This Weekend in College Football: Week 11

As usual, all predictions wrong and all times eastern.

Noon:

  • Michigan @ Wisconsin (ESPN): In continuation with on branch of my harebrained predictions, Michigan wins, setting up what in August would’ve been considered a very unlikely match for the Big Ten championship.
  • Wake Forest @ Clemson (ESPN2): Clemson ruined Wake’s perfect season last year with a FG block returned for a TD. Both still have an ACC title game berth on the line, but at this juncture only Clemson controls their own destiny. Wake is by far the meatiest opponent they’ve played since their two losses. The Tigers have racked up 49 points per game since the losses to GT and VPI while allowing only about 14, but those opponents were Central Michigan, Maryland, and Duke. In fact, Clemson’s best win was probably the season opener over FSU. However, Wake’s resume isn’t that impressive either and they’re coming off a tough loss to Virginia last weekend. Clemson wins, but it’s closer than most think.
  • Indiana @ Northwestern (ESPN Classic): This joke has been made a thousand times over, probably, but there is nothing really “classic” about this matchup. Indiana is already bowl-eligible but NU must win this week or next week versus Illinois. Neither of these teams good, but Indiana at least managed to beat Iowa, so I’ll give them the edge.
  • North Carolina @ North Carolina State (Raycom/Gameplan): Don’t look, but NC State has won three straight games, including a victory over a OOC opponent UNC couldn’t beat, East Carolina. UNC did manage to beat Maryland, but only NC State has felled Virginia in ACC play thus far. I’m going with a rejuvenated Wolfpack here.

12:30:

  • Texas Agricultural & Mechanical @ Missouri (FSN): The Aggies simply got whipped last week at Oklahoma, and for the second consecutive week they played the 6th ranked team in the country. With all the questions surrounding the head coach’s job and 2 straight losses, I don’t expect a different result here. Mizzou wins.
  • Kansas State @ Nebraska (Versus): The “Don’t Care” meter is reaching awfully high levels here, but that said Nebraska is just hapless at this point. K-State wins.
  • Alabama @ Mississippi State (LF/Gameplan): Mississippi State is improved, yes. That doesn’t mean I’m about to start picking them to win anything until they play Ole Miss. ‘Bama wins.
  • Arkansas @ Tennessee (LF/Gameplan): Tennessee is still very much in control of its own destiny in the SEC East. Arkansas seems to have rediscovered its offense, which you’d think wouldn’t be difficult since their offense consists of entirely one person. Nonetheless, I like the Vols here. I’m willing to chalk up the loss to Alabama as a fluke, and besides, it’d be infinitely more amusing if Tennessee lost the SEC East race because of a loss to Vanderbilt next week.

1:00: Georgia Tech @ Duke (accselect.com): Tech’s first non-televised game of the year comes against Duke. I don’t really have much to say about the Jackets right now.

2:30: Air Force @ Notre Dame (NBC): Notre Dame loses to a service academy the second week in a row. Fun fact: Notre Dame has not lost to two service academies in one year since 1944.

3:30:

  • Auburn @ Georgia (CBS): This game is vastly more important for the Bulldogs than it is for the Tigers. If Georgia loses it significantly muddles their road to the SEC title game (more so than it already is since they still need Tennessee to lose). I think Auburn knows they’ve got nothing to lose and I expect an exciting game that hopefully will result in a victory for them.
  • Illinois @ Ohio State (ESPN/ABC): Illinois has a two game winning streak, sure. Of course, those games were Minnesota and Ball State. I can’t really think of any way the go up to Columbus and win.
  • Florida State @ Virginia Tech (Gameplan/ABC/ESPN): FSU seeks to ruin the dreams of another ACC program this week. By every conceivable measure Matt Ryan is a better quarterback than Sean Glennon, and FSU certainly flustered the former plenty last week. I don’t expect Glennon to repeat last week’s performance at all, but I also don’t see how FSU is going to score any points against the Virginia Tech defense in Blacksburg. Except a a defense-heavy game typical of the ACC with the Hokies edging out a narrow victory.
  • Arizona State @ California-Los Angeles (Gameplan/ABC): Hop aboard the train of the country’s most schizophrenic football team, the UCLA Bruins. See a team that can beat Cal but lose to Arizona, Utah, and Notre Dame! I mean, hell, there’s a chance they could even beat ASU this weekend. That said, it’s not a very good chance. Arizona State wins.
  • Texas Tech @ Texas (Gameplan/ABC): Mike Leach’s Texas Tech pirate ship ran aground a few weeks ago. They managed to patch the hull and fix some leaks and beat Baylor 48-7, but on the horizon is the frigate that is Texas and the veritable ship-of-the-line that is Oklahoma. The Texas frigate is also banged up, but it’s loaded with the appropriate amount of grapeshot to take the wind out of Tech’s sails. Longhorns win.

6:30: Baylor @ Oklahoma (FSN): Why is this a national broadcast on FSN? Who knows! Oklahoma rolls.

7:15: Virginia @ Miami (FL) (ESPN2): Miami is not a very good football team. Neither is Virginia, but they are exceedingly lucky. The Cavaliers average a mere 24 points per game and their average margin of victory is 6.6 points. Remove a blowout win over hapless Pittsburgh and the margin of victory shrinks to 3.3 points. That said, I don’t see this UM team defending the home turf in the “OB”. Cavs win.

7:45: Florida @ South Carolina (ESPN): It’s been an up-and-down season for the Gators, but for the Gamecocks it’s been down, down, down these past three weeks. South Carolina just can’t do much offensively and their defense seemed to have precious few answers against the one-dimensional Arkansas running attack last week. I don’t see much reason to pick them here.

8:00:

  • Kansas @ Oklahoma State (Gameplan/ABC): It’s difficult to pick against a 9-0 team, especially when a 5-4 Oklahoma State really isn’t even the best opponent they’ve beaten.
  • Southern California @ California (ABC/Gameplan): Still a reasonably big game for the Bears, but more for pride and bowl position more than anything else. USC sits at two losses and needs a lot of help in the Pac-10 race. It’s hard to get a feel for how these teams are going to tomorrow, so I’ll go ESPN-style and blindly take the Trojans.
  • Boston College @ Maryland (Gameplan/ABC): Maryland hasn’t looked good as of late, and BC has to know they still control their own destiny in the ACC race, even if they didn’t handle that pressure well with regards to the national title race. Maryland just isn’t very good and with their remaining schedule could miss a bowl. BC wins.

10:15: Washington @ Oregon State (FSN): It’s your late night terrible Pac-10 matchup of the week! Seriously. Beavers roll.

11:00: Fresno State @ Hawaii (ESPN2): Now this is a late night game perhaps worth watching. Easily the best opponent Hawaii has played all year, Fresno gives them a chance, perhaps, to finally get some attention from the computers and boost their BCS standing into the promised land. Fresno’s only WAC loss is to the other WAC powerhouse, Boise State. That said, with the game in Hawaii you have to think the Warriors have an advantage with their passing attack. Hawaii wins.

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