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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Let’s talk sports: Parity in college football

Four top-ten teams fell in Week 5 of the college football season, and the nation’s top-2 teams won by just 3 points against inferior opponents.

So what does this mean? Parity.

Every league wants to see parity in their sport, and college football has found it at the peak of their popularity following the inclusion of a playoff.

As it stands, Ohio State, TCU, Baylor and Michigan State would find themselves in the second ever College Football Playoff.

 

Other teams to like in the Top-25

#7 LSU: the Tigers make a living off of winning nail biters, and this tactic may prove useful for this years team. They travel to Alabama and Ole Miss, meaning they may have to eke out a couple tough wins to find themselves in the final four. Also, it doesn’t help when you have Heisman Trophy front-runner Leonard Fournette.

#10 Oklahoma: Baker Mayfield seems to have that “it” factor, which will be necessary for Oklahoma to end up in the top 4 at seasons end. The Sooners have a relatively smooth 4 game stretch before showdowns on the road at Baylor and at home vs. TCU. If they can manage to survive those two games and make it to the final week of the season undefeated, you have to like their chances.

#18 Michigan: an opening season 7-point loss to then unranked Utah seemed to show that Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines might be a year or two away from competing. That loss was on the road, and that loss comes to a now fifth ranked Utah team after their dismantling of Oregon. Even more encouraging news for Michigan fans? They get #13 Northwestern, #4 Michigan State and #1 Ohio State at home. There could be reason for optimism in Ann Arbor.

 

Week 6 Marquee Match-Ups

#13 Northwestern at #18 Michigan: Northwestern looks legit, and both teams boast stellar defenses. I look for Michigan to have just enough at home to continue their roll since the loss to Utah.

#21 Oklahoma State at West Virginia: If you’re looking for an upset, look no further. After suffering a decisive first loss on the road at Oklahoma, the Mountaineers return home with a bad taste in their mouth. Look for them to be able to knockoff the Cowboys in a season making game before they go on the road to play Baylor and TCU in consecutive weeks.

#24 California at #5 Utah: This game could potentially be interesting. Cal comes into the game looking to play better and limit turnovers after a close call at home against Washington State. Utah on the other hand comes in off of a bye and after giving it to Oregon in Eugene– but the Utes have struggled a bit at home, winning two games by a combined margin of 17 points. Could there be a post-Oregon hangover in Salt Lake City?

 

Players to Watch in Week 6

Notre Dame Running Back C.J. Prosise: Prosise had his worst game on the ground in the Irish’s first loss of the season at Clemson last week going for just 50 yards on 15 carries. Despite that, he still managed to show why he’s electrifying when he eclipsed 100 yards receiving including a 56 yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter. I see him getting back on track on the ground back home against Navy.

Ohio State Running Back Ezekiel Elliott: Elliott had his best game of the season last week going for 274 yards and three scores in a tight game at Indiana. Elliott seemed to only get stronger as last season went, which is bad news for the struggling Maryland who finds their way to Columbus this week.

Ole Miss Quarterback Chad Kelly: Kelly played very mediocre as the Rebels suffered their first loss of the season, one week after a big win against Alabama at home. With a “stat game” against New Mexico State before heading to the surprisingly undefeated Memphis look for Kelly to do just that, put up stats.

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