College Football Week 11: Bold and Off-the-Wall Predictions for Every Game
Penn State is embroiled in an ugly controversy, and the SEC is clearly the most dominant conference in football.
Oklahoma has lost the annual game it shouldn't lose, and Ohio State has now won three in a row.
Yep, it's still college football season.
So strap on your gear and dive into this list full of predictions for every game this week.
Northern Illinois at Bowling Green
Prediction: Chandler Harnish goes nuts.
NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish is underrated as an offensive weapon.
His numbers are down a little bit this season due to some key losses on the offensive side of the ball, but the man can throw, as evidenced by his six touchdown passes last week against Toledo.
As if that weren't enough, Harnish added 133 yards rushing on 16 carries in the game for an average of more than eight yards a pop.
Enter Bowling Green, who is in the lower half of teams in the country for total defense.
Harnish will have another big night on Tuesday.
Western Michigan at Toledo
Prediction: Toledo's passing game stays effective.
Last Tuesday, the Rockets fell just short against NIU.
Hapless foe Western Michigan is next.
WMU is pretty weak at defending the pass, allowing 1,785 passing yards this season.
The Rockets need an opportunity to bounce back, and the Broncos offer the perfect opportunity.
Miami (OH) at Temple
Prediction: Zac Dysert throws an interception.
Miami (OH) quarterback Zac Dysert has only had three games this season in which he has not thrown an interception.
His total is sitting at nine right now, and he didn't throw one in the Redhawks' last game.
Besides, Temple will be motivated after the loss of star Bernard Pierce.
Ohio at Central Michigan
Prediction: The Bobcats enjoy the 30s.
No, not the decade—their statistical numbers.
Ohio is 31st in passing yards per game, 32nd in rushing yards, 39th in points scored and 32nd in points against per contest.
Even though this one is on the Chippewas' home turf, the Bobcats are going to have an easy time in this one and will remain solidly entrenched in the 30s in all these categories.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech
Prediction: Va. Tech goes down hard.
Normally, I would not count out the Hokies.
In this case I will have to make an exception.
Virginia Tech has not been great on the road, sneaking by teams like East Carolina and Duke by only one score.
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets have not lost at home this season.
In the battle for a shot at the ACC title, the Hokies fall far short.
Houston at Tulane
Prediction: Houston scores 70-plus.
Tulane allows 36 points per game.
Houston is best in the country at scoring, hitting 52.7 points per.
Case Keenum will have a field day in this one.
USF at Syracuse
Prediction: USF hits the trifecta.
The Big East is a mess; nobody wants to compete except Cincinnati.
The Bulls have lost every game on the road this season since opening the season at Notre Dame, while Syracuse is coming off of two straight losses.
That said, the Orange have the ability to shut down solid offenses and put up some points at the Carrier Dome.
Unless Skip Holtz and B.J. Daniels have some tricks up their sleeve, the Bulls are going to lose their third in a row.
Alabama at Mississippi State
Prediction: Bulldogs get squashed.
The Tide are coming off of a tough loss to LSU in the biggest game of the season.
Not good for Mississippi State.
For a team that had some high preseason expectations, the Bulldogs have struggled mightily.
Alabama will be out to make the point that they still belong in the BCS, even with a loss, and the Bulldogs just happen to be the next victim in line.
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
Prediction: Over 800 passing yards.
These teams both rank in the top six in the country in passing yards per game.
The Cowboys are averaging over 387 per, while the Red Raiders gain an average of 362.
Expect a ton of passing yards as the Cowboys pull it out thanks to their superior run game.
Tennessee at Arkansas
Prediction: Hogs roll.
Not too far-fetched, I know, but I mean they really roll.
Like, a three-touchdown beating.
The Razorbacks still have a ton to play for, including a potential shot at the SEC title.
Meanwhile, the Vols haven't won a game away from Neyland Stadium yet this season.
Florida at South Carolina
Prediction: Gators score fewer than 14 points.
The Gamecocks have had five games this season in which they held opponents to 13 or fewer points.
The Gators have scored 11 or fewer six times.
SC will absolutely blow up whatever the Gators try to throw at them, and really tighten up against their sorry excuse for an offense.
Nebraska at Penn State
Prediction: Taylor Martinez completes three passes...
...To the opposition.
The Huskers may be in trouble here.
Penn State is playing really solid defense, and the offense finally has some continuity to it.
Nebraska just lost to Northwestern, and Martinez has yet to show the ability to throw an accurate ball further than five yards downfield.
Even with all the controversy swirling around Happy Valley, the Lions defense will torment Martinez all game long.
Wake Forest at Clemson
Prediction: Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins score three.
The Tigers are trying to recover from that loss to Georgia Tech, and a trip to Wake Forest is no easy proposition.
However, while Tech was able to play effective defense for part of the game, limiting Clemson enough to pull off the upset, the Deacons are a different animal.
Going into this one, Wake is ranked 74th in the country in passing defense, allowing 235.7 yards per game, giving up 16 touchdowns and only pulling in nine interceptions.
Clemson wins this one going away, and the Boyd-Watkins connection gets it done.
Texas A&M at Kansas State
Prediction: A&M implodes...again.
Texas A&M started off the season in the Top 10, built a big lead against Oklahoma State and then the season fell apart.
K-State was undefeated until they faced the Oklahoma schools in consecutive weeks, coming up short both times.
The Aggies have lost their last two in a row, and the season can be effectively termed a disaster.
Ryan Tannehill and Co. will get out to the early lead, but coach Snyder's squad will rally to topple the Aggies.
Here they come, SEC...
Michigan at Illinois
Prediction: Mercilus terrorizes Robinson.
Michigan has now officially started their annual implosion.
Illinois is next and Ron Zook's squad is licking their chops after last week's mistake-riddled performance by the Wolverines.
Denard Robinson was terrorized by pressure all game last week, and forced into bad choices by the Hawkeyes.
Bad news for the Wolverines: The nation's sack leader, Whitney Mercilus, plays for Illinois.
Mr. Robinson, meet Mr. Mercilus...
Michigan State at Iowa
Prediction: Cousins struggles mightily.
Michigan State has had some big wins over the past two seasons, but each of their losses in big games have been away from East Lansing.
Last season's only regular-season loss was an absolute debacle in Iowa City, and due to conference realignment, the Spartans have to return to their own personal "House of Horrors."
The Hawkeyes defense looked better than it has all season against Michigan last week, and the Spartans have struggled the past few weeks.
Cousins will toss at least two interceptions in an Iowa victory.
Auburn at Georgia
Prediction: Dawgs keep rollin'.
Sure, Auburn has had its moments this year.
However, Georgia is on a serious roll.
Mark Richt's squad has now won seven straight after losing their first two, and is on the inside track for the SEC title game.
The problem for the Dawgs is that they can't beat ranked teams.
In both of their games against ranked opponents this season, they have fallen.
This should be a good game, but given the Bulldogs have the home-field advantage, Auburn will fall again.
Hopefully the Dawgs can pull it off without anyone getting stuck in the hedges.
Wisconsin at Minnesota
Prediction: Ball breaks record.
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is on pace to shatter the Big Ten rushing touchdown record.
He currently has 24 total touchdowns, and the Badgers' next opponent is a miserable Minnesota squad.
The Big Ten record currently sits at 26.
Ball will leave the game Saturday as the Big Ten's leader in touchdowns scored with at least 27.
The guy smells the end zone, and cannot be stopped.
Miami at Florida State
Prediction: FSU squeaks it out.
This one means absolutely nothing in the large scheme of things, but its significance has diminished due to the lackluster seasons both teams have suffered.
The Seminoles seem to have turned things around, and have now won four straight.
The 'Canes have lost to such powerhouses as Virginia and Maryland.
The inconsistencies by Miami's offense will lead to a fairly easy victory for the 'Noles.
Ohio State at Purdue
Prediction: Dan Herron and Braxton Miller combine for over 300 yards on the ground.
Look, the Buckeyes may be only a shadow of the team that has dominated the Big Ten for the past decade, but they should not be written off.
They have won their last three games, two against ranked opponents and one of those on the road.
Purdue was absolutely gashed on the ground last week by Wisconsin, and the Buckeyes' bread and butter is their ground game.
Herron and Miller will go off.
Texas at Missouri
Prediction: Mizzou's season gets more miserable.
Texas has nearly worked their way back into the Top 15 of the BCS polls after vanishing from the public consciousness for a few weeks.
They are playing solid defense, and have figured out some of their issues on offense, even if it does involve a weird quarterback system.
Bad news for a Missouri squad that can't stay consistent.
After knocking off a solid Texas A&M squad, the Tigers promptly lost to Baylor.
Texas will hand them their second home loss of the season.
West Virginia at Cincinnati
Prediction: Cincinnati maintains control of Big East.
Guess who is in control of the Big East?
That's right, the Bearcats.
Their last four games are undeniably brutal, but things are looking good for Collaros, Pead and Co.
West Virginia was predicted to dominate the conference this season, and promptly proceeded to show us why preseason predictions are a load of bull.
A win over the Mountaineers would make a big statement for the Bearcats, and I expect them to get it.
Rice at Northwestern
Prediction: 'Cats hang 50.
The Wildcats should be heavily favored in this one after playing the underdog last week.
And with good reason.
Rice has struggled mightily for most of the season, and will find this game against a Big Ten foe less fun than their last tangle.
The Wildcats are coming off of their biggest win of the season, and Kain Colter has the Wildcats offense doing some good things.
Expect the Wildcats to score early and often in this one.
Pitt at Louisville
Prediction: This one will be the most entertaining game of the weekend.
The Cardinals are sitting right near the top of the conference.
This is a big one for them.
Meanwhile, Pitt is just struggling to become bowl-eligible.
The Cardinals have demonstrated the ability to shut teams down defensively, and have emerged as the surprise team in the conference.
This game is pivotal for both squads, and while it's nearly impossible to predict any Big East game, this will be entertaining television, almost certainly.
Marshall at Tulsa
Prediction: Vinny Curry gets a sack.
Tulsa has done a reasonable job of protecting their quarterback this season, but they have not faced a pass-rusher as fierce as Curry.
He is currently second in the country in sacks with 10.5, and has demonstrated the ability to dominate opposing blockers.
While I think Tulsa wins the game, Curry will get at least one sack, adding to his already-solid total.
Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Prediction: The 'Dores get their second.
These two teams are a combined 2-9 in the SEC, and facing each other gives them the prime opportunity to take one more step toward a potential bowl berth, while the other team's chances get markedly slimmer.
Seeing as this one is a home game for Vandy and they have shown the potential to compete with some of the better units in the SEC, they will come away with their second SEC victory.
However, they won't get many more.
NC State at Boston College
Prediction: The Wolfpack continues not missing Russell Wilson.
Tom O'Brien told Russell Wilson not to come back if he had to focus on baseball.
Turns out it wasn't a terrible call.
Wilson has been doing great things at Wisconsin, but the Wolfpack have not suffered for lack of solid quarterback play.
Quarterback Mike Glennon has thrown 20 touchdowns, and passed for 2,011 yards already this season.
His interception total is high at nine, but that is largely due to the offensive line's inability to block.
He will have a big game against the hapless Eagles in Chestnut Hill.
Buffalo at Eastern Michigan
Prediction: Not much scoring here.
Move on people—nothing to see here.
The Bulls and Eagles are both woefully bad at scoring, averaging just over 40 points per game combined.
This would be good enough for 10th, nationally.
However, the Bulls check in at 110th, while EMU sits at 103rd.
Maybe they will score more against each other...
North Texas at Troy
Prediction: Worst game of the week.
There is nothing like watching two mediocre Sun Belt conference teams battle it out to cure insomnia.
Troy has been one of the better teams in the conference over recent seasons, but has taken a turn for the worse this year.
UNT is struggling along in the throes of mediocrity, with no end in sight.
Please don't watch this one.
Wyoming at Air Force
Prediction: Air Force can't touch the Cowboys QB.
Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith left last week's loss with concussion-like symptoms and is likely not going to play this weekend.
That said, whoever take the snaps for the Cowboys will be safe.
Air Force is tied for 99th in the country in sacks, while Wyoming is 13th in sacks allowed.
Whoever starts should have plenty of time in the pocket to adjust.
Kent State at Akron
Prediction: Kent State keeps their momentum.
Akron is terrible.
They are allowing over 34 points per game, and have only beaten VMI (FCS) this season.
Kent State, while not exactly BCS title material, at least has a few wins to its name and is coming off of two straight.
The Zips are going down, again.
Baylor at Kansas
Prediction: RGII tosses at least four TDs.
Five and 114.
That's all you need to know.
Baylor is fifth in the country in passing offense, while Kansas is 114th in passing defense.
RGIII and Kendall Wright are going to explode.
Arizona at Colorado
Prediction: Nick Foles passes for over 350 yards.
In the battle between the two worst teams in the Pac-12 South, quarterback play makes the difference.
Nick Foles is the best quarterback you haven't heard of for the Wildcats, while Colorado is not exactly flourishing in their first season in the Pac-12.
The Buffaloes scheduled 13 games this season with no off week.
They are well on their way to achieving a 1-12 record, and Arizona and Foles are going to contribute to that admirable accomplishment.
Duke at Virginia
Prediction: Mike London's squad gets their last win.
The Cavaliers are enjoying a great measure of success by their usual recent standards.
If they can take out Duke, they will have achieved a seven-win season for only the second time since 2006, with two opportunities to get more still upcoming.
The Blue Devils, though a better team than their usual abysmal crew, are still pretty bad.
They struggle to score, struggle to prevent scores and other than that, they are excellent.
Go get 'em, Cavs.
San Jose State at Utah State
Prediction: Aggies—enough said.
The Aggies are coming off of a win at Hawaii.
The Spartans lost to Idaho.
You make the call.
ULL at Arkansas State
Prediction: Decided by a field goal.
This is the biggest game of the year in the Sun Belt.
Arkansas State is leading the conference with a 5-0 record, while the Ragin' Cajuns are right behind them at 6-1.
Since this one is at Arkansas State, and the better defense usually wins out, I'm taking the Red Wolves by three.
However, this should be a very close contest.
TCU at Boise State
Prediction: Boise State struggles, pulls out a win.
Neither of these teams appear to be quite as good as last season's editions.
That said, the Broncos are still undefeated, while TCU has almost worked its way back into the BCS rankings.
These two have a pretty decent little rivalry going, and with all of the realignment going on, this may be one of the last times they meet for a while.
Since it's on the "Smurf Turf," the Broncos will pull it out behind the arm of Kellen Moore, but not before they get a scare from the Horned Frogs.
Washington at USC
Prediction: Basketball-like scores
Neither of these teams have exhibited the ability to lock down a solid offense yet this season.
Meanwhile, both offenses have the ability to light up the scoreboard.
Washington quarterback Keith Price is the most underrated player in the country, while Matt Barkley is quietly having himself a pretty solid season.
Lane and Monte are going to have their hands full, but Barkley and receiver Robert Woods should keep the Trojans scoring in a 45-42 win.
Rutgers vs. Army
Prediction: Steelman does his thing.
if there is one thing we know to be true in the college football universe this season, it is that the Big East is about as unpredictable as an angry mother-in-law.
Army gets to take on Rutgers this week, and it will be interesting to see which Scarlet Knights team show for the game.
Regardless of the outcome, Army's quarterback, Trent Steelman, will continue to roll along on the ground.
Besides having one of the greatest football names in history, Steelman has scored eleven times on the ground, and has also found the endzone twice on the ground.
He will find the endzone at least once in New York.
Middle Tennessee at ULM
Prediction: Plenty of scoring.
Each of these teams has won two games this season.
Neither of them have been particularly great, but both give up plenty of points.
Middle Tennessee gives up 33 a game, while the Warhawks allow 29.2.
While it does not mean much in the large scheme of things, this one will be entertaining.
Navy at SMU
Prediction: 'Stangs win.
SMU averages nearly 300 yards passing per game.
Navy checks in at third-best in the country in rushing yards a contest with 318.
Two contrasting styles meet this weekend, and SMU has the edge.
The more balanced unit will take this one, and SMU appears to be that unit.
UAB at Memphis
Prediction: Pillow fight of the week.
This is basically an exercise in futility.
The teams have a combined 3-15 record.
They lost their last games by a combined score of 97-13.
They will combine for roughly 300 yards of offense in a yawner on Saturday.
San Diego State at Colorado State
Prediction: Hillman hits 200.
Ronnie Hillman is having another great year for the Aztecs, leading the nation in rushing with 1,198 yards this season.
Colorado State is 114th in the country against the run, allowing over 220 rushing yards per game.
Hillman will have a huge day, shredding the Rams defense as the Aztecs roll.
FAU at FIU
Prediction: Owls get toasted.
To say FAU is struggling might be the understatement of the century.
The Owls are an abysmal 0-8 this season.
FIU has shown the ability to be explosive, particularly when T.Y. Hilton gets going.
Coming off of a tough 10-9 loss last week, FIU will be motivated for victory in this one, which means the Owls are in for a long day.
Oregon State at Cal
Prediction: Cal reaches bowl eligibility.
This is a meeting of two teams mired in the pit of BCS mediocrity.
Cal, however, is on the brink of reaching bowl eligibility, while Oregon State has no shot.
The Golden Bears have been inconsistent at times, but have displayed the ability to beat the teams they are supposed to.
At home, the Bears will take this one.
UCLA at Utah
Prediction: The Fighting Neuheisels become bowl-eligible.
Neither of these teams is having an extremely good year, but Rick Neuheisel is trying to do just enough to keep his job.
The Bruins are coming off of back-to-back wins against Cal and a ranked Arizona State team.
The Utes have won three of their last four, and are also on the verge of bowl eligibility.
Neuheisel is like that psycho girlfriend that won't go away, and will lead the Bruins to a third win in a row.
WKU at LSU
Prediction: No hangover for the Tigers.
This will be ugly.
The Tigers are in the middle of one of the more dominant defensive seasons in recent memory, and are playing with a chip on their collective shoulder.
WKU is in the middle of their best season as an FBS program, but do not have the athletes to hang with the Tigers.
LSU will experience no ill effects from last week.
What did you expect, an upset prediction?
Notre Dame at Maryland
Prediction: The Irish continue ACC domination.
Notre Dame is in the middle of a three-game stretch against ACC opponents.
After taking the first one from Wake Forest, they set their sights on the Terps.
The most noteworthy thing the Terrapins have done this season is win the award for ugliest uniforms ever.
The Irish will take this one easily.
La. Tech at Ole Miss
Prediction: Houston Nutt's season gets worse.
Nutt has fallen further and further from grace down in Oxford.
The Rebels have won only two games this season, both against non-BCS foes.
On top of that, they have yet to register a win in the SEC.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are sitting near the top of WAC, and have the talent to cause all kinds of trouble for the Rebs.
Oregon at Stanford
Prediction: Andrew's luck runs out.
In arguably the biggest game in the Pac-12 this season, Andrew Luck and the Cardinal will falter.
The Ducks defense will cause all kinds of problems for Luck, while on offense, Oregon may be one of the few teams in the conference that can hang with Stanford.
This one is at Stanford, and will be another close battle for the Cardinal, but the Ducks emerge in control of the Pac-12 North.
UCF at Southern Miss
Prediction: USM wins going away.
Central Florida's season has gone downhill rapidly since they started the season 2-0.
They are 2-5 since then, and a trip to Southern Miss will take them that much closer to elimination from bowl consideration.
The Golden Eagles are on course for an epic matchup with Houston in the conference championship game, and are hitting on all cylinders right now.
Quarterback Austin Davis has scored nearly three touchdowns per game over the last six games.
Fresno State at New Mexico State
Prediction: Pat Hill gets another one.
Fresno State has had a rough season, currently sitting on the verge of being eliminated from bowl eligibility.
That said, they will get another win this week against the lowly new Mexico State Aggies.
The Aggies, though one game behind the Bulldogs, have no shot in this one and Pat Hill's squad will get him another win.
East Carolina at UTEP
Prediction: Dominique Davis will score three more.
East Carolina quarterback Dominique Davis is not enjoying the success in his senior season that he did last year.
That said, he is still a dynamic playmaker, and he finds ways to score through the air or with his feet.
He has scored three touchdowns in five of the Pirates' nine games this season.
Against C-USA foe UTEP, Davis will have a prime opportunity to showcase his ability and will take advantage.
Idaho at BYU
Prediction: BYU blanks the Vandals.
The Cougars suffered just their third loss of the season over the weekend, and will be motivated to get this win.
Not that Idaho will present much of a challenge.
The Vandals have one of the worst offenses in the country, and the defense is in the lower third in the country in total defense, allowing 406 yards per contest.
Bronco Mendenhall and his team have had to deal with some injuries; they have done so fairly well, and this game will be no exception.
The Cougars' stout defense will keep Idaho off the boards for the entire game.
UNLV at New Mexico
Prediction: Bobby Hauck's team stays in the running for a bowl.
These two teams are a combined 2-15, with both wins courtesy of UNLV.
New Mexico has had a pretty rough season, facing turmoil and trying to get that elusive first win.
UNLV may be their best chance, but it won't be a good chance.
The Rebels have shown some potential at times, even with a young squad trying to implement a new system, while the Lobos have not shown any sign of life.
UNLV is still in the running for a bowl game if they can win out, and they stay that way this week.
Hawaii at Nevada
Prediction: The Wolf Pack solidifies conference lead.
Hawaii is sitting at third in the new-look WAC with a conference record of 3-2, and if they are going to catch Nevada, this is a prime opportunity.
That said, Chris Ault's squad, while not quite as good as last season, has still shown the ability to dominate within the conference.
Hawaii's offensive line has had some issues at times, and will have more against Nevada as they defeat the Warriors.
Arizona State at Washington State
Prediction: Burfict wreaks havoc.
Arizona State still has a shot at the Rose Bowl, but last week's disappointing loss to UCLA was a real letdown for a squad that appeared to be taking the next step.
The Sun Devils will be one angry unit this weekend, and even though they must travel to face the Cougars, they will clearly be the better team on the field.
Star linebacker Vontaze Burfict will register at least two tackles for a loss as the Sun Devils officially eliminate WSU from bowl eligibility.