College Football Week 5 Preview

College football has reached week five, which is packed full of exciting matchups in every conference. The weekend begins on Friday with a PAC-12 matchup between Washington and UCLA.

Both teams are undefeated and looking for a foothold in the race for the PAC-12 crown. Michael Penix Jr., Washington’s quarterback, has been showing out every single game this year and has the Huskies ranked No. 15 in the country. Washington is traveling to Los Angeles in their first road game this year against a UCLA team that has a lot to prove. After a great season last year, UCLA had high expectations for returning quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. UCLA’s season hasn’t begun how they wanted, with a close game against South Alabama, but after a convincing win against Colorado, they look to upset the Huskies at home.

Saturday features more tough matchups, so let’s highlight a few of them. The 11 A.M. slate features five ranked matchups from the Big 10, Big 12, and SEC. Michigan visits Iowa in a rematch from last year’s Big 10 championship, looking to once again beat the Hawkeyes. Michigan struggled last week against Maryland, but were ultimately saved by an outstanding performance from running back Blake Corum. Iowa has had a very slow start to their offensive production, but their stout defense makes up for the lack of points. Iowa’s offense averages 17 points a game, while the defense only gives up 5.8 points per game. In order for Iowa to win this game, they have shut down the high powered Wolverine offense.

The Big 12 has two ranked matchups during the 11 o’clock slate as No. 18 Oklahoma visits TCU and newly ranked No. 25 Kansas State hosts Texas Tech. Both of these matchups could be pivotal to the Big 12 race as Oklahoma is looking to bounce back after an upset against KSU. KSU is looking to solidify themselves as one of the top teams in the Big 12 with a win over a rising TTU team.

The SEC’s game at 11 could be one of the most exciting for the conference all weekend. No. 14 Ole Miss hosts No. 7 Kentucky in a heavyweight matchup. Ole Miss opens as a 6.5 point favorite over UK in a game that could decide the runner-up in the SEC East or West.

The 2:30-4 o’clock slate features some less exciting but still important games. Alabama visits Arkansas in the SEC on CBS 2:30 matchup. This game will make or break the season for the Razorbacks as they need a statement win to keep within reach of the SEC West crown. Alabama is looking to prove they can win convincingly on the road after a scare against Texas earlier in the year.

Another game to look out for is the rematch from the Big 12 championship, No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 16 Baylor. Baylor looks to continue their winning streak against OKST as Dave Aranda and his squad seek to return to the BIG 12 championship. Baylor opens as only a 2.5 point favorite over OKST. OKST’s offense is much better than last year as QB Spencer Sanders is on a roll with 916 yards and 10 touchdowns already this season. The former number 1 defense from 2021 has regressed, giving up an average of over 21 points a game. OKST will need to remain disciplined on defense to win this game against a very good Baylor offense.

The ACC has two key matchups this weekend in Florida State vs Wake Forest and Clemson vs North Carolina State. I highlighted every other Power 5 conference so I might want to mention the ACC’s key games too. FSU is 4-0 for the first time in over three years and is looking to compete in the ACC again after a terrible couple of seasons. The No. 23 Seminoles host No. 22 Wake Forest, who took a loss to Clemson in double overtime. Wake is looking to bounce back and stay in the race for the ACC crown. College Gameday chose Clemson and NC State for the site of their show this weekend, and they chose it for a very good reason. Clemson is ranked No. 5 and NC State is ranked No. 10. The Textile Bowl rivalry game looks to be a thriller again this year after an overtime upset by NCST last year. Clemson is seeking revenge and redemption against a very talented Wolfpack squad. NCST is looking to prove themselves as a legitimate contender, with many professionals are counting them out of the college football playoff race after a sketchy win over ECU to begin the year. College football is nearing midseason, and the games only get better from here.