November 14th Weekend Games

These are my recommendations:

Thursday November 12th:

Virginia Tech 4-5 at Georgia Tech 3-6:  This is a game that should have meant something. Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer should have gone out better than this and he put Virginia Tech on the map. He is retiring at the end of the season and the Hokies want him to leave a winner. Georgia Tech was one of the most fun teams to watch last season and was in the top 10 or 15 when the season started. This was one disappointing season for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech is favored by 3.5 and they were good enough to beat Florida State, but they have not played well in any other game, really. I think Virginia Tech upsets them for Frank Beamer.

Friday November 13th

USC 6-3 at Colorado 4-6: I am telling you that Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre has the program heading in the right direction. It’s going to take some time, but he is a good coach. They aren’t there yet. USC has about as much talent as anyone in the country even if they have under performed  most of the year. USC is favored by 16 points, but they are the visiting team and the air is rare in Boulder, Colorado which is hard on visitors. It’s also Friday the 13th and things can happen. USC should win by about 20. In fact, USC needs to win big so that interim coach Clay Helton can have a shot at landing this job.

Saturday November 14th:

Pittsburgh 6-3 at Duke 6-3: The Panthers come to play Duke as a 3.5 underdog. Both of these teams are better than their records, but Duke just got body slammed by North Carolina. Duke should win at home, but it should be a close one and I don’t think they cover.

Georgia 6-3 at Auburn 5-4:  Talk about a game that should have been more meaningful and this is one. Good thing the game is at Auburn or there may have been nobody there as Georgia fans have apparently quit on the team. The Georgia players deserve the support of their fans. Auburn is favored by 1.5 points, but their program has been struggling as well. I think Auburn will win by probably one Touchdown.

Florida 8-1 at South Carolina 3-6: Florida has clenched the SEC East and the game is now mostly meaningless except that every college game has meaning. Florida could still win out and gain a playoff spot, bu that would be a tall order with Alabama taking the lead in the West. SEC fans just need to deal with the fact that Alabama rules that league. Florida is favored by 7.5 points over the Gamecocks who are actually playing better with the so called ‘ole ball coach’ out of the way. South Carolina has 3 wins on the season and 2 of them were against incredibly awful teams. In a rematch with North Carolina, the Tar Heels win big.  Florida will win, but I wouldn’t take the points because their offense is awful.

Ohio State 9-0 at Illinois 5-4:  I know, I know, Ohio State hasn’t played anybody. But, they didn’t last year either and they won it all. Ohio State is favored by 16.5 points and I believe they will cover in spite of the fact that they have not a good portion of the season. JT Barrett should be back and Ohio State knows they need to start winning big and they have Michigan State and Michigan on the horizon.  Illinois is an up and down program in need of permanent leadership, but they have some decent talent.

Maryland 2-7 at Michigan State 8-1: I love Sparty, but they played with fire all season long and they finally got burned by Nebraska last week. Everybody has been on the Connor Cook bandwagon on season and it’s just not happening on the field. Their only big win was over Indiana and that game was close until the last couple of minutes. Michigan State is favored by 15.5 points and maybe the loss will wake them up and they will play up to their potential now. I think they cover because Maryland is a program with serious issues right now.

Purdue 2-7 at Northwestern 7-2:  Northwestern looked better with their back up Quarterback in the lineup against Penn State. Purdue is a program that I thought had turned a corner the previous week against Nebraska, but then Illinois beat them pretty handily.  Northwestern will win but they are favored by 14.5 points and I am not sure they will cover. They play great defense, but they are not an explosive offensive team.

North Carolina State 6-3 at Florida State 7-2: The Wolfpack has traditionally given Florida State fits and they are a pretty good team that gave Clemson all they wanted. The Pack lost to Louisville, Virginia Tech and Clemson and they are capable with Jacoby Brissett of making this a fun game. Florida State should not have lost to Georgia Tech and they are favored by 9.5 points in this game. This time, I think Dalvin Cook runs wild and the Seminoles score a lot of points on the Wolfpack and cover the spread.

Miami 6-3 at North Carolina 8-1: Miami has the potential to rain on the Tar Heels parade. But, the Tar Heels also have the potential to blow them out right now. They are playing lights out football and Miami is a ship without a rudder at the moment. North Carolina is favored by 12.5 points and I do believe if they play to their capability that they will cover the spread.

Clemson 9-0 at Syracuse 3-6: Poor Syracuse started the season at 3-0 and has lost every game since. I am sure they will fire their coach because that’s just what’s done. But, he has a young team and he finally found a Quarterback. With their 5th string Walk-on Quarterback, the Orange gave LSU plenty of trouble at home. Clemson is being called the top team in the country now just because the Playoff Committee says so.  Clemson is favored by 27.5 points and they may come down from a really huge high against Florida State. I wouldn’t touch these points with your hands and Clemson will win, but I have little faith they will win as impressively as everyone would like.

Alabama 8-1 at Mississippi State 7-2: Alabama haters say they don’t belong because of their loss to Ole Miss, but did anybody bother to watch that game? It could have easily gone the other way with the Tide picking up the win.  Mississippi State is not a bad team, but they aren’t on the same level with Bama and the Crimson Tide is favored by 8 points and I do believe they will roll.

Michigan 7-2 at Indiana 4-5: Indiana is one of the better offensive teams around and they played most everybody tough including Ohio State. They have a great Offensive Line and a solid Quarterback with a nice Running Back Jordan Howard. He ran for 174 yards last week in a close loss to undefeated Iowa. Don’t take the Hoosiers lightly, but they will drop to 4-6 after this game because Michigan is just too good for them. The Wolverines are favored by 12.5 and they are a couple of bad breaks away from being 9-0. I will continue to say that a rematch with Utah would result in a big Michigan win. A couple of seasons under Jim Harbaugh and Michigan will be a true force to be reckoned with.

Kentucky 4-5 at Vanderbilt 3-6: This is a battle for the SEC basement, or staying out of the basement. Kentucky keeps flirting with winning games, but they falter against the big boys of the conference still. They need this win and to beat another Junior High team and then Louisville and I wouldn’t count on beating the Cardinals.  Vanderbilt, strangely, is favored by 3.5 points at home. I would never pick Vanderbilt to win and you have to remember that Houston beat them 34-0 while no other SEC team got close to that.  It’s time for Kentucky to turn a corner here.

Temple 8-1 at South Florida 5-4: Temple is favored by 3 points and they will have their work cut out for them in South Florida. 3 out of 4of those South Florida losses were on the road and against good teams. They will be the home team which will help them out against Temple. The Owls should still win, but it may be a tough game for them

Memphis 8-1 at Houston 9-0: Unfortunately, Memphis lost for the first time last week against Navy, or else this would have been a battle of the unbeatens. Houston is favored by 6 points. A win for Houston puts them in the drivers seat in the American Athletic Conference. A win for Memphis makes  a three way tie with Houston for the lead. I am picking Memphis in an upset.

Arkansas 5-4 at LSU 7-1: Arkansas just gives the LSU Tigers problems no matter where the game is played. They are playing well now and are coming off a highly dramatic Overtime win over Ole Miss. Bret Bielema may be the most despised football coach in America this season, but I have to hand it to him for going for 2 points in the first Overtime period instead of what everyone else would have done. He deserves much praise for that. LSU is coming off their first loss. I picked Alabama to beat them for reasons I have explained a hundred times and some still don’t get. But, LSU is favored by 7.5 points in this game. I believe the Tigers bounce back, but I don’t think I would touch the points because of the history of these two programs.

Oregon 6-3 at Stanford 8-1:  Oregon is a little down, but they are not to be taken lightly. Going 6-3 in a down year is a testament to just how good of a program they have built. Home field advantage for Stanford will be huge and they are favored by 10 points.  Some bad blood here and I think Stanford comes out ready to play and covers the spread. This should be a fun game to watch, a great offense against great defense.

BYU 7-2 at Missouri 4-5:  You have to give the Mormons from BYU credit, they are not scared to play anyone even if half of their team is probably 25 years old having redshirted and gone on a 2 year church  mission. They just aren’t scared of anyone. Missouri won the SEC East 2 years in a row, but they are having a rough season.  BYU is favored by 5 points, but they haven’t seen a defense like Missouri’s since they played Michigan and got whipped badly. I am thinking Missouri still has desires to go to a bowl game and they must win and I think they do.

Oklahoma 8-1 at Baylor 8-0: The 9th game of the season and Baylor is just now playing their first real team. They have dominated all of the weaker teams they have played. They have also dominated OU in recent seasons. Will they do it again this year?  Baylor is favored by 3 points and the game is in Waco where strange things can happen to visitors. Baylor probably wins at home, but Oklahoma is a much different animal with Baker Mayfield behind Center.

Minnesota 4-5 at Iowa 9-0: The Gophers have been playing tough lately even in losses to Michigan and Ohio State. Undefeated Iowa is favored by 11.5 points and I think they will win at home but I don’t think they cover the spread.

Utah 8-1 at Arizona 5-5: If anyone is still reading, one of the things I have learned over the years is that the man that has money on the game tends to know more about the game. Those pollsters and commentators don’t have any irons in the fire, so they really don’t research these teams and get all of the facts. Gamblers do because they have money riding on it. They have highly ranked Utah favored over Arisona by only 6 points and the Wildcats have been horrible this season. Utah probably wins in an ugly game and maybe barely covers the spread.

Washington State 6-3 at UCLA 7-2: The Bruins of UCLA are favored by 9.5 points, but Washington State is a tough challenge. The Bruins need this game to stay in the Pac 12 South race and I think they come ready to play. I am not sure they will cover because the Cougars of Washington State have improved of late and especially on defense.

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