Butch Dill/Associated Press
Last week, the SEC held its first games of the 2020 season. And although the conference has many of the top-ranked teams in the country, there was only one season opener that was a ranked matchup.
There will be more this weekend, though, as the SEC will have a pair of ranked matchups featuring four of its best teams. First, No. 2 Alabama will host No. 13 Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon, before No. 4 Georgia entertain No. 7 Auburn in one of the best early-season matchups in college football.
While many of the top teams around the country won last week, that wasn’t the case for all of them. Oklahoma, which was ranked No. 3 entering last weekend, was upset at home by Kansas State. The Sooners are now ranked No. 18 in the AP Top 25 poll and will be looking to bounce back this Saturday at Iowa State.
A lot of top teams will be playing this weekend, including No. 1 Clemson, which is hosting Virginia in ACC action after a bye last week.
Here’s a look at the full Week 5 college football schedule, along with odds, picks and the top matchups to watch.
Week 5 Top 25 Schedule, Odds, Picks
Picks in bold against the spread
Friday, Oct. 2
Louisiana Tech at No. 22 BYU (-24.5); Over/Under 59
Saturday, Oct. 3
South Carolina at No. 3 Florida (-18); O/U 57.5
TCU at No. 9 Texas (-11.5); O/U 63
Missouri at No. 21 Tennessee (-11.5); O/U 48.5
NC State at No. 24 Pittsburgh (-14); O/U 47
No. 13 Texas A&M at No. 2 Alabama (-17.5); O/U 51.5
No. 12 North Carolina (-13.5) at Boston College; O/U 54
South Florida at No. 15 Cincinnati (-22); O/U 46
No. 17 Oklahoma State (-21.5) at Kansas; O/U 54
No. 25 Memphis (-2.5) at SMU; O/U 74.5
No. 7 Auburn at No. 4 Georgia (-6.5); O/U 45
Tulsa at No. 11 UCF (-21.5); O/U 72
Arkansas at No. 16 Mississippi State (-18); O/U 69
No. 18 Oklahoma (-7) at Iowa State; O/U 62.5
No. 20 LSU (-20.5) at Vanderbilt; O/U 49.5
Virginia at No. 1 Clemson (-28); O/U 55
Odds obtained via DraftKings
Top Matchups of the Week
No. 13 Texas A&M at No. 2 Alabama
L.G. Patterson/Associated Press
Last week, Alabama opened its 2020 season in the dominant fashion that many have come to expect from the Crimson Tide. They built a 25-point lead by halftime and cruised to a 38-19 win at Missouri. But this week, they’ll have a bigger challenge when they host Texas A&M.
Although the Aggies are expected to be a strong team this season, they just barely pulled out a home win over Vanderbilt last week. Texas A&M pushed its lead to 17-12 on a 24-yard field goal by Seth Small in the first minute of the fourth quarter, then held on to win by that score.
It may not have been the Aggies’ best performance, but with senior quarterback Kellen Mond back leading their offense, they should play better down the stretch. And an upset road win over the Crimson Tide would certainly be one way to get them going.
Since joining the SEC, Texas A&M has only one win over Alabama, and that came in its first season in the conference in 2012. The Crimson Tide have beaten the Aggies in each of the past seven seasons. And while it’s probable that will be the case again this season, Texas A&M could make this a competitive game.
No. 25 Memphis at SMU
Stephen Spillman/Associated Press
Memphis opened its season with a 37-24 win over Arkansas State on Sept. 5 but hasn’t played a game since. Many teams have had their schedules impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and that’s led to the Tigers going nearly a full month between their first and second appearances.
And Memphis doesn’t exactly have an easy matchup to ease its way back into competitive action. SMU is off to a 3-0 start led by redshirt Shane Buechele, who has passed for 852 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
The Mustangs are only 2.5-point underdogs, and with home-field advantage and their recent play, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them beat the Tigers, who may be the ranked team with the greatest chance to lose to an unranked opponent this week. However, this will be SMU’s toughest challenge of the fledgling season.
Memphis has beat SMU in each of the past six meetings between the two schools and leads the all-time series 9-3. But last year’s matchup ended with the Tigers holding on for a 54-48 win. Don’t be surprised if this year’s game is decided by an even smaller margin.
No. 7 Auburn at No. 4 Georgia
A storied SEC rivalry matchup, Georgia has gotten the better of Auburn in recent years. The Bulldogs have won the past three meetings between the two teams, as well as six of the past seven. And they’ll be looking to add to that success at home on Saturday night.
However, Georgia will likely need to play better than it did in its season opener. The Bulldogs started slow at Arkansas last week, and they trailed by five points midway through the third quarter. After bringing in redshirt junior Stetson Bennett at quarterback, they finally got things going and scored 32 unanswered points late for a 37-10 win.
But Auburn is going to be a much tougher opponent. It earned a quality 29-13 home win over Kentucky in its opener, as sophomore quarterback Bo Nix got off to a solid start by passing for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
The SEC West is arguably the toughest division in college football with these two teams, No. 2 Alabama, No. 13 Texas A&M, No. 16 Mississippi State and No. 20 LSU all in it. Every game carries a ton of importance, and this Auburn-Georgia matchup could end up helping to determine which team ends up in the SEC Championship Game this season.