Week 10 gave us plenty of drama. We had a few picks which came very close to hitting. As always, let’s start with recapping last week’s bold predictions to see where we landed.
The Big 12 gets eliminated from the College Football Playoff – Oklahoma fell to Oklahoma State. Texas went to overtime and nearly lost. Both losing would have ending their College Football Playoff hopes.
Jayden Daniels registers five total touchdowns – Jayden Daniels scored three touchdowns but ultimately left the game early with an injury.
USC and Washington combine for more than 100 total points – We needed just one more touchdown. A 52-42 victory for Washington put us at 94 points.
Georgia holds Luther Burden to less than 50 yards – Burden was injured but also held to just 53 yards. Either way, he crossed the threshold.
Clemson wins by two scores over Notre Dame – An eight point victory for Clemson keeps this pick just shy of hitting. Clemson was up all game but a touchdown from Notre Dame with six minutes to play made the game a one score affair.
Now let’s jump into the week 11 bold predictions. This weekend has a chance to shake up the landscape of college football with just a few upsets. Let’s dive into our picks and see how the weekend could shape the rest of the season.
Alabama defeats Kentucky by four touchdowns – Did you realize that the spread for this game was only 10.5 in favor of Alabama? The Crimson Tide are in a position for a letdown game after a big win over LSU. Going on the road to Kentucky may pose a challenge early, but Nick Saban knows how to keep his team focused and motivated. Kentucky has been overrated all season, with Devin Leary being a complete disappointment for the Wildcats. Ray Davis has been a letdown ever since his explosion for 280 yards against Florida. Davis has just 309 rushing yards over the past four games. Kentucky is in no way a bad team, but they do not have the talent to match up with Alabama. The Wildcats do have a strong rush defense, ranking 22nd in the country. Mark Stoops and his team may be able to keep the game close for the first half, but look for Alabama to run away with this game in the second half. Tide by four scores easily.
Rutgers upsets Iowa, becomes ranked in week 12 – Imagine living in a world where Rutgers would be ranked; it feels like we would be living in an alternate reality. Rutgers would still have three losses, but two of them came against Ohio State and Michigan. The college football playoff committee has already called them a quality team, and a win over Iowa would help push that narrative. Iowa’s offense continues to be an embarrassment to the sport, yet the defense does its part and helps Iowa win. Rutgers also plays good defense, holding Ohio State to just seven points in the first half and Michigan to only 14 points. Rutgers will need to find consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Kyle Monangai is one of the most underrated running backs in the country, rushing for over 900 yards and seven touchdowns this season. If Rutgers can find a way to get Monangai going, their offense will open up, giving them a chance to score points against this stiff Iowa defense. I like the Scarlet Knights this weekend and expect them to be 7-3 heading into week 12 with a trip to Penn State.
Carson Beck throws for over 500 yards on Ole Miss – Lane Kiffin and defense—two things that mix like oil and water. Kiffin has never been known for his defense, and this season is no different. Ole Miss ranks 65th in pass defense, allowing almost 230 yards per game. Jayden Daniels threw for 414 yards against the Ole Miss defense earlier this season. I believe Beck is a better passer than Daniels. The biggest issue for Beck compared to Daniels is that he doesn’t have Malik Nabers downfield catching balls for him. Beck has quietly worked his way into the Heisman discussion with consistent play and continued winning. Beck has shown the ability to stretch the field and limit mistakes. The Ole Miss defense has forced 12 interceptions this year, so while they may not be the best, they do have a knack for getting the ball back. Beck has thrown for over 250 yards in every game this season and crossed the 300-yard threshold in four games. I look for Beck to have his best game of the season and put himself squarely in the Heisman discussion with a big performance against a top 10 team.
Two of Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Michigan and Florida State lose on Saturday – This Saturday could be the most important of the season thus far due to the matchups. All five teams face challenging opponents, with Michigan being the only one on the road. We’ve already discussed Georgia. Lane Kiffin finds himself in the spotlight, which doesn’t always work in his favor, but perhaps this Saturday is when he finally gets the win.
Michigan may or may not have their head coach, as Jim Harbaugh is currently suspended, subject to change. The Wolverines face their toughest task of the season against Penn State. James Franklin has struggled against Michigan as of late. Washington will confront a tough Utah defense; after going wire to wire with USC last week, they now shift from facing a defense resembling Swiss cheese to one resembling a brick wall. Michael Penix, considered the Heisman favorite, needs a win over Utah to maintain his lead.
Oregon hosts USC and reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams. Williams must regroup quickly after an emotional loss. If he rebounds, he has the potential to win this game on his shoulders alone. USC also fired Alex Grinch, which will be an area to watch.
Florida State has their rivalry game against Miami this weekend. Although Florida State is clearly more talented, they have struggled at points this season. Miami has shown moments of being a top 25 team and others where they look like they might miss a bowl game.
Ollie Gordon continues on his tear, rushes for over 250 yards – Last week could be considered a disappointment based on his previous games. Gordon rushed for just 138 yards and two touchdowns against Oklahoma. In the preceding two weeks, he had impressive performances with 271 and 282 rushing yards. A late bloomer in the Heisman race, Gordon has a real chance to vault himself into the conversation.
Oklahoma State, with a 7-2 record, faces UCF this weekend. UCF ranks 130th (out of 133 teams) in rush defense, allowing more than 211 yards per game. Since the start of October, UCF has been allowing an average of 280 rushing yards per game. There is no reason to believe Gordon will not have his way with the UCF defense. The nation’s leading rusher is presented with a fantastic opportunity to extend his lead and give voters even more reason to give him the attention he deserves this season.
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