The week six slate of college football games is loaded with top-level battles. Just a month into the season, and a few conference races are already narrowing to start the month of October.
Teams like Georgia, Iowa, and Oklahoma can ride themselves of contenders barely a month into the season, which can make all the difference down the stretch.
The college football season is a brutal beast, and programs must seize every opportunity. Expect week six to be a pivotal one in the grand scheme of the year.
The Hipster Classic (A Game Only College Football Psychos Could Love) – Virginia Cavaliers vs. Louisville Cardinals
It is a clash that might boast the best quarterback duel of the weekend. In the one corner, Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong has tossed for over 1,900 yards and 14 touchdowns. On the other, Mailk Cunningham has over 1,600 total yards and 17 total touchdowns (ten of which have come on the ground).
What makes the matchup even more tantalizing is the horrible defenses. Both allow over 400 yards on the average outing. Get ready for points.
The Pick – Louisville -2.5
The Car Crash (A Disaster, But You Can’t Look Away) – Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns
The Red River Rivalry is a train running off the rails. A good, old-fashioned animosity powers it. The grudge match, as of late, is wildly entertaining but mistake-ridden and anarchy-prone.
The 2021 edition will not disappoint. Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler is a big game hunter with a lot of faith in his arm, which has led him into four picks this season. Poor offensive line play exacerbates the offense’s problems, giving it a real boom-or-bust life on every drive.
Balancing out the chaos on offense is one of the better defensive units the Sooners have had in quite some time, allowing just 19 points per game. That defense is up against a Longhorns’ offense averaging 43.8 points per game.
The best battle, running back Bijan Robinson up against a front seven allowing just 83.6 on the turf.
The Pick – Longhorns +3.5
A Pleasant Surprise (You Did Not Anticipate Enjoying This Game So Much) – Stanford Cardinal vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Riding high off a big victory over UCLA, the Sun Devils look about as good as any team in the PAC-12. It is part of a change brought on by head coach Herm Edwards. Last year, the point differential for ASU was 17. This season, it is nearly 18. The five-season before, it was under ten or in the negative.
Because of Edwards, ASU is righting the ship. Now, an electric offense, guided by dynamic QB Jayden Daniels hosts a hot Stanford squad.
Since the embarrassing start against Kansas State, the Cardinal have averaged over 34 points per game. The scrappy Stanford squad upturned the apple cart for Oregon, just like the Sun Devils did to UCLA.
The winner of this game has the conference laid out in front of them. Expect it to stay tight.
The Pick – Stanford +13
A Solid Second Horse (Missed First Place By Just That Much) – Georgia Bulldogs vs. Auburn Tigers
It looks as if Georgia might just be the second most complete football team in the country. The defense grinds teams to a pulp. The offense churns them up and spits out the remains.
Because the Bulldogs average over 41 points a game and let up under five per game, the only thing in the Tigers column is a bit of magic. Bo Nix unlocked something after getting benched. He found the razzle-dazzle of quarterbacks like Nick Marshell, Greg Ward Jr., or P.J. Walker. Does he have enough sparkle to keep up with Georgia?
The Pick – Georgia -15.5
The Title Fight (Aka The Game Of The Week) – Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa is the only team in the Big Ten ranked inside the top 10 in total defense and top 50 in scoring offense. Most importantly, the Hawkeyes bost the best turnover margin in the country, with a 16 to 4 split through five games.
Because Penn State has stayed wily against ranked opponents, they could upset the Big Ten picture in week six. But expect recent history to be more trustworthy than madness.
At home, in prime time, the Nittany Lions will need to be perfect to win.
The Pick – Iowa -1.5