We Will Watch Deion, Win or Lose – Week 5 Preview

The basketball schools dominate my CFB viewing plans. There are some upset possibilities this week. Even when Deion loses he’s still winning. 

Going into the season, I wrote about the games I thought would be the best in week 5. I was on the right path but missed the mark a little. I just couldn’t see the Deion effect being this all-encompassing. This is a shorter preview that mostly just covers the games I want to watch. Week 5 isn’t as good as week 4, but it’s possible no week will stand side by side with week 4 in quality until rivalry week. 

At the bottom, I have my picks for the week. Last week we absolutely killed it, going 7-1-1 ATS. Let’s see if I can keep the hot streak rolling.  

What I’ll be Watching this Week 

There is no Badger game this weekend, and I have no major plans. Guess I’ll just be lying around watching football all day. 

  • Odds listed refer to spreads taken from FanDuel at the time of writing

11:00 AM CST:
Deion overshadows some good games

There are some solid morning games this week. But let’s be honest. If you have football on, it’s going to be the Colorado game. 

8 USC at Colorado (+21.5) 

In the NFL, it’s mandatory Cowboys talk. In CFB, it’s now mandatory Deion talk. Josh Pate calls it the Deion tax, and we’re all paying it. 

Colorado lost 42-6 last week at Oregon – It was the most-watched game of the season.

Win or lose, we will watch Deion. The Eugene massacre had 10.03 million viewers, just barely beating out OSU at Notre Dame (9.98 million). Colorado has played 4 games, those games occupy 4 of the top 7 spots for most watched games of the season. Last year their most watched regular season game was the opener vs. TCU. It was 162nd in viewership for the 2022 regular season.

Caleb Williams and USC had the 6th most-watched game last week. It was at 9:30 PM CST, and against terrible Arizona State. Celeb plus Deion will set the record for the season and be tough to beat.

So how about the actual game? Well, this could look a lot like the Oregon game. Deion just doesn’t have the dudes along the lines of scrimmage. Shedeur Sanders was sacked 7 times last week. That makes him the most sacked QB in FBS football now. 

Everyone assumes Caleb will throw all over Colorado, and he will. But don’t forget about the USC running game. USC is 24th in rush yards per game at 192.0. That’s only 2 spots behind Oregon at 22nd. USC could keep the ball on the ground all day and still put up 50+. 

If Colorado has any chance at all, it’s because USC’s defense is suspect. That win over ASU late night last week – ASU scored 28. ASU does not have a good offense, Colorado does. Shedeur could lead Colorado to a win by matching USC score for score. In that scenario, this is the game of the year and the score is 62-63. 

Personally, I don’t see it. USC has a worse defense than Oregon, but they have a much better offense. Colorado won’t be able to keep up.

22 Florida at Kentucky (-1.5) 

I don’t know what we’ll get here. I’m on record as a “Mertz-hater,” but he looked good the last 2 weeks. Florida the team though? Not so good. Last week was rough; they only got 22 pts against Charlotte. 

Kentucky is 4-0, but who have they played? – joking.

They played the teams on their schedule. Kentucky is great on the lines of scrimmage; they are one of the most physical teams in the SEC. The thing that was supposed to make Kentucky football great this year: transfer QB Devin Leary. And that’s my concern. Through 4 weeks, he’s looked average at best. 

I don’t know who will win, so I’ll probably just pick against Mertz again. 

Clemson at Syracuse (+6.5) 

Clemson’s season is over. That sounds like hyperbole – but it’s the best way to describe where they are at. If you’re Clemson, you have 3 goals going into this season:

  • Win the ACC
  • Make the Playoff
  • Win the Natty

Clemson is 2-2 with both losses being in conference. No 2-loss team has ever made the playoff, and Clemson is dead last in the ACC standings. Sounds to me like their goals are unattainable, and it’s still September. 

Syracuse is 4-0. That’s… interesting. They aren’t ranked because the best team they’ve beaten is an awful Purdue squad, but they’ve blown out most of their opponents. This should be the week where we find out if Syracuse actually has a shot at the ACC title game, or if they are a mediocre team that got off to a hot start.

2:30 PM CST: 
Are upsets possible?

Is there a big time matchup at 2:30? Not really. Are there interesting games? It depends on how you define interesting. I’m Interested in upsets. Are any of the top 3 teams going down this week? All the spreads are over 2 touchdowns, but crazy things happen in college football every week. Let’s see how it plays out.

24 Kansas at 3 Texas (-16.5) 

The basketball school is ranked. Wow. 2 years in a row we get to see ranked Kansas football. Can they take down Quinn Ewers and the Longhorns in DKR Stadium? That’s a tall order. Kansas may be the best of the 3 teams looking to stun the CFB world, but they are the only one that has to go on the road to do it. 

I’ll say the Jayhawks’ magic ends here. Texas is too good.

2 Michigan at Nebraska (+17.5)

Matt Rhule and Co. have not had the start they wanted in Lincoln. They began the season 0-2, but have worked they’re way back to 2-2 by beating up G5 schools, LA Tech and Northern Illinois. Nebraska has a solid defense that gave Colorado and Minnesota troubles in weeks 1 and 2, but their offense is atrocious. They need a quarterback. Heinrich Haarburg took over for injured Jeff Sims in weeks 3 and 4. He did alright, but he has yet to play a P5 opponent. Whoever starts vs. Michigan will need to play the game of their lives to have a shot at winning.

There is a path to an upset, but I expect Michigan to handle business.

1 Georgia at Auburn (+14.5) 

#1 Georgia. How long until they lose the top spot? Based on their Charmin soft schedule, we might be waiting a while. Or it could be as soon as this weekend. I’m on the record in my thinking Auburn is bad this year. But that’s not why this is an upset watch game. This is an upset watch game because of the location. Weird things happen at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Kick Six is the main highlight, but don’t forget #1 Bama and #1 Georgia lost there in the same season… and Auburn still lost 2 games that year (2017 was weird). 

Georgia has not played a road game yet in 2023, and their 1st is at Auburn. An upset is a real possibility.

6:30 PM CST: 
An ACC Blue Blood in Primetime

11 Notre Dame at 17 Duke (+5.5)

Duke is a blueblood, just not in football. But in 2023, this bball school is one of the best on the gridiron. And people still don’t respect them.

Duke is right next to North Carolina and Miami in the AP poll. If it was Notre Dame at UNC or the Canes, people would take this game a lot more seriously. I didn’t even want to put this game in the upset piece. 5.5 is a short spread and Duke’s at home. This is the same Duke team that manhandled Clemson.

How does Notre Dame respond to the nail-biter loss to OSU last week? On one hand, they proved they could hang with Ohio State. On the other hand, they blew the game at home against Ohio State. Does this galvanize players moving forward? Or does it put a dark cloud over the locker room? 

I’m asking all these questions about Notre Dame because – I don’t know

I just know Duke is good at football now. I wonder who could’ve seen this coming

I Might Watch – I just don’t have much to say

5:00 PM CST:
13 LSU at 20 Ole Miss (+2.5)

This is a great game, I understand that. And it’s very possible I will catch part or most of it. But, right now, I just don’t have much to say about it, and I don’t really find it interesting. 

My quick thoughts: I think LSU is really good, and I think Ole Miss is overrated. The score might be close because it’s at Ole Miss. But at the end of the game, I think LSU is on top. 

Spread Picks*:

Big favorites served me well last week. I guess I’m rolling with mostly favorites again. Also, I have 2 “favorite picks” this week. I just couldn’t choose between the 2, and I really like both. A friend was trying to talk me into Northwestern upsetting Minnesota. I guess they knew better than me.

Penn State (-27.5)
Penn State has covered all year. I might as well ride the streak. Northwestern parties too hard after beating Minnesota and doesn’t show up prepared.

Clemson (-6.5)
Clemson is angry now. Dabo makes it his mission to embarrass Syracuse and prove he has a good team. 

Maryland (-14.5)
Maryland is good, people just don’t realize it yet. I’m also lower on Indiana than most. So it’s easy to see why I think Maryland will run away with this game. 

Oregon (-27.5) – Favorite Pick
Stanford is an abomination. This looks like the Colorado game last week. Oregon can name the score before kickoff.

Iowa (-12.5)
MSU is really bad. Iowa handles business at home. Plus – Iowa needs to get their average points per game back over 25 after being shut out last week. This game opened at -6.5 back on Sunday, I’m not the only one on Iowa.

Duke (+5.5)
Remember how Duke looked at home against Clemson in week 1? Duke has a shot to win here. Notre Dame could also be discouraged after losing a massive game last week. 

South Carolina (+11.5) Moneyline – Upset Pick
South Carolina beat Georgia in the 1st half in week 3. If they play a full game (a big if) they are better than Tennessee. Going into the season, everyone would’ve said Tennessee has the better QB. Today, I’d take South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler.  

Note – I didn’t pick any of the 2:30  games previewed above for an upset. I strongly considered Auburn, but as I’ve said, I think Auburn is bad. Any of those upsets could happen, I just wouldn’t put money on it.

Washington (-17.5) – Favorite Pick
Only -17.5 at Arizona is laughable. Washington could win a title this year.

How I’ve Done so far this Season:

Upset Picks must be +3 or greater to be “Upsets”

Favorite Picks: 3-1 (Thank you Maryland)
Upset Picks: 3-2 (Notre Dame was 1 play, 1 second, and 1 inch away)
Total Record ATS: 20-11-1 (7-1-1 last week – absolutely killed it)

*These picks are to express my opinion on games from a point spread perspective. I am not advocating for you, the reader, to gamble on any of these games. Please bet responsibly.

Want more Walk On Fan? 

Check out this week’s Wisco Wednesday: We look back at the Purdue win, things going on around the B1G, and cover some badger news heading into the bye week.

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This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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