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Dirty Dozen: Crystal Ball Run Week 5 Staff Picks

Here are the Crystal Ball Run Week 5 staff picks!


No. 25 Baylor at No. 9 West Virginia, Saturday, 12:00 p.m. FX

Tom Perry’s Take: Baylor quarterback Nick Florence presents a huge challenge for a WVU defense that has made big plays, but has also had trouble getting off the field on third down. While everyone is talking about this game being a battle of the offenses, the winner of this game will really be decided by which defense comes up with more big plays. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is having a Heisman-like season, and now he's leading the Mountaineers into their first Big 12 game at home. Needless to say, Mountaineer Field will be raucous.

The Pick: West Virginia 48, Baylor 35

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: West Virginia 38, Baylor 34
Allen Kenney: West Virginia 42, Baylor 21
Andy Coppens: West Virginia 44, Baylor 35
Kevin McGuire: West Virginia 38, Baylor 34
Michael Felder: West Virginia 45, Baylor 27

Arkansas at Texas A&M: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. SEC Network

Kevin McGuire’s Take: Old Southwest Conference rivals are once again conference rivals this year after Texas A&M joined the SEC. The Aggies look to pick up their first win in SEC play this weekend when they welcome the sinking Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday afternoon. The way Arkansas has been playing on defense lately that may not be all too difficult for Texas A&M, currently ranked 11th in the nation in points scored with 45 points per game after three games. The Razorbacks have been allowing 36.3 points per game, including 35 to Rutgers last week and at least 24 points in each game this season.

This one is probably a little less explosive on the scoreboard with the rivalry factor kicking in, but Arkansas has too many questions to answer before having too much confidence in them again.

The Pick: Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 23

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Texas A&M 36, Arkansas 6
Allen Kenney: Texas A&M 34, Arkansas 28
Andy Coppens: Texas A&M 33, Arkansas 17
Michael Felder: Texas A&M 37, Arkansas 30
Tom Perry: Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 10

NC State at Miami: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ESPNU

Michael Felder’s Take: After a season opening loss the NC State Wolfpack have found themselves on the right side of three games, including a struggle against their only other BCS opponent. Now, they head to Miami Gardens and will be trying to get their first ACC win in a stadium that likely will be half full. On paper, NC State should win this one outright but Miami's team is playing solid football on the backs of kids and they are a dangerously explosive team.

For Al Golden's squad they have to get their players in space, make plays and be explosive. They have better athletes at key positions than the Pack, they just need to figure out how to consistently get them the football. Expect the Canes to look sloppy at times against the more experienced team of Tom O'Brien and ultimately it boils down to who gets their way on the field; the slow and stead of NCSU or the explosion of Miami.

The Pick: NC State 28 Miami 27

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Miami 28, NC State 24
Allen Kenney: Miami 38, N.C. State 30
Andy Coppens: NC State 24, Miami 20
Kevin McGuire: Miami 27, NC State 20
Tom Perry: Miami 34, NC State 24

Tennessee at No. 5 Georgia: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. CBS

Michael Felder’s Take: Tennessee is a one-trick pony when it comes to football. They can't play much defense against the run or the pass and their run game disappears against quality opponents; but they can sling the ball around. Unfortunately for the Vols, Georgia is well adept at getting to the quarterback and disrupting timing; and the Dawgs should be getting two key players back into their lineup. This game is going to boil down to what Tennessee is able to do.

If the Volunteers can get stops on the very balanced Georgia team, then they will give Tyler Bray a chance to hit his targets by giving him the ball back without intense pressure to score. However, if Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall get going, opening up the play action pass game, then it will be a long day of "chuck and duck" football for Bray as Todd Grantham turns the dogs loose.

The Pick: Georgia 35 Tennessee 20

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Georgia 31, Tennessee 24
Allen Kenney: Georgia 24, Tennessee 14
Andy Coppens: Georgia 27, Tennessee 20
Kevin McGuire: Georgia 31, Tennessee 21
Tom Perry: Georgia 38, Tennessee 14

No. 14 Ohio State at No. 20 Michigan State: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ABC

Kevin McGuire’s Take: Ohio State faces a stiff challenge in their first road game of the year, and we figure to get a better sense of what the Buckeyes are in 2012 with their trip to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. The Spartans may be scuffling a bit on offense but their defense is still one of the best around. Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller has generated some Heisman hype with his play early on, but can he keep it going against the Spartans?

The Pick: Michigan State 20, Ohio State 17

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Michigan State 19, Ohio State 14
Allen Kenney: Michigan State 20, Ohio State 14
Andy Coppens: Ohio State 27, Michigan State 14
Michael Felder: Michigan State 13, Ohio State10
Tom Perry: Ohio State 9, Michigan State 7

No. 4 Florida State at South Florida: Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ESPN

Allen Kenney’s Take: Think the Seminoles really are back? Sure looked that way last Saturday night while FSU was smoking ACC rival Clemson.

The 'Noles of yore would've eaten a team like South Florida for lunch. If they are back, this one is done by halftime.

Then again, maybe Jimbo Fisher will take it easy on the Bulls as a show of gratitude for setting Bobby Bowden's retirement in motion.

The Pick: Florida State 42, South Florida 13

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Florida State 45, South Florida 3
Andy Coppens: Florida State 48, South Florida 17
Kevin McGuire: Florida State 30, South Florida 14
Michael Felder: Florida State 43, South Florida 10
Tom Perry: Florida State 48, South Florida 7

UCLA at Colorado: Saturday, 6:00 p.m. Pac-12 Network

Aaron Torres’ Take: If I could give you one piece advice, it’s this: Don’t take too much out of UCLA’s loss last week. They were playing a noon kickoff, in a hot stadium, after a couple big night games, against a team that was coming off a bye. Oregon State is a really good football team, but UCLA isn’t as bad as the Beavers made them look.

If I could give you one more piece of advice, it’d be this: Colorado is terrible. Like worse than awful. Like, “Can we relegate them to the FCS” kind of bad.

Bruins win… huge.

The Pick: UCLA 48, Colorado 13

Everyone Else’s Take:

Allen Kenney: UCLA 21, Colorado 15
Andy Coppens: UCLA 44, Colorado 10
Kevin McGuire: UCLA 34, Colorado 17
Michael Felder: UCLA 35, Colorado 20
Tom Perry: UCLA 31, Colorado 17

Texas Tech at Iowa State: Saturday, 7pm Fox College Sports

Andy Coppens’ Take: I can't believe I'm about to utter these words, but we could be seeing a defensive showdown in the Big 12 this week as Texas Tech visits the Cyclones of Iowa State in Ames. Iowa State may have the best overall defense in the conference and Texas Tech has really put the screws to it's three non-conference opponents on both sides of the ball.

Texas Tech has looked like the better offensive team, but they've done it against a very bad FCS opponent and two of the worst teams in all of the FBS in Texas State and New Mexico. ISU's track record is a bit better having beaten Iowa on the road and a very talented Tulsa team out of Conference-USA.

ISU has owned the Red Raiders since the beginning of the Paul Rhoads era, winning both games so far by a combined 93-45. I don't expect it to be as high scoring this time around, but look for ISU to win at home in front of a raucous Jack Trice Stadium crowd.

The Pick: Iowa State 38, Texas Tech 20

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Iowa State 24, Texas Tech 10
Allen Kenney: Iowa State 28, Texas Tech 27
Kevin McGuire: Texas Tech 30, Iowa State 23
Michael Felder: Iowa State 28, Texas Tech 27
Tom Perry: Texas Tech 28, Iowa State 24

No. 10 Texas at Oklahoma State: Saturday, 7:50 p.m. FOX

Allen Keney’s Take: Like the 'Noles, some pundits are touting Texas' resurgence. The Longhorns have started the season 3-0, and they face a true "show me" game in Stillwater on Saturday night.

OSU's first such test didn't go so well. The Pokes abused Arizona's defense two weeks ago, but three turnovers and crazy penalties swung that game to a 21-point Wildcats win.

Texas QB David Ash has played at a conference-championship level to this point, but he's going up against an underrated OSU secondary that includes playmaking corners Justin  Gilbert and Brodrick Brown. Look for the Cowboys to scheme to stop Texas' ground game and make Ash beat those defensive backs.

Ultimately, though, I think the 'Horns will take advantage of OSU's murky quarterback situation and somehow scratch out the victory.

Texas 27, Oklahoma St. 23

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Texas 28, Oklahoma State 24
Andy Coppens: Texas 31, Oklahoma State 30
Kevin McGuire: Texas 38, Oklahoma State 24
Michael Felder: Texas 31, Oklahoma State 24
Tom Perry: Texas 32, Oklahoma State 30

Wisconsin at No. 20 Nebraska, Saturday, 8pm ABC

Andy Coppens’ Take: Last year it was a beat down in Camp Randall for the Badgers as Russell Wilson and Montee Ball did everything and anything they wanted against the Huskers. This time the games in Lincoln and these teams come in to this matchup in vastly different shape than a year ago.

This time around it's Wisconsin bringing a struggling offense carried by the D and Nebraska has found something in Taylor Martinez as both a passer and runner. This will be Nebraska's biggest test of the season to date for sure as the Badgers D has been very stout, holding opponents to about 17 points a game, but with this game in Lincoln and the Badgers starting Joel Stave for just the 2nd time in his career revenge could be in the cards.

The Pick: Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 24

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Nebraska 28, Wisconsin 12
Allen Kenney: Nebraska 28, Wisconsin 13
Kevin McGuire: Nebraska 33, Wisconsin 20
Michael Felder: Nebraska 17, Wisconsin 13
Tom Perry: Nebraska 17, Wisconsin 9

Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama: Saturday, 9:15 p.m. ESPN

Aaron Torres’ Take: Look, I could sit here and break down this game intently and reference a bunch of arbitrary stats, but I’m going to hold off.

The simple truth is that Ole Miss is playing harder, tougher and smarter under Hugh Freeze than they did under Houston Nutt, an incredible compliment to the new coach… which won’t mean a damn thing this Saturday. Not on the road. Not against Alabama.

The Tide will roll… to a comfortable four touchdown victory.

The Pick: Alabama 48, Ole Miss 10

Everyone Else’s Take:

Allen Kenney: Alabama 35, Ole Miss 7
Andy Coppens: Alabama 40, Ole Miss 13
Kevin McGuire: Alabama 47, Ole Miss 13
Michael Felder: Alabama 37, Ole Miss 7
Tom Perry: Alabama 55, Ole Miss 6

No. 18 Oregon State at Arizona, Saturday, 10:00 p.m. Pac-12 Network

Tom Perry's Take: OSU coach Mike Riley entered the season lacking any real job security, but the Beavers are ranked and 2-0 behind the strong play of quarterback Sean Mannion. Both victories came against ranked teams — Wisconsin and UCLA — but now Oregon State is the team with a target on its back. Rich Rodriguez' 3-1 start at Arizona bucks his normal first-year trend. While the Wildcats were blown out at Oregon last week, the Arizona offense was able to move the ball but not score. When picking Pac-12 games it normally makes sense to go with the home team.

Arizona 28, Oregon State 21

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Oregon State 31, Arizona 28
Allen Kenney: Arizona 28, Oregon State 21
Andy Coppens: Oregon State 27, Arizona 17
Kevin McGuire: Arizona 24, Oregon State 23
Michael Felder: Arizona 44,Oregon State 20

 

About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.

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