There's plenty of action tonight with three good games on the slate. In the American, ECU will be trying to get back on the winning track and stay in contention, along with Cincinnati, in the race for the conference championship. Cal visits USC in the L.A. Coliseum, where there will probably be plenty of work for the scoreboard operator as the Trojans try to stay alive in the Pac-12 South. And in the NFL, a big AFC East matchup will take place in Miami, one of the few warm places in the country today.
East Carolina (6 - 2) 38 @ Cincinnati (5 - 3) 27: ECU's loss to Temple in their last game took them out of the running for a major bowl, but they still have a lot to play for. There are currently four teams in the American Conference with one loss and a lot of football left to be played. The conference doesn't have a championship game and there is not a round robin schedule, so there are some interesting possibilities for ties at the top of the standings. After getting thrashed in three straight games, Cincinnati has rebounded by winning their last three contests. ECU basically handed the game to Temple, committing numerous turnovers and losing the game despite holding the Owls to under 200 yards of offense. I like the Pirates speed on the outside to scorch the Bearcats and get ECU back on the winning track.
California (5 - 4) 31 @ USC (6 - 3) 40: Cal can really score and USC has one of the better defenses in the Pac-12. Something will have to give tonight and it will most likely be the Golden Bears' defense. However, if it's a shootout, anything could happen. I still like USC's balance and overall their defense should be better enough than Cal's to prevail. In addition, the Trojans are still in the hunt for the Pac-12 South crown, with a win setting up a big showdown with UCLA next week.
Buffalo (5 - 4) 21 @ Miami (5 - 4) 27: The Bills took down the Dolphins in week 2, but this is week 11 and the game is in Miami, where the Fins dismantled the Chargers before losing a close one at Detroit last week. Buffalo has lived by their defense all season, allowing more than 23 points just one time in a 37 - 22 loss to New England, hardly anything to be embarrassed about. But it's a short week, a long trip and Miami's defense is as solid as the Bills'. I'll take the home team in this one, but it has the potential to be close deep into the fourth quarter.