Week 4 of the college football season lived up to the hype, with some instant classics (Ohio State vs Notre Dame). Week 5 looks to continue excellent slate of games, with most teams either entering conference play or in their second week of it. Last week I went 1-3 in my games of the week (would have been 2-2 if Notre Dame would have fielded 11 players the last two plays of the game, but I digress). This week I’m making a slight change to how I do things: more recommended games to watch, but there will be a little less insight (trying it out for this week). So I have bumped my normal three games to watch up to five! Here are my Games to Watch: Week 5 Edition.

Louisville at NC State
7:00PM Kickoff on ESPN (9/29)
Current Records:
Louisville: 4-0 (2-0 ACC)
NC State: 3-1 (1-0 ACC)

The first game of Week 5 is a must watch in my opinion, two teams looking to separate themselves from the pack in the ACC and take that next step in chasing FSU and Duke (crazy to say Duke, get to them in a bit). Louisville starts off the Jeff Brohm era at 4-0, with two of those wins by one score (Georgia Tech, Indiana). QB Jack Plummer followed Brohm to Louisville from Purdue, and he leads a Cardinal Offense that has been humming (though Plummer is not immune to mistakes). NC State shook off its Week 2 loss to Notre Dame by beating, VMI (45-7), and a floundering Virginia (24-21). Besides the VMI win, the Wolf Pack have looked very meh so far this year especially on offense, playing tight games and not really making a dominating statement. Louisville is favorited in this matchup by 3 Pts, I like those odds, and I like this Louisville team. Look for them to start 5-0, before heading into their tough part of the schedule (Notre Dame and Duke on the horizon).

10 Utah at #19 Oregon State

9:00PM Kickoff on FS1 (9/29)
Current Records:
Utah: 4-0 (1-0 Pac 12)
Oregon State: 3-1 (0-1 Pac 12)

Another Friday night game for you to keep an eye on, this time it’s “Pac 12 after Dark”. I wrote about both of these teams last week, Utah in my honorable mentions against UCLA, and Oregon State vs Washington State. I got both those predictions wrong, Utah managed to put on a defensive performance holding UCLA to just 7 Pts, though without Cam Rising at QB the Utes offense scored just 14 Pts. While Oregon State was down 35-14 entering the 4th quarter against Washington State, they put up a fight to then end falling 38-35. The Pac 12 is the best conference in college football bar none this season, I’ll go as far to say every team becomes bowl eligible. In this game though it’ll again come down to if Cam Rising is healthy. The Utah defense can only hold back Oregon State so long, especially with an experienced QB like DJ Uiagalelei leading the team. If Cam Rising is back I like Utah to win, but a close win, Oregon State is to not be messed with at all this year. But to not be shocked if Oregon State comes out and wins this came (they are the favorite after all).

22 Florida at Kentucky

12:00PM Kickoff on ESPN (9/30)
Current Records:
Florida: 3-1 (1-0 SEC)
Kentucky: 4-0 (1-0 SEC)

This is an interesting matchup during the first slate of noon games. A matchup between two teams in the SEC West trying to keep up with a Georgia team that looks mortal. Florida on a 3 game winning streak since losing to Utah in Week 1, and Kentucky starting 4-0 a third straight season. Florida while being on a 3 game winning streak hasn’t looked explosive on offense though, last week against a Charlotte teams who has one of the worst defenses in the country they had 22 Pts, most of which being field goals. If the Gators are looking to take that next step and compete with Georgia they need a more consistent offense to put points up. The defense has been solid, the most points they have allowed all season was 24 (Utah Week 1), they need to make big plays and cause turnovers though (2 total turnovers all season). Though Kentucky has started 4-0 for the third straight season (incredibly impressive given where the program was before Mark Stoops took over), they haven’t exactly been playing the “murders row” of college football, Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, Akron, and Vanderbilt. Like Florida this Kentucky team is still looking for its offensive identity, transfer QB Devin Leary has made plays, but the running back room has not been consistent enough. Kentucky is a 2.5 Pt favorite, I’m a little split on this game, but my gut says Florida. Yes they had a meh performance last week but I like their Offense and Defense a lot more, expect the defense to make so big plays and finally capitalize off turnovers.

24 Kansas at #3 Texas

3:30PM Kickoff on ABC (9/30)
Current Records:
Kansas: 4-0 (1-0 BIG 12)
Texas: 4-0 (1-0 BIG 12)

This is my game of the week, a battle between two Top 25 Big 12 teams: Texas and Kansas. Kansas is off to a 4-0 start for the second straight year and ranked too, what a complete turnaround the program has had, Lance Leipold needs a statue for whats he’s been able to accomplish. Texas is also off to a 4-0 start, and ranked in the top #3 for the first time in over a decade. Both these teams have high powered offenses with the BIG 12’s best QB, Quinn Ewers for Texas and Jason Daniels for KU. I will say the one fault Texas has on offense is that it takes them a bit to finally get going, in their first three games it took the Longhorns till the second half to finally pull away. Last week against Baylor finally broke that trend and they had a huge second quarter, though they took the foot off the gas not scoring in the 4th, wining 38-6. Kansas has had four solid victories, last week they beat BIG 12 newcomer BYU 38-27, and on the season they have only had 1 one score game (Nevada, 31-24 win). Texas is favorited 17 Pts, which they have earned, but don’t count the Jayhawks out. I like Texas to win, but Kansas is going to put up one hell of a fight, further cementing themselves as a BIG 12 title contender when Texas and Oklahoma depart for the SEC next year.

11 Notre Dame at #17 Duke

7:30PM Kickoff on ABC (9/30)
Current Records:
Notre Dame: 4-1
Duke: 4-0 (1-0 ACC)

Caping off Week 5 of games to watch is an “ACC conference game” in all but name (Notre Dame join a conference for god sakes), College Gameday also agrees this is a must watch game. Notre Dame is looking to rebound after a losing an absolute heartbreaker to Ohio State last week, 17-10. Allowing a game winning drive and to top it off only having 10 players on the field for the final two plays is terrible, especially after they used their finally timeout earlier in the drive. The Irish Offense got their first test, after playing lowly defenses all year, but I am still a fan of Sam Hartman and all the offensive weapons they have. Duke is looking to keep its winning ways and fight FSU for the ACC Championship, they have been dominating teams through four weeks, winning all their games by more than 21 Pts. As much as I want Notre Dame to come back and win after a heartbreaking loss at home, I think the Blue Devils are on a mission this season. Notre Dame is a 6 Pt favorite, but we all know that Duke isn’t scared of high ranked opponents (taking down then ranked #9 Clemson week 1), I pick Duke to upset Notre Dame, further showing they are in the top 2 teams in the ACC.

-Wil Weddington (@Wil_Weddington)