Week 5 of the 2023 college football season brings more exciting games between some of the top programs in the nation. The slate features four matchups of ranked opponents. No. 10 Utah faces No. 19 Oregon State on Friday night. No. 24 Kansas heads to Austin to take on No. 3 Texas in a battle of undefeated teams (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC). No. 13 LSU meets No. 20 Ole Miss for an SEC showdown. Lastly, No. 17 Duke looks to prove it belongs in title conversations when it looks to upset No. 11 Notre Dame when the Irish visit Wallace Wade Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET on ABC).
Matt Barrie, Jorge Sedano, Matt Miller, Dalen Cuff and Kevin Haswell are here to break it all down and give their best advice heading into Saturday.
All odds and lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
No. 11 Notre Dame (-5.5, 52) looks to bounce back from last week's loss to Ohio State against undefeated No. 17 Duke. The Fighting Irish are the favorites over the Blue Devils heading into Saturday night in Durham. What are your thoughts on this game?
Matt Barrie: This will be as physical a game as you'll see all season. Mike Elko has built Duke in his blueprint. They play fast, physical defense. Marcus Freeman is also a former defensive coordinator, so his Irish are built the same way. The QB play between Riley Leonard (Duke) and Sam Hartman (ND) should be stellar. Notre Dame's season is on the line after losing to Ohio State and they know it. Expect a close bounce back by the Irish.
Jorge Sedano: Notre Dame has won 29 straight games against the ACC. Their last loss came against Miami in 2017. I think they make it 30 straight on Saturday night but Duke will keep it close. Irish OC Gerad Parker praised the Duke defensive line this week and with good reason. The interior lineman are the engine for the Blue Devils' defense. DeWayne Carter and former Irish lineman Ja'Mion Franklin are arguably the best pair of DTs in the country. That, combined with a high-powered offense led by Riley Leonard keeps Duke in this game.
Matt Miller: Give me Notre Dame and the over. Duke can score and Riley Leonard and left tackle Graham Barton are really nice NFL prospects, but I don't see any way they can stop Notre Dame's rushing attack. Audric Estime leads the nation in rushing yards and will have a big performance again Saturday night.
Dalen Cuff: Duke may be the most underrated team in the country, and this isn't a one-hit wonder. It put up nine wins in Mike Elko's debut season and has backed that up this season dominating in all four wins, allowing a total of 35 points (T-4th in FBS 8.75 points allowed per game). The Blue Devils have a potential first-round quarterback in Riley Leonard that is a true dual threat, a high-level defensive line and a legit home field crowd at Wallace Wade Stadium. I think Notre Dame will respond well off last week's loss, but it has to run the ball and control the clock. I like the total going under 52 the most in this game, but Duke and the points is in play.
Kevin Haswell: I've been extremely impressed with what Mike Elko has done in his time at Duke. The defense has been great, but they have had one weakness so far: defending the run. The Blue Devils have allowed 133 rushing yards per game this season, 10th in the ACC. They'll have to go up against an impressive Notre Dame rush offense, led by Audric Estime, who leads the FBS with 591 rushing yards. That's what I believe will be the difference and why I'm taking Notre Dame -5.5. I also like the under 52.
What is the most interesting storyline heading into Week 5 of the college football season?
Matt Barrie: Can a few unranked, undefeated teams stay perfect and emerge as legit contenders? Jeff Brohm has gotten off to a 4-0 start in his return home to Louisville. They have NC State Friday. Another win, and they'll have to be considered among the top of the contenders in the ACC. Syracuse is also 4-0 and has a reeling Clemson team that knows their season is on the line. A win by the Orange would be validation of a good start. And Maryland has Indiana this weekend before traveling to Ohio State next week. 5-0 looks doable for the Terps, with an ultimate prove-it weekend to follow.
Matt Miller: Who is going to win the Pac-12? There are four undefeated teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP rankings-Washington (7), USC (8), Oregon (9) and Utah (10)-with No. 16 Washington State also undefeated following a huge win over Oregon State. The Pac-12 is loaded, and we could see some separation this week with USC traveling to Colorado and Utah traveling to Oregon State on Friday night.
Jorge Sedano: I agree with Matt about the Pac-12 for all the reasons he alluded to. Plus, what I wrote last week about Washington being undervalued in the playoff picture. However, if I were looking for another storyline to follow, it would be the race for the top two teams in the ACC. Florida State has a clear path to the championship game, but who will be joining them? Right now, you could make the case for a number of teams: North Carolina is probably the leader in the clubhouse. Mario Cristobal has made Miami someone to keep an eye on. Duke is most certainly in that conversation. Louisville is not to be dismissed. I'm also not totally ready to rule out Clemson (despite needing a ton of help).
Dalen Cuff: I feel like a broken record here, but since week 2, the storyline has been about the Pac-12. There is a massive game with conference and national implications between No. 10 Utah at No. 19 Oregon St (-3.5). But the people have spoken: Colorado got thrashed by Oregon, but 10.4 million people still watched, making it the highest-rated college football game this season. With a 10 a.m. local time kickoff Saturday against Caleb Williams and USC in their first test with Deion Sanders strolling the sideline, the Buffs will remain the show, win or lose.
Kevin Haswell: The success of the Pac-12 and its quarterbacks is the most interesting storyline for me heading into Week 5. For the first time this season, someone not named Caleb Williams is the Heisman favorite (Michael Penix at +225). Three of the top five players with the shortest odds to win the Heisman are from the Pac-12: Penix +225, Williams +375 and Bo Nix 12-1. Each of them will have their opportunity for their 'Heisman moment' as they all face each other down the stretch of the season. The Pac-12, for the first time in a while, is appointment television every week.
Through five weeks, the college football playoff race appears to be wide open with eight teams with lower than 20-1 odds. Which teams do you see contending for a spot in the playoff right now and why?
Matt Barrie: Here's how open the CFP race is. I believe right now, No. 1 Georgia to No. 18 Miami are all in play for a playoff appearance this season. In fact, as the schedule nears October this might be the craziest CFP fight in the final year of the four-team format. Parody, portal and schedule are going to make this fun.
Jorge Sedano: Obviously, this is all fluid, but here are my feelings to date. Georgia will likely be in as long as nothing unforeseen happens. The winner of the Big Ten (likely the winner of Ohio State vs. Michigan) will get in. Florida State is one of the best teams in the country, and barring injuries I think they can run the table in the ACC. I know everyone is on Texas and rightfully so. But if a team comes out of the Pac-12 undefeated, I believe that team should get one of the four playoff spots.
Matt Miller: Georgia is a given at this point with a very winnable schedule until the SEC Championship Game. It's starting to feel like we'll see at least Michigan or Ohio State, if not both, coming out of the Big Ten. If I had to pick today, my final four would be Georgia, Michigan, Texas and Florida State.
Dalen Cuff: Georgia seems like a lock and no value to bet. Ohio State and Michigan could get upended by Penn State, but I'm not sure the Nittany Lions will beat them both to get in. Florida State is coming off the win at Clemson and I really like them to get in at +180. Texas in the mix, but the value is in a Pac-12 team. I was on Utah early, but they need to get healthy to survive. Washington at +500 and USC at +240 are also really solid plays. I think the winner of that league, regardless of other permutations, is getting in. If things break the right way, the Pac-12 could see two teams get into in the College Football Playoff.
Kevin Haswell: Georgia has a very winnable schedule down the stretch, so I have them in. I believe that Texas and Michigan will win out and earn a spot. As for my final spot, I'm going to go with Oregon. The Ducks will have a chance to stake their claim on the road against Washington and Utah next month. So, my College Football Playoff at this point in the season would be Georgia, Texas, Michigan and Oregon.
Michael Penix Jr. has jumped Caleb Williams as a 3-1 favorite to win the Heisman Trophy after entering the season at 18-1. Do you see Penix holding onto the lead for now or will Williams or someone else become the favorite as the season progresses.
Matt Barrie: Historically, the 'September Heisman' rarely holds on. We get blown away by big numbers early, and then when conference play and marquee matchups happen towards the end of the season, the voters find a new favorite. Penix Jr. won September but there are too many big games and too many talented players to declare this thing over.
Jorge Sedano: There isn't an offense in the country that is as wide open as Washington. Twenty-five percent Penix Jr.'s passes are over 20 yards. He still has had incredible efficiency numbers despite how aggressive the offense is. I think the Heisman race comes down to him and Caleb Williams. Their meeting on Nov. 4 looms large.
Matt Miller: Each week it feels like a new Pac-12 quarterback is in the top spot, so maybe we want and see what Washington State's Cameron Ward does in a few weeks. All kidding aside, Penix Jr. is a baller with a great supporting cast. He would need to continue his statistical domination to win the Heisman with Washington's schedule getting much tougher over the next two months. The Huskies still have to face Oregon, travel to USC before hosting Utah the next week and close out the regular season with Oregon State and Washington State. Those are all ranked teams with one combined loss right now. If Penix Jr. can get the Huskies into the college football playoff, that's probably the barometer on his Heisman chances.
Dalen Cuff: Penix is legit. But as mentioned above, this will be the first massive stage of the season for Williams on the road at Colorado. The Buffs defense is not good, but neither is USC's. So, I expect this to be a high possession, high scoring affair where Williams shows why he won the award last year and why he'll go back to being the favorite after the game. Regardless of who's the favorite in the interim, I think both could easily be in New York City in early December.
Kevin Haswell: While Penix Jr. is the favorite this week, I don't believe that will be the case come next week. Caleb Williams has the opportunity to make a statement Saturday against a Colorado defense that has struggled mightily this season, giving up a Pac-12 worst 33.3 points per game. While Williams may be the favorite next week, I still see this as a two-man race that will go back-and-forth the rest of the season.
What is your upset pick for Week 5?
Jorge Sedano: Give me Lane Kiffin bouncing back after that loss to Alabama. Also, I wasn't overly impressed with LSU's win against an average Arkansas Razorback team. Ole Miss got walloped against LSU last season, so there will be a little revenge factor here too. The Rebels have covered in five of the past seven meetings between these teams to boot. I have LSU on upset alert.
Matt Miller: I am very close to picking Kansas (-17) over Texas here but can't bring myself to do it. Instead, let's look at No. 19 Oregon State to beat No. 10 Utah. Yes, the Beavs are favored by three at home, but the ranking differential will have many expecting a Utes win.
Kevin Haswell: I'd obviously feel much better about this pick if I knew Cameron Rising was playing but my upset pick this week is Utah (+3) on the road at Oregon State. Utah's defense has been really impressive this season, allowing 9.5 points per game (1st in Pac-12). I think they carry that into this week against DJ Uiagalelei and Oregon State and walk away with a win.