As much as it pains me to say as an Aztec, the Wolf Pack might have the upper hand here.
As always, here’s a recap for the visual learners:
Thanks for your continued readership. Enjoy week 6, and we will see you again next Friday for another episode of the picks!