With the arrival of October, most of the weekly action in college football is in conference play.
That’s the case in Week 6, as the biggest games are conference affairs.
Ohio State-Northwestern is the top game in the Big Ten this Saturday, while Georgia Tech takes on Miami, and Florida State hosts Maryland in ACC play.
In the Pac-12, Washington plays at Stanford, which is a huge game for the Huskies to see if they have closed the gap on the rest of the North Division.
With conference play starting, the potential for upsets may increase. Teams are more familiar with each other, and the competition is tougher.
The favorites can't win every game each week, so it's no surprise one of the most popular discussion points every Saturday is upset picks. Each week on AthlonSports.com, the editors will give an upset pick for the upcoming week of action.
College Football Week 6 Upset Predictions
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Tulane (+3) over North Texas
Under second-year coach Curtis Johnson, the Green Wave are quietly making progress and with a 3-2 record, need just three victories to get bowl eligible. Tulane opened the year with a win over Jackson State but stumbled in a surprising loss against South Alabama. However, the Green Wave has won two out of its last three games and play their next three contests at home. Saturday’s game against North Texas will be a tough matchup, but I like Tulane to pull off a slight upset. The Mean Green rank last in Conference USA in total and pass defense, which is a bad sign against Green Wave receiver Ryan Grant (33 catches, 461 yards, four touchdowns) and improving quarterback Nick Montana. Tulane’s defense also ranks second in Conference USA in fewest yards allowed, holding opponents to 4.9 yards per play. Expect a close one, but the Green Wave edge the Mean Green on Saturday.
Braden Gall (@BradenGall): Ohio State (-6.5) over Northwestern
Go big, or go home. The Wildcats have beaten the Buckeyes just once in the 29-game history of the series — in 2004 in Evanston. This is the most talented Northwestern team ever assembled, Ohio State is coming off an emotionally draining effort against Wisconsin and College Gameday is going to be in Evanston for the first time since 1995. Venric Mark could return to the field for Pat Fitzgerald, giving him his full compliment of weapons for the first time all season. The Cats have been extremely competitive against upper level Big Ten teams of late and now is the time for them to break through on the national stage.
Mark Ross: Nevada (+5) over San Diego State
San Diego State's lone win thus far came against New Mexico State, while it lost 40-19 to FCS member Eastern Illinois to open the season. Nevada got pounded by UCLA and Florida State (by a combined score of 120-27), but it also is 2-0 in the Mountain West Conference after beating Hawaii and Air Force the past two weeks. San Diego State is having problems both scoring (20.5 ppg) and keeping opponents from putting points on the scoreboard (33.0 ppg), while quarterbacks have just carved them up. Both Ohio State's Kenny Guiton and Oregon State's Sean Mannion posted decent numbers against the Aztecs. Enter Cody Fajardo, Nevada's dual-threat signal-caller who has thrown five touchdown passes and rushed for five more scores. Fajardo isn't a one-man band, either, and I just think Nevada has too much offense for the Aztecs to overcome.
David Fox: Illinois (+10.5) over Nebraska
Perhaps I should have learned my lesson that Illinois is not ready for the big time when the Illini lost 34-24 to Washington, a game that probably wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. But there aren’t many reasons to trust Nebraska — even at home — with that defense. If Taylor Martinez is out or limited for the Cornhuskers, Illinois will have a major edge in an up-and-down-the-field. We know the Illinois defense isn’t that great, but Nathan Scheelhaase is one of the most improved quarterbacks in the country. Illinois should be able to hold its own in a shootout.
Stephen Schindler (@SteveSchindler): Ball State (+5) over Virginia
Ball State is No. 10 in the country in passing offense and averages 40 points per game. Meanwhile, the Virginia offense struggled mightily last week against Pittsburgh. In fact, the Cavs managed just three points on 188 total yards and went 3 of 18 on third-down conversions. If Ball State’s offense is clicking, Virginia won’t be able to match them blow for blow. Mike London will rely on his defense to keep the Cavaliers in this game, but the Virginia offense has had trouble avoiding big mistakes. In all four games this year, Virginia has turned the ball over at least twice, including a four-turnover performance against Oregon. If this trend continues, I think it will make the difference as Ball State will be able to convert easy points out of some short drives.