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The Spun’s 2021 College Football Staff Picks: Week 5

Nick Saban talking to Lane Kiffin before a game.

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Head Coach Nick Saben of the Alabama Crimson Tide walk during pre game of the 2016 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Week 5 of the 2021 college football season is upon us. It may just be the best week that we've had yet, at least on paper.

There are four games between ranked teams. In the SEC, upstart Arkansas, ranked No. 8, can prove it is truly elite with a trip to No. 2 Georgia. No. 9 Notre Dame is a rare home underdog to Group of Five power, No. 7 Cincinnati. At night in the Big 12, No. 19 Oklahoma State hosts No. 21 Baylor in a battle of unbeatens.

The headliner, at least for my money, is the 3:30 p.m. ET SEC clash between Nick Saban's top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, and Lane Kiffin's No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels. This game was a deeply entertaining shootout last year, with Alabama coming out on top 63-48. Ole Miss appears to be a good deal better this fall, while the Florida game raised some questions about the Tide.

Elsewhere, we have fun games between No. 14 Michigan and Wisconsin, No. 3 Oregon and Stanford, No. 6 Oklahoma and Kansas State, No. 15 Texas A&M and Mississippi State, No. 25 Clemson and Boston College, and No. 22 Auburn at LSU. There's also 0-5 UConn at 1-3 Vanderbilt, for those who enjoy a very specific college football experience.

After four weeks of picks, Andrew McCarty has taken a one-pick lead over the field. Here are the standings after Week 4.

1. Andrew McCarty: 159-38
2. Steve Driscoll: 158-39
3. Alek Arend: 156-41
4. Dan Lyons: 155-42
5. Zach Koons: 153-44
T-6. Matt Lombardi: 152-45
T-6. Chris Rosvoglou: 152-45
T-8. Andrew Holleran 151-46
T-8. Tzvi Machlin: 151-46
10. Matt Audilet: 149-48
11. Matt Hladik: 148-49

With our 11 staff members picking each game, the biggest splits come in Virginia at Miami, No. 5 Iowa at Maryland, Tennessee at Mizzou, Minnesota at Purdue, No. 7 Cincinnati at No. 9 Notre Dame, Syracuse at Florida State, and No. 22 Auburn at LSU.

Here are our picks for Week 5 of the 2021 college football season:

The Spun college football Week 5 staff picks.

The Spun.

Each week, we pick every college football game involving Power Five and/or ranked teams. Check back with The Spun each week for updated standings.