Surprise performances and unexpected outcomes are anticipated each weekend in the wild world of college football. Even if everyone knows they are coming, guessing when and where they will happen is difficult.
The USA TODAY Sports college football staff — Jace Evans, Paul Myerberg, Brent Schrotenboer, Erick Smith, Eddie Timanus and Dan Wolken — weigh in with some bold predictions for Week 6 of the college football season:
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Nick Saban will be extremely annoyed Saturday night. This is probably true most weekends his Alabama Crimson Tide play, but it will be especially true after the matchup with a Mississippi team now led by former assistant Lane Kiffin. Saban has never lost to one of his former assistants, moving to 20-0 after last weekend’s win over Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M, and that doesn’t figure to change against a Rebels team that doesn’t seem especially good on defense. But the early stages of the Kiffin era have shown that Ole Miss can put some points on the board and, because he’s Kiffin, the ex-Alabama OC is sure to have a few tricks up his sleeve for this contest. Alabama will win but it might cede more yards and points than we’re used to, which – combined with who would be responsible for that – is sure to leave Saban fuming at his postgame press conference.
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Florida joins Alabama in handing Texas A&M a lopsided loss against a top-ranked conference opponent. In doing so, the Gators add to the scrutiny on Fisher as questions mount over how much progress the program has made during his three seasons. Maybe the questions are unfair in one respect: A&M is still building a roster with the depth and experience to contend for the playoff. But this is Florida coach Dan Mullen’s third season, too. Unlike the Aggies, the Gators have been rolling.
The Red River rivalry has been reduced to this: Two teams outside the Top 20, both coming off losses, but with two quarterbacks that rank in the top 10 in pass efficiency and passing yards per game: Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler and Texas’ Sam Ehlinger. Who’s better? It depends on who’s hungrier. Oklahoma is 0-2 in league play for the first time this millennium, since before coach Bob Stoops arrived in 1999 to return the program to glory. This time the bet