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College Football Open Thread

Several big matchups in Week 6

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

New this week at Baltimore Beatdown, we will have an open thread for fans to talk about the big college football games of the day, and Week 6 of college football features some huge matchups.

#9 Tennessee at #8 Texas A&M (3:30 ET)

Saying Tennessee has survived this season in a massive understatement. The Vols have had to make comebacks against Appalachian State, Florida, and Georgia. They only got by Georgia on a last second hail mary. To beat Texas A&M, they will need more than luck. The Trevor Knight led offense has been rolling thus far in 2016, and the typically suspect Aggie defense, led by Myles Garrett, has been putting all kind of pressure on the quarterback. Tennessee will not have leading rusher Jalen Hurd for this game, but backup Alvin Kamara would be a starting running back at most other schools. All in all, Tennessee is the more talented team, but they will need to play at an elite level for a full 60 minutes in order to beat A&M in College Station.

The Pick: Tennessee will not have a hangover from the win over Georgia, the Vols get the job done, keeping the hopes of a showdown with Alabama next week in Knoxville alive. Tennessee wins, 34-28.

Top Prospects Eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft:

Tennessee: DE Derek Barnett, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, CB Cam Sutton, RB Jalen Hurd, RB Alvin Kamara, QB Josh Dobbs, WR Josh Malone, S Evan Berry

Texas A&M: Edge Myles Garrett, WR Josh Reynolds, Edge Daeshon Hall, LT Avery Gennesy, WR Speedy Noil, S Justin Evans, WR Ricky Seals-Jones

#25 Virginia Tech at #17 North Carolina (3:30 ET)

Both of these teams took early season losses, UNC fell to Georgia, and Virginia Tech fell to Tennessee, but both now climbed into the top 25. UNC is coming off of a win at Florida State that came on a last second field goal. Outside of Tennessee, VT hasn’t played anyone of note, but they have dominated in all of their three wins, including a 49-0 rout of Boston College. North Carolina has an extremely talented, yet unheralded trio of QB Mitch Trubisky, WR Ryan Switzer, and RB Elijah Hood. Those three should be enough to get the job done against what seems to be an overrated VT team.

The Pick: North Carolina wins comfortably, 37-27.

Top Pro Prospects Eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft:

Virginia Tech: TE Bucky Hodges, CB Brandon Facyson, WR Isiah Ford, FS Chuck Clark, DE Ken Ekanem, FB Sam Rogers

North Carolina: DT Nazair Jones, RB Elijah Hood, WR Ryan Switzer, CB Des Lawrence, QB Mitch Trubisky, OT Bentley Spain, OT Jon Heck

#1 Alabama at #16 Arkansas (7:00 ET)

This may be the most intriguing matchup of the day. Believe it or not, Alabama has moved away from their prototypical pocket passer quarterback, and has gone with dual-threat Jalen Hurts. The Alabama defense is just as sound as always, only allowing more than 10 points once (43 to Ole Miss in a game the Tide won in a shootout). Arkansas lost a lot of talent, namely RB Alex Collins, but still has the physical defense we have come to expect from Bret Bielema. However, the Razorbacks have given up their fair share of big plays this year, and that could prove costly against stud Alabama wide receiver, Calvin Ridley. Arkansas’ new quarterback, Austin Allen, has been incredible for the Razorbacks. But despite how well the offense has played, they have not seen a defense like Alabama. Arkansas’ offensive line has been shaky, and now they are facing one of the nation’s best pass rushing teams, led by LB Tim Williams.

The Pick: Arkansas keeps it close for the first half, but just doesn’t have the talent to keep up with Alabama. Alabama wins, 32-21.

Top Pro Prospects Eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft:

Alabama: DE Jon Allen, OLB Tim Williams, CB Marlon Humphrey, ILB Reuben Foster, FS Eddie Jackson, OT Cam Robinson, TE O.J. Howard, OLB Ryan Anderson, DE De’Shawn Hand, DL Dalvin Tomlinson, ILB Rashaan Evans

Arkansas: DE Deatrich Wise, LT Dan Skipper, TE Jeremy Sprinkle

#5 Washington at Oregon (7:30 ET)

Washington is the PAC-12’s last hope at making the Playoff. The Huskies just annihilated Stanford, and will now enter one of the most hostile environments to play in as a road team in college football. Despite not being the largest, Autzen Stadium is LOUD. This could be a trap game for the young, talented Huskies. They just don’t have the experience of winning a game like they did last week, and the Huskies could very well have see hangover early in this game. Oregon has lost their last three games, so this matchup against Washington is their national championship game. The Ducks will absolutely be ready for this game. Oregon will need to find a way to move the ball against Washington safety Budda Baker and the rest of the Washington defense. Superstar RB Royce Freeman will be key for the Ducks in this game. But Oregon’s biggest challenge will be stopping QB Jake Browning, RB Myles Gaskin, and the rest of the Washington offense.

The Pick: Washington is favored by 10 points in this game. Oregon faces a huge uphill battle to win this game, but it will be closer than 10 points. PAC-12 after dark has led to some crazy outcomes. I’m not going to take Oregon to win, but it will be close. Give me Washington in a shootout, 48-45.

Top Pro Prospects Eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft:

Washington: FS Budda Baker, CB Sidney Jones, LB Akeem Victor, S Kevin King, DT Elijah Qualls,

Oregon: RB Royce Freeman, LT Tyrell Crosby, TE Pharaoh Brown, WR Darren Carrington, DB Tyree Robinson

#23 Florida State at #10 Miami (8:00 ET)

Mark Richt has put Miami back on the map. The ‘Canes defense has been incredible, leading the nation in scoring defense. The offense isn’t so bad itself, led by star quarterback Brad Kaaya. All in all however, this game will come down to the running backs. Florida State’s Dalvin Cook is arguably the best player on the field for this game, and Miami’s Mark Walton has been somewhat of a revelation, rushing for 445 yards so far this season, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Miami’s goal all season has been to beat Florida State, but the Seminoles will be hungry for a win, especially after completely falling out the Playoff picture following an embarrassing at Louisville, and dropping a second game to UNC.

The Pick: There are many questions surrounding Miami, asking if it is for real. For now, the answer is no, as the Seminoles will upset Miami in Miami. Florida State wins, 24-21.

Top Pro Prospects Eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft:

Florida State: RB Dalvin Cook, DE DeMarcus Walker, LT Rod Johnson, CB Marquez White, WR Travis Rudolph. DT Derrick Nnadi

Miami: QB Brad Kaaya, WR Stacey Coley, DE Chad Thomas, CB Corn Elder, C Nick Linder, RB Joe Yearby