College Football Week 11

Alabama’s Joshua Jacobs runs the football against the Bulldogs in Starkville last year. Alabama won 31-24. (Source: https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/alabama-names-players-week-following-dramatic-win-mississippi-state/)

Alabama’s Joshua Jacobs runs the football against the Bulldogs in Starkville last year. Alabama won 31-24. (Source: https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/alabama-football/alabama-names-players-week-following-dramatic-win-mississippi-state/)

College Football Crew, Guest Writers

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Welcome back! After a wild Week 10 of College Football, the Crew is back at it! With the games from last week all completed now, the rankings are listed below:

  1. Jacob McGuire (7-3, 13)
  2. Jacob Abbott (7-3, 10)
  3. Victoria Gruen (6-4, 9)

Jacob McGuire earned just 3 more points than Jacob Abbott, thus earning the tiebreaker over him. Trailing closely is Victoria Gruen, who is just 1 game away from tying the other two, and only 1 point away from tying Jacob Abbott.

Game of the Week: #1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #18 Mississippi State Bulldogs (Line: ALA -24.5)

Alabama’s statement win over LSU in Baton Rouge summed up what everyone knows: The SEC runs through ‘Bama. Mississippi State, though, is no pushover, but a home game for the Crimson Tide doesn’t bode well for Joe Moorhead’s crew. Fun fact: In the past 25 years, LSU has been shut out at home only 4 times…all of them to – you guessed it – Alabama.

JM: You know Alabama’s a good team when they make it to Game of the Week twice in a row. At this point, ‘Bama’s winning the National Championship in an easy contest.

VG: Alabama’s on a roll. With all of their momentum, they’re probably going to beat the Bulldogs easily.

JA: Alabama has been the national powerhouse for a while now, I think we can expect them to easily beat the Bulldogs. 

Upset of the Week: Auburn Tigers @ #6 Georgia Bulldogs (Line: UGA -14.5)

Auburn’s win over Texas A&M certainly helps Gus Malzahn’s case, but if he can upset Georgia, he saves his job for next year. The Bulldogs have already clinched the SEC East, but in order to go to the playoffs, they’ll need this game over the Tigers. On top of that, the Dawgs are ready to avenge their 17-40 loss to the Tigers last year.

VG: Upsets are called upsets for a reason. This has the potential to be one good game!

Game 1: #22 Boston College Eagles vs. #2 Clemson Tigers (Line: BC +18)

The ACC is certainly a much better conference than everyone gave them credit for originally. But its playoff hopes still rest with Clemson. A win for Clemson over the Eagles adds to their resume, something the Tigers desperately need in order to secure their playoff bid – as well as avoid Alabama in the first round of the playoffs. For Boston College, this is a big home game, and a win would go a long way in rebuilding this program.

VG: The possibility of Clemson facing off with Alabama in the College Football Playoff is going to be very likely if Clemson beats yet another team this week. The probability is high, and Clemson is most likely going to beat the Eagles to keep their undefeated streak going.

JA: Along with Alabama, Clemson has been one of the most consistent teams the last couple of seasons, and I don’t expect this game to be any different. The Tigers will easily beat the Eagles. 

Game 2: Colorado Buffaloes vs. #8 Washington State Cougars (Line: CU +5.5)

The Buffs started out hot, but now are not. Wazzu, on the other hand, did the opposite. The whole PAC-12 rests on the Cougars’ shoulders, but a trip to Boulder, and a possible upset, might change the whole PAC-12 picture. For WSU, a win separates them even further as the #1 team in the North (and the whole conference), while a CU victory puts them at 3-4, a better position to challenge in the PAC-12 South.

JM: I really want to pick Colorado, but Wazzu just has a good defense and an all-around good offense. The Buffs have fizzled out, so I think the Cougars will squeak out a win.

VG: Jacob’s right. The Cougars are probably going to win. This will be good for the PAC-12, so they can have one team that might possibly make it to the playoff, instead of having the wins scattered between the different PAC-12 teams.

Game 3: Texas Longhorns @ Texas Tech Red Raiders (Line: TTU +1.5)

The ‘Horns have now lost 2 weeks in a row, first to Oklahoma State, and now to West Virginia. If they can escape Lubbock with a win, Tom Herman’s crew might find himself back in the Big-12 mix. The Red Raiders almost beat Oklahoma last week as well, and anything can happen in a rivalry, albeit a lesser-known one. Additional bonus: The winner of this rivalry game is awarded the ‘Chancellor’s Spurs.’

JM: This game is a toss-up for me. After watching how Texas played and how Texas Tech played last week, it’s really even. I’m going Texas Tech in this game because of the home-field advantage – but only because of that.

Game 4: #7 Oklahoma Sooners vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Line: OK -18)

Bedlam is the name of this rivalry for a reason. This rivalry has consistently been a high-scoring game, and the last time the winning team scored fewer than 30 points was in 2009 (OU won 27-0). Oklahoma is coming off of 3 straight wins in the series, but Oklahoma State this year has a defense that just might be able to pull of the upset. If OU loses, the Big-12’s playoff chances are all but gone, and if the Cowboys lose, their shot at the Big-12 Championship game goes up in flames.

VG: State rivalries are the BEST. However, the Sooners are probably going to win this one.

Game 5: #14 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Wisconsin Badgers (Line: PSU -8)

Both teams started out with high expectations, and both teams have not lived up to the expectations. Penn State’s lost to Michigan last week dropped them to 3-3 in conference play, so a win for the Lions would boost them to 4th in the conference. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is 4-2. A trip to Beaver Stadium, though, might drop them 4-3, placing them 4th in the West division. Despite the lack of luster this game has, it is nonetheless a critical Big-10 game for both teams.

JM: If this game were held in Wisconsin, I’d have picked UW. Penn State has tumbled severely. Losses to Ohio State, Michigan State, and now Michigan are going to doom them from the Big-10 Championship Game, but a win over the Badgers at least keeps them contending.

JM Loyalty: San Jose State Spartans @ #18 Utah State Aggies (Line: USU -31)

The Aggies are arguably the most underrated Group-of-Five team out there. At 8-1 and undefeated in conference play, Utah State is poised to win the division. SJSU, meanwhile, has only 1 win, and a trip to Logan doesn’t bode well for the Spartans. There’s a reason Utah State is favored by 31 points.

JM: Go Aggies! That’s all I have to say.

VG Loyalty: Arizona State Sun Devils vs. UCLA Bruins (Line: ASU -12.5)

ASU is coming off of a big win over the ranked Utes. UCLA suffered another lost last week, and a road trip to Tempe could give Chip Kelly his 8th lost – and leave the Bruins out of bowl contention for this whole season. ASU needs a win in order to remain in contention in the PAC-12 South, and right now that division is a mess; the top 4 teams each have 3 losses.

VG: Loyalties are loyalties for a reason. The Bruins haven’t been doing well, but there’s always hope!

JA Loyalty: BYU Cougars @ UMass Minutemen (Line: MASS +13.5)

Last year, the Minutemen upset BYU in Provo. The Cougars are eager for revenge, and this time they’ll be playing in Foxborough. While UMass is the underdog by 13 points, they are fighting for bowl eligibility at 4-6. BYU lost a heartbreaker last week to rival Boise State, and at 5-4, a win in Gillette Stadium secures a bowl bid. This is an important game for both teams, and the winner will be in a good position to become bowl eligible.

JA: This game will probably be a struggle for BYU. They started the season off with a bang, and made some statements at Arizona and Wisconsin, but since then they have been struggling. They don’t seem to be the same team that they were at the beginning of the season, but they have the potential to beat UMass. I think BYU wins in a close, low-scoring game.

  JM VG JA
GOW – ## ALA vs. ## MSU ALA ALA ALA
UOW – AUB @ ## UGA UGA UGA UGA
Game 1 – #22 BC vs. ## CLEM CLEM CLEM CLEM
Game 2 – CU vs. #8 WSU WSU WSU WSU
Game 3 – ## TEX @ TTU TTU TEX TEX
Game 4 – ## OU vs. OKST OU OU OU
Game 5 – ## PSU vs. WIS PSU PSU WIS
JM Loyalty – SJSU @ #18 USU USU USU USU
VG Loyalty – ASU vs. UCLA ASU UCLA ASU
JA Loyalty – BYU @ MASS BYU MASS BYU

Overall, it’s not a very exciting week, as Alabama and Clemson are continuing to look unstoppable, but it is nonetheless an important week. The season is over halfway done for most teams, so this is the stretch that determines bowl-eligibility, New Year’s Six berths, and of course, Playoff hopes.

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