Friday Football Picks, Week #11
Another 5-5 week last week, bringing the season record to 53-46-1 against the point spread. I really can’t believe I overestimated South Carolina and underestimated Auburn, which really would’ve made the week more respectable. But, we’ve got a few VERY important games on the docket this weekend before we get to rivalry week NEXT week, so let’s get to it, shall we?
Texas Tech (+7) at Oklahoma: This is the one that is most important to the BCS this weekend and all eyes will be on what happens in Norman on Saturday night. Every fiber of my being wants the Red Raiders to win this game…I mean, those of us who love the teams that aren’t in the hunt every year pull for the little guys. But that’s just the point in this one. The Red Raiders are on the road. The Red Raiders have never been in this position while OU’s there every year. But, when it comes down to it, it’s not about what Texas Tech isn’t, it’s about what Oklahoma is…which is a good football team, playing at home, with a chip on their shoulder and the Big 12 south title in their sights (if that weird BCS ranking doesn’t choose it). Diner Prediction: Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 30.
Mississippi (+5) at L.S.U.: What the heck went on in Baton Rouge last weekend? Scoring 30 in the 4th quarter to come from behind to beat the Troy Trojans? It’s gotta be a Bama hangover…and while L.S.U. isn’t the feared Tiger team of the last couple of years, they’re certainly better than Ole Miss, and they’re playing at home. And Ole Miss isn’t nearly as good on offense as Troy and that goofy spread offense. Diner Prediction: L.S.U. 21, Mississippi 13.
Michigan (+20.5) at Ohio State: What I’m really glad about is that nobody’s talking about OSU”s national title implications this time around…because then their season’s over and they have to wait 45 days before playing again. Nope, Ohio State’s out and Michigan isn’t going to a bowl for the first time in 30-some years. And, there’s a reason for that. Michigan’s a bad football team. Say what you want about rivalries and records being thrown out the window, but Ohio State’s gotten better every week and, even though this is Michigan’s bowl game, they just don’t have the horses this year. Diner Prediction: Ohio State 35, Michigan 14.
Michigan State (+14.5) at Penn State: Michigan State has played better than expected this year, but then again, so has Penn State. The Nittany Lions have the Rose Bowl in their sights while Michigan State hasn’t beaten a ranked team in their last 10 tries. Granted, Penn State’s slip up against Iowa keep me from thinking this one would be a blow out, but it has the potential to be. A motivated Paterno team against a team that can’t figure out how to win the big ones? The choice is easy. Diner Prediction: Penn State 31, Michigan State 13.
Tennessee (+3) at Vanderbilt: I’m struggling trying to make sure I got this right. The Vols are a 3-point underdog…against…wait for it…VANDERBILT. But Vandy’s been a good team all year and they’re bowl eligible. This year, the Vols are underachievers and they’re not bowl eligible. And the vibe around Knoxville is wondering more about who will coach Tennessee next year rather than anything they are or aren’t doing this year. Tennessee will fight, but I think Vandy will pull it out in a close one at the end. Diner Prediction: Vanderbilt 21, Tennessee 17.
Washington at Washington State (+7): I only put this one on here because I think it’s hysterical that the two teams are a combined 1-20. And Wazzu’s only win came against a lower-division team. Two bad football games battling it out in Pullman in the cold. The team with the better athletes will win, but I don’t think they’ll cover. I can’t imagine either team covering. Diner Prediction: Washington 17, Washington State 13.
Stanford (+9) at California: The only thing I can’t stand about this game is having to watch that same replay of the band running on the field and Cal scoring the winning TD after all those laterals. But it’s a really good rivalry game, and the day before football season I was on the Berkeley campus and they had the “Beat Stanford” shirts on sale at the bookstore. In addition to a great t-shirt special, they also have a better football team. Diner Prediction: California 30, Stanford 17.
Florida State at Maryland (+1): Florida State came up short last week against Boston College…while Maryland has this uncanny ability to knock off teams and climb to the top of the ACC Atlantic division. They’re 7-3, and can make a big step toward getting to the championship game. They’re at home, they’re favored, and FSU has crumbled this year in games that meant something. FSU has the title in their sights, too, and if they were at home, I’d take ’em. It’ll be close, though. Diner Prediction: Maryland 22, Florida State 20.
Brigham Young (+6) at Utah: This game’s really bitter and one of the most underrated rivalries in college football. There’s a lot riding on this one for the Utes, too. Win, and you’re going to a BCS bowl. Lose, and the door opens for Boise State while you spend the holidays in Idaho and the Humanitarian Bowl. It’ll be war, in frigid weather. But give me Utah just on the hopes that BCS chaos will reign supreme. Diner Prediction: Utah 24, Brigham Young 21.
Oregon State (+2.5) at Arizona: The Beavers are in control of their own destiny in the Pac-10. Seriously. All they have to do is win out after winning 6 straight games. The problem is they’re hitting the tough part of that schedule. On the other hand, the Wildcats are 4-1 at home this year and score points like crazy…they’ve scored 40 or more 6 times this season. It’s interesting that OSU’s the underdog even with the success they’ve had this season. This might be the best game that nobody watches. Diner Prediction: Arizona 41, Oregon State 35.
Well, there you have it, patrons. What do you think?