I’m officially declaring this “take the points week” here on… umm… Take the Points. A lot of teams have huge games coming up next week. Others are matched up against teams that always play them tough. Whatever the reasons, I like many of the underdogs to cover. Here are my week 5 picks.
North Carolina State +19 over Florida State
Florida State showed resolved winning over Clemson without Jameis Winston. Watching Sean Maguire take the reigns was rough; it was like seeing a kid take drivers’ ed for the first time, except in football you don’t have a 65-year old chain smoker who can hit the brake pedal from the passenger side. Let’s not kid ourselves, though: this team has issues that reach beyond a nervous backup QB. The offense isn’t nearly as dynamic as in 2013. I think the loss of Kelvin Benjamin to the NFL has played a much bigger role than we could’ve imagined. Although the Noles have a couple decent receivers, Benjamin was always Winston’s go-to guy last year, as evidenced by the final drive of the National Championship Game. The O-line has also struggled somewhat, and the defense appears to have taken a slight step backward this season. If this was a night game, I’d say look out for an upset — NC State always causes trouble for FSU at night — but since it’s a 3:30 game, I’ll only go as far as to say take the points. And no, NC State is not good, but that’s never stopped them from surprising FSU before. Continue reading →
Tom and Dan take a look back at some of the most exciting games from last weekend. Then they preview the biggest games of week 5, including Stanford vs. Washington, Florida State vs. North Carolina State, Notre Dame vs. Syracuse, USC vs. Oregon State, Baylor vs. Iowa State, Penn State vs. Northwestern and more. Plus, Tom discusses his upcoming Fantasy Felon League draft.
Note: In preparation for my upcoming season preview column and podcast, I researched and took notes on every power conference team in CFB. I’m sharing my notes here, for anyone who is interested. Please keep in mind that these are just notes. (I’ve tried to clean them up, but there are plenty of abbreviations and some of the grammar may be suspect.)
The Big 12 is, in my opinion, the third-best conference in CFB overall (behind the SEC and PAC-12). The question is, will they end up with a representative in the playoff? Oklahoma is the team everyone gets behind, but if they stumble, parity within the conference and a lack of quality out-of-conference wins could prevent a Big 12 team from making that final four. Continue reading →