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Week 5 Football: What to Watch

A look at games that might pique your interest

NCAA Football: Louisville at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Four ACC teams are on byes in Week 5, so the slate is a bit lighter than normal. There certainly isn’t the depth of marquee matchups this week - and boy did the air get taken out of the sails of that USC vs Colorado game real fast - but there are still some great games on tap.

Thursday night is bound to have a lot of bad football. The good news is that when bad teams match up, it can create some entertaining football. At the very least, the Temple-Tulsa game should be interesting. The Owls only two losses this year are to Rutgers (3-1) and Miami (4-0) and their QB is Kurt Warner’s son E.J. Tulsa is in Year 1 of the Kevin Wilson (former Indiana head coach and Maiden, NC, native... but also UNC alum) rebuild. The Golden Hurricane’s only losses are to Washington (4-0) and Oklahoma (4-0). That could be a sneaky good game.

Friday has a trio of really good games on tap, with NC State’s hosting of Louisville taking center stage. It’s hard to say that NC State needs the win considering the Wolfpack are 3-1, but a win over the 4-0 Cardinals would be a statement win at this juncture of the season.

Also Friday night, Utah and Oregon State face off in an intriguing game. Utah has virtually no offense, although that’s bound to change if/when QB Cam Rising returns to action. I’ll admit that I thought Oregon State’s 10-3 season last year was a flash in the pan for Jonathan Smith, but the Beavers are backing it up this year with D.J. Uiagalelei leading an explosive offense.

Saturday’s noon slate has some intriguing matchups. After weeks of hyping Colorado, FOX is still going to have to try and pump up that game between the Buffaloes and USC. The more intriguing games are Florida-Kentucky, with the Fightin’ Devin Learys being possibly the nation’s quietest 4-0 squad. Leary has been okay this year, and Demie Sumo-Karngbaye has sadly been an almost afterthought as the WIldcats’ 3rd string RB, but this is a tremendous opportunity for them both to make a big statement on the national stage.

The Syracuse-Clemson game features an undefeated team scoring over 44 points per game and allowing just under 11 points per game. The other team is the Tigers. As noted earlier this week, SP+ says the Orange and Tigers are closer than you’d think, projecting Clemson as a 2-point favorite, much closer than the 6.5 point spread Vegas is giving.

In the ACC’s 2:00pm CW spot, Boston College hosts Virginia in the conference’s pillow fight of the week. Yes, I know the Cavaliers pushed NC State to the brink last week. I don’t care. State got the W.

We’ve mentioned a few undefeated teams already, but also among that group is Kansas. Lance Leipold is a wizard, I tell you! Win at Texas on Saturday and Leipold will be just about able to name his price at any school later this year when the coaching carousel kicks up in earnest.

ESPN’s College GameDay is in Durham this week for Notre Dame’s trip to Duke. The 4-0 Blue Devils have looked like one of, if not the, best in the ACC so far this year. Had the Irish been able to pull off the goal line stop late last week - or, you know, bothered to field a full defense in their effort to do so - this game would be even bigger. It’s still a huge opportunity for Duke. And like Leipold, win this one and Mike Elko will be the single hottest commodity in the coaching market. For all the talk of what Deion Sanders is/has done at Colorado, Elko has put together a bigger turnaround in Durham.

Speaking of impressive coaching performances, Kalen DeBoer is 15-2 since taking over at Washington while Jedd Fisch appears to be turning the corner at Arizona in Year 3. The Wildcats have a daunting remaining schedule, though, starting with this week.

Enjoy the football! Go Pack!

Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name.


110/128Temple @ 99/113 Tulsa - 7:30pm - ESPN

112/114 Middle Tennessee @ 91/89 Western Kentucky - 7:30pm - CBSSN

95/130 Jacksonville State @ 129/159 Sam Houston State - 8:00pm - ESPNU


29/29 Louisville @ 55/60 NC State - 7:00pm - ESPN

18/18 Utah @ 20/24 Oregon State - 9:00pm - FS1

111/124 Louisiana Tech @ 119/143 UTEP - 9:00pm - CBSSN

49/40 Cincinnati @ 48/51 BYU - 10:15pm - ESPN


5/10 USC @ 79/72 Colorado - 12:00pm - FOX

32/38 Florida @ 23/37 Kentucky - 12:00pm - ESPN

16/22 Clemson @ 30/34 Syracuse - 12:00pm - ABC

12/12 Texas A&M @ 36/36 Arkansas - 12:00pm - SECN

98/105 Virginia @ 96/92 Boston College - 2:00pm - CW

2/3 Georgia @ 35/33 Auburn - 3:30pm - CBS

40/39 Kansas @ 7/6Texas - 3:30pm - ABC

126/132 Bowling Green @ 74/78 Georgia Tech - 3:30pm - ACCN

102/125 Old Dominion @ 71/65 Marshall - 3:30pm - ESPN+

61/45 Boise State @ 41/67 Memphis - 4:00pm - ESPN2

21/17 LSU @ 22/13 Ole Miss - 6:00pm - ESPN

11/11 Notre Dame @ 24/32 Duke - 7:30pm - ABC

43/30 South Carolina @ 14/16 Tennessee - 7:30pm - SECN

53/58 Pittsburgh @ 80/86 Virginia Tech - 8:00pm - ACCN

56/41 West Virginia @ 26/20 TCU - 8:00pm - ESPN2

4/9 Washington @ 46/68 Arizona - 10:00pm - PAC12N