Saturday, November 12, 2016

This Weekend in College Football: Week 11

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • South Carolina @ Florida (CBS): Neither of these teams is especially, er, gifted offensively, but I have a hard time predicting success for South Carolina's very young quarterback against a reasonably good Florida defense.
  • Baylor @ Oklahoma (ABC/ESPN2): Sooners.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Indiana (ABC/ESPN2): The Hoosier's are the Big Ten's weekly trap game, and probably one of the hardest remaining contests for the Nittany Lions. That said, State's been playing at a high enough level that they should win.
  • Mississippi State @ Alabama (ESPN): Yes, the Bulldogs upset Texas A&M, but that's about where this train figures to stop.
  • West Virginia @ Texas (FS1): People are saying that this is a game that could save Charlie Strong's job, but I'm pretty sure around Texas it's thought that you should probably be beating West Virginia regardless. That said, I don't really see Texas winning here.
  • Cincinnati @ Central Florida (ESPNU): Speaking of fired, I think it's getting pretty close to the end of the line for Tommy Tuberville at Cincy.
  • Southern Methodist @ East Carolina (ESPNEWS): I don't have a read on this game at all, so I'm going to default to ECU.
  • Iowa State @ Kansas (FSN): Hey, it's a team Iowa State should probably actually beat!
  • Kentucky @ Tennessee (SEC): While I'd like to see Kentucky win the SEC East as much as anyone, realistically I have to go with the Vols.
  • Northwestern @ Purdue (BTN): Northwestern.
  • Tulsa @ Navy (CBSS): The Golden Hurricane can put their fair share of points, but I still like Navy here.
12:30: North Carolina State @ Syracuse (ACC): There's probably only a couple of teams that have had more confusing seasons than NC State, but I still like them here.

2:00: Miami @ Virginia (ACC/RSN): The Cavs should continue to help the Canes get their mojo back.

  • Army vs. Notre Dame (@San Antonio, TX; NBC): Notre Dame is super, really, not very good this year. Not even in the "oh, they're overrated" sense, they're bad. Army, meanwhile, is enjoying a pretty good season for Army. Unfortunately, I still have to go with the Domers in the Alamodome.
  • Auburn @ Georgia (CBS): It's the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, mostly because the South's Oldest Rivalry is between North Carolina and Virginia. All that said, goodness me Georgia is so very mediocre this year, while Auburn is suddenly a machine. This shouldn't be close.
  • Pittsburgh @ Clemson (ABC): Pitt has some good interior linemen and a couple of very good running backs, but none of this should present an obstacle to the Tigers.
  • Ohio State @ Maryland (ESPN): So I'm actually in Columbus, OH this week. I was here for the US-Mexico game which, uh, didn't go so well. But I will probably be watching this one on TV with a bunch of Buckeye partisans, and I suspect they'll at least go home happy with this one. That said, this Maryland team isn't as terrible as they've been the past few years.
  • Illinois @ Wisconsin (ESPN2): Wisconsin.
  • Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State (FS1): Both of these teams can score, and then add in that anyone can score against the Red Raiders, and, well...
  • Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech (ESPNU): Speaking of teams with no defense, it's us :(
    I don't really have anything against Paul Johnson. I think he's a good fit for this team and the school. But, practically speaking, I would understand if he got fired after this season, mostly because the main reason I don't think he'd get fired is that the athletic department is currently paying two people to not coach basketball for us. Unlike, say, Charlie Strong, I don't think Johnson is really even on the hotseat, but I would expect the heat to start getting turned if things don't go well against UVA next weekend.
    All that said, I do think Ted Roof is gone after the season, regardless. It was generally thought this year's defense couldn't be much worse than last year's, and we've been proven spectacularly wrong. Given that many issues seem to come down to coaching rather than talent (and remember, this is college, you can't fire the players), I don't see how he retains his position.
    So, yeah, this game! Well, VPI looks pretty good this year, but they've hit some occasional speedbumps that provide just a sliver of optimism up in Blacksburg. Just a sliver.
  • Vanderbilt @ Missouri (SEC): Am I actually about to pick Vandy in a SEC game. Yes I am!
  • Tulane @ Houston (CBSS): Houston.
4:00: Stanford @ Oregon (Pac12): I suspect there were many that circled this date on their calendar, and, well, things don't always go according to plan. I still like Stanford there, though.

  • Louisiana State @ Arkansas (ESPN): I've been learning a lot about the Golden Boot this week, namely, that the trophy is actually gold and it weighs a lot. Either way, I don't think effects of Novembert will really take hold here and I like LSU.
  • Wake Forest @ Louisville (ESPN2): Look, Wake is halfway decent this year, but the only drama in this game is when Louisville will pull Lamar Jackson.
  • South Florida @ Memphis (ESPNU): I've been predicting Memphis will win here in all my bowl projections, so let's stay consistent.
  • Boise State @ Hawaii (CBSS): The Broncos venture to Hawaii, hoping to stay relevant in the MWC Mountain division race. I think they will.
  • Southern California @ Washington (FOX): Game of the Week! USC has rapidly improved (almost as much as Auburn) and is the best team by pure talent that UDub will face the entire rest of the season. I think the Huskies will get past this, but their defensive chops will be truly tested.
  • Mississippi @ Texas A&M (SEC): Both these teams are now down a starting quarterback, but I still like TAMU here.
  • Minnesota @ Nebraska (BTN): Technically, these two rivals are tied in the Big Ten West, but I think Nebraska should win easily.
8:00: Michigan @ Iowa (ABC): Speaking of winning easily, oof this could get ugly.

9:00: Oregon State @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): UCLA has to be one of the most disappointing teams of 2016, right? The schedule offers a bit of a reprieve, as they should still be able to beat Oregon State.

10:00: Colorado @ Arizona (FS1): The #pac12afterdark window kicks off with, well, a likely easy Buffs victory. But still!

  • New Mexico @ Utah State (ESPN2): I'm about to type that I'm picking New Mexico, which feels weird, but here we are: I'm picking New Mexixco.
  • Colorado State @ Air Force (ESPNU): I don't think the Falcons are really all that good this year, while I still like the Rams.
  • California @ Washington State (ESPN): Things figure to get trippy up on Pullman. Expect yards, expect points, but still expect a Wazzou victory.
  • San Diego State @ Nevada (CBSS): Aztecs.

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