We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty part of the college football season, and last week’s upsets have made the playoff committee’s job even harder in the coming weeks.
College football fans, gather around your mobile devices, water coolers, and fencelines – the time for College Football Playoff arguments is officially upon us. This year’s crop of contenders may look very different than years past.
For the first time since the inception of the playoff, we potentially could see a field without Alabama or Clemson involved, as one of the two (or both) of them has been in the playoff every year. Both need a lot of help if they want to sneak their way back into the discussion.
Ohio State and Michigan could possibly give us two teams from the same conference not named the SEC. How their end-of-season battle and the Big Ten Championship Game turn out will determine if both can stay in the coveted top four.
Georgia is in a “win and you’re in” position after soundly beating the former No. 1 team, Tennessee. The rest of the field? It’s going to be a nutty last few weeks of the season.
Looking back at my Week 10 picks before moving into this week’s predictions and spreads.
Upset: The topsy-turvy Big 12 showed up again, and blew my upset pick of Texas Tech beating a 9.5-point spread, with TCU making a 4th quarter charge to pull out a 10-point win. My other upset pick was Notre Dame over Clemson. We all know how that one turned out.
Lock: I took Georgia to cover 8.5 over Tennessee, which they easily did. However, the scoring slowed down once the monsoon started in Athens, so the over/under at 65.5 wasn’t even close.
2-2 last week on picks brings me to 15-11 on the season. Here are my picks for Week 11 with odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Ole Miss Rebels
Saturday, November 12
3:30 PM ET
College Football Week 11 Upset Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide vs Ole Miss Rebels
This may be one of the best games of the year, and certainly will be one of the most-watched games this week.
Alabama is fighting for its playoff hope, and Ole Miss is trying to notch its way into an SEC Championship Game appearance and possible playoff selection. Once again, we a have former assistant coming up against Nick Saban. Until last season, Saban had an unblemished record against his former coaches. Could Lane Kiffin join the likes of Jimbo Fisher and Kirby Smart?
Not very likely, to be honest. There’s nothing more dangerous than a Nick Saban team with its back against the wall. However, 11.5 points is probably too much to give Alabama here. Kiffin will be ready to exploit that Crimson Tide pass defense much in the same way Tennessee did.
Ole Miss is only 3-5-1 ATS overall this year, and that worsens to 1-4 as the home team. Don’t let that trend scare you off this one. Rebels will keep it close.
Pick: High-scoring shootout, Alabama winning on a late TD by 7 or less.
So which game is a guaranteed lock this week?
Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, November 12
12:00 PM ET
College Football Week 11 Lock: Indiana Hoosiers vs Ohio State Buckeyes
Normally, I’d shy away from any spread over 35, but Ohio State has a heck of an offense, and they are going to be out for redemption this week after a lackluster performance against Northwestern that had many people throwing a little doubt the Buckeyes way.
Truth be told, the weather was probably the biggest factor that affected the Ohio State offense last week. The Hoosiers 107th ranked pass defense (giving up 261 yards per game and 21 passing TDs all season) should pose no threat for CJ Stroud and the Buckeyes.
This one will be over before the 2nd quarter ends, and OSU will just pile on in the second half to flash some style points the committee’s way. I’ll also take the over at 57.5 points.
Pick: Buckeyes in a runaway game. 65 or more total points.
So what’s the game to stay away from this week? Back to the Big 12 and one of the most inconsistent teams in the country
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Saturday, November 12
12:00 PM ET
College Football Week 11 Bad Bet: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Navy Midshipmen
You’d think after watching Notre Dame dismantle Clemson it would be easy to pick them as a three-score favorite over struggling Navy. But this is an age-old rivalry and Notre Dame is primed for a bit of a letdown.
The Irish will likely still take care of business and notch their seventh win of the season, but it’s not going to come easy and it will be one heck of a physical game.
The Irish are 5-4 ATS this year and have had their struggles with being bigger favorites. Look for Navy to make this one closer than it probably should be, taking away from what little playoff hope momentum the Irish had gained. However, if the Irish can open up the pass game early, it could lead to a rout.
This is why I usually avoid rivalries.
Pick: Notre Dame in a tight, run-heavy game. Irish by 6, but too close to bet on.
The Strangest Thing We Saw in College Football Week 10
The color orange is a common theme throughout the month of October, and some teams who had orange as one of their primary colors — Tennessee, Syracuse, Clemson, Illinois, Oklahoma State — were having some of their best seasons in recent memory.
Then the calendar turned.
On the first Saturday of November, if you were a team who claimed some shade or orange, you were in trouble. Tennessee, Clemson, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Miami, Virginia, Oregon State, and Auburn all wound up as losers. The lone orange holdout? Texas.
Is the theme all orange 🏈 teams lose today?
— soilsdiva (@soilsdiva) November 5, 2022
Maybe we should keep an eye on all shades of blue/purple this week?
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