Observer Roundtable Week 5
We are at Week 5 of College Football and wow what a season it has already been! Whether you have been keeping up with Clemson already losing twice in September, or the dominance of Arkansas, CFB has certainly been a treat to watch this year. Unlike last week, which had limited exciting matchups, this week is full of action-packed games that will have you at the edge of your seat.
NCAA Games of the Week
No.12 Ole Miss @ No.1 Alabama
No.8 Arkansas @ No. 2 Georgia
No.22 Auburn @ LSU
Sam Ouhaj — Sports Writer
Matt Corral is currently the favorite to win the Heisman and for good reason. Currently, he has thrown for 997 yards, nine touchdowns and zero interceptions through his first three games. Granted, the teams he faced were nothing spectacular and Alabama will be Corral’s first real challenge this season. Bryce Young and Bama are going to want to dominate Ole Miss after almost letting Florida come back. Last year, Ole Miss went toe-to-toe with Alabama and almost pulled off the upset of the decade. Maybe lightning strikes twice for Ole Miss but, as of now, it is not looking like it. This is Alabama’s game to lose.
Ole Miss 35, Alabama 52
The Razorbacks are maybe the hottest team in football right now and I am all for it. After two demanding wins over ranked Texas A&M and then ranked Texas, Arkansas is currently hoping to keep the momentum going. Georgia is the only thing standing in their way. Georgia has been in the same tier as Alabama this season in terms of dominance, and their defense may be the best among the SEC. Arkansas is a run-first team and Georgia has been great against the run. The Razorbacks would need a big passing game from KJ Jefferson to win this, but the odds are low. If this were at home, I would give the Razorbacks a chance. It was a nice run Arkansas but, hey, maybe you make a bowl game.
Arkansas 14, Georgia 35
LSU and Auburn have the same record this season but only Auburn is ranked. I am conflicted on who to pick this game because both teams have been alright at the best, nothing groundbreaking. Auburn currently has a QB controversy between T.J. Finley, a former LSU transfer, and long-time veteran Bo Nix. LSU on the other hand looks alright on offense but their defense has been subpar. Max Johnson for LSU has been the bright spot on this team and I think he will get the job done against Auburn.
Auburn 17, LSU 24
Tom Zwiller — Sports Writer
I will be honest. The Tide’s close game to Florida two weeks ago has my confidence in Alabama shook slightly. The Gators were able to both out posses and gain Alabama, and if not for a disastrous first quarter for Florida, I believe we could be looking at a one-loss Crimson Tide. Heck, if the Gators could simply have not turned the ball over or converted better than 4-12 on third down, they could have won. So while I don’t see Bama losing to Ole Miss, I think it will be closer than people expect.
Ole Miss 31, Alabama 42
To me, this game is the game of the week. Georgia has a spectacular defense, with a front seven that is essentially NFL caliber. There have even been arguments that they could and should be ranked number one because of this team’s dominant defense. A Georgia opponent would seem to emulate them, a solid defense with an excellent running game. Arkansas is coming into this game with an upset mentality, having beaten both #7 Texas A&M and #15 Texas. However, I’m giving this one to the Bulldogs thanks to their spectacular defense.
Arkansas 14, Georgia 24
I am going to take LSU to win this game. Their only loss came early this season to UCLA, who is now ranked in the top 20. Auburn may also only have one loss to now #4 Penn State, but struggled against Georgia State, a team it really should have beat by a wider margin. I also like LSU’s Max Johnson so far through the season; he has 15 touchdowns and three interceptions and is completing passes at 64%. I also do not think that Bo Nix and the Auburn offense can keep up with LSU. To me, LSU has the better pass rush and the better offense.
Auburn 28, LSU 31
Jamison Cook — Sports Writer
Alabama faces another top 15 matchup this week, and while the last one against Florida was a lot closer than I anticipated, I think this game will more closely follow the game script of the Miami matchup. Ole Miss has played Louisville, Austin Peay, and Tulane so far this season, not exactly an impressive resume for a team ranked 12th in the country. Bryce Young was electric for the Crimson Tide last week, returning to Heisman-hopeful form with only two incompletions on his way to 313 passing yards and five touchdowns. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral has been impressive and has yet to throw an interception, but it won’t be enough to beat the Tide. Alabama has opened as 16.5-point favorites over the Rebels, and while I don’t think this game will be close, I think the scoreboard will reflect a closer scoreline.
Alabama 41, Ole Miss 27
The only other top 10 matchup of the week besides Notre Dame-Cincinnati, this SEC showdown is sure to receive more hype than it should, and the Georgia -18 point line is evidence of that. The Georgia defense will make life miserable for a relatively one-dimensional Arkansas offense. This is because, besides a Week 3 blowout win over Georgia Southern, Arkansas is averaging less than 160 passing yards per game. Razorback QB KJ Jefferson is a run-first QB, and with the Georgia defense giving up just 66 rushing yards per game (sixth best in the country), Arkansas will be put in a lot of obvious passing situations, which is when the Georgia pass rush will take over. Georgia reinforces their CFP status in a big way this weekend.
Georgia 30, Arkansas 10
LSU is actually favored by 3.5 points in this SEC matchup even though Auburn is the ranked team between the two. LSU QB Max Johnson has been on a tear to open the season, throwing for 1,144 yards and 15 touchdowns through just four games. Johnson outdueled Mississippi State QB Will Rogers last week, and I think he will do the same this weekend against Auburn QB Bo Nix. Is this an upset? Not really, especially because the game is in Death Valley. Coach O’s LSU Tigers get the victory over the Auburn Tigers in a close one.
LSU 26, Auburn 24
Matt Smith — Sports Writer
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral are two of the front runners for the Heisman Trophy. With these two, it will be a thrilling matchup and a lot of offense. Young has 15 touchdown passes and one interception so far on the year, while Corral has nine touchdown passes and five rushing scores with zero interceptions. Nobody has been able to stop these two, and both defenses will struggle on Saturday. The Crimson Tide have faced stiffer competition with games against Miami (FL) and Florida and it’s going to give them the advantage in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama 42, Ole Miss 31
Arkansas has been extremely impressive this year, getting off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2003. But the Georgia team they’re facing this weekend looks unbeatable as of now. The Bulldog defense has given up a total of 23 points across four games, and they are only allowing 181.8 yards per game, which is the best mark in the nation. The offense looks formidable as well, averaging 52.7 points per game over the last three weeks. The Razorbacks have a strong squad, but it won’t be nearly enough against one of the leading national title contenders.
Georgia 38, Arkansas 14
After struggling against Georgia State, Auburn quarterback Bo Nix was benched in favor of LSU transfer T.J. Finley. Although a start for Finley may create an intriguing storyline with him facing his former school, it won’t impact the final score. Auburn played well in their loss to Penn State, but their only other competition has been Akron, Alabama State and Georgia State. LSU has looked much better since their season-opening loss to UCLA, with quarterback Max Johnson and wide receiver Kayshon Boutte developing a strong connection. In this battle between the Tigers, LSU will come out on top.
LSU 31, Auburn 17
John Stolmeier — Sports Writer
Ole Miss hasn’t had an opportunity to prove themselves yet this season, but their offense is looking explosive under the lead of Matt Corral. With almost 1,000 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions this season, he has justifiably edged his way to the top of the early season Heisman race. Alabama’s defense will be the first significant challenge for Ole Miss, and I expect them to approach this matchup aggressively. Bryce Young and the Alabama offensive unit should have no major issues with Ole Miss. I don’t buy the -14.5 spread, but I fully expect the Tide to remain undefeated after this weekend.
Alabama 45, Ole Miss 35
I think A&M was overrated. I think Texas was overrated. Arkansas’ win streak is impressive nonetheless and they certainly have momentum on their side, but it’s hard to believe they’ll pull out another big win against the Bulldogs in Sanford Stadium. Georgia’s defense has looked elite in the four games they’ve had so far and, as good as KJ Jefferson and Trelon Smith are, I don’t think Arkansas can break them. JT Daniels can be incredibly efficient in big games and it was seen in his first game this season against Clemson. If Georgia moves the ball on offense, and I think they will, they shouldn’t lose this game.
Georgia 31, Arkansas 10
Auburn is the underdog this weekend facing LSU in Baton Rouge. Fair enough, Max Johnson has looked better than Bo Nix this season, but I think that Auburn has the edge on defense and will put up more of a fight than anyone LSU has faced so far. The player to watch this game is Auburn running back Tank Bigsby who has already accumulated 403 yards and four touchdowns in 65 carries. He’s my favorite non-Notre Dame player in college football and I fully expect him to continue his fantastic season in Tiger Stadium.
Auburn 27, LSU 24