College Football Week 11 Picks and Predictions

After two strong weeks in which I went 8-0 straight up and 7-1 against the spread, I crapped the bed last week. I went just 2-2 straight up and 1-3 against the spread. My only saving grace was that I predicted Ohio State to beat Penn State outright, but the refs took care of any opportunity LSU had of covering.

No. 25 West Virginia at No. 5 Cincinnati, 8:00PM ET, Friday
The Bearcats received a scare last week from Connecticut, which scored 35 second half points in order to erase a 30-10 halftime deficit. While Cincinnati held on to beat the Huskies 47-45, the narrow win raised some doubts about whether or not the Bearcats should be ranked in the top 5. Tony Pike continues to battle a forearm injury, which means sophomore Zach Collaros will once again be counted on to keep Cincinnati’s BCS hopes alive. The Bearcats might have trouble running against a decent West Virginia front seven, but Collaros should have opportunities to methodically drive the ball down the field on an inconsistent Mountaineer secondary. I see this game being close early, but Cincinnati will pull away and hold on to victory in the second half.
Odds: Cincinnati –9.
Prediction: Cincinnati 34, West Virginia 24.

No. 16 Utah at. No. 4 TCU, 7:30PM ET, Saturday
I’m a little surprised to see that TCU is a whopping 19.5-point favorite in such a marquee matchup. I fully expect the Horned Frogs to take care of business at home, but the Utes have a good enough defense to somewhat contain quarterback Andy Dalton and TCU’s trio of running backs in Joe Turner, Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker. Plus, Utah can grind it out on the ground with running backs Eddie Wide and Sausan Shakerin, so they have the ability to keep TCU’s potent offense on the sidelines and have a chance to win in the fourth quarter. In the end, I think freshman quarterback Jordan Wynn will succumb to the pressure of TCU’s aggressive defense, but this one will be close throughout.
Odds: TCU –19.5.
Prediction: TCU 30, Utah 24.

No. 10 Iowa at. No. 11 Ohio State, 3:30PM ET, Saturday
I’m just going to cut to the chase: I don’t think redshirt freshman quarterback James Vandenberg stands a chance this week in Columbus. I know he has all the physical tools to succeed at the collegiate level and could turn out to be a damn fine quarterback, but Northwestern made him look silly last week at home – what do you think Ohio State’s defense is going to do to him in Columbus? The Hawkeyes’ magic ran out last week and I think we’re about to witness a freefall. The Buckeyes are playing with loads of confidence right now after beating Penn State in Happy Valley and with the Big Ten on the line this week, OSU should roll.
Odds: Ohio State –16.5.
Prediction: Ohio State 33, Iowa 13.

No. 24 South Florida at Rutgers, 7:30PM ET, Thursday
If you’re looking for a small upset for this week, look no further than the USF-Rutgers matchup on Thursday night. The Bulls have lost their last three games against the Scarlet Knights and are coming off three straight games against ranked teams (they lost two of the three, but did beat West Virginia last Friday). As good as freshman quarterback B.J. Daniels has looked at times this season, he has been awfully inconsistent. He’s also struggled two weeks ago in Pittsburgh and I’m willing to bet he does so again in New Jersey tomorrow night. For as much as I enjoy watching him play, Daniels will likely struggle against a well-rested and motivated Rutgers’ front seven.
Odds: South Florida –1.
Prediction: Rutgers 23, South Florida 20.

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