"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

College Football Predictions

The Top Ten:

Missouri 14 (7) Florida 24:  Florida should bounce back from last week's loss to Georgia, even it they're a little hungover from all of those turnovers. Missouri is a good club but still finding their way in the SEC.

Temple 20  (10) Louisville 30: It took eight weeks for an undefeated Big East team to break into the top ten. It's about time. I admit,the league isn't top notch, but Louisville has a good chance of running the table if they can get by Rutgers on Thanksgiving.

Mississippi 17 (6) Georgia 27: The Bulldogs re-entered the national scene with their victory over Florida and control their own destiny to get to the SEC championship game against either Alabama or LSU. It will take some serious upsets down the road, but Georgia can still aspire to the BCS title game. Their primary  opponent is the remaining schedule. After this week, they face Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. The computers won't like that slate very much.

Pittsburgh 10 (3) Notre Dame 27: The Irish won't have much trouble with the Panthers unless they're looking ahead. That Notre Dame defense is very scary and I don't see Pitt having enough firepower to challenge it. It took me a while, but I'm a believer in the Irish. It looks like that showdown against USC may be the only thing standing between Notre Dame and a matchup with Alabama.

(4) Oregon 42 (17) USC 27: Unless USC suddenly finds different players, I just don't see them staying on the field with Oregon. The Ducks pass the eyeball test on both sides of the ball and it would be a shame if the BCS system ends up leaving an undefeated Oregon out of the picture.

(24) Oklahoma St. 20 (2) Kansas St. 31: This isn't the same Cowboy team that contended the last couple of years. The Wildcats are on a true roll and I don't see Oklahoma St. stopping it. Too bad the playoffs don't begin this season. We could end up with four very good undefeated teams and only spots for two of them in the championship game.

(1) Alabama 24 (5) LSU 17: Last year, LSU squeaked by Alabama in Tuscaloosa to earn a rematch in the  BCS championship game. No such deal this year. With Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame sitting in the wings, it's doubtful Alabama can lose and make it to Miami. LSU isn't as good as they were a year ago and Alabama's better. Even in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night, I like the Crimson Tide to stay on track.

The Rest of the Top 25:

(12) Oklahoma 20 Iowa St. 24: Bob Stoops has his work cut out for him in getting his club back up for the trip to Ames to face an upset-minded Iowa St. squad. I don't think the Sooners can regroup quickly enough from Saturday's disappointing loss to Notre Dame. Iowa State is very tough at home and they almost pulled the biggest upset of the year by challenging Kansas State.

(16) Texas A&M 31 (15) Mississippi St. 21: I like the Aggies a lot and Mississippi St. is not nearly as good as their record might indicate. Unlike Missouri, A&M has come into the SEC West in a competitive manner and will continue that effort this weekend. The Bulldogs aren't quite good enough on either side of the ball to contend in this game.

(14) Stanford 48 Colorado 13: Colorado may be the worst team in any BCS conference. Stanford will run at will in Boulder.

TCU 28 (21) West Virginia 38: I'm not convinced that West Virginia is the 21st best team in the country, but I'll give them the nod here. They're at home and TCU's has lost their last two games, giving up a lot of points in the process. This is likely to be a shootout, a scenario that is much better suited to West Virginia's style than TCU's.

(20) Nebraska 24 Michigan St. 13:  Michigan St. is coming off a win over Wisconsin, another underachieving team. But the Spartans have scored more than 20 points against only one BCS team. You don't win many games in college football with an offense that inept, and they won't win this one either.

(23) Texas 27 Texas Tech 38: I can't believe the Longhorns are still ranked where they are, but this one should knock them out of the top 25. Texas Tech is good, and even better at home. Tommy Tubberville's defense is good enough to stop Texas and the Red Raiders offense should overpower a Longhorn defense that at times can't stop anyone.

UTSA 10 (25) Louisiana Tech 45: La. Tech is a good example of how the landscape of college football is gradually changing. There are very good teams and in fact, entire conferences outside of the BCS qualifier conferences. Boise State was just the beginning.

(13) Clemson 34 Duke 24: Clemson can still win the Atlantic Division of the ACC if Florida State stumbles again. I don't see Duke challenging the Tigers. Clemson has too much speed and too many play makers, including QB Tajh Boyd, on offense. I think it's great that the Blue Devils are bowl-eligible, but they won't improve their position this week.

Arizona St. 31 (11) Oregon St. 34: Both of these teams lost close ones last week, but the Beavers were on the road and the Sun Devils lost to UCLA at home in Tempe. I'm giving Oregon St. the edge, mainly because they're at home.

(22) Arizona 41 UCLA 35: This is one that should go to the wire, once again the last team with the ball could very well win. UCLA was primarily outplayed last week, but pulled it out in the end. I like what Jim Mora has done with the Bruins, but eventually the high risk style of play results in some losses.

San Diego St. 24 (19) Boise St. 27: Although they aren't in the national title hunt, Boise is still a good team and should take care of business this week against another pretty good ball club.

Other Games of Interest (At Least to Me):

Virginia Tech 30 Miami 27: This should be an exciting Thursday night matchup, the first of two in a row for Virginia Tech. Both teams need a win to keep bowl hopes alive. I see the Hokies bouncing back from a disappointing effort at Clemson to stay alive in the Coastal Division race.

Tulsa 28 Arkansas 31: The Razorbacks let one get away in Little Rock last week against Ole Miss. They host a prolific Tulsa team for homecoming and need a much better game from QB Tyler Wilson to hold off the Golden Hurricanes. A loss in Fayetteville would not sit well with the Arkansas faithful. I think we'll see a lot more from the running game for the Hogs against a smaller Tulsa team.