Wednesday, November 24, 2010

College Football: Week 13

Brandon and I were even last week. Both went 14-4. He was 0-2 on upset picks and I was 0-3. Overall standings are as follows: Brandon 196-46 (7-14) with me at 185-57 (7-22). I'm giving away co helmet stickers this week. They go to the running back tandem at Wisconsin of James White and Montee Ball. White ran the ball 23 times for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ball ran it 29 times for 173 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Badgers rolled all over Michigan in the Big House. Looks like they may come out on top of the Big Ten and off to the Rose Bowl. Brandon's helmet sticker goes to Knile Davis, the running back for the Arkansas Razorbacks. He ran the ball 30 times for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Hogs beat Mississippi State in overtime.

This week we have many rivalries. Naturally the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn gets our game of the week honors and what a beauty it shall be. However, there are still several others with a lot of drama and other implications involved. Should be a dandy of a weekend and it starts ... on Thanksgiving day.

Thursday November 25th 2010

Garrett Gilbert Quarterback Garrett Gilbert #3 of the Texas Longhorns throws against the UTEP Miners at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Austin, Texas.
Garrett Gilbert hopes to
lead the Longhorn to a
bowl game.
#17 Texas A&M Aggies 8-3 (5-2) @ Texas Longhorns 5-6 (2-5) 8 PM ET

Something just doesn't sound right when you put Texas Longhorn football and losing season into the same sentence. Longhorn fans have a few things to look forward to here. Upsetting the rival Aggies AND becoming bowl eligible. Their only conference wins this year have both been on the road in Lubbock and Lincoln (explain that one to me please). The problem, Garrett Gilbert has 15 INT's this season. If they can avoid that, I believe they can pull this one off. Since A&M made the QB change from Jarrod Johnson to Ryan Tannehill, it seems their problems have vanished. Tannehill's completion percentage is 12% higher than Johnson's. However, this being rivalry week, anything can happen. I'm going with the Longhorns. It's their last game with a bowl game on the line at home against a bitter in-state rival. They'll definitely have the fans in an uproar. The faithful will show up and be the 12th man. UT 26 TAMU 24. Brandon: TAMU 24 UT 20

Friday November 26th 2010

#2 Auburn Tigers 11-0 (7-0) @ #11 Alabama Crimson Tide 9-2 (5-2) 2:30 PM ET

I'm actually not quite sure how the Tide is favored in this one. Doesn't make sense to me. There is a lot on the line here. It's at BAMA, the fans will be ridiculous, especially when Cam Newton is on the field. Having said all of that, I like Auburn. Sorry Boise and TCU fans. I'm just not sure anyone can stop Newton. The Tide may shut him down on a few drives and this game could go down to the wire, but I like the Tigers. Bronco and Frog fans last hope is the Gamecocks. UA 24 BAMA 20. Brandon: Bama 27 UA 24

#15 Nebraska Cornhuskers 9-2 (5-2) vs Colorado Buffaloes 5-6 (2-5) 3:30 PM ET

I really don't know why anyone would pick the Buffs. Oh except for Missouri who would be atop the Big XII North standings with an NU loss. Even with all this drama with Bo Pelini, I don't see any reason for the Huskers to have a let down. This one won't be close. NU 37 CU 17. Brandon: NU 24 CU 10

#1 Oregon Ducks 10-0 (7-0) @ #21 Arizona Wildcats 7-3 (4-3) 7 PM ET

Alright, the Pac-10's rivalry week is next week, but this game still has BCS implications and should be a thriller. Zona fans will be going nuts and try to become the 12th man and hope for a huge victory for the Cats. Doubt it. The Ducks are just too powerful and will see their way to the the National Title. The video game offense rolls on. Oregon 31 Zona 23. Brandon: Ore. 42 Zona 28
Can Kellen Moore lead BSU
to another BCS game?

#4 Boise State Broncos 10-0 (6-0) @ #19 Nevada Wolfpack 10-1 (5-1) 10:30 PM ET

Here we go. The dandy in Reno. This game is also great for both teams BCS and Heisman resumes. Colin Kaepernick and Kellen Moore are probably the most intriguing quarterback match up of the week as they close out Friday night. Moore is a Heisman finalist so all Kaepernick can do is make a case for why he should have been there. With both QB's being highly talented and dangerous, this all comes down to talent and clearly, the Broncos have more. I'm not calling a blowout, but I am calling a comfortable win for the Broncos. It'll be close but I see them pulling away with the win late in the game. Can they finally get to the title? It all relies on South Carolina and the voters to put them up there. BSU 36 UNR 24. Brandon: BSU 48 UNR 28.

Saturday November 27th 2010

#8 Ohio State 10-1 (6-1) vs Michigan Wolverines 7-4 (3-4) 12 PM ET

How dare I disrespect the Buckeyes last week. They shut me up with their win over Iowa and remain in a three way tie atop the Big Ten standings. Michigan got ran all over against Nebraska last week and I don't see why OSU should be any different. Denard Robinson's future at Michigan is very bright ... but he's still young. Give them a couple years, but they lose this one. TerrelleOSU just has more talent and experience. The Big Ten remains a tight race for 1st. OSU 30 Mich 24. Brandon: OSU 31 Mich 23

#10 Michigan State Spartans 10-1 (6-1) @ Penn State Nittany Lions 7-4 (4-3) 12 PM ET

This one is easy. PSU had the highlight of their season with JoePa's 400th win as head coach which is insane. The dude is 83 and still chugging along. Good grief. I don't believe they'll be able to have what it takes to knock MSU out of the race for the Big Ten title. Kirk Cousins is going to be a great NFL quarterback. He will lead this team past their bitter arch rival in Penn State comfortably. MSU 27 PSU 13. Brandon: MSU 34 PSU 24

#16 Virignia Tech Hokies 9-2  (7-0) vs Virginia Cavaliers 4-7 (1-6) 12 PM ET

I can't really remember the last time the Cavaliers were a good team. Not really sure if I see them making this game competitive at all. The Hokies are too powerful and continue to prove to everyone that the James Madison loss was a fluke. This one will help them as they get their tenth straight win and head to the ACC title game led by Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Williams. This rushing attack is dangerous and explosive and I'm just gonna go ahead and predict a victory next week as well. Uh oh. I did just say that. VT 34 UVA 16. Brandon: VT 20 UVA 16

#14 Missouri Tigers 9-2 (5-2) @ Kansas Jayhawks 3-8 (1-6) 12:30 PM ET

Ah a battle of the border. What a beauty it wi ... oh yeah Kansas is terrible. This will be a blowout. Blaine Gabbert could have the best offensive performance of his career. The Jayhawks have nothing to stop him nor do they have anything on their own offense to make this a game. The Tigers are hoping Nebraska gets upset by Colorado this weekend so they can punch their ticket to the Big XII title game. That's out of their hands, all they can do is win this game, and that they will. Very comfortably. Mizzou 48 KU 23. Brandon: Mizzou 38 KU 17

Beating LSU may be all Ryan Mallett
and Arkansas has to do to reach a
BCS game this season.
#5 LSU Tigers 10-1 (6-1) @ #12 Arkansas Razorbacks 9-2 (5-2) 3:30 PM ET

LSU fans would rooting for Alabama this weekend as well as their Tigers, but the SEC title game is already scheduled between UA and the Gamecocks. So this game pretty much only has the rivalry implications and bragging rights. Oh and don't forget about the BCS. Both squads are high enough in the standings that they could make a trip this year. So plan on a beautiful College Football atmosphere going on here. Ryan Mallett will definitely have to be on his A game. Les Miles Tiger defense knows how good he his. For this game, I'm going with the home field advantage. I know I've swung and missed on picking LSU to lose this year, but I'm going that rout again. I like Mallett's chances of showing the NFL scouts what he can do in big games. The Razorbacks will make their way into the top ten with this victory and hello Orange bowl. Ark. 26 LSU 21. Brandon: Ark 31 LSU 27

#7 Wisconsin Badgers 10-1 (6-1) vs Northwestern Wildcats 7-4 (3-4) 3:30 PM ET

Wisconsin ran all over the Michigan Wolverines last week. (See my helmet sticker award above.) Northwestern got destroyed by their rival Illinois at Wrigley Field last weekend. I like NW's win over the Iowa Hawkeyes, but I don't see it happening here against the Badgers. Scott Tolzein is just one of several high play makers on this offense. They have all the capabilities of running away with this one. Could be a blow out, but I don't see that. I like them to win but NW has shown some promise this season. Dan Persa is an exceptional quarterback. Look for him to make some plays and keep this one relatively close. Wisconsin 34 Northwestern 26. Brandon: Wisc 44 NW 20

Can Jake Heaps lead BYU to a victory over arch rival Utah
as a true freshman?
#20 Utah Utes 9-2 (6-1) vs BYU Cougars 6-5 (5-2) 3:30 PM ET

This is the last time these two schools meet on the last game of the season, and being in the same conference. The winner takes second place in the Mountain West. Earlier this season, say five weeks ago, this game looked as if it was going to be a blowout. Utah was making a strong push for another BCS appearance and BYU was staring their worst season in history in the face. Since then, the Utes have been exposed with two embarrassing losses and two close wins in the last two games one of those being by sheer luck. (I say luck due to the hailmary against SDSU ... those are always lucky.) This game will be all about who can shut who's running game down. Both teams have two young quarterbacks and the running game defines the offense. The difference to me is going to be momentum. The Utes are still trying to recover from their two bad losses to TCU and Notre Dame and BYU is just rolling along scoring a lot of points. Prepare for another Holy War thriller, as they usually are. Also prepare for a lot of hatred between the fans and a lot of energy on the field. I like Jake Heaps over Jordan Wynn in this one. I also like BYU's trio at RB rather than Utah's tandem at RB. BYU takes a close one. BYU 27 Utah 24. Brandon: Utah 30 BYU 23

#22 Florida State 8-3 (6-2) vs Florida Gators 7-4 (4-4) 3:30 PM ET

It's been a long time since this game saw the Seminoles ranked and not the Gators. It's a good thing we didn't predict the FLA/App. St. game last week. I would have picked ASU. They are better than I thought they were and their bitter rival showing up in the swamp could be enough to pull the upset. Look for a hostile environment. I do like this one to be close and it will come down to which team makes one more big play than the other. I don't like Christian Ponder. I think he's just been hype. It's the talent he's surrounded by that's put FSU on the map this season. He's overrated. I like the Gators in a low scoring game. Jeff Demps will be the one who gets the big play to seal this one. FLA 17 FSU 13. Brandon: FSU 28 FLA 24

#23 North Carolina State Wolfpack 8-3 (5-2) @ Maryland Terrapins 7-4 (4-3) 3:30 PM ET

Again, another big game with conference title game implications here. If NCSU wins, they face Virginia Tech in the ACC title. Maryland is the only team left to stop that from happening. The Wolfpack controls their own destiny. This could be the most entertaining game of the day. Danny O'Brien and UMD's running game is very, very dangerous. They have enough weapons to mix things up and score a lot of points. NCSU has a dangerous attack of their own. Russell Wilson is 23 yards short of 3000 passing yards on the year and he has a trio of running backs as a safety valve. I like NCSU's talent better than UMD's, but it will be a close game because of the home field advantage for the Terps. But no victory. Sorry. NCSU 31 UMD 26. Brandon: NCSU 34 UMD 28

#24 Iowa Hawkeyes 7-4 (4-3) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers 2-9 (1-6) 3:30 PM ET

Hmmmm. Yeah this game isn't going to be tough to predict at all. I guess Adam Weber could be an NFL quarterback. That's about all the Gophers have going for them. They lose big. Iowa 45 Minny 13. Brandon: Iowa 38 Minny 17

#3 TCU Horned Frogs 11-0 (7-0) @ New Mexico Lobos 1-10 (1-6) 4 PM ET

This game could very well most likely be the biggest blowout of the week. Regardless, I believe Boise State jumps TCU in the polls. UNM doesn't help anybody by being on their schedule. Maybe the Sun Belt. MAYBE. TCU 51 UNM 6. Brandon: TCU 48 UNM 0

#18 South Carolina Gamecocks 8-3 (5-3) @ Clemson Tigers 6-5 (4-4) 7 PM ET

Carolina is probably the most surprising team in college football this season. Such a great story for Steve Spurrier and his freshman phenom running back. How will he handle the atmosphere in a rival game? We don't know, but that's why there are people like me out there to make predictions. Clemson is a decent team. I like this one to go down to the wire and potentially have an overtime or two. But in the end, I'm going with the Cocks. Next week baby. The SEC showdown. Can they upset the Tigers? We will see one week from now. SC 34 Clemson 31. Brandon: SC 32 Clem. 30

Jeremiah Masoli Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli #8 of the Ole Miss Rebels rushes out of the pocket against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Jeremiah Masoli has been the
top play-maker for the Rebels
this season.
#25 Mississippi State Bulldogs 7-4 (3-4) @ Mississippi Rebels 4-7 (1-6) 7 PM ET

Mississippi State could be another team considered for the biggest surprise this season. Chris Relf is doing a great job leading this offense. Ole Miss on the other hand, won't be going to a bowl, have only one win in the conference, and that surprises me because I believe Jeremiah Masoli is a huge playmaker. Perhaps he's all they have this year though. That loss to Jacksonville State early in the year definitely set the tone for the remainder of the season. Their non conference wins are against Sun Belt, C-USA, WAC teams and their lone conference loss is over Kentucky. That should be enough to tell who I'd be picking, but not so fast. I'm going with the Rebels here. This will be a solid game. A true unpredictable rivalry. Rebels take it in the end. Ole Miss 20 MSU 17. Brandon: MSU 30 Ole Miss 23

#6 Stanford Cardinal 10-1 (7-1) vs Oregon State Beavers 5-5 (4-3) 7:30 PM ET

The Beavers are just having a disappointing season. Injuries have plagued them as well as close losses to good teams. They have two games left to become bowl eligible. They need one win. that win will not be coming this weekend as they travel to Palo Alto. They have no answer for Andrew Luck. Stanford 38 OSU 21. Brandon: Stan. 37 OSU 30

#9 Oklahoma State Cowboys 10-1 (6-1) vs #13 Oklahoma Sooners 9-2 (5-2) 8 PM ET

Wow. Who remembers the last time both of these teams were ranked in the top 15? This game could will be (yes I'm going to say it again) a thriller. I like the balance of both schools and they are evenly matched on both sides of the ball. This was a tough game for me to pick but I'm going with the Cowboys. Brandon Weeden has a bit more of the upper hand than Landry Jones and I'd trust him to win for my team at the end over Jones. Not taking anything away from Landry, Weeden is just better. OSU 27 OU 24. Brandon: OSU 36 OU 32

Lane Kiffin's Trojans will
be ready for the Irish.
USC Trojans 7-4 (4-4) vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish 6-5 8 PM ET

Stop the presses. Notre Dame is bowl eligible. Just kidding. For a season that's had many ups and downs, a bowl game is a great accomplishment for this Irish squad. This is the Trojans last game of the season due to the sanctions from the NCAA. The Irish may be going to the Las Vegas Bowl. That's an odd one but could be intriguing if Utah ends up going. Very interesting. I like the Trojans here. Matt Barkley and company aren't only at home, but they're more talented than Brian Kelly's Irish right now. Kelly sure does have the school on the rise, but give them a couple years to get things going before they're an elite again. USC wins this one. USC 28 ND 17. Brandon: USC 31 ND 21

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