College Football Preview and Picks for Saturday, Nov. 16
As far as must see TV for college football Saturdays, this weekend runs kinda luke warm at best. The top three “big boys” all have games where they should be able to inflate their respective stats for both the BCS human factor and computers.
No. 1 Alabama 9-0, (6-0 SEC) heads to Mississippi State to take on the 4-5 Bulldogs. While sporting only a 1-4 SEC in-conference record (the win coming against Kentucky 28-22), the Bulldogs did hang tough against Auburn before losing 24-20, and against Texas A&M in a 51-41 loss (no huge shame in giving up half a hundred to Johnny Football and company). All that being said, look for the Crimson Tide to take care of business handily and continue to impress the BCS. I’ll take Bama giving 23.5 points.
No. 2 Florida State 9-0, (7-0 ACC) also has a relatively easy assignment this weekend taking on Syracuse 5-4 (3-2 ACC) at home in Tallahassee. The Orangemen have been the model of inconsistency this season, never winning or losing more than two games in a row (sound familiar Dallas Cowboys fans?). Expect the trend to continue and their current 2 game winning steak to come to a crashing halt. The wild card in this game is how the recently surfaced Dec. 2012 complaint of sexual battery against FSU QB and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston will affect his play. Not enough for the Seminoles to lose the game, but give me Syracuse and the 38 points.
No. 3 Ohio State 9-0, (5-0 Big 10) travels to Champaign to face the Fighting Illini 3-6, (0-5 Big 10). The Buckeyes don’t have a chance of playing in the National Championship game unless either Alabama or Florida State falters, but they are out to make a statement and perhaps at least be in the conversation. That will take a “no mercy” attitude toward their opponents the remainder of the season, and the pathetic Illini should prove to be a perfect sacrificial lamb. The Buckeyes throttled the Illini last year in Columbus 52-22 on their way to an unbeaten season, and I expect the results to be similar this weekend as the Illini continue to look for their first Big 10 win of the season – its not coming this week. I’ll take Ohio State and give the 35.5 points.
Other games of note:
No. 4 Stanford 8-1, (5-0 Pac 12) at USC 7-3, (4-2 Pac 12)
USC Interim head coach Ed Orgeron has done a nice job since taking over for the fired Lane Kiffin on Sept. 29 (going 4-1 with the only loss coming in South Bend), but Stanford is on a roll after their huge win over Oregon and looking to stay in the hunt for a National Title shot. I’ll take the Cardinal giving 4.
No. 25 Georgia 6-3, (4-2 SEC) at No. 7 Auburn 9-1, (5-1 SEC)
Auburn has everything riding on this game if they want to meet Bama next week in the Iron Bowl with the SEC Western Division still hanging in the balance. I doubt they’ll look past an opponent as formidable as Georgia. Give me Auburn giving 3.5 points.
Texas Tech 7-3, (4-3 Big 12) at No. 5 Baylor 8-0, (5-0 Big 12) – Game will be played at AT&T Stadium
Until someone shows me they can hang with the Bears in the points scoring department I’m going to continue to ride the Baylor bandwagon – Give me Baylor giving up 27.
No 12 Oklahoma State 8-1, (5-1 Big 12) at No. 24 Texas 7-2, (6-0 Big 12)
After their hiccup in Morgantown against West Virginia in late September, the Cowboys have picked up steam and not looked back, beating their last five opponents by an average score of 42-21. Look for Mack Brown’s nine lives to finally expire on Saturday in Austin. I’ll take OSU giving up 3.
Iowa State 1-8, (0-6 Big 12) at No. 18 Oklahoma 7-2, (4-2 Big 12)
The Cyclones are still looking for their first conference win but that will have to wait until next week when they face the Jayhawks. Give me a Sooners squad looking to right everything that went wrong last week in Waco. I’ll take Oklahoma giving 24.
TCU 4-6, (2-5 Big 12) at Kansas State 5-4, (3-3 Big 12)
If you throw out the Longhorn debacle the Frogs have lost 5 games by a total of 40 points. I think the Wildcats win but not by 10 plus points – Give me TCU in the battle of purple and the 10.5 points.
Connecticut 0-8, (0-4 AAC) at SMU 3-5, (2-2 AAC)
Students at UConn are just happy its basketball season. After Saturday you can add the Ponies to the long list of teams the Huskies have lost to. Give me SMU going away and giving 15.5.