Week 4 provided some national clarity to several key conference division races. Tennessee up, Georgia down. Clemson up, Louisville down. Washington up, Stanford down. Now, the season continues, and the intensity only goes up from here. Let’s get right to the picks.
DK’s 2016 Week 6 CFB Game Picks
All game times in Eastern Daylight Time.
Last Week: 7-3 (.700)
2016 Season: 33-17 (.660)
Air Force @ Wyoming (Saturday, October 8th, 3:30 p.m.)
The Falcons travel to War Memorial Stadium to play in the only stadium in FBS football whose altitude exceeds its own home field. Air Force is undefeated, including an impressive victory in Week 5 over Navy, to establish themselves as the early favorites to win the Commander-in-Chief trophy this season. Air Force is tied with Boise State atop the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference, and figures to stay that way. USAFA gets the win.
Pick: Air Force 28, Wyoming 17
‘Be Careful Here’ Game of the Week
Washington State @ Stanford (Saturday, October 8th, 10:30 p.m., ESPN)
The Cardinal got its pants pulled down last Friday night in Seattle, and looks to rebound this week. The problem for the home team is that QB Luke Falk and the Cougars can absolutely light up the scoreboard, as they did last week in making Oregon’s awful, terrible, no good season even a little bit worse. Stanford will not take Wazzu lightly, after nearly losing to the Cougs on the Palouse last season. Stanford’s still injury-depleted defense will slow down The Pirate’s version of the Air Raid just enough to eke out a win.
Pick: Stanford 42, Washington State 34
“Upset” Special of the Week
Tennessee @ Texas A&M (Saturday, October 8th, 3:30 p.m., CBS)
The Volunteers are playing like a team of destiny this season. Can they keep the momentum going when they visit the always unfriendly Kyle Field? Trevor Knight has been far better than adequate for the unbeaten home team, but this year’s Tennessee team seems to always find a way. They will find a way again on Saturday.
Pick: Tennessee 35, Texas A&M 31
Alabama @ Arkansas (Saturday, October 8th, 7:00 p.m., ESPN)
Arkansas has given the Crimson Tide a very difficult time in recent years, as they can match Bama’s talent in the trenches. This season promises to be more of the same, but Alabama’s superior skill position players will be the difference. Look for big games from QB Jalen Hurts and WR Calvin Ridley to lead Roll Tide Roll to victory.
Pick: Alabama 31, Arkansas 17
Washington @ Oregon (Saturday, October 8th, 7:30 p.m., FOX)
Washington has not beaten Oregon since George W. Bush’s first term in office. This bitter Pacific Northwest “rivalry” has been anything but in recent years. Washington comes in to this game off its biggest win in recent memory, but has to visit Autzen Stadium, which has been a house of horrors for the Dawgs for quite some time now. Oregon’s defense is struggling mightily, though, and the Huskies’ defensive front is ferocious. If you don’t believe that, ask Stanford QB Ryan Burns, who spent much of last Friday evening flat on his back. Washington gets the monkey off its back and keeps rolling toward that elusive Pac-12 North title.
Pick: Washington 48, Oregon 31
Florida State @ Miami (Saturday, October 8th, 8:00 p.m., ABC)
Miami enters this classic CFB rivalry as a top-10 team for the first time in a long time. Brad Kaaya has played well all season, and gets the up-and-down Seminoles this week at home. Florida State needs to win out to have any hope of getting to a big bowl at season’s end. Miami is still unbeaten and could challenge for the College Football Playoff if it can keep winning. The Canes will do just that this weekend.
Pick: Miami 38, Florida State 35
Road Warriors Game of the Week
Utah @ Arizona (Saturday, October 8th, 10:00 p.m., FS1)
The Utes failed to heed this column’s “Be Careful Here” admonition last week, and paid the price, losing to California on the road. Utah hits the road again in Week 6 to take on Rich Rodriguez’s struggling Wildcats. Bear Down has been more like “man down” with all of the injuries, most notably to putative starting QB Anu Solomon. Brandon Dawkins has played well enough in relief, but hasn’t gotten any help from his 76th ranked defense. The Utes will get the win and help themselves return to the front of the pack in the Pac-12 South.
Pick: Utah 30, Arizona 20
Program on the Rise Game of the Week
Colorado @ USC (Saturday, October 8th, 4:00 p.m., P12N)
Only a crazy person would have predicted that Colorado would be 4-1 and facing a sub-.500 Southern Cal team in this game before the season started. Coach Mike McIntyre’s turnaround is finally taking hold, and the Buffaloes boast a prolific passer in all-time program leader Sefo Liufau. USC is dangerous, despite its record, and the Trojans are at home. Colorado may be the smart pick in this game, but they are not all the way back just yet. The more talented Trojans will win at the Coliseum.
Pick: USC 35, Colorado 28
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina (Saturday, October 8th, 3:30 p.m.)
Va Tech figures as one of the pleasant surprise teams in the nation this season, as it rolls into Kenan Stadium to take on the 4-1 Tar Heels. QB Mitch Trubisky has been fantastic for the home team, and he has the better weapons to support him. The Hokies will put up a fight, but will ultimately succumb to the superior talent on the other team.
North Carolina 27, Virginia Tech 20
Texas vs. Oklahoma (Saturday, October 8th, 12:00 p.m., FS1)
Charlie Strong received the dreaded message of support from his university President in advance of the Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl. Shane Buechele was magic in the opening win over Notre Dame, but hasn’t been consistent all season. The Longhorns’ win in this game last season saved Coach Strong’s job, and he may need the same this week to earn another season at the helm in Austin. It will not happen. QB Baker Mayfield and the Sooners will get the win.
Pick: Oklahoma 42, Texas 30