College Football Picks: Week 14 Predictions for Every Game

Brian PedersenFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2013

College Football Picks: Week 14 Predictions for Every Game

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The holidays are upon us, and it's time to sit back and think about what we're most thankful for. That is, beyond an awesome slate of games in the penultimate week of the 2013-14 college football regular season.

    Week 14 started with a pair of Turkey Day rivalry games and keeps on trucking through Black Friday—you don't really want to go shopping, you want to watch football at home while recovering from too much food the day before—and on into a Saturday slate that will make or break the BCS machine.

    With so many great matchups, just who will win them can be hard to pick, even harder than the Week 13 schedule, which led to a less-than-stellar 36-20 record.

    Will this week be any better? Click through the slideshow to see our picks (spoiler alert: some sizable fanbases WILL NOT be happy with what they read) and then pop off in the comments section with your thoughts and predictions.

Rutgers at Connecticut

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    Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Upset alert

    Last meeting: Rutgers beat Connecticut 19-3 last season.

    What to watch for: Rutgers (5-5, 2-4 AAC) has been a train wreck the last month, not only losing three of four but losing badly. The Scarlet Knights are playing like they don't think they deserve a bowl bid, though they'll get one (likely in New York City, against Notre Dame) with one more win.

    Connecticut (1-9, 1-5) finally got off the mat to win a game, beating Temple and making whatever happens the rest of the way gravy, since whoever comes in to coach next season is going to blow out the program. The Huskies are still struggling to score, making it hard to expect them to win again.

    But Rutgers has other ideas.

    Prediction: Connecticut 23, Rutgers 20

    Final: Connecticut 28, Rutgers 17

No. 2 Florida State at Florida

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    Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Florida beat Florida State 37-26 last season.

    What to watch for: Florida State (11-0) is a stub-your-foot result against a far inferior team (either this week or in the ACC Championship Game) away from the BCS title game, but all signs point to the Seminoles continuing on their focused, dominant path to Pasadena.

    Florida (4-7) is a dumpster fire in orange and blue uniforms, hitting rock bottom with a home loss to FCS team Georgia Southern last week. The embarrassment of that game should light a fire under the Gators to at least put in a good effort in the finale.

    Look for Florida to make this game far closer than FSU would like.

    Prediction: Florida State 33, Florida 20

    Final: Florida State 37, Florida 7

Minnesota at No. 11 Michigan State

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    Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Michigan State beat Minnesota 26-10 last season, its third straight win over the Golden Gophers.

    What to watch for: Minnesota (8-3, 4-3) fell back to earth with its home loss to Wisconsin last week, which exposed a team that's not as good as the record would show due to a still-struggling offensive game. The Golden Gophers are good, just not get-to-10-wins good.

    Michigan State (10-1, 7-0) is playing the equivalent of a meaningless game for its home finale, knowing it will face Ohio State in Indianapolis in the Big Ten title game next week. That's the only way the Spartans can make the BCS, but don't expect them to sleepwalk through this game.

    Consider it a warmup for a much tougher opponent next week.

    Prediction: Michigan State 24, Minnesota 7

    Final: Michigan State 14, Minnesota 3

No. 3 Ohio State at Michigan

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    Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Ohio State beat Michigan 26-21 last season, its eighth win in the last nine meetings.

    What to watch for: Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) takes its "Win as Impressively as Possible" tour to the Big House, needing to keep putting up big numbers while hoping either Alabama or Florida State loses. The Buckeyes could be apt for a slip-up if they worry too much about style and not enough about substance.

    Michigan (7-4, 3-4) lost its last home game, part of a monthlong stretch of horrid offensive production from a team that previously was only able to win shootouts. The Wolverines are a hot mess right now, but knowing how much is at stake for the opponent, they might rise to the occasion.

    Michigan makes a game of it, but OSU remains perfect.

    Prediction: Ohio State 30, Michigan 20

    Final: Ohio State 42, Michigan 41

No. 24 Duke at North Carolina

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    Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; division title determiner

    Last meeting: Duke beat North Carolina 33-30 last season, ending an eight-game losing streak in the series.

    What to watch for: Duke (9-2, 5-2 ACC) plays in the conference title game for the first time with a victory, yet another milestone in a season full of major accomplishments. The Blue Devils have won ugly during their seven-game win streak, doing just enough to get the job done.

    North Carolina (6-5, 4-3) has come back from the dead—and a 1-5 start—to get bowl-eligible, doing it with an 80-point outburst against Old Dominion last week. The Tar Heels have been mighty impressive during the five-game win streak, catching good teams on bad weeks.

    Florida State (and the ACC) needs Duke to make the final, so shall it be.

    Prediction: Duke 27, North Carolina 24

    Final: Duke 27, North Carolina 25

Temple at Memphis

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    Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snoozefest

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: Temple (1-10, 0-7 AAC) has now provided two schools with their only victory of the season, losing to Connecticut last week after falling to Idaho earlier in the year. The Owls also almost upset Central Florida a few weeks ago, so who knows what to expect from them.

    Memphis (3-7, 1-5) made a game of it at Louisville but couldn't complete the comeback last weekend. Instead, the Tigers are headed to yet another losing season, despite a pretty good defense.

    So this will be Memphis' playoff game.

    Prediction: Memphis 26, Temple 17

    Final: Temple 41, Memphis 21

Kansas State at Kansas

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    Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Kansas State beat Kansas 56-16 last season, its fourth straight win in the series.

    What to watch for: Kansas State (6-5, 4-4 Big 12) battled back to guarantee another bowl bid but then took a step back with a home loss to Oklahoma last week. The Wildcats are far removed from last year's Fiesta Bowl team but still good enough to beat bad teams.

    Kansas (3-8, 1-7) is a bad team but not as bad as in the past few years. Still, the Jayhawks are a few players away from being able to compete in the Big 12 (or any other decent conference, for that matter).

    The Jayhawks give their best effort, which still results in a loss.

    Prediction: Kansas State 30, Kansas 20

    Final: Kansas State 31, Kansas 10

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt

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    Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12:21 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Vanderbilt beat Wake Forest 55-21 last season.

    What to watch for: Wake Forest (4-7) has played a season that's included, among other things, a home loss to Louisiana-Monroe and failed upset bids against Duke and Miami. It's been a what-if kind of year for the Demon Deacons, with many questions left to be answered in the offseason.

    Vanderbilt (7-4) is having yet another rousing late-season surge under James Franklin, who has the team headed to a bowl for a school-record third year in a row. The Commodores aren't doing it with a lot of flash, just the occasional fake-jump-pass-that-turns-into-a-game-winning-TD-run here and there.

    No trickery will be needed this time around.

    Prediction: Vanderbilt 28, Wake Forest 17

    Final: Vanderbilt 23, Wake Forest 21

Maryland at North Carolina State

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    Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 12:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Upset alert

    Last meeting: North Carolina State beat Maryland 20-18 last season.

    What to watch for: Maryland (6-5, 2-5 ACC) lost its last three home games, part of an overall disastrous second half of the season. But the Terrapins also won at Virginia Tech in overtime two weeks ago to be able to make a bowl, so there is the capability to pull off a strong victory.

    North Carolina State (3-8, 0-7) hasn't been particularly competitive the last two months, though it did lead late at Duke before falling apart. The Wolfpack are trying to avoid its first-ever winless ACC season.

    Maryland will oblige NC State with another perplexing performance.

    Prediction: North Carolina State 23, Maryland 20 (OT)

    Final: Maryland 41, North Carolina State 21

Southern Mississippi at UAB

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    Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snoozefest

    Last meeting: UAB beat Southern Mississippi 27-19 last season, its fourth straight win in the series.

    What to watch for: Southern Mississippi (0-11, 0-7 C-USA) is headed for back-to-back winless seasons, something no team has achieved since Duke in 2001-02. The 23-game losing streak is also tied for the eighth worst in FBS history.

    UAB (2-9, 1-6) isn't much better, but at least the Blazers have made a game of some of their losses. They looked decent in a three-point loss to Rice last week, showing signs they might have some fight left in them.

    Not much fight is needed here.

    Prediction: UAB 37, Southern Mississippi 20

    Final: UAB 62, Southern Mississippi 27

Air Force at Colorado State

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Air Force beat Colorado State 42-21 last season, its seventh straight win in the series.

    What to watch for: Air Force (2-9, 0-7 MWC) is having its worst season in 30 years, a combination of a struggling offense and listless defense. The Falcons' wins are over an FCS team and an almost-as-bad Army team.

    Colorado State (6-6, 4-3) plays 13 games this season, by choice, picking up an extra home game in exchange for playing in Hawaii. As a result, the Rams need to win this one to make a bowl game, and give stellar running back Kapri Bibbs another chance to pile up yards and touchdowns.

    He'll also do that in this game.

    Prediction: Colorado State 47, Air Force 16

    Final: Colorado State 58, Air Force 13

Colorado at Utah

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: Utah beat Colorado 42-35 last season.

    What to watch for: Colorado (4-7, 1-7 Pac-12) has shown some signs of life this season but not enough to have done any better than the record it has. The Buffaloes don't have much more than a big-play offense, and the defense isn't solid enough to slow things down.

    Utah (4-7, 1-7) has fallen apart in the second half of the season, going completely into the tank since its upset of Stanford in October. The much ballyhooed offense has all but disappeared, and teams are now scoring at will against what had been thought of as an athletic defense.

    A pair of nothing-to-play-for teams sometimes produce quite interesting games.

    Prediction: Utah 38, Colorado 34

    Final: Utah 24, Colorado 17

Wyoming at Utah State

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    Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Division champ determiner

    Last meeting: Utah State beat Wyoming 63-19 in 2011.

    What to watch for: Wyoming (5-6, 3-4 MWC) finally put together a good offensive game after weeks of sluggish efforts, winning 59-56 in overtime over Hawaii. The game was the Cowboys' season in a nutshell, with QB Brett Smith doing everything and the defense doing nothing.

    Utah State (7-4, 6-1) is a much different team than the one that started the season, but the Aggies are playing even better with Darell Garretson at quarterback than when Chuckie Keeton was in there. Win this game and Utah State visits Fresno State for the MWC title next week.

    Book those tickets to Fresno, Aggies fans.

    Prediction: Utah State 43, Wyoming 21

    Final: Utah State 35, Wyoming 7

South Alabama at Georgia State

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    Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snoozefest

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: South Alabama (4-6, 2-3 Sun Belt) has an outside shot to be bowl-eligible in its second season of FBS play, but the Jaguars would also need to beat league leader Louisiana-Lafayette next week. Either way, it's been a successful season, one that could have been better if not for a few close losses.

    Georgia State (0-11, 0-6) has not fared nearly as well in its first FBS season but as much was expected for a program that struggled toward the end of its FCS tenure. The Panthers gained valuable experience this year, and with the Sun Belt actually becoming weaker next year, they could contend for the top half of the league.

    For now, though, GSU will have to resign itself to a winless season.

    Prediction: South Alabama 27, Georgia State 22

    Final: South Alabama 38, Georgia State 17

North Texas at Tulsa

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    Brett Deering/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Upset alert

    Last meeting: Tulsa beat North Texas 41-24 in 2011, the 10th straight win for the Golden Hurricane over the Mean Green.

    What to watch for: North Texas (7-4, 5-2 C-USA) stumbled at home last week and now can only finish in a three-way tie for the West Division title, but that wouldn't get the Mean Green into the conference championship game. The loss ended a five-game win streak.

    Tulsa (3-8, 2-5) had a brief moment of success in an otherwise lost season when it won at Louisiana Tech last week. The Golden Hurricanes have a strong running back in Trey Watts, but that's about it.

    But Watts will be enough to give the home team a second straight win to end the season.

    Prediction: Tulsa 27, North Texas 20

    Final: North Texas 42, Tulsa 10

Tulane at Rice

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    Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Division champ determiner

    Last meeting: Rice beat Tulane 49-47 last season.

    What to watch for: Tulane (7-4, 5-2 C-USA) was leading the West Division until it had a two-game hiccup earlier this season. But now the Green Wave can force a three-way tie with Rice and North Texas atop the division with a win here, and they'd get the nod for the conference title game.

    Rice (8-3, 6-1) just needs to win and will get to face the East Carolina-Marshall winner in the conference final for the first time. The Owls have done just enough to get by in many games, including last week's victory at UAB.

    Give Rice the nod and the division title.

    Prediction: Rice 23, Tulane 17

    Final: Rice 17, Tulane 13

BYU at Nevada

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    Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Upset alert

    Last meeting: Nevada beat BYU 27-13 in 2010.

    What to watch for: BYU (7-4) has struggled on the road, coincidentally since becoming bowl-eligible and accepting a bid to the Fight Hunger Bowl. The Cougars haven't needed to win those games, but struggles at Wisconsin and Notre Dame have exposed some flaws in their game.

    Nevada (4-7) ended a long losing streak last time out, but overall, the season has been a major disappointment. The Wolf Pack's pistol offense has misfired, without nearly as much run success as in past years.

    This game means more to the team that's going nowhere afterwards.

    Prediction: Nevada 33, BYU 26

    Final: BYU 28, Nevada 23

No. 1 Alabama at No. 4 Auburn

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Division determiner; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Alabama rolled to a 49-0 win over Auburn in last year's Iron Bowl.

    What to watch for: Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC) has handled its few challenges this year quite well, holding off Texas A&M and breezing past LSU. But with so much riding on this game, and for the first time in years no guarantee of being able to still make the BCS final with a loss, the Crimson Tide are being doubted.

    Auburn (10-1, 6-1) is the feel-good story of the year, going from 3-9 a year ago to a national title contender again. The Tigers' run game has been nothing short of stellar under Gus Malzahn, who should be a runaway National Coach of the Year winner.

    A loss by Alabama would send the BCS into utter turmoil. And who doesn't enjoy chaos?

    Prediction: Auburn 30, Alabama 28

    Final: Auburn 35, Alabama 28

Georgia at Georgia Tech

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    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Georgia beat Georgia Tech 42-10 last year.

    What to watch for: Georgia (7-4) saw its season full of injuries take another major dip downward when Aaron Murray blew out his knee against Kentucky, ending his college career. The Bulldogs have no idea how their season would have gone had so many starters not missed time.

    Georgia Tech (7-4) hasn't had any injuries of note but instead has gone up and down with various streaks of good and bad play. The Yellow Jackets' option game has been mostly solid, but when they need to throw the ball is when trouble arises.

    Georgia's new QB Hutson Mason is untested, and he won't be able to lead his team to a win.

    Prediction: Georgia Tech 31, Georgia 27

    Final: Georgia 41, Georgia Tech 34 (2 OT)

Purdue at Indiana

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    Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Purdue beat Indiana 56-35 last season.

    What to watch for: Purdue (1-10, 0-7 Big Ten) is having its worst season in 20 years and certainly not what was expected after making a coaching change in the offseason. The Boilermakers haven't been close in eight of their losses, and last week provided Illinois with its first Big Ten win in more than two years.

    Indiana (4-7, 2-5) has a strong offense that can score lots of points, but it can't make up for a defense that's giving up 39 points per game. The Hoosiers could have had a much better season had they been able to stop someone once in a while.

    Two disappointing seasons end with only the home team feeling good.

    Prediction: Indiana 41, Purdue 20

    Final: Indiana 56, Purdue 36

Idaho at New Mexico State

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    David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: Idaho beat New Mexico State 26-18 last season, when both teams were in the Western Athletic Conference.

    What to watch for: Idaho (1-10) has collected a bunch of frequent flier miles in this season of forced independence after the WAC dropped football. The Vandals took three trips to the south, getting whooped each time, and their only win was at home over Temple.

    New Mexico State (1-10) also spent the season as a nomad but managed to get BCS conference teams like Boston College and Minnesota to come to Las Cruces and beat down on the Aggies there. Their only win was against a team making the jump from Division II to FCS.

    This game could be far more entertaining than what you'd expect from teams with 20 combined losses.

    Prediction: New Mexico State 43, Idaho 41

    Final: New Mexico State 24, Idaho 16

Boston College at Syracuse

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Boston College beat Syracuse 16-7 in 2010.

    What to watch for: Boston College (7-4, 4-3 ACC) has surged through the back end of the season thanks to Andre Williams' stellar running, which has made him the only running back in the country with more than 2,000 yards. Beyond him, though, there's not much else.

    Syracuse (5-6, 3-4) has played some great defensive games but also some duds on that side of the ball. The Orange's offense has been mostly bad all season.

    BC keeps riding Williams for all he's worth.

    Prediction: Boston College 27, Syracuse 16

    Final: Syracuse 34, Boston College 31

Virginia Tech at Virginia

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    USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; division champ determiner

    Last meeting: Virginia Tech beat Virginia 17-14 last season for its ninth straight win in the series.

    What to watch for: Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3 ACC) can, despite several backslides in the past month, win the Coastal Division with a win and a loss by Duke at North Carolina. The Hokies have been strong on defense all year, while their offense has gone back and forth between being effective and lethargic.

    Virginia (2-9, 0-7) is facing its first winless league season in 32 years, the product of a team that's totally lacked in offensive punch or defensive stopping power. The Cavaliers somehow beat BYU to start the season but otherwise have nothing to show for their efforts.

    Virginia Tech will do its part to try and win the division but just barely.

    Prediction: Virginia Tech 24, Virginia 21

    Final: Virginia Tech 16, Virginia 6

Penn State at No. 15 Wisconsin

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    Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Penn State beat Wisconsin 24-21 in overtime last season.

    What to watch for: Penn State (6-5, 3-4 Big Ten) has done fairly well despite all of the sanctions it's facing, and there's hope for the future in the form of QB Christian Hackenberg and others. But the Nittany Lions still make too many mistakes.

    Wisconsin (9-2, 6-1) is being considered for a BCS at-large berth, but unless Michigan State loses its finale to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, the Badgers will be the third-best team from the league. But they're playing as well, if not better, than anyone else in that league.

    The Badgers win rather easily.

    Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Penn State 17

    Final: Penn State 31, Wisconsin 24

Northwestern at Illinois

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    David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Northwestern beat Illinois 50-14 last season.

    What to watch for: Northwestern (4-7, 0-7 Big Ten) has had a season to forget and are ready to move on after seeing a 4-0 start turn into a seven-game losing streak. The Wildcats have had nothing go right the last two months, losing in every way imaginable.

    Illinois (4-7, 1-6) finally got something to want to remember when it won at Purdue last week, ending a streak of more than two years' worth of conference losses. One win doesn't make a season, but at least the Fighting Illini had a positive result to show for their efforts.

    One team has momentum, the other is ready to be done with the year.

    Prediction: Illinois 31, Northwestern 25

    Final: Northwestern 37, Illinois 34

No. 9 Baylor at TCU

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: TCU beat Baylor 49-21 last season.

    What to watch for: Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) fell from grace in a hard way last week, getting run off the field at Oklahoma State. The Bears could still win the league with some help, but more likely, they'll stay in the running for a BCS at-large bid if they keep winning.

    TCU (4-7, 2-6) is missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 2004 mostly because it hasn't been able to establish consistency on offense. The Horned Frogs have moved players around, but nothing has worked out.

    Baylor will play angry, and take it out on the Frogs.

    Prediction: Baylor 51, TCU 20

    Final: Baylor 41, TCU 38

Louisiana Tech at UTSA

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Good, but not great

    Last meeting: Louisiana Tech beat UTSA 51-27 last season.

    What to watch for: Louisiana Tech (4-7, 3-4 C-USA) are a shell of the team that started 9-1 last season, and it's mostly because the potent offense that powered the Bulldogs through the now-defunct Western Athletic Conference hasn't been there in Conference USA.

    UTSA (6-5, 5-2) is overachieving in its second year of FBS play, and though bowl-eligible, the Roadrunners would need every other six-win team to get a bowl slot—which won't happen, since there's more of those than there are available bids—or get a waiver from the NCAA. For that to happen, they'd need to win a seventh game to pad the request.

    And so it shall be.

    Prediction: UTSA 34, Louisiana Tech 24

    Final: UTSA 30, Louisiana Tech 10

UTEP at Middle Tennessee

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    Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:45 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: UTEP (2-9, 1-6 C-USA) has been a disaster this season, only beating a pair of one-win teams while getting blown out by everyone else. The Miners have been on a downward path the last few years, and this has been the worst of them.

    Middle Tennessee (7-4, 5-2) is having a breakout year that has coincided with the move to Conference USA, the result of some good timing and a recent win streak that started with a big win over Marshall. The Blue Raiders aren't particularly strong in any area, but they've done enough to win.

    And MTSU will do just enough to win handily this time.

    Prediction: Middle Tennessee 41, UTEP 17

    Final: Middle Tennessee 48, UTEP 17

Arkansas State at Western Kentucky

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    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 4 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Western Kentucky beat Arkansas State 26-13 last season.

    What to watch for: Arkansas State (7-4, 5-1 Sun Belt) isn't as good as the last two years, but with a third coach in as many seasons, the fact the Red Wolves are still winning is a testament to the players' commitment and talent.

    Western Kentucky (7-4, 3-3) has been up-and-down all year, opening with a nice win at Kentucky but also faltering against teams like Troy and South Alabama. The Hilltoppers have had growing pains under the guidance of Bobby Petrino, but Antonio Andrews' running has remained consistently solid.

    With only two bowl bids guaranteed for the Sun Belt, the winner of this one could get the second slot.

    Prediction: Western Kentucky 28, Arkansas State 24

    Final: Western Kentucky 34, Arkansas State 31

Iowa State at West Virginia

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 4 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snoozefest

    Last meeting: West Virginia beat Iowa State 31-24 last season.

    What to watch for: Iowa State (2-9, 1-7 Big 12) shut out Kansas last week to put a tiny bright spot on an otherwise horrible season. The Cyclones fell apart after some early near misses and aren't good enough to beat anyone other than really bad teams.

    West Virginia (4-7, 2-6) has had some strong efforts—it's the only school to beat Oklahoma State—but also some stinkers, like getting shut out at Maryland or allowing 73 points to Baylor. The Mountaineers offense has been far below program expectations, a big part of the team's struggles this year.

    West Virginia at least will end on a high note.

    Prediction: West Virginia 47, Iowa State 20

    Final: Iowa State 52, West Virginia 44 (3 OT)

No. 25 Notre Dame at No. 8 Stanford

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    Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Notre Dame beat Stanford 20-13 in overtime last season.

    What to watch for: Notre Dame (8-3) is no longer being considered for the BCS, meaning the Fighting Irish must search for a bowl that will take them. Someone will, but whoever it is will get a team that's played inconsistently all season.

    Stanford (9-2) will be watching the scoreboard during the second half, hoping that Arizona State loses so it can host next week's Pac-12 title game. But the Cardinal will also be trying to avenge what it felt was a robbery of a loss to Notre Dame last season.

    Vengeance will be achieved.

    Prediction: Stanford 30, Notre Dame 20

    Final: Stanford 27, Notre Dame 20

Tennessee at Kentucky

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    Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Snoozefest

    Last meeting: Tennessee beat Kentucky 37-17 last season.

    What to watch for: Tennessee (4-7, 1-6 SEC) lost its chance for a bowl in the final seconds of last week's rivalry game against Vanderbilt, rendering this game meaningless. Mostly meaningless, though, because the Volunteers have shown some progress under Butch Jones and can use this as a building block for the future.

    Kentucky (2-9, 0-7 SEC) hasn't shown as much progress under Mark Stoops as many would have thought, though the recruiting class coming in could lead to better results next year. The Wildcats had a couple of close games earlier in the year, but lately it's been mostly rough sailing.

    Both teams will fight hard for this one, but Tennessee will come out on top.

    Prediction: Tennessee 27, Kentucky 23

    Final: Tennessee 27, Kentucky 14

Louisiana-Monroe at Louisiana-Lafayette

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Louisiana-Lafayette beat Louisiana-Monroe 40-24 last season, its fifth straight win in the series.

    What to watch for: Louisiana-Monroe (5-6, 3-3 Sun Belt) has dropped two straight to fall out of bowl consideration, even if it were to win this game and get to six wins. The Warhawks made their first-ever bowl last season, but this season has lacked the consistency of 2012.

    Louisiana-Lafayette (8-2, 5-0) is once again the class of the league and likely will represent the Sun Belt in the New Orleans Bowl for the third year in a row. The Ragin' Cajuns have talent on offense and defense and are poised to top the 9-4 marks of the previous two seasons.

    Here's where win No. 9 happens.

    Prediction: Louisiana-Lafayette 34, Louisiana-Monroe 23

    Final: Louisiana-Monroe 31, Louisiana-Lafayette 28

No. 6 Clemson at No. 10 South Carolina

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: South Carolina beat Clemson 27-17 last season.

    What to watch for: Clemson (10-1) is better than everyone from the ACC division it didn't play in, but that doesn't count for much when it comes to conference title game participation. Instead, the Tigers have to hope for an at-large bid to the BCS, which looks like a good bet if they can knock off their rivals on the road.

    South Carolina (9-2) is in a similar boat, though its best chance to make the BCS is probably by having Missouri lose and, thus, give the Gamecocks the SEC East title and a shot at getting a conference title. But being able to count another triumph over Clemson will be a nice addition to the mantle as well.

    South Carolina might be doing a little too much scoreboard-watching.

    Prediction: Clemson 31, South Carolina 27

    Final: South Carolina 31, Clemson 17

No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 5 Missouri

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 7:45 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Division champ determiner

    Last meeting: Texas A&M beat Missouri 59-29 last season.

    What to watch for: Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC) dropped to 0-3 against ranked teams last week with its sloppy loss at LSU. The Aggies have plenty of weapons, most notably Johnny Manziel and receiver Mike Evans, but they can't play enough defense to allow for the offense to take a break every now and then.

    Missouri (10-1, 6-1) has been nearly flawless this season, other than the second-half collapse and subsequent overtime flop against South Carolina. The Tigers have their floor leader back in QB James Franklin and are on a mission to get into the SEC championship game.

    Mission accomplished.

    Prediction: Missouri 34, Texas A&M 24

    Final: Missouri 28, Texas A&M 21

No. 22 UCLA at No. 23 USC

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 8 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: UCLA beat USC 38-28 last season, its first win over the Trojans in six years.

    What to watch for: UCLA (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12) lost its shot at winning the South Division with last week's home loss to ASU, falling behind too much at halftime to be able to come back. The Bruins' decision to use LB Myles Jack on offense has helped that side but cost the defense of late.

    USC (9-3, 6-2) is showing the value of having so many talented players, even backups and walk-ons, as the Trojans have had to reach far down the bench for replacements to many injured starters. Interim coach Ed Orgeron has gotten a level of motivation from the star lineup not seen since Pete Carroll left for the NFL.

    UCLA got its one year to shine while USC was down, but the Trojans will retake Los Angeles, starting here.

    Prediction: USC 30, UCLA 27

    Final: UCLA 35, USC 14

Arizona at No. 12 Arizona State

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 9:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Arizona State beat Arizona 41-34 last season.

    What to watch for: Arizona (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) got a season-defining win last week over Oregon, getting near-perfect efforts from QB B.J. Denker and RB Ka'Deem Carey. The Wildcats still have flaws and aren't ready for perpetual prime time, but the pieces are starting to fall into place.

    Arizona State (9-2, 7-1) has reached a level the program hasn't seen in many years, and next week the Sun Devils get a chance to go to the Rose Bowl if they can beat Stanford in the Pac-12 title game. Win this one and they get to host, but it looks like star RB Marion Grice won't be available for the rivalry game.

    No Grice, no glory.

    Prediction: Arizona 37, Arizona State 35

    Final: Arizona State 58, Arizona 21

New Mexico at Boise State

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    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 10:15 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Boise State beat New Mexico 32-29 last season, its fourth straight win over the Lobos.

    What to watch for: New Mexico (3-8, 1-6 MWC) has developed a pretty effective run game, but without the ability to also throw the ball well (or play any sort of defense), the Lobos have wins only against opponents with a combined four victories.

    Boise State (7-4, 5-2) is going to miss out on the inaugural Mountain West title game unless Utah State slips earlier in the day against Wyoming. The Broncos have faced hurdles that haven't existed for them since first joining FBS in the mid-1990s.

    Boise will vent its frustration on New Mexico's completely willing defense.

    Prediction: Boise State 58, New Mexico 17

    Final: Boise State 45, New Mexico 17

San Diego State at UNLV

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    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 10:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: San Diego State beat UNLV 24-13 last season, its third straight win in the series.

    What to watch for: San Diego State (7-4, 6-1 MWC) has been the comeback kings during a 6-1 stretch that will send the Aztecs to a bowl game for the fourth straight year. SDSU has owned the fourth quarter of most games this year and are 3-1 in overtime.

    UNLV (6-5, 4-3) has awarded Bobby Hauck with a three-year contract extension, the fruits of a season that has garnered as many wins as he had in the first three years combined. The Runnin' Rebels are bowl-eligible, which last happened in 2000, by beating the bad teams instead of being the bad team everyone beats.

    SDSU isn't bad enough to lose this game, even with the emotion of UNLV's big season.

    Prediction: San Diego State 33, UNLV 28

    Final: UNLV 45, San Diego 19

Army at Hawaii

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    Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Saturday, Nov. 30, 11 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Points, points, points!

    Last meeting: Hawaii beat Army 31-28 in 2010.

    What to watch for: Army (3-7) has the top rushing game in the country, but that hasn't translated to victories because the Black Knights keep running even when playing from behind.

    Hawaii (0-11) has slowly improved all season on offense, but the defense just hasn't been there. The Warriors haven't gone winless since 1998, and that team was far worse than the 2013 version.

    And it won't go winless.

    Prediction: Hawaii 30, Army 24

    Final: Hawaii 49, Army 42

Texas Tech at Texas

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    Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Thursday, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Texas beat Texas Tech 31-22 last season, its fourth win in a row over the Red Raiders.

    What to watch for: Texas Tech (7-4, 4-4 Big 12) hasn't won since mid-October, but the bye week might have enabled the Red Raiders to get some things worked out to avoid making what seemed like a great season a total loss.

    Texas (7-3, 6-1) is still technically alive for the league title, but it needs to win out and get lots of help from Oklahoma State and Baylor. The Longhorns are more concerned with not falling apart with the loss of top players to injury and suspension.

    Thanksgiving won't be a happy one in Austin.

    Prediction: Texas Tech 34, Texas 28

    Final: Texas 41, Texas Tech 16

Ole Miss at Mississippi State

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    Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Thursday, Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Ole Miss beat Mississippi State 41-24 last season.

    What to watch for: Ole Miss (7-4, 3-4 SEC) is playing outside of Oxford for the first time in eight weeks, where it went 4-2 on a freakish six-game homestand. The Rebels have won at Texas and Vanderbilt, but those were in the first three weeks of the season.

    Mississippi State (5-6, 2-5) needs this win to become bowl-eligible and, possibly, to keep coach Dan Mullen from getting fired. The Bulldogs have some momentum, coming off of an overtime win at Arkansas, but are still playing inconsistently.

    The egg stays in Starkville after this one.

    Prediction: Mississippi State 27, Ole Miss 23

    Final: Mississippi State 17, Ole Miss 10 (OT)

Iowa at Nebraska

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    Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Nebraska beat Iowa 13-7 last season, its fifth consecutive win over the Hawkeyes.

    What to watch for: Iowa (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) has been a fairly good road team this season, going 3-1 with a victory over Minnesota and a 10-point loss at Ohio State. The Hawkeyes are very vanilla in their play, but they have managed to translate that into a decent season.

    Nebraska (8-3, 5-2) pulled off an overtime win at Penn State last week, the latest in a series of narrow results for the Cornhuskers in this helter-skelter season. The last five games have all been one-score victories or convincing losses.

    Look for another of the former.

    Prediction: Nebraska 28, Iowa 22

    Final: Iowa 38, Nebraska 17

SMU at Houston

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    Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: SMU blitzed Houston 72-42 last season.

    What to watch for: SMU (5-5, 4-2 AAC) has a very slim shot to make a bowl game, needing to win this road tilt and then knock off league leader UCF at home next week. The Mustangs started the year off very slowly but are playing better of late and actually have some defensive ability.

    Houston (7-4, 4-3) is moving in the other direction, having lost three straight and four of six since a 5-0 start. The Cougars offense has let them down the last few weeks, failing to contribute nearly as much as in earlier games.

    SMU gets eligible, while Houston continues to struggle.

    Prediction: SMU 34, Houston 30

    Final: Houston 34, SMU 0

East Carolina at Marshall

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    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Divisional title determiner

    Last meeting: East Carolina beat Marshall 65-59 in overtime last season.

    What to watch for: East Carolina (9-2, 6-1 C-USA) has won five straight but hasn't been challenged during that time span. Instead, the Pirates have been able to let their offense run roughshod over lesser opponents, padding numbers but also building confidence.

    Marshall (8-3, 6-1) has been masterful at home, winning by an average of 41 points per game. The Thundering Herd has elevated to the seventh-best scoring offense in the country, while its defense is better than you'd think.

    Expect another barnburner but probably not as high-scoring as last season.

    Prediction: Marshall 44, East Carolina 40

    Final: Marshall 59, East Carolina 28

Toledo at Akron

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    Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 12 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Toledo beat Akron 35-23 last season.

    What to watch for: Toledo (7-4, 5-2 MAC) couldn't get the job done in its chance to dethrone league power Northern Illinois last week, so the Rockets now must hope they get picked out of the muddle of eligible teams in the league for a bowl spot. Their offense should be attractive enough for that.

    Akron (4-7, 3-4) is finishing up its best season in years, but the Zips also have benefited from a weaker-than-normal bottom end of the MAC. Akron is on the way up but not to the level of the top tier yet.

    Toledo takes the battle of middle-class burgs.

    Prediction: Toledo 37, Akron 24

    Final: Akron 31, Toledo 29

Miami (Ohio) at Ball State

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 1 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Ball State beat Miami 31-24 last season.

    What to watch for: Ball State (9-2, 6-1) is resigned to being considered the No. 3 team from the league with its finish behind Northern Illinois in the West Division, which means going to bowls in Detroit, Boise or who knows where. The Cardinals are a strong team with some good wins and need to be showcased in a good final game.

    Miami (0-11, 0-7 MAC) is probably glad to have this abysmal season come to an end, one that saw its coach Don Treadwell get canned midway through. But things continue to go poorly, if not worse. The RedHawks have scored a scant 103 points this season, including just 16 in the last three games.

    Don't expect miracles.

    Prediction: Ball State 48, Miami 13

    Final: Ball State 55, Miami 14

Bowling Green at Buffalo

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 1:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Division champ determiner

    Last meeting: Bowling Green beat Buffalo 21-7 last season.

    What to watch for: Bowling Green (8-3, 6-1 MAC) has molded itself into one of the better defenses in the country, allowing just 10 points over the last three games. The Falcons are also scoring in bunches, which makes for a lethal combination.

    Buffalo (8-3, 6-1) has won each of its last four home games by at least 27 points, including a 30-3 dismantling of what, at the time, looked like a good Ohio team. The Bulls have some talent but might not have enough to win this one.

    The winner gets the MAC's East Division spot in the league title game in Detroit next week.

    Prediction: Bowling Green 37, Buffalo 21

    Final: Bolwing Green 24, Buffalo 7

Massachusetts at Ohio

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    Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 2 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: Ohio beat Massachusetts 37-34 last season.

    What to watch for: Massachusetts (1-10, 1-6 MAC) has looked better in Year 2 of its move to FBS but not by much. The Minutemen have a pair of one-point losses on the ledger, while most of the rest have been blowouts.

    Ohio (6-5, 3-4) is winless in November, dropping three games by a combined score of 123-16 to move the Bobcats from MAC contender to a team that might get shut out of the bowl picture.

    At least they'll end with a win.

    Prediction: Ohio 30, Massachusetts 16

    Final: Ohio 51, Massachusetts 23

Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 2 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Central Michigan beat Eastern Michigan 34-31 last season.

    What to watch for: Eastern Michigan (2-9, 1-6 MAC) has a win over an FCS team and a victory immediately after dumping its coach, as well as a bunch of lopsided losses. The Eagles are consistently one of the worst programs in the FBS, and this season has been no different.

    Central Michigan (5-6, 4-3) can amazingly become bowl-eligible despite only having one win over a team with a winning record, and that was Ohio near the start of the Bobcats' downward slide. The Chippewas made a bowl game last season but probably won't this year because of too many eligible clubs in the league.

    So this will be CMU's bowl game, and it will be a victorious one.

    Prediction: Central Michigan 44, Eastern Michigan 17

    Final: Central Michigan 42, Eastern Michigan 10

Texas State at Troy

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    Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 2 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: None

    What to watch for: Texas State (6-5, 2-4 Sun Belt) is bowl-eligible for the first time, but with the Sun Belt guaranteed only two bowl slots and far more attractive teams out there to fill other openings, the Bobcats probably aren't playing past this game.

    Troy (5-6, 3-3) could get to eligibility with a win, too, but also will probably be left out of the postseason picture. That means this home game would serve as the final college outing for quarterback Corey Robinson, who is in the top 10 all time in FBS in passing yards.

    Robinson shines in his last rodeo.

    Prediction: Troy 34, Texas State 24

    Final: Troy 42, Texas State 28

Arkansas at No. 17 LSU

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 2:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; won't be pretty

    Last meeting: LSU beat Arkansas 20-13 last season.

    What to watch for: Arkansas (3-8, 0-7 SEC) is going through its worst season since joining the SEC in 1991, with a 10-game league losing streak and the likelihood of its first-ever winless conference campaign. The Bret Bielema era hasn't been a positive one yet.

    LSU (8-3, 4-3 SEC) dominated Texas A&M last week in an attempt to keep itself relevant on the national stage, despite three losses. The Tigers are still one of the best teams around, record aside, and they love proving that in these situations.

    Therefore, expect Arkansas to feel the pain.

    Prediction: LSU 41, Arkansas 14

    Final: LSU 31, Arkansas 27

Florida International at Florida Atlantic

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    David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 3 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game

    Last meeting: Florida International beat Florida Atlantic 34-24 last season.

    What to watch for: Florida International (1-10, 1-6 C-USA) managed to get worse despite a coaching change, dropping from 3-9 last season to what will almost certainly be an 11-loss effort this time around. The Golden Panthers are hard to watch.

    Florida Atlantic (5-6, 3-4) was almost as bad until about a month ago, but since Carl Pelini was pushed out, the Owls have caught fire. It helps they've played a struggling Tulane team and two really bad Rio Grande entries, UTEP and New Mexico State, to get to within a game of bowl eligibility.

    Look for FAU to lock up a bowl spot in convincing fashion.

    Prediction: Florida Atlantic 33, Florida International 10

    Final: Florida Atlantic 21, Florida International 6

No. 16 Fresno State at San Jose State

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Fresno State beat San Jose State 27-24 in 2011.

    What to watch for: Fresno State (10-0, 7-0 MWC) is playing in next week's Mountain West title game, most likely against Utah State, and then hopes to be invited to a BCS bowl after that. The Bulldogs are electric on offense, with quarterback Derek Carr showing many of the same skills that got his brother, David, drafted first overall in the NFL.

    San Jose State (5-6, 4-3) fell on its sword last week, losing in triple overtime at home to Navy to make it so the Spartans have to not only upset Fresno but also rob the league of a BCS payday in order to get into a bowl game of their own.

    San Jose will take one for the league, rather than the team.

    Prediction: Fresno State 36, San Jose State 30

    Final: San Jose State 62, Fresno State 52

Miami (Fla.) at Pittsburgh

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    Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Miami beat Pittsburgh 31-3 in 2010, its seventh straight win over the Panthers.

    What to watch for: Miami (8-3, 4-3 ACC) ended its three-game losing streak thanks to a visit from woeful Virginia last week, but the Hurricanes just aren't the same team that started 7-0. Or maybe they are, and they just got lucky and played bad teams.

    Pittsburgh (6-5, 3-4) has been uneven all season, but somehow it has won some games it shouldn't (versus Notre Dame, last week at Syracuse) in order to get into the bowl picture. The Panthers can't decide if they want to be high-scoring or defensive-minded.

    How about a little of both for the home folks?

    Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, Miami 21

    Final: Miami 41, Pittsburgh 31

Washington State at Washington

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    William Mancebo/Getty Images

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 3:30 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Washington State won last year's Apple Cup 31-28 in overtime.

    What to watch for: Washington State (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) is bowl-eligible for the first time since 2006 and likely headed to its first postseason since 2003. The Cougars offense is still throwing it all over the place, the Mike Leach way. But some improved defense of late is the real reason for the turnaround.

    Washington (7-4, 4-4) hasn't beat a good team since opening the season with a blowout over the worst Boise State team in the past decade. But the Huskies looked like a much improved team last week in stomping all over Oregon State, giving them great momentum heading into the rivalry game.

    Beyond bragging rights and a trophy, the winner gets to avoid going to the New Mexico Bowl.

    Prediction: Washington 38, Washington State 33

    Final: Washington 27, Washington State 17

Oregon State at No. 13 Oregon

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Rivalry game; bowl picture clarifier

    Last meeting: Oregon won last year's Civil War 48-24, its fifth straight win over Oregon State.

    What to watch for: Oregon State (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) lost to an FCS team to start the season, then looked lights out in winning six straight. But the Beavers have been horrible during a four-game losing streak, capped by last week's 69-27 home loss to Washington, and might be shut out of bowl season.

    Oregon (9-2, 6-2) got stomped at Arizona last week, a game the Ducks didn't look very interested in playing. With the BCS completely out of the picture, it's hard to say what kind of motivation this first-place-of-bust team has right now.

    But rivalry games tend to bring out a certain fervor.

    Prediction: Oregon 54, Oregon State 27

    Final: Oregon 36, Oregon State 35

South Florida at No. 19 Central Florida

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    USA TODAY Sports

    When: Friday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m. ET

    Matchup type: Won't be pretty

    Last meeting: South Florida beat Central Florida 31-24 in overtime in 2008 and is 4-0 all time against the Knights.

    What to watch for: South Florida (2-8, 2-4 AAC) has been one of the most disappointing teams this season, especially with the arrival of hot coach Willie Taggart to the sidelines. The Bulls can't score, failing to notch an offensive touchdown in four different games.

    Central Florida (9-1, 6-0) is a win away from all but locking up the American Athletic Conference's one and only automatic bid to the BCS, which would be the high point for a program that's been slowly on the rise over the last decade. The Knights need only not slip up.

    Don't worry about that happening against USF.

    Prediction: Central Florida 37, South Florida 13

    Final: Central Florida 23, South Florida 20