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Top College Football Matchups to Track in Week 5: Noon, Midday, Night Slates

The first Saturday in October will feature crucial matchups for Alabama, Michigan and other top teams.

Feel that little crisp chill in the air? Well, maybe you don’t if you’re down south, but we are just about to turn the calendar to October, which means we’re in full swing of the college football season. This week may not be heavy on great matchups, but there will be breadcrumbs for the future of the conference races to be laid this week.

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Kentucky at Ole Miss (-7)

The Rebels have been winning through the air in previous seasons under Lane Kiffin, but this year, a punishing ground attack has been the calling card. Meanwhile, the opposite has been true for Kentucky, which has found some success in the passing game thanks to the arm of Will Levis. The question for the Cats is if the return of running back Chris Rodriguez gives them enough on the ground to provide true balance and make UK a legitimately tough out for the rest of the season in the SEC.

Michigan (-11) at Iowa

Iowa has had deep issues scoring offensive points, but their extremely opportunistic defense continues to come up huge for them, scoring two touchdowns off of turnovers last week against Rutgers. Michigan is extremely cagey about injuries, but the Wolverines will be banged up against Iowa (that has an injury bug of its own on that stout defense). Despite that, Michigan showed last week in their first game against a somewhat formidable opponent that they’re ready to face their conference slate.

Sep 24, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines players celebrate in the student section after the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports


Oregon State at Utah (-10)

The Utes will be without their best player Brant Kuthie for the rest of the season and he was the key to their impressive offense that utilizes multiple tight end sets. The Beavers are feisty this year, and just gave USC absolutely everything they could handle in a near upset last weekend.

Wake Forest at Florida State (-7)

The Noles are 4-0 and clicking early this season and will host a Deacons team that was plenty explosive in the loss to Clemson last week. QB Jordan Travis may have to go shot for shot with Sam Hartman, and his true evolution as a passer will be tested here.

Oklahoma State at Baylor (-2)

This game may end up going a long way to decide the Big 12 championship game as both Kansas and Kansas State lurk as tough outs this season. It’s a rematch of the epic conference title game last season that had legitimate playoff implications.

Oklahoma State wide receiver Braydon Johnson (8) runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

Alabama (-17.5) at Arkansas

The Tide will face another test after steamrolling their opponents in the last two weeks following the close shave against Texas. The Hogs came a goalpost away from beating Texas A&M last week and are looking to spring the upset over the Tide. Bama’s toughness will be tested in this one, and they’ll have to hold up better than they did against Texas up front.

Texas A&M at Miss St (-4)

That line may surprise you, but consider what Ainanas Smith’s absence is going to mean for an A&M team that has struggled so mightily to generate explosive plays on offense. If this ends up in an air raid track meet, the Aggies might be in trouble.


LSU (-8.5) at Auburn

Something seems to always happen in this game. This time that something might lie in Bryan Harsin’s job security (or lack thereof) if War Eagle gets beaten decisively. It would be a big game for Brian Kelly’s early tenure to take care of business here against a division rival.

Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins (20) is congratulated by teammate Keith Maguire (30) after knocking down a fourth down pass intended for Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry (9) during the second overtime of an NCAA college football game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. Clemson won 51-45 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

NC State at Clemson (-6.5)

This Textile Bowl has revenge all over it for the Tigers, who will host College GameDay in town for the first time in six seasons. This starts a huge few weeks of ACC play as we try to determine a clear leader in the conference title picture. DJ Uiagalele played well in the win against Wake Forest, but can he do it again in an NC State front that will ask different questions of him?