College Football Picks: Week 14 Predictions for Every Game

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2019

College Football Picks: Week 14 Predictions for Every Game

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    Rivalry games and road trips. That's the story of a tremendous Week 14 slate to close the 2019 regular season.

    Division championships are up for grabs, and College Football Playoff contenders are trying to avoid a crushing loss. Heading into Thanksgiving week, only eight programs still hold a fighting chance at a coveted CFP berth.

    And with five matchups between Top 25 teams, Week 14 might get a little chaotic.

    The predictions 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 USC (idle)

    The Trojans wrapped up the regular season with a 52-35 win over rival UCLA and an 8-4 record. If Colorado manages to stun Utah, USC would head to the Pac-12 Championship Game. Given the constant rumors of a coaching changeespecially in Septemberit's a respectable finish to a disappointing season.

               

    No. 24 Navy at Houston, 7 p.m. ET (Navy -9)

    Houston is most vulnerable in the secondary, so Navy's run-heavy offense isn't built to take advantage of the primary weakness. However, back-to-back outings with fewer than 260 offensive yards is a major concern for the Cougars' upset hopes.

    Prediction: Navy 30, Houston 20

                

    No. 23 Virginia Tech (Lost to Virginia 39-30 Friday)

              

    No. 22 Appalachian State (Beat Troy 48-13 Friday)

            

    No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 21 Oklahoma State, 8 p.m. ET (OU -13.5)

    For prediction, see No. 7 Oklahoma. 

AP Nos. 20-16

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    Eli Lucero/Associated Press

    No. 20 Boise State (Beat Colorado State 31-24 Friday)

               

    No. 19 Iowa (Beat Nebraska 27-24 Friday)

                

    No. 18 Cincinnati at No. 17 Memphis

    For result, see No. 17 Memphis.

              

    No. 17 Memphis (Beat Cincinnati 34-24 Friday)

            

    No. 5 Alabama at No. 16 Auburn, 3:30 p.m. ET (Alabama -3.5)

    For prediction, see No. 5 Alabama. 

AP Nos. 15-11

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    No. 15 Notre Dame at Stanford, 4 p.m. ET (Notre Dame -16.5)

    Over the last five games, the Cardinal have scored more than 22 points once. We don't expect a dramatic change when Stanford hosts a Notre Dame defense that allows 18.2 per game.

    Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Stanford 17

               

    Oregon State at No. 14 Oregon, 4 p.m. ET (Oregon -19)

    Oregon is no longer a CFP contender yet has secured a place in the Pac-12 Championship Game. If the Ducks come out flat, they'll be at risk of face-planting against an Oregon State team desperate for a sixth victory. But as long as Oregon's offensive line performs well right away, the Ducks will avoid an upset.

    Prediction: Oregon 33, Oregon State 24

                

    No. 13 Wisconsin at No. 9 Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. ET (Wisconsin -2.5)

    For prediction, see No. 9 Minnesota.

              

    Rutgers at No. 12 Penn State, 3:30 p.m. ET (No Line)

    Since 2000, no team has endured five shutouts in a season. The current Rutgers squad has tied this millennium's record of four shared by 2002 Baylor, 2006 Utah State and 2016 Rutgers. Whether the Scarlet Knights avoid that inglorious feat is more interesting than the obvious pick.

    Prediction: Penn State 38, Rutgers 7

            

    No. 11 Baylor at Kansas, 3:30 p.m. ET (Baylor -14)

    Kansas is just dangerous enough to provide a scare when its passing game is successful. Baylor, however, ranks 13th nationally with six yards allowed per attempt. The Bears might not put together a true blowout, but a comfortable margin is likely.

    Prediction: Baylor 35, Kansas 17

AP Nos. 10-6

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    No. 2 Ohio State at No. 10 Michigan, Noon ET (Ohio State -8)

    For prediction, see No. 2 Ohio State.

               

    No. 13 Wisconsin at No. 9 Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. ET (Wisconsin -2.5)

    Four turnovers crushed Wisconsin in last year's meeting, and the Badgers have 12 giveaways in their last five games. Plus, Minnesota has ceded just 3.7 yards per carry this season. The Gophers won't silence Jonathan Taylor, but they're capable of containing him.

    Prediction: Minnesota 24, Wisconsin 20

                

    Florida State at No. 8 Florida, 7:30 p.m. ET (Florida -17)

    The key storyline is simple: How much will FSU score? The Seminoles mustered 10 points in a loss to Miami while the offensive line failed to block much of anything. Florida has a similarly disruptive defense. Considering an upset means trusting Florida State's offensive line, we won't be doing that.

    Prediction: Florida 31, Florida State 13

              

    No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 21 Oklahoma State, 8 p.m. ET (OU -13.5)

    Oklahoma has a negative turnover margin in five of the last six games, and the run defense has struggled. There is an evident path to an upset for Oklahoma State, which has a plus-eight turnover margin in the last four games and the nation's leading rusher in Chuba Hubbard. Jalen Hurts, though, is an unyielding force. He's single-handedly the reason for not picking an upset.

    Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 35

            

    Colorado at No. 6 Utah, 7:30 p.m. ET (Utah -28.5)

    Heading into a prime-time clash with Colorado, Utah is the Pac-12's lone playoff hope. The Utes should handle this matchup, but they've shifted from underdogs to shouldering the burden of expectationsand the Buffs need a win to reach a bowl. Still, Utah can lean on its defense to thwart a motivated Colorado team.

    Prediction: Utah 34, Colorado 17

AP Nos. 5-1

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    No. 5 Alabama at No. 16 Auburn, 3:30 p.m. ET (Alabama -3.5)

    Mac Jones hasn't faced a defense of Auburn's caliber, and that unfamiliarity might be what the Tigers need to spring the upset. However, their own offense has consistently struggled against good defenses, and Alabama is 15th in yards allowed per play. It'll probably be ugly, but the Tide keep their fleeting CFP dreams alive.

    Prediction: Alabama 17, Auburn 13

    No. 4 Georgia at Georgia Tech, Noon ET (Georgia -28.5)

    Georgia has reached 10-1 on a simple combination: no turnovers and great defense. The Dawgs have zero giveaways since the loss to South Carolina, and they've allowed 8.8 points per game along the way. The trend continues for one final week.

    Prediction: Georgia 35, Georgia Tech 10

                

    No. 3 Clemson at South Carolina, Noon ET (Clemson -27.5)

    Every top-ranked program runs the risk of overlooking a mediocre team. However, Clemson gave up exactly 600 yards to South Carolina last season; the Tigers should have no shortage of motivation. They haven't surrendered more than 300 in any game, and that's not going to change Saturday.

    Prediction: Clemson 45, South Carolina 14

              

    No. 2 Ohio State at No. 10 Michigan, Noon ET (Ohio State -8)

    Since trailing Penn State 21-0, Michigan has outscored its opposition 187-52. The Wolverines are playing at an elite level. But the running game is still erratic, and Shea Patterson often doesn't react well to pressure. The Buckeyes will hold off Michigan if Chase Young and Co. provide their normal disruption.

    Prediction: Ohio State 27, Michigan 20

            

    Texas A&M at No. 1 LSU, 7 p.m. ET (LSU -16.5)

    The Aggies have prevented five straight opponents from completing 50 percent of their passes. Joe Burrow, meanwhile, boasts a record-bound 78.9 completion rate. This is a "something has to give" situation, and the safe choice is Burrow continues wrecking defenses at an absurd pace.

    Prediction: LSU 41, Texas A&M 27

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The 5 Best Unranked Battles

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    Southern Miss at Florida Atlantic, 3:30 p.m. ET (FAU -9)

    While only FAU guarantees a place in the C-USA title with a win, both programs are fighting for a berth in that game. Southern Miss wasted a chance to take control of its division last week, falling to Western Kentucky. The Golden Eagles need a resurgent showing, but FAU's potent offense will triumph at home.

    Prediction: Florida Atlantic 36, Southern Miss 24

               

    Iowa State at Kansas State, 7 p.m. ET (Iowa State -4.5)

    Throw a dart, maybe? The Cyclones have given up 6.5 yards per play in three of their last four outings, which is not a promising trend before an ever-uncertain trip to Manhattan. Nevertheless, K-State's 79th-ranked pass defense might not be able to withstand Brock Purdy's high-volume efficiency.

    Prediction: Iowa State 27, Kansas State 24

                

    North Carolina at NC State, 7 p.m. ET (UNC -8)

    Mack Brown's return to Chapel Hill started off brilliantly with victories over South Carolina and Miami, but the Tar Heels still need another win to attain bowl eligibility. Fortunately for UNC, this is a favorable matchup. In November, NC State has allowed 14 passing scores without an interception.

    Prediction: North Carolina 34, NC State 20

              

    BYU at San Diego State, 9 p.m. ET (BYU -3)

    BYU's upset win over Boise State sparked a surge. Including that victory, the Cougars are averaging 39.8 points over the last five games. It's improbable they'll reach 30 points against a stout SDSU defense, but the Aztecs likely don't have enough firepower to match Zach Wilson and BYU.

    Prediction: BYU 20, San Diego State 13

            

    Army at Hawaii, 11:59 p.m. ET (Hawaii -3)

    Hawaii is headed to the Mountain West Championship Game, but the Warriors are on upset alert in Week 14. Air Force piled up 353 rushing yards on Hawaii, and Army shredded two inferior teams for nearly 1,100 yards before a bye week. Throw in Army's need for a sixth win, and the Black Knights are prepared to steal a win.

    Prediction: Army 28, Hawaii 24

The Rest of the Slate (1/2)

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    Louisville at Kentucky, Noon ET (Kentucky -2.5)
    Prediction: Kentucky 31, Louisville 20

            

    Indiana at Purdue, Noon ET (Indiana -7)
    Prediction: Indiana 28, Purdue 24

            

    Florida International at Marshall, Noon ET (Marshall -7.5)
    Prediction: Marshall 27, FIU 17

            

    Northwestern at Illinois, Noon ET (Illinois -8.5)
    Prediction: Illinois 24, Northwestern 16

           

    Texas State at Coastal Carolina, Noon ET (CCU -7)
    Prediction: Coastal Carolina 33, Texas State 23

           

    Tulsa at East Carolina, Noon ET (Tulsa -5.5)
    Prediction: East Carolina 30, Tulsa 24

             

    Wake Forest at Syracuse, 12:30 p.m. ET (Wake Forest -4)
    Prediction: Wake Forest 41, Syracuse 20

            

    Middle Tennessee at Western Kentucky, 2 p.m. ET (WKU -8.5)
    Prediction: Western Kentucky 33, Middle Tennessee 24

           

    Wyoming at Air Force, 2 p.m. ET (Air Force -11)
    Prediction: Air Force 23, Wyoming 17

              

    Charlotte at Old Dominion, 2 p.m. ET (Charlotte -9.5)
    Prediction: Charlotte 28, Old Dominion 21

             

    New Mexico State at Liberty, 2 p.m. ET (Liberty -14)
    Prediction: Liberty 31, New Mexico State 26

           

    UNLV at Nevada, 3 p.m. ET (Nevada -7)
    Prediction: Nevada 38, UNLV 13

           

    Rice at UTEP, 3 p.m. ET (Rice -7)
    Prediction: UTEP 27, Rice 22

The Rest of the Slate (2/2)

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    Boston College at Pitt, 3:30 p.m. ET (Pitt -9.5)
    Prediction: Pitt 29, Boston College 17

            

    Maryland at Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. ET (MSU -22)
    Prediction: Michigan State 34, Maryland 13

            

    UTSA at Louisiana Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET (Louisiana Tech -20.5)
    Prediction: Louisiana Tech 35, UTSA 17

             

    Miami at Duke, 3:30 p.m. ET (Miami -9)
    Prediction: Duke 27, Miami 24

            

    UConn at Temple, 3:30 p.m. ET (Temple -27)
    Prediction: Temple 42, UConn 10

             

    Tulane at SMU, 4 p.m. ET (SMU -4)
    Prediction: SMU 38, Tulane 28

            

    Vanderbilt at Tennessee, 4 p.m. ET (Tennessee -22.5)
    Prediction: Tennessee 24, Vanderbilt 10

             

    UAB at North Texas, 4 p.m. ET (UAB -1)
    Prediction: UAB 26, North Texas 14

             

    Utah State at New Mexico, 4 p.m. ET (Utah State -11.5)
    Prediction: Utah State 33, New Mexico 14

             

    Georgia State at Georgia Southern, 6 p.m. ET (Georgia Southern -7)
    Prediction: Georgia Southern 31, Georgia State 27

             

    UL Monroe at Louisiana, 7:30 p.m. ET (Louisiana -21)
    Prediction: Louisiana 45, UL Monroe 34

            

    Arizona at Arizona State, 10 p.m. ET (ASU -14)
    Prediction: Arizona State 38, Arizona 17

            

    Cal at UCLA, 10:30 p.m. ET (UCLA -2.5)
    Prediction: Cal 27, UCLA 20

            

    Fresno State at San Jose State, 10:30 p.m. ET (Fresno State -3)
    Prediction: San Jose State 40, Fresno State 31

Thursday and Friday's Results

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    Mississippi State 21, Ole Miss 20 (Thursday)


    Texas 49, Texas Tech 24 (Friday)


    Buffalo 49, Bowling Green 7 (Friday)


    Ball State 41, Miami (Ohio) 27 (Friday)    


    Kent State 34, Eastern Michigan 26 (Friday)


    Central Michigan 49, Toledo 7 (Friday)


    Missouri 24, Arkansas 14 (Friday)


    Washington 31, Washington State 13 (Friday)


    West Virginia 20, TCU 17 (Friday)

     
    South Alabama 34, Arkansas State 30 (Friday)


    Central Florida 34, South Florida 7 (Friday)