Last week’s record: 4-2
Week 10 did not disappoint in producing some great games, as well as giving Oklahoma State fans an even bigger scare than what was soon felt afterwards during an earthquake. This week we have a huge tilt on the West Coast as the quest for the #2 BCS spot continues.
1st Pick: #10 Virginia Tech at #21 Georgia Tech
(Thursday @ 8 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- Finally, a Thursday night brings us some ranked action worth watching. If you had to think of one team that always ends up in the thick of things no matter how unimpressive their resume, Frank Beamer’s Hokies would have to be an obvious choice. Beamer has crafted a dynasty in Blacksburg and his team has dominated conference play for years. Now that they have reached the top ten with only one loss, they have to face a dominating run game on the road. While both teams are coming off of a bye week after a win, the quality of those wins varies greatly. As Georgia Tech convincingly gave Clemson its first loss of the season, Virginia Tech struggled mightily to give Duke its sixth. Even though Tech boasts one of the nation’s top defenses, it will lose a 30-24 heartbreaker in Atlanta.
2nd Pick: #19 Nebraska at #12 Penn State
(Saturday @ 12 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- Who would have ever thought that this game’s preview and overall atmosphere would be overshadowed by the news of a living legend like Joe Paterno being fired? While the man was a pillar for both Penn State and the sport of college football, he made a terrible decision that does not allow for the ceremonial passing of the guard that many were expecting during his last days as head coach. As for the football game, the outcome will be decided by his team’s reaction to this turn of events. While most will say that they will rally, I do not see the Nittany Lions as a fiery team that thrives in moments of adversity. Their opponents are however. Nebraska is coming off of a shocking home loss to Northwestern and will be looking for blood. I think that the Huskers solve Penn State’s run D and get a 27-9 win.
Upset Pick: #17 Michigan State at Iowa
(Saturday @ 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2)
- With these two teams meeting on Saturday, I am bound to pick the eventual loser. In all of the State games that I have written about, I have gotten one of them right. I chose against the Hawkeyes last week, and they looked very good on the ground against Michigan. Michigan State may have gotten the ugliest win in college football against Minnesota last week, and now sit atop the Legends division. For the second week in a row I will point out Iowa’s perfect record at home. I don’t think that they can gash the Spartan defense with Marcus Coker, but the Hawkeyes have a great advantage by playing at home. Iowa will grind away once again this week and go 2-0 against the state of Michigan. Sparty loses an old fashioned Big Ten slugfest, 10-9.
4th Pick: #20 Auburn @ #15 Georgia
(Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Once again we have two teams with very different ways of getting to this point of the season. The Auburn Tigers have not been able string wins together since the first day of October. On the other hand, the Georgia Bulldogs are one of the hottest teams right now looking to win its eighth game in a row. If you look at the tale of tape, the Bulldogs have the edge in almost every way. Better offense, better defense, on a roll and at home in front of a hungry fan base ready to head to the SEC Championship. It is easy for people to look at this match-up and choose the team with the tougher schedule (advantage Auburn), but I believe in Georgia between the hedges. Bulldogs move one step closer to a date with LSU and win 31-28.
On-The-Move Pick: Texas Christian at #5 Boise State
(Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on Versus)
- These two teams have done their best to change the old adage to “if you CAN beat them, join them.” TCU is not undefeated right now, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that they will give way to the Broncos. With Boise State, you always look for that trap game in an easy conference schedule that seems to doom them every other year. For one year in the MWC, they have to face the hardest trap game they’ll ever see for years to come. Defense will determine this game and TCU simply does not have enough of it to even dent the Kellen Moore show. It won’t get ugly until late as Boise State wins 48-24.
Marquee Pick: #7 Oregon at #4 Stanford
(Saturday @ 8 p.m. ET on ABC)
- This game will determine the PAC-12 champion and possibly the national runner-up. It is going to be a great atmosphere in Palo Alto and Stanford seems ready for the limelight. Oregon is used to the scrutiny and has weathered its opening week loss. While their ranking seems unforgiving to the fact that they have only lost to the best team in the nation, the Ducks are playing well with their sights on the ultimate goal. Andrew Luck is a machine and he is the best player in the country. Unfortunately, this game will keep him from winning the Heisman. Stanford looked worn in its overtime thriller against USC, and they will not have WR Chris Owusu in the lineup for Luck. That key absence and lack of championship experience will ultimately end Stanford’s run for perfection. The Ducks strike again out west, 31-24.