It seems crazy to think about, but teams with a late bye week will be halfway through the regular season after Week 6. Time flies when you’re having fun and hopefully you’ve been having some with the help of our experts and analysts here at VSiN. We wait and wait for the college football season to begin and it feels like it flies by.
As mentioned last week, we’re almost exclusively in the throes of conference play at this point, but there will still be some outlier games and other situational spots to consider. Let’s see what those look like for Week 6.
Clemson Tigers (-20, 50) at Boston College Eagles
Clemson is certainly in an interesting spot this week against a bad Boston College team. After playing Wake Forest and NC State in consecutive weeks, Dabo Swinney’s bunch is laying a big number in Chestnut Hill with a trip to Tallahassee on deck to take on resurgent Florida State. That means Clemson will play its three toughest divisional games in the span of four games. But the Tigers have to find a way to play well enough against BC to cover almost a three-touchdown road number. The Eagles are a very unpalatable bet, but this is an awful spot for the Tigers.
Eastern Michigan Eagles at Western Michigan Broncos (-5, 57.5)
Have you heard of the Michigan MAC Trophy? Surely you know it’s the most sought-after rivalry trophy in college football. OK, maybe not, but it is for the directional Michigan schools. This is the first leg of the rivalry, which also includes Central Michigan. For all of the success that Chris Creighton has had in Ypsilanti, his Eastern Michigan squad has not won the hardware. In fact, the Eagles haven’t been the Michigan MAC victor since 2012 when they retained the title after beating both rivals in 2011.
However, EMU has won each of the last three meetings against WMU. So, we have triple revenge for the Broncos and an attainable goal at stake for the Eagles. These teams will be listed next week as letdown candidates.
Army Black Knights at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-17, 68)
These teams played last season and it was a game for the ages. Wake Forest outlasted Army 70-56 in a game with less defense than an NBA All-Star Game. There are a lot of inherent challenges to facing Army, particularly in the middle of the conference schedule. The Demon Deacons have just played Clemson and Florida State in two games with immense ramifications in the ACC. Now they’re supposed to get ready to defend the triple-option offense of a service academy?
If we know anything about Wake Forest, it’s that the offense is still really good and the defense is still really bad. We probably won’t see a repeat of last year’s 126-point outburst, but this isn’t a good spot for the home favorite.
Duke Blue Devils (-3, 53) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Duke has been one of the most surprising teams in college football this season. Mike Elko really has his Blue Devils playing at a much more impressive level than most people anticipated. This is not a good spot for the road favorites, though. This game against a hapless Georgia Tech team with a lame-duck head coach is a very clear lookahead spot to next week’s Battle for the Victory Bell against North Carolina. The Tar Heels have won three straight in that rivalry and the last two by a combined score of 98-31, including a 56-24 drubbing in Durham two years ago. Duke has to be careful not to overlook “The Wreck” this week.
Missouri Tigers at Florida Gators (-11, 54.5)
Will Missouri be able to get off the deck for this visit to Gainesville? It’s a short week for the Gators after playing Eastern Washington on Sunday, but Missouri put everything into its near-upset of Georgia on the heels of a devastating loss to Auburn. The bye week is on deck, so it’s possible coach Eli Drinkwitz is able to get his team up for this week’s roadie, but I would not want to be holding a Mizzou ticket in this one.
Texas A&M Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide (-24, 52)
You knew this game was coming, but I saved it for last. Alabama has revenge as a motive in this head-to-head meeting after a whole lot of preseason fireworks between the programs. Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban traded barbs publicly about recruiting and some potentially unscrupulous practices. Many are operating under the assumption that Saban has had this game circled since last year and that this is a spot for the Tide to make a statement. We’ll see. The table is certainly set based on the spot and also how unimpressive the Aggies have been this season.