Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, October 6, 2017 at 11:01 AM
KEY COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND PREVIEWS - DO ANY OF THE TOP 5 TEAMS REALLY HAVE REASON TO FRET ON SATURDAY? ...
NFL WEEK 5 UPDATE: PATS HANG ON FOR 19-14 WIN AT T-BAY BUT THE BUCS "HELP OUT"
Can you believe it? Following this weekend's action there will be a slew of FBS teams that will already have played six games this year - damn, the 2017 season is flying by, ain't it! Obviously, there's special interest with the Associated Press top teams in the land, so let's check out their Saturday agendas:
#1 ALABAMA (5-0) at TEXAS A&M (4-1) - 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
The good folks who post the wagering lines finally have gotten it: You can't make 'Bama a bargain anymore! The country's top-ranked team is almost a full four-TD road fav for this Southeastern Conference game and how about the fact Nick Saban's crew has strung together back-to-back 59- and 63-point wins and QB Jalen Hurts (6 TDs passing, 4 TDs rushing) may just be hitting his stride after a rather slowish start this season.
WAKE FOREST (4-1) at #2 CLEMSON (5-0) - 12 p.m. ET, espn2
If the three-plus TD favorite Clemson Tigers turn up the heat with this defense (allowing 10.8 ppg this year) then WF might have major difficulty just crossing the 50-yard line. No doubt the Demon Deacons are more athletic than in past years but Clemson probably has 10-to-12 pros on this here-and-now squad, if you must know!
IOWA STATE (2-2) at #3 OKLAHOMA (4-0) - 12 p.m. ET, Fox
Take note that the Oklahoma Sooners have beaten their first four foes by a per-game margin of 28.5 points and - what do you know - the Boomer Sooners are 28.5-point betting favorites for this Big 12 clash and the only way the heavy-duty dog I-State Cyclones are gonna hang around here is if QB Jacob Park steers clear of the costly pick (he airmailed three INTs in a recent loss versus Texas).
#4 PENN STATE (5-0) at NORTHWESTERN (2-2) - 12 p.m. ET, ABC
Last week's rollicking 45-14 win/cover versus Indiana featured a rare "quick start" for the Nittany Lions who are more than just your proverbial one-man band as RB Saquon Barkley (574 yards rushing and 7 overall TDs) may be the Heisman Trophy frontrunner but QB Trace McSorley has a dozen touchdown passes. Hear, hear!
#5 GEORGIA (5-0) at VANDERBILT (3-2) - 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
There's been more than a few folks that claim the Georgia Dawgs are - next to #1 Alabama, of course - playing the best football in the land and that's saying something when you consider Kirby Smart's squad had to switch to freshman quarterback Jake Frohm a few weeks ago. Note the Las Vegas pointspread jumped from 14 to 17.5 points right at the start of this week.
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gonna pound out another big winning week on the gridiron and don't forget there's lots of Major-League Baseball Playoff winners too all weekend long when you check in with us online or 1-800-323-4453. Remember we come off a monster week last Saturday/Sunday (see College Football winners Marshall, Wake Forest and South Carolina plus NFL Week 4 winners the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants).
JIM SEZ TOP 10
1 - Alabama
2 - Clemson
3 - Oklahoma
4 - Georgia
5 - Penn State
6 - TCU
7 - Washington
8 - Wisconsin
9 - Auburn
10 - Michigan
NFL WEEK 5
If/when the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots go on to bigger/better things this year, than they may wish to send out a couple of "thank you" cards to Tampa Bay PK Nick Folk and Bucs' head coach Dirk Koetter ... we mean it!
In New England's hang-on-for-dear-life 19-14 win at the 4-point home underdog Tampa Bay Bucs, the aforementioned Folk (who - we are quite sure - will be cut before we get through this weekend) missed all three of his field-goal tries while Koetter did plenty of things wrong too like not getting the ball enough times into the hands of just-returned RB Doug Martin (see 13 carries for 74 yards) - why did the Bucs insist on sending Martin out on pass patterns when it's obvious he can't catch the ball?
Simply put, Koetter's game plan - if it didn't already - should have been adjust in-game to provide Martin with at least 10-to-12 more carries plus QB Jameis Winston should have thrown more deep balls to explosive WR DeSean Jackson (5 catches for 106 yards).
Folks, we say it all the time when it comes to playing against "genius" Bill Belichick and the Pats: More often than not it's the other team's head coach that spits the bit and does the wrong things!
NOTE: Get some NFL Week 5 previews in the next edition of Jim Sez.