As we move into Week 11 of the college football season, it's make-or-break time for a lot of teams.
Because college football doesn't have a playoff, every game is a must-win, especially this time of year—when teams make a push for a conference championship.
For weeks now, we have been seeing that there's no such thing as a sure thing—and this week is no different. But this is why we love the game. After all, if everything always happened as we expected, what would be the point of watching, anyhow?
We have a great slate of games that despite lacking widespread appeal from top to bottom—as has been the case several times this year—will affect the landscape of the bowl season.
Jordan and I have been submitting picks all week, and we still have more that will be sent out tonight in the free newsletter. I have at least one game that I'm looking at, and Jordan gives his two cents on the Penn State-Iowa matchup.
For those of you who are signed up, you'll get them as usual, while those of you who haven't still have time. It only takes 20 seconds and includes a weekly entry into the picking contest. And though we started it a bit late, it has been a lot of fun for everyone who has been playing. You still have time to get into this week's contest as well.
But the best thing of all: It's totally free!
There are going to be some great contests on the field this week, so let's continue on with more picks.
Nevada -1 at Fresno State (Friday 11/7/08, 9 EST) 4 out of 10
Another weekday game, another pick from Mitch on a game he wouldn't normally touch.
This season has been disappointing for both of these teams. Many thought this was a breakthrough year for Fresno State, which has lost some high-profile out-of-conference games that all seemed winnable.
The problems that Fresno State has had are primarily defensive. More specifically, Fresno State is the 108th-ranked team in the country in rushing yards allowed and 98th in total yards allowed, giving up over 406 yards per game.
This bodes well for a Wolfpack offense that can really bring defensive deficiencies to the forefront. Nevada's offense is a potent one, ranking 13th in points per game (37.9), 5th in total yards per game (514.6), and 2nd in rushing yards (305.6).
And while the Nevada defense is just as porous, I'm not sure the Fresno State offense can keep up with the high-flying Wolfpack in what could be a shootout.
Nevada comes in at 3-4 against the spread, while Fresno State has failed to cover in seven straight games after making good in Week 1 at Rutgers. Nevada didn't cover in its last game at Hawaii, but they are one of the better teams at bouncing back. The Wolfpack is 12-3 against the spread following games in which they failed to cover and 11-4 against the spread after its last 15 straight-up losses.
Fresno State doesn't bounce back from a loss well, as the Bulldogs are just 4-25-1 in their last 30 following a straight-up loss. Perhaps even worse, they are 0-5 against the spread on Friday nights.
I don't particularly like this game, but since it's the only game on, I'll take a stab at it and take Nevada.
Go here for the rest of Mitch's Week 11 Picks: Part 4 College Football picks against the spread