I just really like saying the nicknames for all of the games this week and talking about all of the traditional trophies that are given out for the games.
While many consider the bowls the tradition that is college football, it's really these games and rivalries that go far beyond a football game. While we don't have a spread on the Harvard-Yale game that will be played Saturday, you can bet there are a lot of people who care about it.
We obviously have a lot of people that care about many of the games as the entries have been coming in for this week's free picking contest. There is still plenty of time to enter and get involved, and it's all free. While it isn't the typical picking contest that you see, it certainly creates some interesting scenarios, and we can really get a feel for what games people feel strongly about across the board, not just a few select games that I decide on.
The forums are also really heating up, and there has been some great info exchanged, so feel free to post or to at least vote in our numerous polls regarding some games that are on the board. The in-game chats can also be accessed through the forum, and they have been a big hit for those who have participated. I really enjoy getting a chance to chat with and get to know everyone.
In any event, we have a lot of ground to still cover and a lot more games to look at, so let's just continue with what we do around here.
Miami +3 1/2 at Georgia Tech (Thursday, Nov. 20, 7:45 EST): 7 out of 10
Miami comes into this game red hot, winners of their last five and firmly in control of their own destiny in the ACC. Georgia Tech comes in losers of two of their last three, which could have easily been three in a row if it wasn't for a fortunate fumble by Florida State inside the Tech five-yard line with less than a minute left to play.
This should be a low-scoring, hard-hitting game as neither team has a great offense, but both have superlative defenses.
For Miami, while they rank 43rd in scoring offense, they don't come within 30 places of that positioning in other offensive categories, like yards gained on the ground or through the air. For Georgia Tech, their offense is an option style, which makes their running game one of the best in the country, but their passing game is lacking. Overall they are the 78th-ranked scoring offense.
On defense the Hurricanes are young and fast and rank in the top 20 in most defensive categories and are 19th in the country against the run, giving up just over 100 yards per game. For the Yellow Jackets, they rank close to the top 10 in most defensive categories.
Miami comes in at 5-4 against the spread, and Georgia Tech is an impressive 5-2-1 against the number. The road team in this series is 4-1 against the spread in the last five meetings. Miami is 4-0 against the spread in their last four road games against a team with a winning record, and they are 5-0 in their last five on the road.
Georgia Tech is 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight road games and 2-5-1 against the spread when playing a team with a winning record. Georgia Tech is also 1-4 against the spread in their last five Thursday games and 1-7 against the spread in the week following a bye week.
I look for Miami to use its team speed on defense to give their offense good enough field position to score and win the game. I also look for some very hard hitting, and the winner of this one should be deserving. My pick is that Miami wins and continues its march towards the ACC Championship.
See more of Mitch's Week 13 Part Three College Football picks against the spread.