Clemson Tigers (+4) @ South Carolina Gamecocks
One of the top 3 teams in the SEC probably beats the best team in the ACC 9 out of 10 times. But could this be that once? I think so. I think the Clemson Tigers laid such a large goose egg last weekend that they couldn’t possibly do anything but play their best football against South Carolina. I know the Gamecocks have a very good defense, but I think Clemson has the talent to put up some points on even the best of defenses.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Stanford Cardinal (-7)
I think the Cardinal are losing a little too much credit here after a tough loss to Oregon. This is still a very good football team, consistent, powerful up front, and one hell of a quarterback. I know Notre Dame has some talent, but I just don’t see them playing with Stanford for 4 quarters.
UCLA Bruins @ USC Trojans (-14)
It’s amazing how much this game means to the Bruins. From all the news about UCLA getting their coach fired, playing terrible, basically a non-existent team all season long – you’d think they were 0-12. Little does the rest of the world know that UCLA can clinch a spot in the PAC 12 Championship Game with a win over USC on Saturday. Not bad for a Bruin team with no offense, defense, or head coach job security. USC basically has nothing to play for – they ousted the Ducks last week, coming off that huge win with no post-season games available to them because of sanctions – all they have is this last game against lowly UCLA. That’s all fine and dandy, and maybe that does get the Trojans playing a little sloppy – but this team is super talented, playing great football, and waaayyy batter than the Bruins. I expect a slapping of baby blue face on southern California.
Florida Gators @ South Carolina Gamecocks (-3.5)
I just can’t believe in the Florida Gators for one second. I don’t even like South Carolina very much, it’s just that they are a better team than Florida. They are tougher, they are more physical, and quite honestly, I think it will be hard for the Gators to put many points up in South Carolina. The Gamecocks don’t have a pretty offense either, and their best players coming into the season on the O side of the ball are either kicked off the team (quarterback) or out with injury (running back). But the Gators won’t be able to run and that’s all they got. Gamecocks 20-13.
Texas Longhorns @ Missouri Tigers (+1.5)
One of these weeks my feeling on Texas has to be right. When I watch these two teams play, I have to believe that Missouri is the more complete unit. Texas might be able to out-athlete the Tigers a little bit, but I think the better football team prevails at home in this one. As a tiny tiny underdog, this almost fits my “bet the lower rated favorite” schema. As a 1.5 point dog, the books have to be thinking that everyone will be on Texas. That means they’re on my side. I hate to say it, but I like when the books and my thoughts are on the same page.
TCU Horned Frogs @ Boise State Broncos (-15)
The Horned Frogs are going to come out playing the Broncos tough. They aren’t too shy to go play Boise in Boise, and they are a tough nosed football team that is very well coached. But, Boise isn’t just well coached, they might have the best coaching staff in all the land. And they have better players, much better players. Kellen Moore might not win the Heisman, the Nation Championship, or get drafted in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. But he’s the best college quarterback there is. And this is a college football game. Look for Boise to win easily at home after a close one in the first half.
Texas A&M Aggies (+14) @ Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners can be very good, but the Aggies are better than their record insists. Sometimes a college football season plays tricks on a good team, and they have a couple plays every game that hurt them just bad enough. The Aggies have been snake bit this year, holding a +22 point differential and just a 5-3 record. Yes, they’ve lost three games, but Oklahoma State beat them by 1. Arkansas beat them by 4. And Missouri needed some magic and overtime to oust the Aggies last week. They are playing on the road where they are 2-1 this season. They do a lot of things well, and one of these weeks luck will turn around. Even if it doesn’t – two touchdowns? A&M is too good for that kind of business.
South Carolina Gamecocks (-5) @ Arkansas Razorbacks
I wanted to take Arkansas, really did. But I just don’t think they are as good as everyone else does, and despite being limited offensively, the Gamecocks just keep finding ways to get it done. Arkansas just goes against all my schemes. Remember, I love lower ranked favorites – and South Carolina certainly fits the description. They are not only ranked lower and favored, but they are also on the road. That’s craziness. That’s auto-pick craziness. They know something, I’ll bite.
Utah Utes @ Arizona Wildcats (-3.5)
The Wildcats are just a lot more solid since losing a Stoops to the coaching axe. Even against UW last week, they did pretty well. The Huskies are a good football team, so a nice close match-up was indeed a good showing for the Wildcats. Utah has struggled in their first season amongst the Pac-12, and Arizona picking it up just in time for the match-up makes things even worse for the Utes.
Here’s a fearsome foursome of NCAA College Football Picks for Week7. Not too many amazing match-ups this week, but a couple games that might surprise you. Good luck!
Michigan Wolverines @ Michigan State Spartans (-1.5)
This one is pretty interesting because it was Michigan that ended up taking out Notre Dame near the beginning of the season (Week 2). It was Michigan State getting trounced by Notre Dame a couple weeks earlier – so one might think the Michigan, because of that common opponent, shouldn’t have a problem with Michigan State on Saturday. Well, unfortunately it doesn’t always work like that, or this whole pick-em game would be a lot easier! What Michigan State makes up for in not having Denard Robinson is a more balanced attack – a team that doesn’t make too many mistakes. I like them to end up on top in the battle of Michigan.
Baylor Bears @ Texas A&M Aggies (-9)
Robert Griffin III is for real, but he’s not quite as good as his 19 touchdowns – 1 interception insists. Texas A&M has had a pretty disappointing start while Baylor has played out of their mind. That being well understood, I still see the Aggies as the more talented team, and I think this is a good week to come out and show what kind of team they are. Things should even out this week.
Utah Utes (+7) @ Pittsburgh Panthers
The Utes are a better football team than their record, and Pittsburgh is just about who they seem to be. Basically, these two teams are pretty even and that being so I expect a close game. even with Utah’s starting quarterback out for the season. Pittsburgh’s main offensive cog, RB Ray Graham, is a little dinged and I expect him to be slowed. Just a low-scoring close contest on the docket for today. Take the points.
South Carolina Gamecocks (-3) @ Mississippi State Bulldogs
When it comes right down to it, South Carolina might not be as good without expelled quarterback, Stephen Garcia, but they are probably more consistent. Connor Shaw can throw the ball a bit, and he doesn’t create stupid at any given moment – which is a plus. I expect a good one, but South Carolina is the better team here.
Texas A&M Aggies (-3) @ Arkansas Razorbacks
The Razorbacks are a little overrated. They can’t stop you defensively, and offensively they aren’t as talented as the Aggies. They are playing at home, sure, but I don’t think that can save them in this one.
Air Force Black Knights @ Navy Midshipmen (-3)
For the first time in a while, the Midshipmen actually come in the better team. They run the ball more consistently and with more success than Air Force despite playing against better teams. That’s good enough for me, I’ll take the home team in this battle.
Nevada Wolfpack @ Boise State Broncos (-27)
Nevada sure put in a game last year against Boise, upending the Broncos’ undefeated season and title hopes (though they’re a small school and nobody would actually give a small school a chance at a title – but that’s for another article). This year it will be different, I’ll bet on that. The Broncos are still elite and the Wolfpack have lost a lot of their luster. I say Boise 49 – Nevada 14.
Aurburn Tigers @ South Carolina Gamecocks (-10)
One more then I’ll leave you to the write-ups later in the week. Auburn and South Carolina – it looked like an Auburn bet to me until I looked at it a little closer. Originally I thought that Stephen Garcia’s turnover-prone antics would eventually be the end of the Gamecock’s undefeated start to the season – but that doesn’t look to be the case against Auburn. Despite having a solid run team, a great young RB, and an offense built to pile up yards – only once this season have the Tigers been able to outrush their opponents. That means that their defense must not be able to stop the run. Utah State outrushed them by 149 yards, Mississippi State nearly 100, Clemson by just a yard (but 188 through the air) and Florida Atlantic was just 29 yards behind the Tigers. What does that mean to you? To me it means they are in trouble this weekend because Marcus Lattimore is all kinds of beast – and he’s ready to big-brother the entire Auburn defense.
South Carolina Gamecocks @ Georgia Bulldogs Free Point Spread Pick: The Bottom line here is that I think South Carolina is the much better team. Georgia, for what seems like the billionth season in a row, comes into the season overrated and while I’m not going to say it showed in Week 1, it showed in Week 1. Boom, I do what I want.
I know that Boise State is just a flat out tough team to beat when they get extra time to prepare, there’s not a coach that does more with his extra practices than Chris Peterson does, but still, the Broncos just came out and whipped the Bulldogs, and with the talent gap that should be there, I think that’s unacceptable or just telling of what to expect from Georgia going forward.
I think South Carolina has one of the best offensive players in college football in sophomore RB Marcus Lattimore, and Stephen Garcia is better than his own coach gives him credit for. This is a big game, one the Gamecocks need to win to continue down the path of righteousness in terms of competing for that SEC crown.
South Carolina Gamecocks (-2.5) @ Georgia Bulldogs
South Carolina Gamecocks @ Florida State Seminoles Chick-fil-A Bowl Pick: I hear that Christian Ponder will likely play on Friday, which definitely ups the Seminoles’ chances of upsetting (slightly) the South Carolina Gamecocks. But, it’s not enough for me to give them the nod, as I truly believe the Gamecocks are one of the better teams in college football.
It’s hard to say they’re great when they got beat 17-56 in their final game of the year against Auburn, but they really are a good football team. Even with that 56 point mishap, the Gamecocks gave up just 23 points per game. They beat Alabama, smacked Florida around, lost to Auburn earlier in the season by just a touchdown, and walked through a tough defensive team in Clemson. The Gamecocks did it many ways this year, using elite talent at RB and WR (and a solid all around year by QB, Stephen Garcia) to put points on the board against good defenses. Speaking of good defenses, the Gamecocks were very good. As a team, SC out-rushed their opponents in 7 of their last 9 games. They are as healthy as they’ve been since the beginning of the season, and they have a good coach leading the way.
Florida State played well down the stretch, even giving the Hokies all they could handle without Christian Ponder in the ACC-Title Game. They lost 33-44, but it was a good performance from a FSU team playing without their QB and leader.
But I think the Seminoles inability to stop the run, and their constant struggle with producing on the ground; will end up being their downfall against the Gamecocks. They’ve lost the rushing battle in 6 of their last 7 games, and that will certainly continue on Friday.
#20 South Carolina Gamecocks (-3) @ Florida State Seminoles
Auburn Tigers @ South Carolina Gamecocks Point Spread Pick: This is a tough one because I think the game will be close – but I think the Tigers will win, and unlike NFL football, there are not many field-goal-victories on the college circuit. A close game in the NCAAs could be a 10-point win, or more frequently, a 6 or 7 point victory. With Cam Newton running the show, and Auburn’s offense ready to win any way they can, I feel like I have to side with the Tigers in this one.
Working on my side here is the way the Tigers have won football games down the stretch. By the way, I mean the many ways in which they’ve won. They don’t do just one thing. For those that think Newton is just a gimmick quarterback with the ability to run, you’re wrong. At least on the college level, this kid can wing it. Newton may be better at making people miss than throwing it by them, but the 68% completion percentage, the 2,54 yards, the 10.4 yards per attempt, and the 24-6 touchdown to interception rate say that he’s not too shabby at throwing the ball either.
South Carolina’s defense is better, there’s no doubt in my mind, but that doesn’t mean they can stop Newton. They have the better D, Auburn has the better O, but that doesn’t mean they’re even. Auburn rarely gets stopped, while South Carolina can stop themselves. A few drives where SC fails to score could mean the ball game against the potent Tigers.
Like I said earlier, it comes down to the ways Auburn has won football games. Against Alabama, Newton had to resort to throwing the ball for scores. That was the second time this season the Tigers have been out-gained, and they managed to win despite that. Auburn is tough up front, and they don’t give up a ton on the ground. Unless Garcia can throw it efficiently and without mistakes, Auburn will run away with this one.
#1 Auburn Tigers (-4.5) @ #19 South Carolina Gamecocks
7-6 for Week 11 – and I’ll take it. You can’t go 13-4 every week, and when you hit some tough ice, it’s nice to just slip from side to side instead of right on your face. I always say, if I can win the tough weeks, the season’s going to go just fine! Here’s the review.
Miami Ohio Redhawks (-2.5) @ Bowling Green Falcons (WIN)
Miami pulls off a road win by just 3 points – in other words, just by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin. After going into the 4th with a 21-7 lead, the Redhawks watched their lead dissolve and it was tied late. A field goal as time expired gave them the win, and me the cover. Whew.
Pittsburgh Panthers (-5) @ Connecticut Huskies (Loss)
UConn won outright, out-rushing the running Panthers as Jordan Todman rushed 37 times for 222 yards for the Huskies. While he didn’t score, it was his hard-nosed running that beat up the Panthers defense and got UConn the 2 point home win.
East Carolina Pirates @ UAB Blazers (-1.5) (Loss)
Through 3 quarters, I felt pretty good about this. UAB was up 8 going into the 4th – then they went and got trounced 27-7 in that quarter. That’s not how you win a game – which is probably why they are 3-7.
Ball State Cardinals (+3) @ Buffalo Bulls (WIN)
Ball State trounced Buffalo because they are the better team. Buffalo knows how to beat themselves, which doesn’t help their cause – but Ball State beat ‘em up.
#4 Boise State Broncos (-34.5) @ Idaho Vandals (WIN)
Boise held back the Dogs in the 2nd half, scoring 14 points then slowing down and putting up a 0 in the 4th quarter. It was 38-0 going into half, and I thought it was a sure thing. They ended up barely covering, winning by that first half deficit and making me sweat it out.
#24 Kansas State Wildcats @ #17 Missouri Tigers (-12.5) (Loss)
The Wildcats scored 14 points in the 4th quarter to make it close, but Missouri was the better team throughout, leading 31-14 going into the 4th quarter. A 26 yard touchdown pass with 1:11 left in the 4th brought the Wildcats within 10. Meaningless…. Unless you’re a betting man! Blast!
#14 Utah Utes (-5.5) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Loss)
I know the Irish aren’t that good. I know the Utes aren’t that bad. So, I’m just going to write that 28-3 beating Notre Dame handed Utah right off. Crap happens in sports, this was a poo-poo-platter special.
Georgia Bulldogs @ #2 Auburn Tigers (-8.5) (WIN)
Newton scored early, running 31 yards for a touchdown – seemingly saying, “See, I’m fine, we’re going to dominate.” But it wasn’t that easy. The Bulldogs put up 21 points in the first quarter building a 21-7 lead. It wouldn’t last. By halftime it was tied. And by the end of the game, the Tigers put up 49 points, behind Newton’s ultra-efficient day, through the air (12 for 15 for 148 and 2 scores) and on the ground (30 carries for 151 yards and 2 scores) and Auburn covered easily, winning by 18.
Penn State Nittany Lions @ #8 Ohio State Buckeyes (-18) (WIN)
The Nittany Lions were trying to pull a stunner, but Ohio State wouldn’t have any of it, despite starting the 2nd half down 14-3. The Buckeyes turned it around quick, scoring 35 points in the 2nd half while shutting out the Nittany Lions. They won by 24.
Washington State Cougars (+24) @ Oregon State Beavers (WIN)
The Cougars won. Yes, I’m not kidding, the Cougars won. I knew they were a tough match-up for the Beavers, but I sure didn’t expect them to go into OSU and lay a W on them. But they sure did. They continued to tackle well, never giving up the big play – and they ran the ball lots of times for solid clips of yardage until they stunned the Beavers. Good show.
#19 Miss. State Bulldogs (+13.5) @ #12 Alabama Crimson Tide (Loss)
The Bulldogs held Mark Ingram pretty much in check on the ground, allowing just 53 yards on 18 carries (2.9 per tote), but Ingram did plenty with a 78 yard touchdown catch, and Alabama built a 30-3 lead before winning 30-10, and covering by a touchdown.
#23 South Carolina Gamecocks (+6.5) @ #22 Florida Gators (WIN)
South Carolina dominated this game, because they are better than Florida. Spurrier gets his redemption win over his former squad, and that has to feel good for the Ol’ Ball Coach.
#1 Oregon Ducks (-19.5) @ California Golden Bears (Loss)
In one of the ugliest offensive performances in a long time (well for the Ducks, anyway, the Bears do this every other week) Oregon just didn’t have it. But they won anyway – not for me of course, they didn’t even get close to covering that 19.5 point spread – shoot, they only scored 15. No cover here, but still up on the week, just barely, but a win’s a win! Just like the Ducks!
South Carolina Gamecocks @ Florida Gators Week 11 NCAA Football Pick: When Florida gets out-rushed, they lose. It’s happened three times this season already, the Gators were beat on the ground three games in a row, falling to Alabama (-91 yards), LSU (-72 yards), and Mississippi State (-61 yards) – all three teams won the rushing attack. Those are Florida’s only losses so far this season, and they are the only games they’ve lost on the ground.
I’m taking South Carolina because I fully expect them to out-run the Gators. Marcus Lattimore struggled last week against Arkansas, but South Carolina has a good team, and he’s a talented and physical runner. I just expect the Gamecocks to out-physical Florida and that will go a long ways in deciding this one. If South Carolina can out-physical Florida where it matters most, in the trenches, Lattimore should have a huge day.
Both teams are 6-3 and need wins badly. South Carolina’s loss to Kentucky really hurt them and Florida’s loss to Mississippi State will likely come back to haunt them. Both teams had high expectations this season, but have been out-played in the SEC.
It really all comes down to the rushing attack, and that battle between offensive and defensive lines. South Carolina wins just about every game they win the rushing battle and Florida is in the same boat. I think SC wins that battle, plus they’re getting nearly a touchdown – I like their chances.
#23 South Carolina Gamecocks (+6.5) @ #22 Florida Gators