"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.

Friday, November 16, 2012

College Football Predictions

Last Week: 19 - 2

Okay, so most of the favorites won last week, making the top 25 prognostication a bit easier. But I still got the big upset right, correctly predicting Texas A&M's win over then-number one Alabama. Since five SEC schools chose to play high school teams this week and with only two games pitting two top 20 teams against each other, I don't see much upset picking going on. Okay, with the exception of one. A big one.

Iowa 17 at (21) Michigan 27: I've been picking against the Wolverines most of the year, but I guess I need to finally admit that they can win football games. My prediction of a Northwestern win at the Big House was one of my two misses last Saturday, so I'm smarting a bit. In addition, Michigan is still in the hunt for the Leader's Division title in the Big Ten.

(11) Florida State 42 Maryland 14: The Terrapins are way over matched in this one. Florida State is a little ticked off by the snubbing they are receiving from the BCS computers. Look for the 'Noles to roll in College Park.

(22) Rutgers 27at Cincinnati 28: This one was shaping up as a real battle for the Big East title and national attention until the MAC stuck its non-BCS qualifier nose in. Both these teams lost to what would ordinarily be considered lesser opponents. Even though the Bearcats dropped their game to Louisville, I still like them to beat Rutgers at home. Cincinnati by a nose.

Western Carolina 0 (4) Alabama 45: I would have felt sorry for Western Carolina, even before the Tide lost to Texas A&M. My guess is Nick Saban will call off the dogs early or this one could be very ugly. Unfortunately for the SEC, their top three teams all play FCS competition this week, making it difficult for them to continue momentum in the BCS race.

Wofford 10 (9) South Carolina 38: I doubt Spurrier will want to run it up, but it could happen anyway. Wofford is 8-2 and ranked ninth in the FCS, but most of their most impressive work was done earlier in the season. This game may be close early, but there's no way Wofford pulls the stunner.

Jacksonville St. 6 (6) Florida 41: This game came at a very opportune time for the Gators. Their starting QB went down last week and this gives him a game to heal before taking on Florida State in a game that could have serious national implications. Jacksonville State gets to play patsy again for the big bucks.

Georgia Southern 13 (5) Georgia 35: Ga. Southern is ranked sixth and is a traditional FCS power. They may be able keep it tight early between the hedges, but Georgia is still focused on the big prize.

(25) Washington State 31 Colorado 17: Don't ask me how the Cougars have edged into the national rankings, but they probably won't drop out after this week. The Buffaloes are really bad.

(18) USC 34 at (17) UCLA 31: The Bruins are the fashionable pick in this cross town, or more appropriately, cross megalopolis rivalry. The stadiums are like 800 yards and two hours away by freeway, or something like that. Anyway, back to the game. USC played much better defense last week against Arizona St., so I look for Monte Kiffin to come up with something to slow down Jim Mora's offfense. UCLA's secondary isn't very good, so it's not a particularly good matchup for the Bruins.

Sam Houston State 17 at (8) Texas A&M 48: The Bearkats' basketball team gave Arkansas a good game last week in Fayetteville, but this is a little different sport. Sam Houston's third-ranked FCS squad puts up a ton of points, but A&M is a little tougher than what they're familiar with. The Bearkats put up 23 on Baylor, so that should be some point of comparison. The Aggies will be able to put up as many as they want, but I think they's shut it down early.

Minnesota 13 at (14) Nebraska 24: The Cornhuskers have won four in a row since their drubbing at Ohio State. They need to keep it going to keep pace with Michigan and I think they will.

NC State 20 (11) Clemson 31: Can the Wolfpack take down another top ACC team? I think not. Clemson is the real deal and they'll show it this week.

Wake Forest 13 (3) Notre Dame 27: Notre Dame starts playing a limited ACC schedule in a couple of years, so we may see this one more frequently. Unfortunately for the league, this isn't the team to challenge the Irish's undefeated record this season. Even if Notre Dame is looking ahead to USC, they should prevail here.

Mississippi 17 (7) LSU 27: The Tigers are still smarting from the loss to Alabama and they will be playing with a chip on their shoulder. Last week's win over Miss. State was impressive and I don't see a much different outcome in Death Valley Saturday night. People say the SEC is down a little this year, but that's primarily at the bottom. LSU has two losses in its last five games and still garners a number seven ranking. And by the way, they're only the fourth highest ranked SEC team.

(23) Texas Tech 28 (24) Oklahoma St. 34:  The Cowboys only losses are to Texas and Kansas St. Texas Tech's three losses are to Texas, Kansas St. and Oklahoma (who OSU plays next week). Pretty close call here, but I'll go with the home team.

Utah St. 27 at (20) La. Tech 38: Believe it or not, this game has the potential to be terrific. Utah State's only losses have come at Wisconsin and BYU by a total of five points. La. Tech's only loss was by two to Texas A&M. Yes, the same Texas A&M that defeated Alabama last week. Unfortunately for the Aggies (yes, Utah St. has that nickname, too), the Bulldogs have a potent offense that should be the difference on Saturday.

(12) Oklahoma 41 at West Virginia 28: The Sooners are on a roll, the Mountaineers aren't. Enough said.

(1) Kansas St. 28 at Baylor 14: Is that really a one next to Kansas State? Well, good for Bill Snyder and his team. They should hold that spot for at least one more week unless RGIII shows up for the Bears.

(13) Stanford 31 at (2) Oregon 28: Eventually, the Duck offense will waddle instead of fly. This is probably that game.  Most people don't think Oregon is beatable at home. I beg to differ. This is the big upset pick of the week and maybe the season.

California 17 at (16) Oregon St. 31: Cal gave all they had last week against Oregon, Jeff Tedford is probably on his way out in Berkeley and the Beavers are looking to gain momentum heading into their big match-up with Oregon next week.

Arkansas 30 at Miss. St. 27: Look for a reversal for the Hogs of the score in their loss to Mississippi. The Bulldogs were never as good as their record earlier in the season, and Arkansas probably isn't as bad as theirs would indicate. Woo Pig Sooie!

Virginia Tech 27 at Boston College 17: The Hokies finally played up to their potential in their last game against Florida State. They still have a shot at bowl eligibility and BC had their bowl game against Notre Dame last week. Hokie Hokie Hokie High!