Week 6 of the 2022 college football schedule marks a full return to the regular portion of the regular season. Of the season-low 57 games on offer, only two feature a true non-conference matchup and totally off the table – for the first time this year – are FBS vs. FCS games.
It’s also a week – if Vegas is correct – that is less likely to produce an upset at the very top of the pecking order as the entirety of the Top 5 is favored by at least three touchdowns.
The matchups most likely to cause movement among the Top 15 teams are (8) Tennessee (only a three-point favorite) at (25) LSU, (11) Utah (a 4.5-point favorite) at (18) UCLA, and (14) North Carolina State (a three-point favorite) vs. Florida State.
The only ranked squad that’s an underdog to an unranked opponent in Week 6 is (16) BYU which is a 3.5-point dog in its match with Notre Dame in, ironically, Las Vegas.
Here’s this week’s mental checklist:
(1) SMU at UCF – originally slated for Week 5 – was rescheduled for Wednesday night to avoid Hurricane Ian. UCF defeated SMU in that contest, 41-19.
(2) While there are no college football games slated for Thursday night, you can stream the NFL matchup between Indianapolis and Denver on Amazon Prime Video.
(3) Friday night serves up four quality games, all with a spread of seven points or fewer. If you’re going to leave one channel on as the backdrop for your evening, go with FS1 which will feature back-to-back games kicking at 7pm ET and 10pm ET.
(4) While Saturday is jam-packed with 52 games, the biggest concentration of goodness is at the Noon ET timeslot when No. 8 visits No. 25, No. 17 calls on No. 19, and the Sooners clash with the Longhorns in the Red River Rivalry.
(5) In primetime, remember to hang on until 8pm ET – which is about 30 minutes after the bulk of Saturday evening’s games kickoff – to see Texas A&M at (1) Alabama and Florida State at (14) NC State.
Wednesday, Oct. 5
7pm ET – ESPN2 – SMU at UCF
More than just a battle betwixt two of the better acronyms in college football, this pairing offers two intriguing matchups. First up, tune in to see SMU’s passing attack – ranked No. 5 in the FBS thus far – try to do its thing vs. a UCF defense ranked No. 14 nationally vs. the pass. On the flip side, it’s the Knights’ No. 3 ranked rushing game taking on a Mustang D that’s struggled its way to a No. 105 national rank vs. the run. Keep an eye on SMU’s dynamic duo – senior QB Tanner Mordecai (#8), the No. 2 passer in the FBS, and senior WR Rashee Rice (#11), the No. 1 receiver in America.
Friday, Oct. 7
7pm ET – FS1 – Nebraska at Rutgers
7:30pm ET – ESPN2 – Houston at Memphis
10pm ET – FS1 – Colorado State at Nevada
One of only two winless clubs remaining in the FBS, Colorado State is only a 3.5-point underdog to score its first victory of the season. The Rams have dropped ten straight, last winning a football game on Oct. 16, 2021, a 36-7 decision at New Mexico.
10:30pm ET – CBSSN – UNLV at San Jose State
Saturday, Oct. 8
Noon ET – ESPN – (8) Tennessee at (25) LSU
Noon ET – FS1 – (17) TCU at (19) Kansas
Noon ET – FOX – (4) Michigan at Indiana
Noon ET – ABC – Texas vs. Oklahoma (at Dallas, Texas)
The most shocking statistical thread in Oklahoma’s back-to-back losses to (20) Kansas State and (17) TCU is the combined 636 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns it allowed. It earns the Sooners a No. 119 rank nationally/No. 10 (or dead last) in the Big 12 in rushing defense. For a Texas offense that has yet to really take off this season – currently ranked No. 70 nationally/No. 8 in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game – it presents a golden opportunity. The only time the Longhorns have eclipsed the 150-yard rushing plateau in 2022 was in the win vs. UTSA – a 298-yard explosion against a defense currently ranked No. 107 vs. the run. Will Brent Venables use his defensive acumen to return OU to its winning ways – or – will Steve Sarkisian make a big statement in the Big D? This is must-see TV.
Noon ET – SEC Network – Arkansas at (23) Mississippi State
Last week Mississippi State managed to hang up 329 passing yards on a Texas A&M defense that came into the game giving up an average of 153 air yards per game, the tenth best mark in the nation. This week the Bulldogs host Arkansas, a team that just so happens to be ranked No. 124 in the FBS vs. the pass. Where only six teams in the nation have averaged more yards through the air than has MSU, only seven have allowed more passing yards than have the Razorbacks. Holy Mismatch!
Noon ET – ESPNU – Missouri at Florida
Noon ET – Big Ten Network – Purdue at Maryland
Noon ET – ACC Network – Louisville at Virginia
3:30pm ET – FOX – (11) Utah at (18) UCLA
3:30pm ET – CBS – Auburn at (2) Georgia
3:30pm ET – FS1 – Texas Tech at (7) Oklahoma State
On paper 3-2 Texas Tech doesn’t look like much of a threat to an undefeated Oklahoma State squad ranked in the Top Ten. But did you know that the Cowboys are ranked No. 119 nationally/dead last in the Big 12 in pass defense? It makes for an interesting matchup vs. a Red Raider offense ranked No. 4 nationally in passing yards per game. What may make the difference is the play of Tech sophomore QB Donovan Smith (#7) – on the plus side he’s ranked No. 15 nationally in total yards, but in the minus column he’s already thrown seven interceptions, tying him for the second most nationally.
3:30pm ET – ESPN+ – Kent State at Miami Ohio
The absolute under-the-radar pick of Week 6, tune in to this one to see Kent State’s offense – which despite losses at (21) Washington, at Oklahoma, and at (2) Georgia – is ranked No. 16 in the FBS in rushing yards per game. This week they’ll try to keep the ground train chugging vs. a Miami defense that’s ranked No. 9 – in all of America – vs. the run. It’s the same Redhawk D that held (13) Kentucky to 50 rushing yards, (24) Cincinnati to 137, and Northwestern to 107. Let that sink in… MAC-TION BABY!
3:30pm ET – ESPNU – East Carolina at Tulane
No defense in the FBS has been more effective vs. the pass than has Tulane this season, allowing a meager 124 air yards per game. It makes for a stellar strength vs. strength matchup against an East Carolina team ranked No. 15 nationally in passing offense, the same unit that hung up 465 air yards and six touchdowns on South Florida last week. Keep an eye on ECU senior QB Holton Ahlers (#12), tied for No. 6 nationally in TD passes.
3:30pm ET – CBSSN – Tulsa at Navy
Navy’s defense has been solid vs. the run this season, most recently holding Air Force’s No. 1 ranked rushing attack – that’s averaged 370 yards per game – to 200 yards and zero rushing touchdowns in last week’s narrow 13-10 loss. Where the Midshipmen have struggled defensively is vs. the pass, currently ranked No. 101 nationally and the same guys who gave up 415 air yards to a Memphis team that’s averaged 255. Cue up Tulsa, the No. 10 passing attack in the nation, and it may prove difficult for Navy to secure its second victory in 2022. Check out the Golden Hurricane’s dynamic duo of senior WR Keylon Stokes (#2), the No. 3 receiver in the FBS, and senior QB Davis Brin (#7) – who is still nursing an ankle injury and will likely be relieved sporadically by freshman Braylon Braxton (#1) – the No. 9 passer.
3:30pm ET – ESPN+ – Ball State at Central Michigan
Ball State junior John Paddock (#5) is quietly the No. 10 quarterback in the FBS, fresh off a 403-yard performance in last Saturday’s win over Northern Illinois. This week he and his Cardinals get an opportunity to climb the charts even further vs. a Central Michigan defense currently ranked No. 107 in the nation vs. the pass.
4pm ET – ABC – (3) Ohio State at Michigan State
Five weeks into the 2022 season, Michigan State’s gone from a No. 15 preseason ranking in the AP to a 2-3 mark with the only wins coming vs. a pair of MAC teams. While there’s a lot not to like if you’re a Spartans fan, what’s most egregious is a defense that’s currently ranked No. 100 nationally in total D, No. 62 vs. the run, and No. 115 vs. the pass. Given MSU’s rich defensive history, it’s almost like a counterculture movement. And it could add up to an absolute disaster vs. an Ohio State offense ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring, No. 11 in rushing, and No. 18 in passing.
4pm ET – ESPN2 – North Carolina at Miami Fla.
6pm ET – ESPN+ – Western Kentucky at UTSA
UTSA’s only two missteps this season were against Houston and at Texas – both of which were ranked at game time – making this week’s visit from 3-2 Western Kentucky look like a winnable affair. But did you know that after holding the Longhorns to a mere 161 yards through the air in Week 3 that the Roadrunners have allowed 229 and 368 passing yards respectively in back-to-back wins over FCS Texas Southern and Middle Tennessee? Suddenly they’re ranked No. 99 nationally vs. the pass. Cue up Western Kentucky, currently No. 6 – in the world – in passing yards per game, and this one could be an upset in the making. Check out senior WKU QB Austin Reed (#16), the No. 5 passer in the FBS.
7:30pm ET – ESPNU – (20) Kansas State at Iowa State
Kansas State’s impressive climb back into the national conversation has been fueled by a rushing attack currently ranked No. 4 in the entire nation. It’s a unit that’s rushed for a whopping 618 yards and seven rushing touchdowns in its last two outings, wins at Oklahoma and vs. Texas Tech. Though Iowa State – which is fresh off back-to-back losses vs. its first two Big 12 opponents – might look like an opportunity to take a deep breath, looks can be deceiving. What if I told you that where the Sooners and Red Raiders are ranked No. 119 and No. 76 respectively vs. the run that the Cyclones are No. 8, in the FBS? This is a fascinating strength vs. strength matchup with plenty of implications. Look out for K-State’s combination punch of junior RB Deuce Vaughn (#22) – the No. 5 back in the nation – and senior QB Adrian Martinez (#9), the No. 2 rushing quarterback.
7:30pm ET – ABC – (5) Clemson at Boston College
7:30pm ET – FOX – Washington State at (6) USC
7:30pm ET – NBC/Peacock – (16) BYU vs. Notre Dame (at Las Vegas, Nev.)
7:30pm ET – Big Ten Network – Iowa at Illinois
At 4-1, Illinois is off to its best start since 2015 when it achieved the same mark through its first five games only to drop six of its last seven to finish 5-7. While the Illini’s success has been largely powered by its defense – currently ranked No. 1 in the entire nation in scoring, No. 3 vs. the run, and No. 11 vs. the pass – on offense it’s been all about junior RB Chase Brown (#2), the No. 2 back in the FBS. It sets up for an epic Saturday vs. a similarly elite Iowa D, ranked No. 13 vs. the run and No. 3 in scoring. This is old school, smash mouth, low scoring Big Ten football.
7:30pm ET – SEC Network – South Carolina at (13) Kentucky
8pm ET – CBS – Texas A&M at (1) Alabama
While a lot of the focus for this game will be on who will be under center for Alabama, don’t forget that while the Aggies’ defense is currently ranked a respectable No. 32 nationally/No. 6 in the SEC vs. the pass, they’re a less savory No. 97 in the FBS/No. 12 in the conference vs. the run. Given that the Crimson Tide’s rushing attack is ranked No. 7 in the nation, this game could be another small step in a series of giant leaps in the wrong direction for Jimbo Fisher.
8pm ET – ACC Network – Florida State at (14) NC State
9pm ET – Pac-12 Network – (12) Oregon at Arizona
This matchup pits each squad’s biggest strength against the opposing team’s biggest weakness. First up it’s Oregon’s rush offense, ranked a lofty No. 10 in the nation, taking on an Arizona D ranked a dismal No. 125 vs. the run. Where the Ducks are fresh off hanging up 351 ground yards and four rushing touchdowns on Stanford last Saturday, the Wildcats coughed up 354 rushing yards and four scores in its Week 4 loss at Cal. On the flip side it’s Arizona’s stellar pass offense – No. 9 in the Americas – taking on an Oregon D ranked No. 120 vs. the pass. Where the Wildcats smoked Colorado for 495 pass yards and six touchdowns last week, the Ducks’ secondary has allowed 300-plus air yards in three of its five appearances thus far including 439 in the opener vs. (2) Georgia. Keep an eye on Arizona sophomore QB Jayden de Laura (#7), the No. 6 passer in the FBS, and junior WR Jacob Cowing (#2), the No. 5 receiver. This ought to be one of the most entertaining games of Week 6.
9:45pm ET – FS1 – Fresno State at Boise State
10:30pm ET – CBSSN – Hawaii at San Diego State
11pm ET – ESPN – Oregon State at Stanford
OFF THIS WEEK (15)
- American: Temple
- ACC: (22) Syracuse
- Big Ten: Minnesota, (10) Penn State
- Big 12: Baylor, West Virginia
- C-USA: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice
- Independents: New Mexico State
- Sun Belt: Marshall, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Louisiana
FIRST-EVER MEETINGS (2)
- James Madison at Arkansas State
- UConn at FIU
7: Arizona State has won 7-straight home games over (21) Washington (last loss there in 2001)
7: (2) Georgia has won 7-straight home games over Auburn (last loss there in 2005)
8: Iowa has won 8-straight over Illinois (last loss in 2008)
8: (3) Ohio State has won 8-straight games AT Michigan State (last loss there in 1999)
8: Ohio has won 8-straight home games over Akron (last loss there in 2004)
11: (5) Clemson has won 11-straight over Boston College (last loss in 2010)
- Coastal Carolina has NEVER won AT ULM (0-2)
- Rutgers has NEVER beaten Nebraska (0-5)
- Texas State has NEVER beaten Appalachian State (0-6)
HARDWARE UP FOR GRABS
THE GOLDEN HAT TROPHY – Texas vs. Oklahoma (at Dallas, Texas) – Saturday, Noon ET, ABC – series started in 1900 – Texas leads 62-50-5, but Oklahoma has won four-straight.
Awarded to the annual winner of the Red River Showdown (a.k.a. the Red River Rivalry/Classic/Shootout), the Golden Hat dates to 1941 when the Texas State Fair presented it to the rivalry. Originally called the “Bronze Hat,” it was upgraded to the gold standard in 1969. According to legend, it’s one of the few long-standing traveling awards that has never been stolen, lost, broken, or vandalized. The Longhorns have worn the hat home 41 times vs. the Sooners’ 39. The 1995, 1984, and 1976 games ended in ties.
THE MICHIGAN MAC TROPHY – Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan – Saturday, Noon ET, CBSSN –series started in 1906 – Western Michigan leads 34-21-2 but Eastern Michigan has won three-straight.
The prize given to the victor of the three-way battle between Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan, the Michigan MAC was established in 2005 by the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and is awarded to both a football and basketball recipient. WMU leads the way with seven football MACs, followed by CMU (the current title holder) with six, and EMU (which hasn’t won the trophy since 2012) with four.
CMU hosts WMU on Wednesday, Nov. 16 and then travels to EMU the following Friday to close out its regular season.
THE MILK CAN – Fresno State at Boise State – Saturday, 9:45pm ET, FS1 – series started in 1977 – Boise State leads 16-7 and has won three of the last four.
The Milk Can – aka the “big metal can” – was the brainchild of dairy farmers from Fresno and Boise in 2005. Though the Bulldogs technically claimed the first Can in Fresno, the physical prize wasn’t ready/pasteurized until 2006 when it made its on-field debut after a Bronco victory in Boise. The two have met 15 times since ’06, 12 times in regular season play and three times in the MWC title game (2014, 2017, and 2018). Boise State holds a 10-2 advantage in regular-season action since 2006 and is 2-1 in the MWC championship games.
THE O’ROURKE-MCFADDEN TROPHY – (5) Clemson at Boston College – Saturday, 7:30pm ET, ABC – series started in 1940 – Clemson leads 20-9-2 and has won 13 of the last 14.
First awarded in 2008, the O’Rourke-McFadden (aka “The Leather Helmet”) honors the two All-American quarterbacks who played in the 1940 Cotton Bowl, also the first-ever clash between the Tigers and Eagles. Clemson’s Banks “The Great” McFadden led his No. 12 ranked team to a 6-3 win over No. 11 BC’s “Chuckin’” Charlie O’Rourke capping off a 9-1 season for the Tigers. The loss was the last-ever in O’Rourke’s collegiate career, the next year he led BC to an 11-0 record and the only national championship in program history. The Eagles have only won the trophy once, in 2010.
This Saturday’s edition of the Red River Rivalry marks the first time in 24 years – or since 1998 – that both Oklahoma and Texas were unranked at gametime. Since then, both schools were ranked at kickoff 16 times with four of these meetings being Top 5 matchups.
Of the eight games when one of the pair was a Top 25 member while the other was not, the Longhorns lead the way with five appearances as the unranked team followed by the Sooners with only three such occurrences.
Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference-College Football. Statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com. Odds courtesy of Oddshark.com.
You missed the Air Force Academy at Utah State University at 7 pm ET on FS1
Missed it how? This is not an all-inclusive list of games this weekend.
Ms. / Mrs. Amy Daughters,
Dan-ke for your weekly viewing Recommendations & statistics Commentary & Trivia.
U. Notre Dame has it’s many 4 & 5 Star Players.
The Shamrock Series designation of Home Team meant Notre Dame controlled everything about the Game except South Bend.
They picked the NBC Game start time, they picked the ticket Distribution Percentages. 80% Notre Dame, 20% BYU, The bye Week before it.
They could get another W here if BYU turns the Ball over.
Under normal Conditions, a LV exhibition bowl Crowd being overwhelmingly proBYU was nullified in this regular season Case.
U. Notre Dame’s possible Weakness: New Head Coach & accompanying cultural, offensive & defensive changes.
In My Opinion, BYU’s advantage is in the comfortable, familiar History of close proximity to LV. An exhibition Bowl in 2015 VS Utah Utes. Last year’s 1-A VS 1-A 1st inaugural Game in Allegiant VS U. Arizona.
The depth of Talent playing because of the Coronavirus year of eligibility.
When healthy or 80% + healthy, in 9 of 2021’s 13 Games J. Hall played he didn’t throw or fumble interceptions.
In 2022 ‘s 5 Games J. Hall’s Performance =: 1 trip up handing the Ball off, 1 pass Interception.
The Cotton Bowl stadium should install permanent lights to please ESPN and ABC if either wanted to televise OU-Texas at night after they join the SEC.
Why are you so obsessed with games being televised at night?
Dude, it’s the weekend, people will watch it as long as it’s during waking hours.
Just be thankful he hasn’t involved FOX sports in his complaint. This game is an essential part of the Texas State Fair. No one wants this game played at night!
The fair is open at night as far as I know. So there’s no reason the Cotton Bowl can’t install permanent lights to please ESPN and ABC in case they want the OU-Texas game at night.
I was just at the State Fair on Saturday night.
If it was a night game, it would be extremely hectic, and it’s already hectic on a Saturday night there.
Plus, the Cotton Bowl only hosts 2 major events per year, and the stadium is super old–it’s not worth it to install permanent lights there.