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College Football Week Six Picks

Laquon Treadwell
3 Alabama vs. 11 Ole Miss
This weekend is chalk full of elite matchups, especially in the SEC West. But, this battle between the powerful Tide and the athletic Rebels may be the best the weekend has to offer. Alabama has been extremely impressive so far, especially through the air, where senior QB Blake Sims has been helped out in a major way by Heisman candidate Amari Cooper. They will hope to add a big victory to their resume against the Ole Miss Rebels, who don't have a real notable win outside of Boise State. Senior quarterback Bo Wallace has been extremely inconsistent through the Rebels' first four games. He has struggled with turnovers and dumb decisions, something he hoped he had outgrown. But yet, he is still putting together a solid season, both through the air and on the ground. He will hope to pick apart an Alabama secondary that has been suspect at times, with the exception of safety Landon Collins. His main target will be playmaking sophomore Laquon Treadwell, who is having an outstanding encore to his freshman campaign, racking up 307 yards and three touchdowns. Treadwell is a quick, explosive runner and Ole Miss will need him to show up in a big way if they are to beat 'Bama. The Tide will once more need a big game from Sims, but they will also need a strong performance from their running game. When it is going effectively, there is not a better rushing attack in the entire nation than the one in Tuscaloosca. The Ole Miss front seven will give the Alabama O-Line some issues (most notably versatile pass rusher Robert Nkemdiche) but they don't have the strength to stop the punishing efforts of Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon, it is just too much. Ole Miss is a legit football team this year, but they aren't at the level of Alabama just yet. Unless Treadwell or some other playmakers dominate and the defense plays extremely well, the Tide should come out on top.
Alabama, 24 Ole Miss, 17

9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. 14 Stanford Cardinal
One of the defining moments of Notre Dame's championship run in 2012-2013 was their goal line stop against Stanford, with quarterback Everett Golson on the sidelines. Now, they get an opportunity to take on the Cardinal again, with Golson, who was missed last year. The Irish defense isn't at all at the level they were back in 2012-2013, but the offense has taken huge strides. Golson is a much different quarterback, who is more confident and has more zip on the football. He will face a Stanford defense that has been absolutely dominant, even without defensive coordinator Derek Mason. That defense includes gritty end Henry Anderson, tackling machine A.J. Tarpley and sneaky defensive back Jordan Richards. If the offense is going to have success Golson must make smart decisions and the running game must find it's form again, it has been terrible as of late. The Stanford offense has struggled in big games in the past, but this offense seems up to the challenge. Junior QB Kevin Hogan has cut down on his turnovers and is ready to lead the Cardinal to a victory, while playmakers surround him, including speedy Barry Sanders Jr. at halfback. They will face a Notre Dame defense that has been extremely odd. Expected to struggle following the departures of many key faces, the Irish defense has been superb through the first five weeks of the season. Though, they really haven't faced an offense that has the power and versatility of Stanford's offense. These two teams appear to be very evenly matched and this is one of a number of games in this week that I think will be a toss-up. Though, the Irish with Golson is a magical thing and that is why I see them improving to 5-0 and adding a huge resume booster.
Notre Dame, 30 Stanford, 24

2 Oregon Ducks vs. Arizona Wildcats
The undefeated Arizona Wildcats will get a chance to prove themselves in a big way against one of the nation's top teams, the Oregon Ducks. The Wildcats will bring their explosive offense to the table, one that has been nearly impossible to stop this season so far. QB Anu Solomon has made all the throws and has impressed with his huge arm, throwing the ball to a number of high quality targets including senior Austin Hill and sophomore stud Cayleb Jones. Add in running back Nick Wilson and a strong offensive line and the 'Cats almost certainly have an offense that can keep up with the high-powered Ducks. They will be led by Heisman frontrunner Marcus Mariota, along with a variety of running backs including Thomas Tyner, Byron Marshall and true freshman Royce Freeman. The Oregon defense has played with more toughness this year, but the secondary has been inconsistent. All-American corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu has been burned on a number of occasions and Oregon struggles to tackle in open space. That could mean big issues against the speed and deep threats that Arizona possesses. Add to that the fact Oregon is missing some big chunks on their offensive line and Top 10 teams always struggle on Thursday nights, and the Ducks are almost certainly on upset alert. This will be a defining moment for Mariota and the Ducks. While Arizona isn't the most high-profile meeting on their schedule, I honestly believe it could be one of their toughest battles all season. Mariota will have to have some second half heroics like he did against Michigan State, and the Ducks' offensive line will have to show up against a pretty ferocious 'Zona pass rush. This appears to have all the makings of a late night Pac-12 shootout. Hopefully for Oregon it doesn't ruin their playoff hopes. Either way, they have to be on high alert against the dangerous Wildcats.
Oregon, 44 Arizona, 42

6 Texas A&M vs. 12 Mississippi State
One of the big questions in college football right now: just how good is Mississippi State? We saw how dominant they were against LSU, but how good is LSU? This battle with the Aggies of Texas A&M will go a long way in telling us just how good this 2014 Bulldogs team is. They will, of course, be led by rising Heisman candidate Dak Prescott, who absolutely embarrassed LSU. He will get a chance to face off against a defense that has had its fair share of struggles. Though, he will also have to contend with monster defensive end Myles Garrett, who has been unreal for Texas A&M through the season's first half. He will be helped by shifty wide receiver Jameon Lewis and running back Josh Robinson, a junior having a monster season. Offensively, on the other side, the Aggies won't have troubles moving the ball either. After a rough first half against Arkansas, Kenny Hill found his groove and put up huge numbers late against the Razorbacks. Can he do the same thing against a Mississippi State defense that has an absolutely scary front seven, that includes plenty of experience and pounds? He will be helped by Edward Pope at receiver (a player who is quickly reminding me of Mike Evans) along with a variety of backs. Add to that a strong, effective offensive line, one that includes Cedric Ogbuehi, and the Aggies will clearly put up their fair share of points. And, so once more it will be shootout in one of these Week Six battles. Two of the biggest sensations in college football right now, Prescott against Hill. One will keep themselves in the running for a Heisman, one will fall out. While I like Texas A&M they got all they could handle from Arkansas last week and I just don't know if they can beat another talented team like Mississippi State for the second straight week in a row, especially with the defense so susceptible to big plays.
Mississippi State, 35 Texas A&M, 26

Other Picks
10 Michigan State, 31 Nebraska, 13
4 Oklahoma, 38 25 TCU, 34
1 Florida State, 42 Wake Forest, 12
5 Auburn, 28 LSU, 18
Current Picks Record: 29-11

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