By the time we get to Week 5 in the 2022 college football season, at least one of the top five or six teams in the rankings will have suffered an upset, so as we approach the initial College Football Playoff rankings, shifting will already be taking place. For this week’s top College Football betting picks from the college gridiron, we have a Pac-12 matchup on national television on Friday night, a rematch of last year’s Big 12 Championship and a Big Ten game that could show us just how temporary Michigan’s rise to the top of the conference was.
NCAA News: Must-Bet Football Games in 2022 for Week 5
→ Friday, September 30
Washington Huskies at UCLA Bruins (10:30 pm ET, ESPN)
Washington was an enigma last year, starting the season ranked #20. However, they started the year mustering just one touchdown in a shocking loss to FCS foe Montana, and the offense never really got going. The team fired offensive coordinator John Donovan after the eighth game and canned head coach Jimmy Lake one game after that. The team finished with a 4-8 record, and now Kalen DeBoer comes to Seattle from Fresno State, where his Bulldogs scored 33.4 points per game and piled up 464.8 yards per contest. He says he can “reload” instead of going through a major rebuild, so we will see. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr has transferred in from Indiana, where he went 12-5 as the starter. He was the quarterback in DeBoer’s offense at Indiana in 2019.
Chip Kelly finally found success at UCLA in his fourth season, leading the Bruins to an 8-4 mark that included a shellacking of USC and a win over a ranked SEC foe. Can the Bruins take the next step and get to the Pac-12 Championship? Kelly has a new contract extension and his star quarterback on campus once again, along with a terrific tailback. Dorian Thompson-Robinson can control games with his arm and with his legs, and he threw for 2,409 yards and 21 scores last season. Zach Charbonnet ran for 1,137 yards and 13 touchdowns, with the size to pound it into the end zone along with deceptive speed. The team did lose a lot of production at wide receiver, but Jake Bobo transfers in from Duke, where he was all-ACC third team last year. With this offense, the Bruins should be able to win this home game.
Final Prediction: UCLA 31, Washington 20
→ Saturday, October 1
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears (Time / TV TBA)
Oklahoma State enters looking for redemption after an upset loss to Baylor in the Big 12 Championship last year, and the Cowboys should be good enough to return to the title game – and perhaps win it all. The Cowboys bounced back from the loss in the Big 12 Championship to rally by Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. The defense ranked third in the nation, although their coordinator left for Ohio State in the off-season, and Spencer Sanders returns at quarterback after throwing for more than 2,800 yards and 20 touchdowns and running for 664 yards and six touchdowns. He threw four interceptions against Baylor in the Big 12 Championship, but he responded with 371 yards and four touchdowns in the Fiesta Bowl win. The offensive line returns three starters, so Sanders should have time in the pocket.
Baylor set some records last year, including the first 12-win season in school history, a Big 12 Championship and a win in the Sugar Bowl. The Bears’ setback against TCU was the only unsightly game, as much of the Big 12 took a set back, with Texas and Oklahoma putting up mediocre seasons, and Baylor rebounded significantly from their 2-7 record in the shortened 2020 season. Dave Aranda enters his third season as head coach, but the team lost quarterback Gerry Bohanon to the transfer portal, and such receiving threats as Tyquan Thornton, R.J. Sneed and Drew Estrada are gone. The quarterback will be Blake Shapen, and he has some agility and accuracy. I’m not sure they’re ready to get past Oklahoma State again, though.
Final Prediction: Oklahoma State 30, Baylor 24
Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes (Time / TV TBA)
Michigan finds itself in much the same place as Ohio State a season ago. The offense looks solid, the starting quarterback has a track record of success, but the defense is porous. That cost the Buckeyes against Oregon, and again when they played Michigan. The Buckeyes brought in Oklahoma State’s defensive coordinator, and now it is Michigan that has a lot of holes on defense.
Iowa last faced Michigan in the Big Ten Championship last year, where the Hawkeyes got routed. Even so, the Iowa season featured 10 wins in the regular season and a Vrbo Citrus Bowl berth. The Hawkeyes struggled to score in the red zone and to throw the ball down the field. The defense was elite, stout against the run and tops in the nation in interceptions. The O-line was a problem, but it will be better, and the offense should be more productive. But who will play quarterback? Will it matter?
Final Prediction: Michigan 27, Iowa 16
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