Week 11 – Big games in the Big 12 highlight this weekend

The Big-12 takes center stage this weekend, with three compelling match-ups.   Baylor, which has lost two straight, will travel to Oklahoma. Texas will play host No.20 West Virginia, while Texas Tech will meet Oklahoma State in Stillwater.  The Sooners sit at the top of the Big-12 at 6-0, and still have hopes to represent the conference in the College Football Playoff.  They close the season with three games against ranked teams and they will need to sweep to have any hope of making the playoff.   I have the picks on all three of the big Big 12 games below.

A QUICK LOOK BACK AT WEEK 10

Both Texas A&M and Nebraska suffered big losses, but more importantly lost their starting quarterbacks also.  Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong was knocked out with a concussion, while Aggies QB Trevor Knight was lost for the rest of the regular season with a shoulder injury.  Currently, Nebraska is tied for the lead in the Big Ten West, and the Aggies are in line for berth in the Sugar Bowl.  What impact on the post-season will these injuries have?

FROM THE RUMOR MILL

All last week I kept hearing about how Chip Kelly, was considering leaving the pro ranks, and possibly returning to Oregon.  Over the weekend Kelly tried to put those rumors to rest, denying he had any interest in going back to the college ranks.  I strongly believe that Kelly is being pursued by the Ducks. Mark Helfrich is under extreme pressure and a return by Kelly would be welcomed by Duck fans.

Over the last two weeks, I have been continually asked where Les Miles might land. My best guess, has Miles landing at Notre Dame.  Notre Dame is one of only a few universities, who could put together a financial package that would be hard for Miles to turn down. Saturday’s loss to Navy was another example of how bad things are at Notre Dame.   The Irish will have to defeat Army, Virginia Tech and USC to get to 6-6 and bowl eligibility.   The Irish have also had at least two recruits decommit in the past month.  It’s been reported that Miles is currently working on a coaching staff.

FEATURED GAMES FOR WEEK 11

No. 25 BAYLOR 6-2  AT  No.9 OKLAHOMA 7-2   The Baylor Bears enter this game on a  two-game losing streak. Baylor has been giving up 4.4 yards per carry this season, and allowed 97 points in the last two games.  Last week, the Bears were buried at home by TCU 62-22.  Meanwhile, Oklahoma has won six straight games and leads the Big 12 with a 6-0 conference record. Joe Mixon will return from a one-game suspension to bolster the Sooner rushing attack.  The Sooners are the better football team and are playing with a chip on their shoulders.  EVERYTHING IS OKIE DOKIE, SOONERS 47-31.

No. 11 WEST VIRGINIA 7-1  AT  TEXAS 5-4  The Mountaineers have been a pleasant surprise all season long.  A balanced offense led by QB Skyler Howard and Running Backs Rushel Shell and Justin Crawford have made it difficult for opponents to stop the offense. Head Coach Dana Holgorsen has what is perhaps his best team in his tenure here. The Longhorns seem to have responded to the more hands-on approach Charlie Strong has taken.  The defense still has problems, as it continues to give up big plays.   The offense is what has me excited as we head down the stretch.   D’Onta Foreman has been an unstoppable beast, rushing for 1,446 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has 10 straight 100 yard games, one shy of the school record held by the great Earl Campbell.  I expect both teams to exchange big blows, in what should be a classic boxing match.   LONGHORNS LAND FINAL BLOW, 42-38.

USC 6-3  AT  No.4 WASHINGTON 9-0  The Huskies return home after two tough road games at Utah and Cal, and with the number No. 4 ranking in the College Football Playoff Rankings.  ESPN College Football Game Day will be on campus, and Quarterback Jake Browning is now being mentioned in the race for the Heisman.   Saturday, he will have a chance to show the nation on Saturday just how good he is.  USC is one of the hottest teams in the country, coming in on a five-game winning streak.  Trojan QB Sam Darnold has been terrific since being named the starter in week four. he has tossed 20 TDs during the Trojans five-game winning streak.  The Huskies have been a solid home favorite, while the Trojans have been a poor road dog of late  The Huskies are going to want to send a message to the CFB committee, and Husky Stadium will be rocking on Saturday afternoon!  TROJANS CANNOT KEEP THE DAWGS IN ……. HUSKIES 36-23.

No.12 PENN STATE 7-2  AT  INDIANA 5-4  Penn State has reeled off five-straight wins and has a chance to finish at 10-2.  The Nittany Lions do a great job of playing a solid fundamental game, while taking advantage of their opponents mistakes.  Quarterback Trace McSorley has been consistent all season long, while Saquon Barkley has added 1,055 yards on the ground, balancing the offense.  The Hoosiers sit at 3-3 in the Big-10.  In those three losses, the Hoosiers gave Ohio State, Northwestern and Nebraska all they could handle. This is a flat-spot in the schedule for the Nittany Lions. The Hoosiers are better than people think, and want to get bowl eligible now rather than later. HOOSIER STUNNER, 34-31.

No.19 LSU 5-3  AT  ARKANSAS 6-3   I’m still disappointed by the result last week in Baton Rouge.  What we saw, was that the LSU defense is one of the best in the nation, butvEd Orgeron still has plenty of work to do with the offense.  I would like to see Brandon Harris return at quarterback, but that is unlikely to happen.  The Tigers offense will have success against the Razorback defense, and Leonard Fournette should be able to bounce back this weekend.   Arkansas dominated Florida last week, which I called for here on my blog.   The Tigers will be playing this game with double revenge.   I’m looking for a low scoring, smash mouth contest.   TIGERS CLAW THEIR WAY TO 20-16 WIN.

UPSET EXPRESS

TULSA 7-2  AT  NAVY 6-2  This is a monster matchup in the AAC.   Both teams are 4-1 and tied for first place in the AAC West, and the winner will likely play for the AAC championship.   Tulsa has won six of their last seven, including three straight.  Head Coach Philip Montgomery has emphasized the running game. Tailbacks James Flanders and D’Angelo Brewer have combined for 2.053 yards and 19 scores. Tulsa has traditionally been a pass first offense, and QB Dane Evans in his third year as a starter.  At Navy,    Quarterback Will Worth rushed for 175 yards on Saturday, leading the Midshipmen past Notre Dame 28-27. It’s very difficult to stop the Navy option running game, when you don’t have time to prepare for it. That will be a key factor in what should be a very entertaining game.   I give the Midshipmen a big advantage on defense, and Navy is very tough as a home underdog.  HURRICANE WARNINGS DON’T FRIGHTEN MIDSHIPMEN, NAVY SINKS TULSA’S CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES 46-33.

SUPER SIX PACK:  SIX GAMES, SIX WORDS, SIX PICKS

No. 13 UTAH 6-3  AT  ARIZONA STATE 5-4  Conference title hopes alive with Utah win.  UTES PREVAIL 26-17.

CALIFORNIA 4-5  AT  No.23 WASHINGTON STATE 7-2   An offensive shootout in the Palouse!  FALK 51 WEBB 48.

No.8 AUBURN 7-2  AT  GEORGIA 5-4  Old rivals meet for 120th time.  SEC WEST, BEATS EAST AGAIN 27-17.

TEXAS TECH 4-5  AT  No.17 OKLAHOMA STATE 7-2  Get on your horse my friend. COWPOKES FIRST TO 50, TOPPLE RAIDERS 54-40.

APPALACHIAN STATE 7-2  AT  TROY 7-1  Both teams undefeated in Sunbelt play.   TROJANS HOLD OFF MOUNTAINEERS 27-23.

CINCINNATI 4-5  AT  CENTRAL FLORIDA 5-4  Two coaches heading in different directions. Scott Frost gets Knights back to a bowl game, KNIGHTS 35-31.

LAST WEEKS RESULTS

FEATURED GAMES              5-0

SUPER SIX PACK                  5-1

UPSET EXPRESS                  0-1

 

 

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