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Dirty Dozen: Crystal Ball Run staff picks for Week 5

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

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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