The haymakers of Week 4 have come and gone, and many College Football Playoff contenders have survived and advanced. While Week 5 of the season doesn’t have the same number of top-25 matchups, there are a lot of storylines to follow as conference play gets underway.
The best battle of the weekend resides in the Pac-12. Utah, back in the top 10 of the AP poll, travels to face an angry Oregon State team fresh off an unexpected loss to Washington State. No. 3 Texas proved its defensive mettle in an easy 38-6 win over Baylor, but a final Big 12 matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks sits on the horizon.
In the SEC, Ole Miss and LSU meet after forgetful performances in Week 4. No. 1 Georgia heads to face an overmatched Auburn team but has struggled to start fast. Colorado also gets another shot at glory as No. 8 USC comes to town in a glitzy matchup.
Here’s where every Week 5 game opened heading into the meat of conference play.
Odds via SportsLine consensus
The big games
No. 10 Utah at No. 19 Oregon State -1.5: The Utes have their first conference road test after starting 4-0. Utah could get starting quarterback Cameron Rising back for the matchup against the Beavers, who remain a legitimate Pac-12 contender. Oregon State returns home after losing a tight 38-35 loss to Washington State, setting up a pivotal matchup in Corvallis, Oregon, for the Pac-12 race.
No. 24 Kansas at No. 3 Texas -17: The Longhorns host the pesky Jayhawks for the final time as conference mates, but for the first time in 22 games, both teams enter ranked. Kansas is among the final three undefeated programs in the Big 12 behind the exploits of star quarterback Jalon Daniels, but the Longhorns present one of the most fearsome defenses in the conference after holding their first four opponents to a combined 50 points.
No. 13 LSU -2.5 at No. 20 Ole Miss: The pair could have been better in Week 4, but they face a critical rebound opportunity in Oxford, Mississippi. The Tigers gave up 31 points and needed a late field goal to survive an upset bid against Arkansas. Ole Miss blew a halftime lead against Alabama in a 24-10 decision, wasting perhaps Lane Kiffin’s best chance to beat his former boss, Nick Saban. A loss for either team makes a SEC West title chase more difficult.
No. 11 Notre Dame -4 at No. 17 Duke: All eyes are on Durham, North Carolina, in Week 5, just like we expected. The Blue Devils are beating the heck out of opponents, topping their first four by a combined 114 points, and averaging more than 200 yards rushing per game. Notre Dame lost a heartbreaker against Ohio State and now has to travel for the high-intensity matchup. The Fighting Irish look the part of a CFP team so far, but that will be put to the test against Duke’s Mike Elko, a former Notre Dame defensive coordinator.
No. 1 Georgia -16 at Auburn: The Bulldogs don’t face many challenges this season, but a trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, always opens the door to weirdness. Georgia was tied 7-7 against UAB 20 minutes into the game last week and faced a 14-3 halftime deficit against South Carolina. Auburn might simply not have the talent to hang after scoring 24 points in two games against power-conference opponents, but coach Hugh Freeze typically gets up for big games.
No. 8 USC -24 at Colorado: The Buffaloes’ agenda took a devastating hit after losing 42-6 to Oregon in a game that, amazingly, wasn’t even as close as the final score. Now, two of the best signal-callers in the nation vie as Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders faces reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of USC. The Trojans were shaky on defense in a 42-28 win over Arizona State. If USC can’t consistently get stops, this game could be much more fun than last week’s beatdown in Eugene, Oregon.
Best of the rest
- No. 2 Michigan -18.5 at Nebraska
- No. 6 Penn State -26 at Northwestern
- No. 7 Washington -18 at Arizona
- No. 9 Oregon -26 at Stanford
- No. 12 Alabama -14.5 at Mississippi State
- Iowa State at No. 14 Oklahoma -20.5
- South Carolina at No. 21 Tennessee -11.5
- No. 22 Florida at Kentucky -3
- No. 23 Missouri -12.5 at Vanderbilt