Stanford-Oregon: Who Will Win? Plus Other College Football Picks for Week 11
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The "Game of the Century" between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama showcased two of the nation's best defenses last week and saw the LSU Tigers leave Tuscaloosa still undefeated and ranked No. 1 after a 9-6 overtime win over the Tide.
However, it's not all bad news for Alabama; the Crimson Tide only fell to No. 3 in the BCS standings and still have a legitimate shot at getting back into the BCS National Championship Game.
This week, LSU has an easy game against Sun Belt foe Western Kentucky, while Alabama travels to Starkville to take on Dan Mullen's Mississippi State Bulldogs. Auburn travels to Athens to face Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs, who now sit atop the SEC East standings after South Carolina fell to Arkansas last week.
As NASCAR on FOX announcer Darrell Waltrip says, pull those belts tight, boys! The rest of the season should provide plenty of excitement.
Here goes Week 11:
ALL RANKINGS REFLECT LATEST BCS POLL AND ALL TIMES ARE LISTED IN CST
College Picks (8-2 last week; 87-20 this season)
No. 10 Virginia Tech (8-1, 4-1) at No. 21 Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2)
Thurs., Nov. 10, 2011 at 7 p.m.: ESPN
Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, the two teams that share all six ACC Coastal Division titles, meet in Atlanta for this Thursday night thriller after both teams took last week off to prepare.
This game pits Georgia Tech's stellar rush offense against Virginia Tech's stingy defense, so it should provide quite an interesting matchup.
Virginia Tech has won 11 straight road games. They'll win again Thursday in Bobby Dodd Stadium:
Virginia Tech 24, Georgia Tech 21.
No. 2 Oklahoma State (9-0, 6-0) at Texas Tech (5-4, 2-4)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 11 a.m.: ABC
Tommy Tuberville's Texas Tech Red Raiders took a nosedive the past two weeks after knocking off then-No. 3 Oklahoma on Oct. 22. The Red Raiders dropped games against Iowa State (41-7) and Texas (52-20) to set up this early-morning game in Lubbock against the second-best team in the nation.
Tubby gets up for big games, but the 'Pokes will just score too much to lose:
Oklahoma State 52, Texas Tech 34.
No. 19 Nebraska (7-2, 3-2) at No. 12 Penn State (8-1, 5-0)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 11 a.m.: ESPN
Joe Paterno's remarkable career has finally come to an end amid the alleged child sex abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Paterno's 61-year career at Penn State saw the 84-year-old coach break numerous records and, frankly, put Penn State on the map.
However, in my opinion, the Nittany Lions had no chance in this game even before the scandal broke, and this will surely make it worse.
But expect the players to play hard for their coach—Joe Pa:
Nebraska 28, Penn State 14.
Florida (5-4, 3-4) at No. 13 South Carolina (7-2, 5-2)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 11 a.m.: CBS
The Gators broke a four-game losing streak last week at home to Vanderbilt, but they must travel north to Columbia Saturday morning for the early game on CBS. South Carolina dropped a tough one last week at Arkansas, and with a chance to still make it to the SEC Championship Game with a win over Florida and a Georgia loss to Auburn, expect Spurrier and Co. to ensure the 'Cocks win this one against his former school.
It's kind of fun watching Florida struggle:
South Carolina 26, Florida 21.
Kentucky (4-5, 1-4) at Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-5)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 11:21 AM: SEC NETWORK
Kentucky and Vanderbilt play for the 84th time since 1896, and the Wildcats bring a two-game win streak into Nashville for this installment of the rivalry. Vandy has played only two teams more frequently than Kentucky: Tennessee (103) and Ole Miss (85).
The 'Dores improve their all-time home record in this series to 25-19-2 with a hard-fought win over the Wildcats:
Vanderbilt 31, Kentucky 21.
North Texas (3-6, 2-3) at Troy (2-6, 1-3)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 12 p.m.: TROY ISP SPORTS NETWORK
Troy leads the all-time series over North Texas 7-1, but the Trojans might be in trouble Saturday when they host the Mean Green for homecoming. Troy has won six straight games over North Texas; three of the first four games in the series were decided by eight, three and two points, respectively. But in the last four seasons, Troy has walloped the Mean Green.
On another interesting note: North Texas has averaged only 13.7 points per contest in the four games the Mean Green have played in Troy, Ala.
Come on, Trojans:
Troy 27, North Texas 24.
TCU (7-2, 4-0) at No. 5 Boise State (8-0, 3-0)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: VERSUS
Saturday will mark the first time these two programs will play as Mountain West Conference foes, but the two have met three times previously—all in bowl games. The Broncos from Boise defeated the Horned Frogs in the 2003 PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl (34-21) and in the 2010 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (17-10), while TCU earned a victory in the 2008 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (17-16).
Boise State has won 35 consecutive home games, which is the longest active streak in the nation. The second-longest streak belongs to Oregon (21), whose last home loss came to the Broncos in 2008:
Boise State 41, TCU 24.
No. 20 Auburn (6-3, 4-2) at No. 15 Georgia (7-2, 5-1)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: CBS
The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry pits No. 20 Auburn and No. 15 Georgia between the hedges in Athens Saturday afternoon on CBS. It will be the 115th meeting between the two schools, and the SEC foes have met every year since 1944. The Tigers have fared well in games played in Athens—they're 18-11 against Georgia on the road and they've also won six of the last 10.
However, don't expect Georgia to care about those statistics come Saturday. The 'Dawgs will be playing lights out against their hated rivals with a shot at the SEC East Division Title on the line.
Since Gene Chizik's arrival at Auburn, the Tigers are 9-0 in games decided by four points or less, including a 5-0 mark against SEC teams:
Auburn 31, Georgia 27.
Miami (5-4, 3-3) at Florida State (6-3, 4-2)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: ESPN/ABC
Miami visits Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium for this ACC tilt that will mathematically eliminate the loser from their respective conference division title hopes. Florida State's E.J. Manuel, who has 13 career starts and 26 appearances under his belt as a Seminole, will make his first start at quarterback against the Hurricanes, hoping to score a win over hated Miami just as Christian Ponder did in his first start at the helm for the 'Noles against the Hurricanes in 2008.
In the end, FSU's defense will be too much to handle for Jacory Harris and the 'Canes:
Florida State 30, Miami 20.
Tennessee (4-5, 0-5) at No. 8 Arkansas (8-1, 4-1)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 5 p.m.: ESPN2
After knocking off South Carolina last week at home, Arkansas is now 8-1 for the first time since the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992. The start is also the best during the Bobby Petrino era at the Fayetteville school. By the looks of things, the Razorbacks should move to 9-1 after Saturday night's contest against the injury-laden Tennessee Volunteers, save some miracle from above.
Hopefully Tennessee doesn't mess up and fire Derek Dooley too soon:
Arkansas 34, Tennessee 20.
No. 3 Alabama (8-1, 5-1) at Mississippi State (5-4, 1-4)
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 6:45 p.m.: ESPN
The Crimson Tide return to the football field after their devastating 9-6 overtime loss to No. 1 LSU last week in Tuscaloosa, a game that more than 20 million Americans watched from the comfort of their homes. Word on the street in T-Town was that more than 60,000 people watched the game outside the stadium on the university quad, which leaves nothing left to say but, "Wow." Nick Saban absolutely won't let this be a "trap game," despite several talking heads predicting such a hangover by the Crimson Tide.
I feel bad for the Bulldogs:
Alabama 30, Mississippi State 12.
***TUCKER'S PICK 'EM GAME OF THE WEEK***
No. 7 Oregon (8-1, 6-0) at No. 4 Stanford (9-0, 7-0) **COLLEGE GAMEDAY**
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 7 p.m.: ABC
Oregon travels south to Stanford to take on the undefeated Cardinal, led by phenom quarterback Andrew Luck. Stanford holds the nation's longest winning streak (17), while Oregon has reeled off eight straight wins after suffering a season-opening loss to top-ranked LSU. The Ducks are led by tailback LaMichael James, who is fresh and ready to rumble after an elbow injury caused the junior to miss two games last month.
When it comes to this series, the Cardinal lead the Ducks all-time 44-29-1, but Stanford's Heisman Trophy-candidate quarterback isn't taking Oregon lightly.
“When you’re thinking about the upcoming football season, you’re thinking about Oregon,” Luck told GoStanford.com. “If you want to do something on the West Coast, you’ve got to beat Oregon."
A win over the Ducks would give the Cardinal their best start since 1940 and would also secure a spot in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game in December:
Stanford 41, Oregon 34.
Tucker Sargent is a senior at Troy University in his home state of Alabama. "Tucker's Pick 'Em" started in 2009 on Facebook, with 10 games of interest being picked each week. Opinions are not meant to offend anyone. Visit Tucker's blog or follow him on Twitter here.
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