50 Predictions for College Football Week 11
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Week 11 of the college football season doesn't feature a ton of glamorous matchups outside of the big SEC showdown between No. 15 Texas A&M and No. 1 Alabama. However, this weekend still could be one of the most exciting and action-packed weekends that we've seen so far this season.
Kansas State vs. TCU, Mississippi State vs. LSU, Oregon State vs. Stanford, Penn State vs. Nebraska, Northwestern vs. Michigan and West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State are all games that should get any true college football fan excited.
This could end up being another Saturday full of surprises. Nevertheless, here's a look at some predictions for what to expect in Week 11.
AJ McCarron Will Throw an Interception
Alabama QB AJ McCarron has thrown 204 passes this season without tossing an interception, but he may finally end up throwing a pick this weekend against Texas A&M.
The Aggies have a menacing pass rush that will likely make McCarron feel a bit uneasy in the pocket, and because of that, he could end up making a few throws that he ultimately regrets.
The junior signal-caller has been one of the most accurate and efficient quarterbacks in the country in 2012, but he could struggle to find his consistency against a tough and talented Texas A&M defense.
Johnny Manziel Will Throw for Over 300 Yards
Alabama's defense hasn't allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for over 300 yards since Arkansas' Ryan Mallett did it back in September of 2010. However, given the way Alabama's secondary was exposed last week by LSU's Zach Mettenberger, who came up just two yards short of that total, it's not crazy to think that Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel could match Mallett's level of passing production.
Manziel has thrown for over 300 yards on five separate occasions this season, and he's averaging 280 passing yards per game.
The explosive dual-threat quarterback is one of the most dynamic offensive players that Alabama has faced this season. The Tide defense won't have an easy time slowing Manziel down, especially since the unit will still be a bit fatigued after being on the field for 85 plays and over 39 minutes last week against the Tigers.
Damontre Moore Will Continue to Impress
Freshman QB Johnny Manziel has received pretty much all of the credit for Texas A&M's 7-2 record. However, you could make the argument that DE Damontre Moore has been just as big of a part of the Aggies' success as Manziel.
Moore has been the most impressive and productive defensive end in the country this season. The 6'4'', 250-pound junior currently leads the nation with 19 tackles for loss and is tied for the lead with 11.5 sacks.
Alabama's offensive tackles D.J. Fluker and Cyrus Kouandjio better come prepared for a battle, because Moore is going to be a handful.
If the explosive edge-rusher puts together a big performance against Alabama, which supposedly has the best offensive line in the country, then it may be time to start talking about Moore as a potential candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft.
Alabama Will Make Another 4th-Quarter Comeback
Alabama put together a memorable last-minute drive for the ages last week to beat LSU, 21-17. It wouldn't be surprising if the Tide needed another fourth-quarterback comeback this week against Texas A&M.
The Aggies match up very well with Nick Saban's squad, and they just so happen to have a truly special player, QB Johnny Manziel, who has shown that he can make some magic happen.
Manziel may do enough to actually put Texas A&M ahead in the second half. But ultimately, Alabama will be able to close out the game in style, just like it did last Saturday night.
TCU Will Contain Collin Klein
Kansas State QB Collin Klein has put together a fantastic senior season this year. Klein certainly deserves to be considered the Heisman favorite at this point. However, he's going to face one of his toughest tests of 2012 this Saturday when he faces TCU's stingy defense in Forth Worth.
The Horned Frogs rank third in the Big 12 in total defense and fourth in scoring defense, allowing just 333 yards and 24 points per game.
Gary Patterson is one of the smartest defensive minds in college football, and he should figure out a way to contain Klein.
TCU's secondary may not be that great, but the front seven is loaded with plenty of difference-makers, such as defensive ends Devonte Fields and Stansly Maponga and linebackers Kenny Cain and Joel Hasley.
Trevone Boykin and Josh Boyce Will Hook Up for 2 Touchdowns
TCU QB Trevone Boykin seems like he's starting to grow comfortable in his role as the starter. Boykin may have only completed 12 of his 29 passes last week against West Virginia, but he made the throws he needed to, as he led the Horned Frogs to a wild 39-38 victory in double-overtime.
Boykin has gained a lot of trust in WR Josh Boyce, which is understandable, considering Boyce is one of the most explosive playmakers in the country.
The two hooked up six times for 180 yards and two touchdowns last week. They should be able to create a few more big plays against Kansas State on Saturday.
De’Anthony Thomas Will Be Oregon’s Offensive Star
RB De'Anthony Thomas was the most talked-about player on Oregon's offense during the offseason. However, Thomas has had to take a backseat to fellow back Kenjon Barner in recent weeks, as Barner has thrust himself into the Heisman conversation.
Thomas has only touched the ball 14 times on offense in the Ducks' last two games. But he could be ready to explode against Cal this weekend.
The dynamic and dangerous offensive weapon totaled 132 yards and scored three touchdowns against the Golden Bears last year, and he may put together a similar type of effort on Saturday.
Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick Will Combine to Rush for Over 200 Yards
Notre Dame running backs Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick have been one of the best backfield tandems in the country this season.
Wood and Riddick have combined to average 5.2 yards per carry and they've scored eight touchdowns.
The two backs should both have highly productive outings against Boston College on Saturday. Wood and Riddick should find plenty of room to run against an Eagles defense that ranks 119th in the nation against the run.
Manti Te’o Will Have Another Heisman-Caliber Performance
In the last four years, there have been two defensive players who have made it all the way to New York City for the Heisman ceremony. Former LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu earned an invitation last year, and former Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh earned one back in 2009.
Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o is having a similar type of dominant season in 2012 as Mathieu and Suh had during their respective campaigns.
Te'o has racked up 87 tackles, picked off five passes and he's been the heart and soul of an Irish defense that currently ranks second in the nation in scoring defense and 10th in total defense.
The intimidating inside linebacker will continue to impress this weekend with another Heisman-caliber performance against Boston College.
Auburn Will Rise to the Occasion
Auburn has suffered through an extremely frustrating season this year. The Tigers have gone just 2-7 and they've been a mess on both sides of the ball. However, the team has much more talent than its record would seem to indicate.
Gene Chizik's squad finally has a little bit of momentum after picking up a much-needed win over New Mexico State last week.
On Saturday, the Tigers will welcome No. 5 Georgia to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the 116th edition of the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry."
Although Auburn may not have a chance to earn a postseason berth in 2012, the Tigers should still play with a lot of passion, intensity and motivation, especially since they're likely still upset about the 45-7 spanking that the Bulldogs handed them last year.
Georgia Will Play Tight
Georgia controls its own destiny in the SEC East right now, and a win over Auburn guarantees the Bulldogs a spot in the conference championship game in Atlanta. However, a loss would give the division to Florida.
That means Georgia has everything to lose on Saturday when it heads out on the road to face Auburn. On the other hand, the Tigers will be able to play loose, knowing that all the pressure will be on the Bulldogs.
Mark Richt-coached teams have had plenty of letdown performances in big spots in recent years. It wouldn't be surprising if the Bulldogs came out and played tight against Auburn in what is shaping up to be their most important game of the season thus far.
Jonathan Wallace Will Prove He Deserves to Be Auburn’s Starting Quarterback
Auburn wasn't able to find any type of offensive consistency with either Kiehl Frazier or Clint Moseley at quarterback. Now, the Tigers have handed the offensive reins to freshman Jonathan Wallace with the hope that he can add a spark to the struggling unit.
Wallace may still have a long way to go as a passer, but he's the type of athletic and mobile quarterback who can create plays with his legs and cause matchup problems for an opposing defense.
The young freshman quarterback will face a trial by fire against a Georgia defense that's loaded with future high NFL draft picks such as Jarvis Jones, John Jenkins and Alec Ogletree. However, Wallace may end up playing much better than many are expecting.
Florida Will Play with Passion
Florida didn't show any type of effort or energy last week against Missouri, as the Gators trudged to a 14-7 win over the Tigers.
Obviously, head coach Will Muschamp was not pleased with his team's lack of hunger, and he surely let his players know that type of performance will not be tolerated.
Although this weekend's game against Louisiana-Lafayette doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, Muschamp's squad should still come out and play with much more passion than it did last week.
Mississippi State’s Defense Will Step Up
Mississippi State's defense has given up 38 points in each of its past two games against Alabama and Texas A&M. If the Bulldogs continue to play the way they've been playing on the defensive side of the ball against LSU, they'll get blown out for the third game in a row.
That won't happen, however, as the unit just has too many talented and proud veterans such as DT Josh Boyd, LB Cameron Lawrence and CB Johnthan Banks.
The Bulldogs defense will step up to the challenge and play with something to prove on Saturday in Baton Rouge.
Zach Mettenberger Will Come Back Down to Earth
LSU QB Zach Mettenberger surprised everyone with his performance against Alabama last week. Mettenberger torched the Tide, completing 24 of his 35 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown.
Following that huge performance, many have started to ask if the highly touted junior signal-caller has turned the corner and if he's finally ready to start living up to his preseason hype.
Only time will tell, but it wouldn't be shocking to see Mettenberger struggle to replicate the success he had last week against Mississippi State on Saturday. The Bulldogs secondary features plenty of quality defensive backs, such as Johnthan Banks, Nickoe Whitley and Corey Broomfield, who won't give him much room to fit his passes into.
Mike Davis Will Have a Breakout Game
It was tough to see South Carolina star running back Marcus Lattimore go down with a gruesome leg injury against Tennessee. Now that Lattimore is out for the season, the Gamecocks will need another back that they can rely on, and freshman Mike Davis may be ready to step up and fill that role.
Davis has only touched the ball 24 times this season, but he's averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
The former 4-star recruit should get more opportunities to prove himself against Arkansas.
The Razorbacks have a pretty stout run defense, allowing just 121 yards on the ground per game. However, Davis could catch them off guard with his combination of speed and power.
South Carolina Will Sack Tyler Wilson 5 Times
Arkansas has only allowed 12 sacks in nine games this season. However, the Razorbacks have yet to face a defensive line that's as good as South Carolina's. The Gamecocks currently rank seventh in the nation with 30 total sacks.
Jadeveon Clowney, Devin Taylor and Kelcy Quarles will be looking to hunt down QB Tyler Wilson all game long.
If South Carolina builds up an early lead and forces the Razorbacks to throw the ball often in the second half, Wilson could be in store for a painful afternoon in Columbia.
Oklahoma Will Total over 600 Yards of Offense
Oklahoma came up just seven yards short of totaling 600 yards of offense in a 35-20 victory over Iowa State last week.
This weekend, the Sooners should easily clear that mark against Baylor.
The Bears rank dead last in the country in total defense, giving up an average of 527 yards per game.
QB Landry Jones, WR Kenny Stills and the rest of the Oklahoma offense should have a field day attacking Baylor's shoddy secondary.
Ryan Nassib Will Outplay Teddy Bridgewater
Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater is widely considered to be the best quarterback in the Big East. However, Bridgewater hasn't been the most productive passer in the conference this season. That honor belongs to Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, who is averaging 308 yards through the air per game.
Since the Orange are just 4-5, Nassib hasn't received much national attention this year, but he's certainly proved that he can sling it.
The senior signal-caller usually plays very well in the Carrier Dome, and he should be able to out-duel Bridgewater when the two square off on Saturday.
Syracuse Will Upset Louisville
Louisville has been living on the edge this season. The Cardinals have compiled a 9-0 record, but five of those wins have come by a touchdown or less.
This looks like it could be the weekend that Charlie Strong's squad finally gets burned.
Syracuse has the type of passing attack that will put a ton of stress on Louisville's secondary. QB Ryan Nassib and his dangerous receiver duo of Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales should be able to create enough big plays to upset the Cardinals.
Matt McGloin Will Outplay Taylor Martinez
Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez are the two Big Ten quarterbacks who have received the most publicity this season. But the conference's leading passer is actually Penn State's Matt McGloin.
First-year head coach Bill O'Brien has transformed McGloin into a dangerous passer this season. The senior signal-caller has looked like a completely different player than the one we saw in 2011. He's completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,436 yards and thrown 18 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions.
Martinez may be a dangerous runner, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him get outplayed by McGloin when Penn State visits Nebraska on Saturday.
Penn State Will Upset Nebraska
Last season, Penn State had to play Nebraska the weekend after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke and Joe Paterno was fired. The Nittany Lions obviously were distracted that day and ended up losing 17-14.
This weekend's matchup will be much different than last year's. The Nittany Lions come into this game having won six of their last seven games and playing with a tremendous amount of confidence.
Penn State will have revenge on its mind when it visits Lincoln on Saturday, and the Cornhuskers could be in a lot of trouble.
Giovani Bernard Will Continue His Rampage
Oregon RB Kenjon Barner may be the one getting all the Heisman hype right now, but if you're looking for the best running back in college football, you'll find him in Chapel Hill.
North Carolina's Giovani Bernard has been basically unstoppable this season. Bernard currently leads the nation with an average of 178 yards from scrimmage per game, and he's scored 15 touchdowns in just seven games.
The 5'10'', 205-pound redshirt sophomore has established himself as a viable first-round prospect for the 2013 NFL draft with his outstanding performance this season.
Bernard should continue his tremendous tear this weekend against Georgia Tech.
...And So Will Marqise Lee
Giovani Bernard has been the most impressive running back in college football this season. But the title of most impressive wide receiver belongs to USC's Marqise Lee.
Lee is the best wide receiver that has graced the college game since Larry Fitzgerald was at Pitt.
The sophomore pass-catcher currently leads the nation with 88 receptions for 1,286 yards, and he's already hauled in 12 touchdown passes in just nine games.
It's a shame that Lee isn't eligible for the 2013 NFL draft, because he would likely be the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick.
He should continue his quest for the Biletnikoff Award with another big outing on Saturday against Arizona State. The Sun Devils secondary simply won't be able to contain him.
Tennessee vs. Missouri Will Be an Offensive Shootout
Tennessee's Tyler Bray and Missouri's James Franklin are two of the most talented junior quarterbacks in college football. However, neither player has had the type of 2012 season that he was hoping for.
Still, the two signal-callers should put on an offensive show when the Volunteers and Tigers meet in Knoxville on Saturday.
This game has the potential to turn into a full-blown aerial assault.
Oregon State vs. Stanford Will Be a Defensive Battle
One game that certainly doesn't seem like it's going to turn into an offensive shootout is Oregon State vs. Stanford. The Beavers and the Cardinal both rank in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense.
This game is shaping up to be a tough, ugly, grind-it-out type of smashmouth defensive battle.
While neither of these teams may be in the national championship hunt, this is a game that still has huge implications. Oregon State and Stanford are still very much alive in the Pac-12 North. Both teams are 5-1 in conference play and both have yet to play Oregon.
The winner of this game would receive a huge momentum boost, while the loser will be knocked out of the division race.
Cody Vaz and Kevin Hogan Will Both Struggle
Oregon State and Stanford both have great defenses, but one thing that neither of them has is a proven quarterback.
Cody Vaz has started just three games in his college career, while Kevin Hogan's will be making his first college start after being handed the job this week by coach David Shaw.
It could be a tough day for both inexperienced signal-callers.
Sammy Watkins Will Finally Have a Big Game
Sammy Watkins has gone from being the biggest freshman sensation of the 2011 season to the second best receiving option on his own team this year.
Watkins certainly hasn't had the type of sophomore season that many were expecting. He's caught just 38 passes for 501 yards and scored only three touchdowns. However, you also have to take into account that he missed three games due to a suspension and an injury.
The fading star pass-catcher will have a great opportunity to put together a big game this weekend when Maryland comes to town. Watkins should be able to do plenty of damage to the Terps' secondary just like West Virginia's Tavon Austin did back in Week 4 when he caught 13 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns.
USC Will Finally Dominate
Before the season started, USC was touted as one of the top national title contenders in college football. However, the Trojans have not come close to living up to their preseason hype, as they've lost three of their first nine games.
Matt Barkley and crew haven't yet had a truly dominant performance against a quality opponent (blowout victories over terrible teams like Hawaii and Colorado don't mean anything).
That could change this weekend when USC hosts Arizona State.
Not only will the Trojans be looking to redeem themselves after last week's loss to Oregon, they'll also be looking to avenge last year's 43-22 loss to the Sun Devils in Tempe.
David Ash Will Throw 5 Touchdown Passes
Texas QB David Ash has had an up-and-down season this year. Ash has helped lead the Longhorns to a 7-2 record, but he has had a few less-than-stellar showings lately, including bad games against Oklahoma and Kansas.
The sophomore signal-caller should have one of the best games of his career on Saturday when he faces an Iowa State secondary that ranks 113th in the nation in pass defense.
If Ash lights up the Cyclones and hits some big touchdown throws, he should be able to quiet his critics and doubters.
Washington State Will Give UCLA a Tough Challenge
UCLA and Washington State looked like two completely different teams last week. The Bruins absolutely destroyed Arizona 66-10, while the Cougars got pummeled by Utah 49-6.
On the surface, this game looks like it should be a blowout. But don't be surprised if Mike Leach's squad actually turns this one game into a real battle.
Washington State may only be 2-7 this season, but the Cougars should be able to give UCLA a tough test at home.
Tavon Austin Will Return a Kickoff for a Touchdown
Oklahoma State has the worst kickoff coverage team in the country. The Cowboys have allowed an average of 33.4 yards per return and they've given up two returns for touchdowns.
West Virginia's explosive returner Tavon Austin has to be excited about the chance to return kicks against that weak coverage unit.
Austin currently ranks fifth in the nation with an average of 32.9 yards per game, and he's already brought one kickoff all the way back for a touchdown this season.
If Oklahoma State decides to kick to the senior speedster, the Cowboys may end up regretting it.
Joseph Randle Will Have a Huge Day
West Virginia's defense has been dreadful this season. The Mountaineers currently rank 114th in the nation in total defense and 119th in scoring defense, as they've allowed 428 yards and 39 points per game.
The unit will now have to figure out how to slow down one of the best running backs in college football, Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle.
Randle has totaled 1,097 yards of offense and scored nine touchdowns in just eight games this season.
The versatile and explosive playmaker is the type of back who could make West Virginia's defense look absolutely foolish.
West Virginia Will Lose Its Fourth Straight Game
It wasn't all that long ago that West Virginia was 5-0 and ranked fifth in the nation. However, following the team's three straight losses, those days seem like an eternity ago.
The Mountaineers have not looked like they're ready to handle Big 12 competition. They were trounced by Texas Tech and Kansas State, and they were just beaten at home last week by a TCU team that's without its starting quarterback and its starting running back.
Now, Dana Holgorsen's squad will have to head down to Stillwater, where Holgorsen spent a year as an offensive coordinator back in 2010.
Holgorsen knows how dangerous the Cowboys can be at home, and he knows deep down that there's a good chance the Mountaineers will drop their fourth straight game this weekend.
Michigan vs. Northwestern Will Come Down to a Field Goal
Nebraska may be leading the Big Ten Legends division at this point in the season, but both Northwestern and Michigan are still right in the hunt.
The Wildcats and the Wolverines will square off this weekend in Ann Arbor in a must-win division battle.
This just seems like the type of game that'll end up being decided by a late field-goal attempt.
Texas State Will Hold Louisiana Tech Under 40 Points
Louisiana Tech currently ranks second in the country in scoring offense, averaging 52 points per game. The Bulldogs have only been held under 40 points once this season, but that may happen for the second time this weekend.
Sonny Dykes' squad won't lose at Texas State on Saturday, but it may get caught looking ahead to next week's pivotal matchup against Utah State, which will likely decide the WAC champion.
If the Bulldogs don't bring their best effort, they probably won't light up the scoreboard the way they have been all season long.
Rutgers Will Shut Out Army
Army is coming off a huge 41-21 victory over fellow service academy Air Force last week. The Black Knights have been celebrating that win for the past couple of days. However, sadly, their celebration is soon going to come to an end when they travel to New Jersey to take on an irritated Rutgers team.
The Scarlet Knights had a bye week to regroup after a shocking upset loss at home to Kent State back in Week 9. They'll likely be eager to take out their pent-up anger on an Army team that just doesn't have the athletes to compete with them.
The Rutgers defense, led by future high NFL draft picks Khaseem Greene and Logan Ryan, has been suffocating opponents this season. The Scarlet Knights will be looking to make a statement with a shutout on Saturday.
Indiana Will Get Revenge on Wisconsin
You have to give Indiana coach Kevin Wilson some credit for turning around the Hoosiers after last year's embarrassing 1-11 season.
Wilson's squad is now 4-5 and flirting with the chance to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.
Indiana will be looking for revenge on Saturday when it hosts Wisconsin, a team that handed the Hoosiers a 59-7 loss last year and an 83-20 beat down in 2010.
The Badgers are 6-3 and the favorite to win the Big Ten Leaders division. However, they've been one of the most inconsistent teams in the country this season.
If Wisconsin turns in another performance like it did in last week's loss to Michigan State, Indiana certainly has a chance to pick up its first win over the boys from Madison since 2002.
Virginia Will Catch Miami Sleeping
Miami is in a tricky spot this week. The Hurricanes are coming off a huge win over Virginia Tech last Thursday, but now they have to go up to Virginia to face a Cavaliers team that finally found its identity last week against NC State.
What makes things worse is that it's a noon kickoff, which are always very tough on visiting teams.
Even though the Canes are now in the driver's seat in the ACC Coastal division, they may get caught sleeping in Charlottesville.
Connecticut Will Take Advantage of Pitt’s Disappointment
Pittsburgh has to be devastated, knowing that it let a huge upset win over Notre Dame slip away last weekend. The Panthers outplayed the Irish in South Bend and they had numerous chances to seal the win, but they just couldn't get the job done.
Now, they'll have to try and put that disastrous defeat behind them when they head out on the road to play a Friday night game in cold and snowy Connecticut.
Obviously, this looks like it could be a huge letdown situation for Pitt.
The Huskies may only be 3-6 this year, but they have one of the best defenses in the Big East, led by future pros such as Yawin Smallwood, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Trevardo Williams and Sio Moore. Plus, they have one of the best running backs in the league, Lyle McCombs.
Mike Glennon Will Bounce Back in a Big Way
NC State QB Mike Glennon seemed like he had recovered from a rough start to the season against Tennessee. He began to get back in the good graces of NFL scouts by leading the Wolfpack to five wins in their next six games, including a huge upset of Florida State. However, NC State has since dropped its last two games, including an inexcusable 33-6 loss at home to Virginia last week.
Glennon had a pitiful performance against the Cavaliers, completing just 23 of his 46 passes and tossing three interceptions.
The senior signal-caller should be able to bounce back this weekend, though, when he faces a Wake Forest secondary that ranks 99th in the country in pass defense. The Demon Deacons are giving up an average of 261 yards through the air per game, and Glennon shouldn't have much of a problem finding gaping holes in their coverage.
Purdue Will Snap Its Losing Streak
After starting the season 3-1, Purdue has lost five straight games and it now has an 0-5 record against Big Ten competition.
The Boilermakers have a great chance to finally break their losing streak this weekend when they square off with a struggling Iowa team.
The Hawkeyes have not been able to find any type of consistency on offense this season, and they'll likely be without the backbone of their offense, injured RB Mark Weisman, on Saturday.
Colorado Will Make B.J. Denker Look Like a Star
It seems as if there's a pretty good chance that Arizona will be without starting quarterback Matt Scott for this weekend's game against Colorado. Scott is still dealing with the after effects of a concussion he suffered last Saturday against UCLA.
The Wildcats don't have to be too concerned, though, considering Colorado's defense currently ranks dead last in the country in scoring defense, giving up an average of 46 points per game.
The Buffaloes should make Scott's replacement, B.J. Denker, look like a star.
Denker has only thrown 23 passes this season, but his lack of experience shouldn't make much of a difference, since Colorado's defense can't seem to stop anybody this season.
Ole Miss Will Clinch Bowl Eligibility
Before the season started, most analysts were forecasting Ole Miss to be the worst team in the SEC. However, the Rebels have quieted their critics by compiling a 5-4 record. They now stand just one win away from making it back to the postseason for the first time since 2009.
First-year head coach Hugh Freeze has done a terrific job turning the program around following last year's 2-10 campaign under Houston Nutt.
Beating Vanderbilt won't be easy this weekend, as the Commodores are also one win away from bowl eligibility and hoping to make it to the postseason. But quarterback Bo Wallace, who has been one of the most underrated and underappreciated players in the country in 2012, should be able to lead the Rebels to that all-important sixth "W" of the season.
Boise State Will Score 6 Touchdowns on Hawaii.....in the First Half
Boise State got picked off at home by San Diego State last week, which effectively ended the Broncos' hopes of winning 11 games and possibly making it to a BCS bowl game this season. It was just the second time that the team had lost on the blue turf since Chris Petersen took over as head coach back in 2006.
The Broncos are definitely going to be angry this week. They'll get the chance to redeem themselves against a 1-7 Hawaii team that ranks 122nd in the country in scoring defense.
Needless to say, this game could get very ugly very quickly.
Temple Will Upset Cincinnati
Temple got thumped by Louisville 45-17 last week. However, the Owls may be able to make up for that blowout loss with a big win over Cincinnati at home this weekend.
The Bearcats are 6-2, but only three of those wins have come over BCS schools. There's still a lot of questions about just how good they really are.
Cincinnati QB Munchie Legaux is one of the worst passers that you're going to find in college football. If Temple can force Legaux to make some critical mistakes, the Owls should be able to pick up their third Big East win of the season.
Miami (Ohio) Will Upset Kent State
Another team that has to be on upset alert this weekend is Kent State.
The Golden Flashes have surpassed their modest preseason expectations and won eight of their first nine games, including a big upset win at Rutgers two weeks ago. However, they better be careful this weekend when they travel to Miami (Ohio).
Zac Dysert is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country, and he could cause a lot of problems for Kent State's defense.
The RedHawks are only be 4-5 this season. But they've already picked up a big home win over Ohio this season, and they're definitely capable of pulling off the same feat against Kent State on Saturday.
Kansas’ Misery Will Continue
In case you haven't been following and paying attention to how former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis' first season at Kansas is going, don't worry, you haven't missed much.
After picking up a win over South Dakota State in Week 1, the Jayhawks have proceeded to lose every single game on their schedule. They'll now go into this weekend's game against Texas Tech with a 1-8 record and the 119th-ranked scoring offense in the nation.
Texas Tech has to be disappointed about last week's loss to Texas, and the Red Raiders will be looking to take out their frustrations.
Kansas hasn't beaten a BCS opponent since November of 2010, and that's not about to change this weekend.
Massachusetts Will Sink to a New Low
Another team that has endured an abysmal season this year is first-year MAC member UMass.
The Minutemen haven't exactly set the FBS ranks on fire after making the move up from the FCS level. They have lost all nine of their games by an average score of 44-10. They currently have the worst scoring offense and the second worst scoring defense in the nation.
The team is so bad that Las Vegas has installed 1-9 Akron as a 17-point favorite in the matchup this weekend.
Getting blown out by the Zips will only add further embarrassment to what has already been a disastrous season.
Fresno State vs. Nevada Will Be Worth Staying Up for
If you have the NBC Sports Network, and if you're a fan of offensive football, then you should stay up for the Fresno State-Nevada game, which kicks off at 10:35 pm ET. The Bulldogs and the Wolf Pack are two of the best teams outside of the BCS conferences, and both are still alive in the Mountain West race.
Two of the most exciting backfield duos in the country—Nevada QB Cody Fajardo and RB Stefphon Jefferson and Fresno State QB Derek Carr and RB Robbie Rouse—will be on display.
These are the two top offenses in the Mountain West, averaging a combined 78 points and 999 yards per game. That means this game has the potential to turn into a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair.