L.G. Patterson/Associated Press
It may be an unorthodox year for sports (college football being no exception), but there are still a few things that haven’t changed. Two of them? Clemson and Alabama being among the top two college football programs in the country and once again rolling to begin a new season.
The No. 1-ranked Tigers have opened the year with three straight wins, including a pair over ACC opponents, while the No. 2 Crimson Tide have started their SEC-only schedule with back-to-back victories over Missouri and Texas A&M.
Nobody would be surprised if Clemson and Alabama emerge from this regular season as two of the teams to make the College Football Playoff. However, both teams will have to keep their strong starts going. The Tigers face their greatest test yet this Saturday as they host No. 7 Miami, while the Crimson Tide are traveling to take on Ole Miss.
Here’s a look at the full Top 25 schedule for Week 6, along with odds and predictions for each matchup.
Week 6 Top 25 Schedule, Odds, Picks
Saturday, Oct. 10
No. 4 Florida (-6.5) at No. 21 Texas A&M, noon, ESPN
No. 19 Virginia Tech at No. 8 North Carolina (-5), noon, ABC
Missouri at No. 17 LSU (-14), noon
No. 22 Texas at Oklahoma (-2.5), noon, Fox
No. 14 Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia (-12.5), 3:30 p.m., CBS
UTSA at No. 15 BYU (-35), 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
Texas Tech at No. 24 Iowa State (-12.5), 3:30 p.m., ABC
Arkansas at No. 13 Auburn (-14), 4 p.m., SEC Network
No. 2 Alabama (-23.5) at Ole Miss, 6 p.m., ESPN
No. 7 Miami at No. 1 Clemson (-14), 7:30 p.m., ABC
Florida State at No. 5 Notre Dame (-20.5), 7:30 p.m., NBC
All times ET. Picks in bold against the spread. Odds obtained via DraftKings.
Predictions for Top Teams
No. 1 Clemson (-14) over No. 7 Miami
In 2019, Clemson went the entire regular season without playing a top-10 team. This year, the Tigers’ schedule is a bit more difficult, as they have ACC matchups against No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 7 Miami, with the latter set to take place Saturday night.
The Hurricanes are also 3-0 to open the season, and over the past two weeks, they’ve taken down Louisville and Florida State in ACC play. But they have yet to take on a team as strong as the Tigers, who have shown no signs of slowing down in this dominant stretch for the program.
Clemson hasn’t lost a game to an ACC opponent since Oct. 13, 2017, when it lost at Syracuse. And that streak is unlikely to come to an end, even though Miami is a quality opponent. Tigers junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence has impressed so far, passing for 848 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions as he looks to win the Heisman Trophy in what should be his final college season.
The Hurricanes won’t have a way to slow Lawrence and the Tigers, and Clemson will find a way to pull away late and cover the 14-point spread. The game may be competitive early, but the Tigers are too talented all around for Miami to end up within striking distance late.
No. 2 Alabama (-23.5) over Ole Miss
Ole Miss are making improvements under new head coach Lane Kiffin, who was the offensive coordinator at Alabama from 2014-16. They are coming off their first win of the Kiffin era, as the Rebels pulled out a 42-41 overtime victory at Kentucky last week. However, they’re facing a much greater challenge this week in hosting Alabama.
Last week, the Crimson Tide cruised to a 52-24 win over Texas A&M, which entered the matchup as the No. 13 team in the country. It was a strong showing for Alabama that once again proved it deserves to be ranked as one of the top teams in the nation.
There’s no reason to think this week’s game won’t be another lopsided Alabama victory, and it would be a surprise if Ole Miss keep it within 23 points, even though the Rebels appear to be making positive strides under Kiffin. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is 20-0 in games against his former assistants, and he should add another victory to that unblemished record.
Alabama leads the all-time series against Ole Miss 51-10-2, which includes wins in each of the past four years. The past three Crimson Tide victories have all been by at least 28 points.
No. 14 Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia (-12.5)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
Georgia is coming off a strong home win over Auburn last week. The Bulldogs notched a convincing 27-6 victory over the Tigers, who entered the game as the No. 7 team in the country. Now, they’ll look to earn another quality victory over a strong SEC rival in No. 14 Tennessee.
This will be Tennessee’s first opportunity to prove itself as a top contender in the SEC this season. The Vols opened with wins over South Carolina and Missouri, but they were favored to easily win both of those contests. If they could pull off a road upset over Georgia, it would be a huge statement victory.
The Bulldogs have already made a quarterback change after their slow offensive start in their season opener against Arkansas, but junior Stetson Bennett has played well since taking over the role. Plus, Georgia’s defense has powered both of its victories, allowing only 16 total points and an average of 248 total yards over two weeks.
Although Tennessee is improved from recent years, this matchup is likely to show that Georgia is still a much stronger program and in the top tier of the SEC. Expect the Bulldogs to win by at least two touchdowns, again relying on their dominant defense to shut down the Vols for much of the night.