"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 27, 2014

FRIDAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS

None of the Friday games should impact the playoff lineup, unless UCLA advances to the Pac-12 championship game and springs an upset over Oregon. Even if that happens, a lot of other surprised will have to occur. I still have a feeling that a two loss team could challenge for the playoffs, but I'm not sure which one it will be. The Bruins are as good a pick as any at this point.

Missouri can get to the SEC championship with a win, but that won't be easy against a suddenly impenetrable Arkansas defense. If the Hogs knock off the Tigers, it sends Georgia to title game against either Alabama or Mississippi State. Just think if Alabama wins against Auburn, Mississippi State stumbles against Ole Miss and Georgia emerges as the SEC champ after beating the Tide. As the legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson used to say, "Whoa Nellie!"

Stanford (6 - 5) 17 @ (8) UCLA (9 - 2) 24: The Bruins win and they face Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game. Stanford is just trying to salvage a decent season after a disappointing year. The Cardinal defense is stout, but their offense has had trouble scoring against ranked opponents, averaging under 14 points in their five losses. I don't think they can put enough points on the board to spoil UCLA's championship hopes.

(13) Arizona St. (9 - 2) 28 @ (11) Arizona (9 - 2) 30: These teams will need to avoid scoreboard watching, as the winner unseats UCLA if the Bruins fall to Stanford. But that's just a little extra incentive to an already heated desert rivalry. These two teams are as closely matched as possible, with both teams losing to UCLA. The Sun Devils let the Pac-12 South get away with a meltdown at Oregon State and Arizona couldn't beat the other team from Southern California.  I'm just flipping a coin on this one.

Arkansas (6 - 5) 20 @ (17) Missouri (9 - 2) 6: Arkansas has shut out two consecutive ranked SEC teams. Not bad for a team that lost seventeen straight league contests. Now they look to take a crack at keeping the Tigers from clinching the SEC East. The Hogs still have an eight game road conference losing streak to break. Missouri doesn't have a great offense, and Arkansas's balanced attack is as big a reason for their resurgence as the defense.

Western Kentucky (6 - 5) 17 @ (24) Marshall (11 - 0) 37: The Thundering Herd finally cracked the committee's top 25, opening the possibility for them to crash the major bowl party. There's not a quality team on their schedule, but they've won them all and will surely win this one, too.

Virginia (5 - 6) 13 @ Virginia Tech (5 - 6) 16: When the powers that be decided to move this game to the end of the season, they were envisioning a little more on the line than a low level bowl played in mid-December in a cold weather city. For one of these teams it's the end of the season, for the other they get to head to the aforementioned post-season game, with the only real reward being an extra two weeks of practice to get ready for next year's campaign. Even though the 'Hoos surprised Miami last week, I still can't take them against my Hokies in the rivalry game.

Nebraska (8 - 3) 27 @ Iowa (7 - 4) 24: Nebraska has let a good season get away from them and again coach Bo Pelini is having to answer questions about the direction of the Cornhusker program. A loss at Iowa and he may not be asked to stick around for another season. However, despite their close defeat to Wisconsin last week, Iowa's 7 - 4 record was built with wins against non-quality opponents. I have to stay with Nebraska in this one.