College Football Picks: Week 11 Predictions for Every Game

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2019

College Football Picks: Week 11 Predictions for Every Game

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    Barry Reeger/Associated Press

    Seven undefeated teams remain in college football, and Week 11 is guaranteed to eliminate two more.

    Penn State's trip to Minnesota highlights the early window, but most college football fans will be fixated on the afternoon showdown in Tuscaloosa. Top-ranked LSU heads to No. 2 Alabama in a battle to determine the SEC West front-runner and likely the College Football Playoff favorite.

    Other than that, no pressure!

    The predictions for Week 11 are initially organized based on AP ranking in ascending order. The rest are listed chronologically after a preview of the five best games between unranked teams.

    All odds are courtesy of Caesars and accurate as of Tuesday. Rankings reflect the AP Top 25.

AP Nos. 25-21

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    No. 25 Navy (idle)

    From 2015-17, Navy appeared in the AP poll every season. Last year, the Mids tumbled out of the nation's consciousness at 3-10. They're baa-aack! Navy is 7-1 and has a chance to make a major statement when it travels to Notre Dame in Week 12.

            

    Nevada at No. 24 San Diego State, 10:30 p.m. ET (SDSU -17)

    San Diego State doesn't score muchthe Aztecs rank 110th nationally in points per contestbut this defense is sensational. Nevada, meanwhile, has averaged just 15.6 points in conference games. As long as the SDSU secondary doesn't have a massive letdown, the Aztecs will improve to 8-1.

    Prediction: San Diego State 27, Nevada 13

              

    East Carolina at No. 23 SMU, Noon ET (SMU -22.5)

    When the Pirates traveled to UCF in mid-October, the Knights racked up 414 yards and three touchdowns through the air. SMU is absolutely capable of putting up similar numbers, especially if Reggie Roberson is available after missing the loss at Memphis.

    Prediction: SMU 48, East Carolina 28

             

    No. 22 Wake Forest at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET (WF -2.5)

    Playing on the road against a competent team on the Saturday before playing a top-five team? Sounds like a trap game for Wake Forest! But the Hokies' near-upset at Notre Dame should keep Wake's attention soundly on this ACC clash. Virginia Tech's susceptible secondary should allow the Deacs to navigate the trip to Blacksburg.

    Prediction: Wake Forest 34, Virginia Tech 27

            

    Wyoming at No. 21 Boise State, 10:15 p.m. ET (Boise State -12.5)

    Boise's defense hasn't performed well recently, giving up 107 points in the last three contests. Before that, the Broncos had allowed only 78 points in five games. However, they're still allowing only 3.7 yards per rushing attempt, and Wyoming is most effective when the ground attack is thriving.

    Prediction: Boise State 24, Wyoming 17

AP Nos. 20-16

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    No. 20 Kansas State at Texas, 3:30 p.m. ET (Texas -6.5)

    Perhaps an off weekend did the Longhorns some good. They surrendered 697 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in three outings before the bye. Kansas State, meanwhile, has pounded Oklahoma and Kansas for 555 yards and 11 scores over the last two weekends. This trend isn't working in Texas' favor.

    Prediction: Kansas State 38, Texas 34

           

    No. 19 Memphis (idle)

    Mike Norvell's team can bask in its marquee victory for a couple extra days; Memphis earned a 54-48 win to hand SMU its first loss of the season. Since the Tigers have ceded 1,137 yards in their last two games, though, the defense needs to rebound quickly. The upcoming road trip to Houston otherwise might be tricky.

            

    No. 18 Iowa at No. 16 Wisconsin, 4 p.m. ET (Wisconsin -8.5)

    For prediction, see No. 16 Wisconsin.

            

    Connecticut at No. 17 Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m. ET (Cincinnati -35)

    After a 56-point explosion at UMass in the preceding game, UConn returned to earth in a 56-10 loss to Navy. Cincinnati survived a scare at East Carolina, and a porous secondary is reason for concern. But with no more than 24 points in any other game, UConn can't be trusted to capitalize on any slim opportunity.

    Prediction: Cincinnati 45, UConn 17

           

    No. 18 Iowa at No. 16 Wisconsin, 4 p.m. ET (Wisconsin -8.5)

    Yes, Wisconsin enters with a two-game losing streak and struggled offensively at Ohio State. However, this is an enormous test for Iowa, which mustered only 15 total points in losses to Michigan and Penn State. Wisconsin has the clear advantage at home.

    Prediction: Wisconsin 20, Iowa 10

AP Nos. 15-11

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    No. 15 Notre Dame at Duke, 7:30 p.m. ET (ND -8)

    Neither team is in a good situation right now. Notre Dame has tight victories over USC and Virginia Tech sandwiched around the blowout loss at Michigan. Duke is 1-3 since the beginning of October. Duke's inefficient offense lately is the greatest concern, but Notre Dame shouldn't be expected to cruise in Durham.

    Prediction: Notre Dame 27, Duke 20

           

    No. 14 Michigan (idle)

    Other than at Wisconsin and the first half at Penn State, Michigan's defense has thrived this season. While that's not meant to diminish the issues in the losses, that unit has guided the Wolverines to 7-2. They're looking for tangible improvements on offense against Michigan State and Indiana before hosting Ohio State.

            

    No. 5 Penn State at No. 13 Minnesota, Noon ET (PSU -6.5)

    For prediction, see No. 5 Penn State.

            

    No. 12 Auburn (idle)

    Auburn outgained Ole Miss 507-266 yet narrowly escaped with a 20-14 win at home. The Tigers cannot afford to have similar breakdowns when Georgia or Alabama visit the Plains in November. They end the regular season with three straight home games.

           

    No. 11 Baylor at TCU, Noon ET (Baylor -2.5)

    Baylor side-stepped West Virginia in Week 10, squeaking out a 17-14 victory. That would be more concerning if TCU hadn't allowed 459 yards in a loss at Oklahoma State with quarterbacks Max Duggan and Mike Collins both ending the game injured. The upset bid looked appealing two weeks ago, but not anymore.

    Prediction: Baylor 34, TCU 21

AP Nos. 10-6

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Vanderbilt at No. 10 Florida, Noon ET (Florida -26)

    Vanderbilt followed up a surprise win over Missouri with a 24-7 letdown at South Carolina. Florida allowed 12 third-down conversions in 18 tries in the loss to Georgia, but that's unlikely to happen again. Vandy ranks 128th nationally in third-down rate.

    Prediction: Florida 38, Vanderbilt 13

           

    Iowa State at No. 9 Oklahoma, 8 p.m. ET (OU -13.5)

    The Cyclones' three losses are by a combined 10 points, and they're among the top 25 or 30 defenses in preventing explosive plays. Those factors suggest a four-quarter fight for Oklahoma, which has struggled on third down against decent competition. But if the Sooners don't need to sustain a bunch of drives, they should score enough to edge an efficient Iowa State offense.

    Prediction: Oklahoma 42, Iowa State 34

            

    No. 8 Utah (idle)

    Utah climbed out of a 14-3 hole at Washington to secure a pivotal road win. UCLA, Arizona and Colorado round out the Utes' regular season, so they absolutely have a chance at taking an 11-1 record into the Pac-12 Championship Game. Having a loss to USC is a problem for the resume, but Utah is alive in the CFP race.

            

    No. 7 Oregon (idle)

    Similar to its Pac-12 counterpart, the hard stuff should be in the rear-view mirror for Mario Cristobal's squad. Oregon closes the campaign with Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon State. The trip to ASU isn't necessarily easy, but the Sun Devils are trending in the wrong direction after losses to Utah and UCLA. The Ducks need a little help but would have a reasonable CFP case at 12-1.

           

    Missouri at No. 6 Georgia, 7 p.m. ET (Georgia -17)

    Missouri didn't play in Week 10, and Georgia is coming down off the emotional high of rivalry week and a rivalry win. It's totally foreseeable that the Bulldogs start slowly while a motivated Missouri team gets a quick score. However, UGA's defense has been stingy all season, and the visiting Tigers mustered just 21 points in their last two games. Georgia pulls away late.

    Prediction: Georgia 31, Missouri 17

AP Nos. 5-1

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    No. 5 Penn State at No. 13 Minnesota, Noon ET (PSU -6.5)

    Since a scare-filled opening to the season, Minnesota has outscored its last four opponents 168-41. Though the competition level wasn't high, that's a dominant stretch. We're still leaning toward Penn State because of a defense that allows fewer than four yards per snap, but Minnesota's aerial efficiency gives the Gophers a shot.

    Prediction: Penn State 27, Minnesota 24

           

    No. 4 Clemson at NC State, 7:30 p.m. ET (Clemson -31.5)

    North Carolina State has surrendered at least 272 passing yards in five of its last six games, and the outlier is when Boston College had 103 because it ran for 429. Clemson has racked up 550-plus total yards on four straight weekends. This one is simple.

    Prediction: Clemson 45, NC State 10

            

    Maryland at No. 3 Ohio State, Noon ET (Ohio State -44)

    Maryland held Michigan to 331 offensive yards but still managed to lose by 31 points. Ohio State hasn't allowed more than 10 points in seven straight games. Don't overthink it.

    Prediction: Ohio State 48, Maryland 10

            

    No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama, 3:30 p.m. ET (Alabama -6.5)

    For prediction, see No. 1 LSU.

           

    No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama, 3:30 p.m. ET (Alabama -6.5)

    Let's make this simple: Is Tua Tagovailoa playing? If yesand it seems that waymy answer is Alabama. If no, then give me LSU. That shouldn't take anyone by surprise. Texas and Florida both succeeded against this secondary, and Alabama's top targets are even more talented. But if Tagovailoa is absent, LSU should be able to overwhelm Mac Jones in what would be his second career start.

    Prediction: Alabama 34, LSU 31

The 5 Best Unranked Battles

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    Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press

    Louisville at Miami, 3:30 p.m. ET (Miami -6)

    During a 17-point win at Florida State, Miami unleashed the vertical passing game. That's a promising sign before hosting Louisville, which has allowed 7.3 yards per throw with 19 touchdowns to six interceptions. Plus, an aggressive front seven should overwhelm Louisville's mediocre offensive line. But the 'Canes haven't made anything easy this season; expecting that to change seems unwise.

    Prediction: Miami 23, Louisville 20

              

    USC at Arizona State, 3:30 p.m. ET (Arizona State -2)

    Dueling five-win records make this notable, but it's a strange game. USC's defense is not good. Arizona State's offense is capable but, like USC's scoring attack, inconsistent. Arizona State has posted a plus-four turnover margin in the last two games yet lost them by a combined 28 points. Takeaways and home-field advantage favor ASU, though a dartboard might be more reliable for this prediction.

    Prediction: Arizona State 34, USC 31

              

    UAB at Southern Miss, 3:30 p.m. ET (Southern Miss -6.5)

    The timing of Southern Miss' offensive slump is a major problem, and shaking it against UAB will be tough. The Blazers allow just 5.8 yards per pass attempt, and USM quarterback Jack Abraham's two most recent outings were his worst of the season.

    Prediction: UAB 31, Southern Miss 24

             

    Washington State at Cal, 7 p.m. ET (Washington State -7.5)

    Cal's pass defense is outstanding. Even after a season-worst performance against Utah, the Bears still deserve that label. But the offense hasn't earned any benefit of the doubt, mustering 10.3 points per game since Chase Garbers' shoulder injury. Washington State can survive an atypical low-scoring game.

    Prediction: Washington State 23, Cal 14

            

    Appalachian State at South Carolina, 7 p.m. ET (South Carolina -5)

    Georgia Southern rushed for 335 yards and three scores to hand the Mountaineers their first loss. South Carolina hasn't strung together two superb showings on the ground, but the running game has decent upside. As long as its stingy defensive line performs well, South Carolina can steal a tight win.

    Prediction: South Carolina 24, Appalachian State 20

The Rest of the Slate (1/2)

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    John E. Moore III/Getty Images

    Miami (Ohio) at Ohio, Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET (Ohio -7)
    Prediction: Ohio 31, Miami 20

    Louisiana at Coastal Carolina, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Louisiana -14)
    Prediction: Louisiana 38, Coastal Carolina 21

    Temple at South Florida, Thursday, 8 p.m. ET (Temple -2)
    Prediction: Temple 27, USF 23

    UCF at Tulsa, Friday, 7 p.m. ET (UCF -16.5)
    Prediction: UCF 42, Tulsa 24

    Washington at Oregon State, Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET (UW -10)
    Prediction: Washington 33, Oregon State 24

    Texas Tech at West Virginia, Noon ET (Texas Tech -1.5)
    Prediction: Texas Tech 27, West Virginia 24

    Florida State at Boston College, Noon ET (BC -1.5)
    Prediction: Boston College 38, Florida State 34

    Purdue at Northwestern, Noon ET (Northwestern -1)
    Prediction: Purdue 24, Northwestern 17

    Massachusetts at Army, Noon ET (Army -35)
    Prediction: Army 42, UMass 14

    Western Kentucky at Arkansas, Noon ET (Arkansas -2.5)
    Prediction: Arkansas 24, Western Kentucky 20

    Georgia Tech at Virginia, 12:30 p.m. ET (Virginia -16)
    Prediction: Virginia 31, Georgia Tech 17

    UTSA at Old Dominion, 2 p.m. ET (Old Dominion -4)
    Prediction: UTSA 20, Old Dominion 17

    Stanford at Colorado, 3 p.m. ET (Stanford -3)
    Prediction: Stanford 28, Colorado 20

    Charlotte at UTEP, 3 p.m. ET (Charlotte -12)
    Prediction: Charlotte 38, UTEP 24

    South Alabama at Texas State, 3 p.m. ET (Texas State -7.5)
    Prediction: Texas State 24, South Alabama 17

The Rest of the Slate (2/2)

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    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    Georgia Southern at Troy, 3:30 p.m. ET (Georgia Southern -3)
    Prediction: Georgia Southern 42, Troy 28

    Illinois at Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. ET, (MSU -14.5)
    Prediction: Michigan State 27, Illinois 17

    North Texas at Louisiana Tech, 4 p.m ET (Louisiana Tech -4.5)
    Prediction: Louisiana Tech 37, North Texas 28

    New Mexico State at Ole Miss, 4 p.m. ET (Ole Miss -28.5)
    Prediction: Ole Miss 42, New Mexico State 10

    Georgia State at UL Monroe, 5 p.m. ET (Georgia State -2.5)
    Prediction: Georgia State 41, UL Monroe 31

    Florida International at Florida Atlantic, 6 p.m. ET (FAU -10.5)
    Prediction: FAU 38, FIU 28

    Utah State at Fresno State, 7 p.m. ET (Fresno State -5.5)
    Prediction: Fresno State 31, Utah State 20

    Tennessee at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. ET (Pick 'Em)
    Prediction: Kentucky 28, Tennessee 21

    Liberty at BYU, 7:30 p.m. ET (BYU -17.5)
    Prediction: BYU 34, Liberty 24

    San Jose State at Hawaii, 11 p.m. ET (Hawaii -7)
    Prediction: Hawaii 42, San Jose State 34