Friday, November 25, 2011

Fab Five - Week 13 (NCAAF Predictions)

A crazy week last week for fans of the BCS system. We saw three of the top 5 teams lose games outright for the first time since October, 2001 (No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 UCLA, and No. 5 Virginia Tech). Thanks to Oklahoma St., Oklahoma, and Oregon we know have a complete mess atop the BCS standings. With six one-loss teams and only two more weeks left there is still a lot to figure out - I wonder what would have happened if Boise St. would have stayed undefeated against TCU...Check out this week's picks after the jump.

Friday, November 25th
No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 1 LSU (-11.5), 2:30 ET - CBS
The SEC currently has the top three collegiate football programs in the country. All of the experts and pundits are preparing us for a rematch of the LSU/Alabama 'game of the century'. I think Arkansas will have something to say about that. Plus how much more fun would the BCS mess be if Arkansas beats LSU - and we have another 1 loss team added to the mix. Would it be possible for the Razorbacks to beat LSU in Baton Rouge and still not make it to the BCS Championship game? How's that for a BCS conundrum. I'll be rooting for this scenario. Obviously LSU has the staunch defense that has been praised all year - but Arkansas has a pretty potent offense as well. I look for the Razorbacks to open things up with the passing game and try to put LSU on the defensive. I'll take Arkansas plus the points in this SEC extravaganza.

Saturday, November 26th
No. Ohio State vs. No. 17 Michigan (-7.5), Noon - ABC
In case you hadn't figured it out - this is rivalry week in college football. Texas just beat Texas Tech on Turkey Day, Virginia and Virginia Tech square off, Oregon and Oregon State will play later, Auburn and Alabama do battle, and Michigan versus Ohio State happens this weekend. Truly one of the best weekends in football. Unfortunately for Wolverine fans this hasn't been much of  rivalry lately as Ohio St. has not lost since 2003 to Michigan. I expect that will change this year. The Buckeyes have struggled lately and clearly don't have the same level of talent as the rest of their Big 10 competition. They did get some more players back from those Tattoo-induced suspensions which could help their stagnant offense - but it's too little too late. I look for this to be a low-scoring duel, and will take the Buckeyes plus the points - but the Wolverines to end their decade long drought against Ohio St. 

No. 20 Penn State vs. No. 15 Wisconsin (-14.5), 3:30 ET - ESPN
The winner of this game will win the "Leaders" division and get a shot to play in the inaugural Big 10 championship game against "Legends" division winner Michigan State. Pretty important stakes for two programs that have certainly had their ups and downs this season on the field and off of it. The key to this game has everything to do with where its taking place - Madison, Wisconsin. When the Badgers play at home they are 7-0 and have just crushed every opponent. I look for that trend to continue this weekend as early season Heisman hopeful Russell Wilson will lead the Badgers to a dismantling on the Nittany Lions. Wisconsin is too good on offense and even better on defense. I'll take Wisconsin to make the Nittany Lions look like a bunch if kitty-cats on Saturday.

No. 6 Virginia Tech (-4) vs. No. 24 Virginia, 3:30 ET - ABC
Secretly the Hokies of Virginia Tech have climbed to 10-1 with their only blemish coming against Clemson in week 5. Since that loss they have reeled off six straight victories heading into this matchup with in-state rival Virginia. Much like the Badgers/Nittany Lions game there are conference implications on the line is this game as well. The winner clinches the Coastal division title and gets a ticket in the ACC Championship. The Cavaliers of Virginia are finally relevant after  what seems like years of dormancy. In this rivalry of the "Old Dominion" state the Hokies have won 11 of the past 12 including the last 7 contests. I look for Virginia Tech to continue their winning ways behind the efforts of RB David Wilson who is fourth in the Nation with 131 yards per game on the ground. I'll take the Hokies minus the points win on the the road.

No. 22 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Stanford (-7), 8 ET - ABC
The Fighting Irish are a team that I got burned by a good amount early in the season. Then I stopped paying attention to them because they fell out of the national spotlight and all they've done since is win 8 of their past 9 as well as their last 4 games to get them back into the top 25. With Andrew Luck playing his last regular season game and making his final case for a Heisman Trophy, this seems like the perfect opportunity for me to pounce on the Fighting Irish and get them back for all the monetary damage that they've cost me - but I'm a forgiving guy. Or maybe just stupid. I think the Cardinal team is still reeling from the loss of some key weapons on Offense and its obviously hampered Luck's performance lately. I look for the Fighting Irish to keep the Cardinal in check and will take them plus the points.

Last Week: 3-2
Season Record: 28-25-2

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