We’re in the homestretch of the college football season. While Alabama sits firmly atop the College Football Playoff Rankings, many others continue to jockey for position. This week’s slate of games will continue to answer questions.

With that in mind, here are five bold predictions for games involving teams not in the SEC.

  1. Buckeyes won’t destroy Sparty on the road – No. 2 Ohio State has been obliterating opponents, with back-to-back 62-3 victories over Nebraska and Maryland. Yes, the same Maryland team that beat Michigan State by 11 points. So Saturday’s game looks to be more of the same for the Buckeyes, right?

Well, let’s not get carried away here. Sparty isn’t as bad as its 3-7 record indicates. And they just blanked Rutgers 49-0. Yeah, it was Rutgers, but it has to be a big confidence boost to put a whooping on someone like that. Plus, in their previous home game, the Spartans gave Michigan all it wanted in a 32-23 loss.

So the 22-point underdogs should be fired up and ready to do the same when Ohio State visits East Lansing on Saturday.

  1. Michigan, Indiana to put up some points – No. 3 Michigan has had its mulligan. They won’t lose again and not fall — make that tumble — in the College Football Playoff Rankings. They welcome an Indiana team to the Big House on Saturday that is coming off a 14-point loss to Penn State.

Michigan will probably come in angry and won’t give the Hoosiers a chance to pull the upset. The Wolverines will score and score often. But Indiana can move the ball as well. Averaging more than 300 yards passing per game is very un-Big Ten like, but it’s been a quite effective for Indiana this season.

The two teams have combined to average 72 points this season. Exceeding the 51 points that Vegas has set as the over-under should be easy.

  1. Washington QB Jake Browning goes off the chart – The scoreboard will light up when No. 6 Washington hosts Arizona State. The Huskies will be looking to make a statement after falling to USC last week, their first loss of the season. It was a stinging setback that knocked the Huskies down two critical spots in the rankings and out of the spotlight.

Now on the outside looking in, the Huskies need to win and win big if they hope to get back into the good graces of the Playoff Selection Committee. So they’ll look to score from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.

That’s where Browning comes in. He’ll have a field day against a porous Sun Devils pass defense. Browning will have a career day on Saturday. He’ll best his season-high 378 passing yards against California, and look for him to beat his career mark of 405 yards set last year against this same Arizona State team.

  1. Boomer Sooner – The No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners visit Morgantown to take on No. 14 West Virginia in a Big 12 showdown. Two-loss Oklahoma leads the conference but one-loss West Virginia is the conference’s best chance to make the playoffs.

The Sooners sink the Big 12, at least as far as the playoffs are concerned, and take down the Mountaineers. That’s not such a bold prediction. The bold prediction is that while Oklahoma wins the game, they don’t cover the 3 1/2-point spread. It’ll be a high-scoring, competitive game and probably the most entertaining of the week.

  1. No. 22 Washington State at No. 10 Colorado – Can we just give the Pac-10 title to the winner of this game? Saturday’s battle of division leaders should be a good one; two quality offenses vs. two quality defenses.

Cougars QB Luke Falk makes the difference in this one as they pull the upset in Boulder to set up next week’s Apple Cup against Washington for the North Division crown.