Movie quote of the day:
“I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.”
– Buddy, “Elf” (2003)
Here are the intriguing matchups for week 11:
Week 10 record: 7-5 (58.3 percent)
2016 record: 86-34 (71.6 percent)
All-time record: 198-93 (68 percent)
No. 16 West Virginia (7-1) at Texas (5-4)
Royal Texas Memorial Stadium
Line: TEX -2
Texas running back D’Onta Foreman has been on a tear the last two weeks – tallying 591 yards on the ground. As a West Virginia fan, this game concerns me because WVU’s 3-3-5 defense isn’t designed to slow down teams with powerful rushing attacks like Texas. Even though the Mountaineers rank in the top 50 in rushing yards allowed and yards per attempt, it’s a tall order to try to slow down Foreman on the road. The Longhorns are hot right now, and I think Texas is able to keep WVU’s offense off the field and score just enough points to get the win.
Prediction: Texas 34, West Virginia 28
Baylor (6-2) at No. 11 Oklahoma (7-2)
Line: OKLA -18
This is the worst possible time for Baylor to play Oklahoma. The Bears are a sinking ship and the Sooners have been red hot since conference play started. Baylor has a great offense, but Oklahoma’s defense has been playing better ever since that crazy shootout against Texas Tech a few weeks ago. The Sooners are the better team right now, the game is at home, and they’ve had extra time to prepare. I think Oklahoma wins comfortably.
Prediction: Oklahoma 44, Baylor 24
South Carolina (5-4) at Florida (6-2)
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Line: FLA -10.5
I’m shocked that Florida is a 10-point favorite in this game because the Gators are a mess right now and they’ll be without their starting quarterback tomorrow. I think Will Muschamp has had this game circled for a long time, and he would love nothing more than to beat his former team on the road. I think Muschamp has some tricks up his sleeve, but Florida’s defense is too good. I think the Gamecocks will struggle to score points, but they’ll keep it within the spread.
Prediction: Florida 21, South Carolina 13
Kentucky (5-4) at Tennessee (6-3)
Line: TENN -14
I kind of hopped on the Kentucky bandwagon last week before the loss to Georgia – mainly because I wanted to see the Wildcats play for the SEC championship. However, if you can’t beat Georgia at home, I’m not sure you’re a good enough team to beat Tennessee on the road. Tennessee isn’t a good team, but I think the Volunteers are better than Kentucky. Las Vegas really likes Tennessee, and with the game at home, I have to agree.
Prediction: Tennessee 29, Kentucky 17
No. 10 Penn State (7-2) at Indiana (5-4)
Line: PSU -7.5
After the last few weeks, I think Penn State is an improved team but I still think the Nittany Lions are overrated. This is a sneaky game that will show us a lot about Penn State because anyone can get up to play good teams at home. Indiana has a really good offense, but its defense has struggled this season. The Nittany Lions are playing too well right now to pick against, but they are definitely on upset alert.
Prediction: Penn State 37, Indiana 31
No. 9 Auburn (7-2) at Georgia (5-4)
Line: AUB -10.5
I’d love to see Georgia pull off the upset here, but I’m not sure how it could happen. The Bulldogs are struggling on offense due to being inept at quarterback, and the defense is decent but not anything special. Auburn is one of the hottest teams in the country right now. The Tigers are playing well on both sides of the ball. Gus Malzahn has this team rolling and the Tigers haven’t given me a reason to pick against them.
Prediction: Auburn 37, Georgia 24
Pitt (5-4) at No. 2 Clemson (9-0)
Clemson, S. C.
Line: CLEM -21
If this game were in Pittsburgh, I’d say Clemson would be on upset alert. However, the game is in Clemson and I’m not sure how Pitt can win this game on the road. The Tigers have the better coach and better athletes. Also, Pitt’s defense is not very good, so, I expect Deshaun Watson to have a big game.
Prediction: Clemson 42, Pitt 24
Texas Tech (4-5) at No. 13 Oklahoma State (7-2)
Boone Pickens Stadium
Line: OKST -12.5
I said it a few weeks ago, but I think Oklahoma State might be the best team in the Big 12. The Cowboys are getting better every week. They have a great offense, and a defense that can get to the quarterback and force a lot of turnovers. I don’t think Texas Tech can go on the road and win this game with its defense – which is worse than awful. Mason Rudolph ought to have a field day against the Red Raiders’ defense and shouldn’t have a problem scoring points.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 41, Texas Tech 27
No. 24 LSU (5-3) at No. 23 Arkansas (6-3)
Line: LSU -7
Even though Arkansas destroyed Florida last week, I still don’t think the Razorbacks are that good. I know that Arkansas’ defense played well last week, but Florida’s offense is terrible. I think the Tigers are finally able to get Leonard Fournette going, and I expect Danny Etling to make some plays through the air. I think LSU bounces back and gets the win.
Prediction: LSU 24, Arkansas 20
Minnesota (7-2) at No. 19 Nebraska (7-2)
Line: NEB -6.5
Here’s another game that I really want to pick an upset, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Minnesota has won four games in a row, but the combined record of the teams the Gophers faced during that stretch is 13-23. I just don’t know how good Minnesota really is. Despite getting blown out by Ohio State last week, I still think Nebraska is a decent team. With the game at home, I think Nebraska gets the win.
Prediction: Nebraska 30, Minnesota 21
No. 3 Michigan (9-0) at Iowa (5-4)
Iowa City, Iowa
Line: MICH -21.5
I think this will likely be the most lopsided game of the weekend. Iowa isn’t very good and Michigan is a great team. The Wolverines have too much talent and better coaching than Iowa. If Iowa can force some turnovers, the Hawkeyes might have a chance. I expect Iowa to give Michigan a fight in the first half, but I think Michigan pulls away in the second half for an easy win.
Prediction: Michigan 37, Iowa 14
Game of the week:
No. 20 USC (6-3) at No. 4 Washington (9-0)
Line: WAS -7.5
This will be the best game tomorrow. USC has been on fire recently – winners of five-straight games and outscoring opponents 200-95. I’ve been the biggest advocate for Washington to get more respect, but this will be a tough task for the Huskies considering how hot the Trojans have been. Since the game is at home, I’m going to take Washington to win. I think the Huskies are the better coached team, but USC will keep it close.
Prediction: Washington 31, USC 28
Thanks for reading
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