College Football Spoiler Alert; Week 11
Is it time to get rid of the good od' Upset Special in the CFSA? I'm picking the right games in which the upset occurs, just not picking the team in those games. The epidemic of bad officiating that has struck the sport hasn't helped matters either (looking at you, Duke-Miami refs!)
But enough complaining. Fun and games are pretty much over when it comes to the college football schedule, and we're here to let you know who to take the rest of way....even having the audacity to select that pesky Upset Special. Without further ado....
(All times EST, All ranking reflect College Football Playoff rankings)
Georgia (6-3, 4-3) @ Auburn (5-4, 2-4)
This wasn't how it was supposed to be for these two regular SEC contenders. At the very least, both teams were supposed to be ranked coming into this matchup, but injuries and bad luck have derailed each's season. Auburn, whose remaining slate includes the annual Iron Bowl matchup with big, bad, Bama, could be starting to turn the corner as they try to nab bowl eligibility. Last week, they went on the road and scored a major victory against then-#19 Texas A&M, while Georgia has struggled in the absence of the injured RB Nick Chubb. In a game that's sure to feature plenty of frustration taken out on each other, expect the Tigers to pull it out for the Jordan-Hare crowd.
The Pick: Auburn
Texas (4-5, 3-3) @ West Virginia (4-4, 1-4)
Whether it's fair or not, one of these teams is probably going to be sitting home after their 12th game. Texas, on one hand, has recovered nicely from the dreadful start to the season, rattling off 3 wins in their past 4 contests including that W over then-#10 Oklahoma. That's something WVU couldn't pull off as they've spent the past four weeks getting beat by ranked competition. Getting their season back on track after a big win over Texas Tech last week, I trust the Mountaineers more here. Whereas Charlie Strong bought himself some time with that Sooners win, Dana Holgerson finds himself more immediately on the hot seat, and therefore, this game becomes that more important to WVU. Add in a raucous home crowd, and the Mountaineers take this one.
The Pick: West Virginia
Washington (4-5, 2-4) @ Arizona State (4-5, 2-4)
3:00 PM, PAC-12 Networks
This is the PAC-12's answer to Georgia-Auburn. ASU had not just PAC-12 ambitions, but College Football Playoff ideas as well when we commenced this season. The Huskies got off to a good start that included a win at USC. Both teams now enter this matchup as losers of three of their past four and one of them will likely not go bowling. ASU has shown the occasional flash of brilliance this season, particularly during that win over UCLA. Washington owns a 49-3 win over Arizona. In the end, hard to go against ASU, if only because of, once again, the desperation factor. While Washington is still trying to put pieces together, this was supposed to be a big year for ASU.
The Pick: Arizona State
#2 Alabama (8-1, 5-1) @ #17 Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2)
3:30 PM, CBS
Is it ever a good idea to start knocking Alabama? Fans across the nation, particularly those of the Big 12 areas of the land, have decried the Tide's status of being national runners-up. You see them going into a game with the ranked Bulldogs and you go "Hey! Bama has already lost to a team from Mississippi this year. MSU has Dak Prescott. Maybe they can pull this off!" Then you look at MSU's schedule and realize their best win is against Auburn. Maybe fans have their anger directed at the wrong ranked SEC team?
The Pick: Alabama
#21 Memphis (8-1, 4-1) @ #24 Houston (9-0, 5-0)
7:00 PM, ESPN
Can we acknowledge how great Houston has been? Other than Ohio State, they own the nation's longest winning streak and now have to be considered the front runner to earn the Group of Five's New Year's Bowl spot with that perfect slate. Having said that (sorry, Larry David), they'll be facing off against a FURIOUS Memphis team. Having been beat out by Navy, who could be making a case for that New Year's spot themselves, the Tigers will be hungry to show that they can still win the powerful AAC. If anything, expect a massive of amount of passing yards in this game, as both Paxton Lynch and Greg Ward Jr. enter today's festivities with over 5,000 yards tallied through the air.
UPSET SPECIAL: Memphis
Arkansas (5-4, 3-2) @ #9 LSU (7-1, 4-1)
7:15 PM, ESPN
Leonard Fournette has had a week to stew about last week's deflating defeat against Alabama. He's going into a matchup with Arkansas, who is letting up 413 yards per game and allowed 52 points last week. Sure, the Razorbacks may be riding a mini-wave of momentum after last week's miracle win against Ole Miss and have played five overtime over the past three weeks (all wins), but hell hath no fury like a Heisman front-runner embarrassed on national TV. Top it off with the fact the NCAA is opening an inquiry toward his family, and he's going to be playing fast and fruous. Expect Fournette to get his grove back against the 'Backs, and for LSU to get back on track.
The Pick: LSU
Oregon (6-3, 4-2) @ #7 Stanford (8-1, 7-0)
7:30 PM, FOX
Give the Ducks credit. After a nightmarish start to the season, they're slowly starting to get their groove back. They've won three games in a row, with the offense we've grown to know and love slowly starting to show up again. However, the fun stop in a trip to Palo Alto. Granted, I see the Ducks keeping this one closer than people anticipate, but the Cardinal aren't fooling around. They're another team that's in need of a desperation win, but one that constitutes much more importance than the ones mentioned above. They'll need to impress voters in the College Football Playoff poll, and give them a reason to believe in the PAC-12 which currently has no reps in the Top 4. It kicks off a season-defining final trio of games that also features Cal and Notre Dame.
The Pick: Stanford
#12 Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1) @ #6 Baylor (8-0, 5-0)
8:00 PM, ABC
They say defense wins championships, but it probably won't win this game, as both teams combined average over 1,000 yards per game. Enough can't be said about how impressive the Art Briles era has been when it comes to quarterback play. The Waco football renaissance has seen the mantle passed on from one talented QB to the next, from Robert Griffin III to Nick Florence to Bryce Petty to Seth Russell to now Jarrett Stidham. The freshman got his feet wet in the Bears' win over Kansas State last week. The Sooners D has let up a respectable 178 yards per game in the air this season, but as long as Corey Coleman does Corey Coleman things, expect Baylor to come out on top.
The Pick: Baylor
Minnesota (4-5, 1-4) @ #5 Iowa (9-0, 5-0)
8:00 PM, BTN
Now this could be quite the letdown game for the Hawkeyes. They come into this tilt with most of the nation hating on them, as apparently single digit wins over Indiana are worth of moving up four spots. A good way to get that defense back on track is a visit from the Gophers, who have dropped four of their past five after a promising start to the season. Iowa will more than likely be favored in their remaining slate (Purdue and Nebraska remain) en route to what will likely be a Big Ten title game appearance. To show they truly belong here, they need to easily handle these subpar opponents. That road start today.
The Pick: Iowa
Washington State (6-3, 4-2) @ #19 UCLA (7-2, 4-2)
10:45 PM, ESPN
The Cougars have, under the radar, made quite an impression on the PAC-12 this season. Head coach Mike Leach entered this year on the hot seat, but has Wazzu on pace for its first winning season since 2003. However, at least temporarily, the buck stops here against the Bruins. UCLA was on upset watch last week, as they faced off against Oregon State's dangerous offense after they had big trouble with Colorado, but they responded with a 41-0 shutout win. UCLA needs all the momentum they can get going into next week as they'll face Utah and USC, a trio of games that will likely decide the PAC-12 title race.
The Pick: UCLA
Last Week: 4-6
Upset Specials: 3-7
Geoff Magliocchetti highly regrets if you lost any bets due to his upset special picks. If you have let him know on Twitter @GeoffMags5490
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