College Football Week 10 Predictions: Teams That Will Improve Bowl Bid Status
Whether looking for a BCS bid, fighting to get into the BCS National Championship Game or just trying to secure a late-December bowl, there are several important college football games in Week 10. Bleacher Report is offering an overview and predictions for several games that will impact bids.
Several of these games are huge on the national landscape, while a few will gain little attention outside their conference.
Based on time of kickoff, here is when the games will be played, where you can see that action and how the games will play out.
What's the biggest game on Thursday?
Who: Virginia Tech at Miami
When: Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida
Why: Winner takes control of ACC Coastal
Wager: Virginia Tech -2½ (via OddsShark)
The Thursday night slate of college games aren't going to challenge the NFL Network offering of Kansas City vs. San Diego.
That's a rather sad statement.
The Hokies (4-4, 2-2) and the Hurricanes (4-4, 3-2) are the only teams that control their destiny in the ACC's Coastal division. Duke and North Carolina are also in the mix, both with two losses, but North Carolina is not eligible for postseason play.
The winner of Thursday's game will have the inside track to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte and the chance to grab a major bowl game.
Virginia Tech owns a three-game winning streak in the series and is 6-2 vs. Miami since the two were added to the ACC.
Don't expect the winning trend to change much in this game, but one of the teams will need to alter their current play. Virginia Tech has struggled to get much going on offense while defense is Miami's weakness.
The needle falls to the offense prevailing here.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 24, Miami 17
Who: Washington vs. California
When: Friday, Nov. 2, 9 p.m.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California
Why: It's the only Friday game
Wager: Cal -3½
Football options don't get any better on Friday night, but this game makes this list since it is the only action going.
Cal (3-6, 2-4) has been just plain terrible for most of the season but somehow managed to blow out UCLA, 43-17. It also lost to Utah, who is 1-4 in Pac-12 play, 49-27.
Washington (4-4, 2-3) hasn't been much more consistent. The Huskies beat two teams that have been ranked in the Top 10, Stanford and Oregon State, but were blown out by Arizona.
The Huskies could end the season on a five-game winning streak, though, as they finish with Cal, Utah, Colorado and Washington State. Those teams are a combined 4-17 in Pac-12 play.
An 8-4 finish could possibly send Washington back to the Alamo Bowl, but their head-to-head loss to Arizona will likely but them in the Holiday Bowl.
Prediction: Washington 20, Cal 13
Who: Pittsburgh at No. 3 Notre Dame
When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m.
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
Why: The Irish are fighting for a berth in the BCS National Championship Game
Wager: Notre Dame -16½
This game shouldn't be close.
Pittsburgh isn't playing to the same level as it has in recent seasons and isn't worthy of competing with a Top Five team.
But could this be a trap game for Notre Dame? The Irish are riding high after their huge upset over Oklahoma and received a boost by passing Oregon in the BCS rankings.
The Fighting Irish could be turning their attention to USC, their final challenge in a 12-0 season. Doing that against a team like Pittsburgh could be disastrous.
Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Pittsburgh 10
Would a 13-0 Oregon team play for the National Championship?
Who: No. 4 Oregon at No. 17 USC
When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, L.A.
Why: Pac-12 Championship Game and BCS title game on the line
Wager: Oregon -7½
The Trojans' loss to an under-appreciated Arizona team took most of the luster off this matchup. But USC is still a talented team that can pull a win against almost any team in college football.
Oregon isn't one of them, though.
The Ducks are dominant on both sides of the ball and the only team that's been able to stop their offensive onslaught this season is the men with headsets on their own side of the field.
Oregon has lost some style points because their coaches have called off the dogs and they are seeing their title hopes fade.
Oregon simply needs to blow out their final five opponents (including the Pac-12 Championship Game) if it hopes to reach the BCS National Championship Game. At least three of those teams will be ranked in the Top 25 so all hope isn't lost, but they may need two of the three teams ahead of them to lose.
Prediction: Oregon 52, USC 24
Who: No. 24 Oklahoma State at No. 2 Kansas State
When: Saturday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m.
Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas
Why: Big 12 Title and BCS National Championship Game on the line
Wager: Kansas State -9½
If there was any doubt on just how good the Wildcats' offense is, they settled the issue with their onslaught against Texas Tech. This isn't a good sign for the Cowboys, whose defense is mediocre at best.
The real problem is Kansas State runs the ball as good as almost any team in college football and Oklahoma State simply can't stop the run on the road.
Perhaps it was subliminal when I initially arrived at a 55-point scoring effort for the Wildcats, as that was their point total the prior two weeks. I felt the need to make an adjustment to avoid redundancy.
Prediction: Kansas State 52, Oklahoma State 34
Who: No. 1 Alabama at No. 5 LSU
When: Saturday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m.
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Why: SEC Supremacy and the BCS national title at stake
Wager: Alabama -10
In early September, this matchup looked like the game of the season, pitting a pair of 8-0 teams battling for the SEC West title.
But LSU has struggled over the last month. The Tigers dropped a game to Florida and barely beat a struggling Auburn team.
The Tigers have an extra week to prepare for this game and will have the home-field advantage. Neither advantage figures to be enough to spark LSU over Alabama, though.
This game will feature some great defensive play, but Alabama has the advantage in almost every measurable category.
LSU has been struggling to find its passing attack. It's possible the extra week helped the Tigers get on the same page, and if facing a lesser opponent, their aerial show might be impressive again.
Some early predictions have this as a high-scoring game, but there are few teams that would have much success on Alabama's No. 1 scoring defense (8.1 PPG).
Prediction: Alabama 27, LSU 13
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.
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