Saturday, November 10, 2012

This Weekend in College Football: Week 11

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • Arkansas @ South Carolina (CBS): It's difficult to come up with a reason why Arkansas has any sort of chance in this game, the lack of Marcus Lattimore notwithstanding.
  • Miami @ Virginia (ABC): Virginia is actually a slight favorite at home. Uh, what? I'm tempted almost to say "'Canes roll" but I guess we'll find out.
  • Louisville @ Syracuse (ABC): Louisville has only three games remaining. Three chances for the Big East to preserve some shred of dignity. Can they pull it off? Well, it's the Big east so it's hard to say, but you have to like their chances against the Orange.
  • Northwestern @ Michigan (ESPN): I have Michigan here, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Widlcats win.
  • Wisconsin @ Indiana (ESPN2): The Big Ten is also hoping to preserve some dignity and is probably desperately rooting for a Wisconsin victory.
  • Army @ Rutgers (ESPNU): Rutgers hasn't played since losing to Kent State. In the meantime, Army got its second win, and by far its best, over Air Force last weekend. Rutgers should still win handily, but hey, they should've easily beat Kent State too.
  • Kansas @ Texas Tech (FSN): KU is just awful this year.
  • Purdue @ Iowa (BTN): Purdue began Big Ten play on October 6, and has lost every game since. Both teams sport mediocre offenses, so if the Boilermakers keep this low scoring they have a chance, but otherwise Iowa has a slight edge.
  • Louisiana-Lafayette @ Florida (SEC): I guess this is homecoming for the Gators?
  • Missouri @ Tennessee (SEC): Tennessee beat Troy last week. This ordinarily wouldn't be remarkable, except the game was a 55-48 shootout. However, the Volunteers are slightly more competent on offense than the Tigers are, so I'll give them a slight edge.
12:30: Georgia Tech @ North Carolina (ACC): Our defense has looked better so far, yes, but the teams we have played have been awful on offense. The only team that was even mediocre, BYU, ended up blowing us out. Carolina sports an all-conference running back in Giovani Bernard and a competent passer in Bryn Renner. They also have a pretty good defense. Both teams are playing for something - Tech to preserve our bowl streak and Carolina to show that the sanctions aren't getting them down. We'll see which is the more powerful in Chapel Hill.

1:30: Colorado @ Arizona (FX): Colorado is, like, so bad you guys.

  • Oregon State @ Stanford (FOX): This is a pretty pivotal Pac-12 matchup. Both teams have yet to play the frontrunner (Oregon), so in order to have any shot in the Pac-12 North they need to win this game. It's actually difficult to get a read on these teams. Stanford has two losses, Notre Dame and Washington. Oregon State has only one, also to Washington. Both are sort of bizarro Pac-12 teams this year, sporting good defensive numbers but mediocre offensive ones. I actually took a break here because I'm legitimately stumped by who is going to win this. I'm going to roll with the Beavers and maintain a watch on my local In-n-Out, which is also the closest one to Stanford.
  • Wake Forest @ North Carolina State (ACC): NC State shouldn't lose this game, but they also probably shouldn't have lost 33-6 to Virginia either. Regardless, by all rights the Wolfpack should win.
  • Texas Agricultural and Mechanical @ Alabama (CBS): Helpfully, TAMU has already played two defenses that are almost as good as Alabama's: Florida's and LSU's. TAMU failed to break 20 points in either contest and lost both of them. I would guess the same will happen here.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Nebraska (ABC/ESPN2): Nebraska should almost certainly win here, but then again everyone thought Penn State was going to lose 10 games this year too. There's not a lot of certainty in the Big Ten this year, that's for sure.
  • West Virginia @ Oklahoma State (ABC/ESPN2): I hope you like points! That said, OSU's defense is a lot less awful than WVU's, which is also why WVU has lost three straight games and likely going on four.
  • Maryland @ Clemson (ESNPU): A lot of folks are, like me, projecting Clemson into the BCS this year. Which probably means the time is ripe for a Clemson'ing. That said, pretty much every player on Maryland's team has torn their ACL at this point and having watched last weekend's grisly affair the Terrapins should stand absolutely no chance in hell in this one.
  • Air Force @ San Diego State (NBCS): San Diego State's upset of Boise last weekend not only punted Boise out of the BCS but also put SDSU right into the thick of the MWC title chase. Air Force lost to Army last weekend. I think I like the Aztecs here.
  • Baylor @ Oklahoma (FSN): Again, I hope you like points! That said, the Sooners actually kinda sorta play a little (okay, well, a lot) of defense. Baylor may be able to keep up in the first half but will probably fade in the second.
  • Minnesota @ Illinois (BTN): Minnesota can secure a bowl bid with a win, thus likely achieving the rare feat of going 2-6 in one's conference and still making a bowl game.
5:00: Tulsa @ Houston (CBSS): I hope you like points, part three! That said, Houston has basically no defense. It may be fun for awhile, but once again the team from Oklahoma should prevail over the one from Texas.

  • Kansas State @ Texas Christian (FOX): Well, no one will doubt Gary Patterson's cajones a this point, after deciding to go for two early in the overtime game against WVU. That said, that won't be enough against Bill Synder's particular brand of clock-killing wizardry, Collen Klein or no.
  • Mississippi State @ Louisiana State (ESPN): Hey Bulldog(s), remember that time you started 7-0? And then you gave up 38 points to both Alabama and TAMU? Yeah, I'm not expecting much better here, but hey you'll be favored against the last two teams on your schedule.
  • Georgia @ Auburn (ESPN2): Are there any prop bets on which quarter of the game Gene Chizik will get fired in? I'm only partially kidding here.
  • Vanderbilt @ Mississippi (ESPNU): Neither of these teams really play offense in any meaningful way, but Vandy does usually play defense against teams that aren't obviously superior to them. Ole Miss is not Georgia or Florida, so the Commodores have a real good shot at winning this and securing a bowl bid for the second consecutive year. (And as I noted in the bowl games column last weekend, Vandy has never gone to a bowl game in back-to-back years.)
  • Boise State @ Hawaii (NBCS): Hawaii used to at least fling the ball around and put up a ton of points. Now they don't even do that. The Broncos should bounce back with this one.
  • Southern Mississippi @ Southern Methodist (FSN): I'm not even going to look up SMU because USM is so awful this year. What the hell is happening down in Hattiesburg?
8:00: Notre Dame @ Boston College (ABC): You might be tempted to say, "hey, so ND went to overtime last weekend against a Pitt team that just got blown out by UConn". And that is a thing you could say. But trust me on this: BC is a lot more awful than Pitt is, and by a pretty good margin.

10:15: Idaho @ Brigham Young (ESPNU): I just can't help but feel bad for Idaho. I've always thought they were a quirky little team. They play in the KIBBIE DOME, for goodness sake! And yet, they will be adrift, a team without a conference, a rival who refuses to play them, and a non-trivial number of folks who think they should just give up on this FBS thing. And they are just plum bad this year: 123rd in scoring offense and 121st in scoring defense. BYU will almost certainly blow them out.

  • Oregon @ California (ESPN): So Cal is probably going to be 1-5 (against FBS teams) at home in their newly remodeled stadium after this game. Probably not quite the way they drew it up.
  • California-Los Angeles @ Washington State (ESPN2): Multiple commentators have said that Wazzou officials should've known there'd be "drama" when they hired Mike Leach. Help me out here: does anyone remember any "drama" with Leach before Craig James untertook a campaign to get him fired at Texas Tech? Because I sure don't. Anyway, they'll probably lose this.
  • Fresno State @ Nevada (NBCS): Nevada has to have this game to have any shot at the MWC title. I think they'll give their best but Fresno should pull it out in the end. That said, this is probably the most interesting of the late games. And in how many of those games will it get down to a "pleasant" 16 degrees? Not many outside of this one, I'd wager.

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